Meetings to inform public of flood protection work

Two public meetings are to be held this week for the community to hear Environment Southland’s plans for improving the region’s flood protection schemes.

Southland’s flood protection network was put to the test in the February floods.

When the Government economic stimulus package, which included funding for shovel-ready projects, was announced, the regional council’s bid to fast-track planned work was successful.

Nearly $14million is to be awarded over a five-year period for community resilience projects, which aim to create over 100 jobs.

The funding is dependent on Environment Southland co-funding $4.625million (25%), bringing the total funding to $18.5million.

Council chairman Nicol Horrell said without the funding, the improvements to Southland’s flood defences would have taken more than 10 years.

“On top of that, it will be contributing to the economic recovery by opening up

job opportunities for Southlanders.”

The flood protection work is in Invercargill and the Mataura and Waiau catchments.

As the funding was unexpected, the council planned to use existing reserves of up to $1.5million for the 2020-21 year.

Some of the projects for the year include rock work on

the Mataura stopbanks, upgrading and extending the stopbank at Boundary Creek upstream of the Mataura township, and purchasing the new pump for the Lake Hawkins pump station in Stead St.

How the council funds the remainder of its contribution, up to $3.125million, will be consulted on next year for the 2021-31 long-term plan.

The Gore meeting will be held at the Gore RSA in Bowler Ave at 6.30pm tonight, while the Invercargill meeting will be held at Environment Southland at 6.30pm on Wednesday.


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