Fast-tracking Southland's flood protection
Environment Southland is excited about the announcement of $25 million of funding to protect the region against the impacts of floods and climate change.
The funding, announced by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones today, forms part of the $210m for shovel-ready climate change resilience and flood protection projects being delivered through the $3 billion tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure.
Environment Southland chairman Nicol Horrell said the news today made it clear that protecting Southlanders from the impacts of floods and climate change was a top priority for the Government.
“We’re delighted with the minister’s announcement. These projects will help to improve Southland’s highest risk natural hazard – floods – and be more resilient to the potential effects of climate change. We estimate that around 75 jobs will be created from the projects. It’s great to be able to support Southland’s recovery from COVID-19 in this way, while also protecting our towns and city against future challenges.”
The approved projects include the upgrading and raising of the stop banks around Gore, Mataura and Wyndham, which showed their importance during the floods this February; erosion repairs on the Waiau River following the December flood; and a joint application with Invercargill City Council to upgrade the stop bank infrastructure in Invercargill. This would see the height of the Stead Street, Waihopai and Otepuni stop banks raised, and the Stead Street pump station replaced, which helps to drain water from the Invercargill Airport and surrounding areas.
Environment Southland’s flood protection system is its major infrastructure with 458kms of stop banks across Southland, designed to protect people, property and livelihoods.