Shovel-ready projects make Govt shortlist

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An artist's impression of the entrance from Esk St into the food precinct in the proposed new inner city development in Invercargill.

SOUTHLAND councils have been advised which of their shovel-ready projects have been shortlisted by the Government.

The Infrastructure Industry Reference Group whittled down the 1924 projects submitted nationwide to 802 projects, which will now be presented to Cabinet ministers Shane Jones and Phil Twyford for consideration.

Invercargill City Council (ICC) chief executive Clare Hadley said four of the five projects council submitted for consideration had been put forward to the next part of the process.

They were the inner-city redevelopment ($242.6m); Invercargill flood protection and stopbanks ($22.7m, a joint application with Environment Southland); security of Invercargill and Bluff water supply ($15.8m); and a civic building renewal programme ($15.6m).

An $11.7m Bluff master plan, which didn’t make the cut, has instead been put forward for consideration under the Provincial Growth Fund model.

Environment Southland chief executive Rob Phillips said applications for funding for stopbank improvement works in the Gore, Mataura and Wyndham townships had progressed for further consideration, as had work for Boundary Creek near Waimumu.

“Of our applications, only the proposed work on the Waiau River is not progressing to the next stage.

“We’re hopeful and incredibly grateful that so many of our projects are being considered further.

“They amount to a considerable amount of investment that would take us much longer to be able to progress without this opportunity for Government funding.”

Council chief executive Steve Ruru said he was pleased four of its projects had made it through to the next stage.

“We have been advised that four of the projects that we submitted have been advanced to this second stage, with the balance being rejected he did not state how many had not made the grade.

“The four projects that have proceeded to the next stage are the Monowai Bridge replacement, Te Anau wastewater membrane filter, drinking water reticulation renewals and stormwater renewal works.”

Two of the Gore District Council’s 10 submitted projects made the shortlist.

They were the two largest projects, the Gore and Mataura water treatment ($23m) and the Manaaki Eco-Village ($10m).

A spokeswoman said the council was “happy and cautiously optimistic” to have the projects go forward for Government support.

“However, you have to temper that with the fact there are 802 projects nationwide.”

GDC was “mildly disappointed” some of its smaller projects did not make the cut, but remained hopeful some might prove attractive to the Provincial Growth Fund, she said.

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