The time is right for water projects across the central South Island to be given the green light, Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean said.
“The Timaru, Waitaki, Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes District Councils have all made applications to the government’s ‘shovel-ready’ infrastructure fund to help with recovery post-coronavirus lockdown, and each of their applications include large-scale water projects.”
These include the Cardrona wastewater pipeline and treatment plant projects plus the Clyde/Alexandra water and wastewater connection project, Central Otago pipeline and reservoir project and an application for funding to fast-track the upgrade to the Shotover Delta Wastewater Treatment Plant.
“The projects put forward by councils across the central South Island would all bring immediate employment opportunities, boost the regional economy and bring long-term benefits for local people,” Dean said.
“Councils were already under significant financial pressure due to government regulations around the drinking water, stormwater and wastewater. Rather than piling these costs onto ratepayers, it makes sense for the government to finance these projects through the infrastructure fund now.
“It would also be prudent for the government to invest in water storage and augmentation projects. Coronavirus has highlighted how important the agriculture sector is to the economy and in putting food on the table of New Zealanders.
“There have been times in the recent past where the South Island has largely missed out on government infrastructure spending, and I don’t want to see that happen again. This region is a strong contributor to the New Zealand economy and deserves to see investment when it’s needed most.”
Read edition 974 of the Wānaka Sun here.