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Project Shotover Update

22 February 2013

Project Shotover Update

A desire to improve the affordability of major infrastructure projects will result in the Queenstown Lakes District Council being asked to consider an amended approach to the Wakatipu Basin wastewater treatment upgrade (Project Shotover) at next week’s full Council meeting.

"Focusing on cost-effectiveness to keep rates under control, while also ensuring the District has good quality infrastructure goes to the heart of the recent local government reforms" said QLDC Chief Excutive Adam Feeley, "And we need to re-assess the approach to delivering Project Shotover in light of this."

The $35.9M project was consulted on in last year's 10-Year Plan, and contemplates a two stage upgrade, including a treatment plant upgrade in 2015 ($27.1m) and disposal of treated wastewater to land in 2022 ($8.8m).

"Our infrastructure team has been working hard with technical experts; the Otago Regional Council (ORC); and other stakeholders, and now believe that a more affordable, but equally effective, staged approach that continues to deliver positive environmental solutions is possible.

QLDC opted to test staged options with the industry and late last year called for expressions of interest with a view to reducing costs.

Council received 17 responses and has been evaluating them.

“This has been an invaluable process, as it has highlighted that viable and affordable options exist for a staged upgrade. A critical factor will be Council’s ability to receive a staged consent from the ORC but they have been extremely cooperative to date and we believe this approach is feasible.”

"If there is agreement on a sensible approach to water quality levels in the medium term, we believe that the budgeted costs can be reduced," Mr Feeley said.

Council would be asked to support an application for a new staged discharge consent.

ENDS

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