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Southland businesses facing enormous costs

Recent extreme weather events in Southland are costing local businesses, MP for Clutha-Southland Hamish Walker says

“Floods have hammered the region and closed many roads and businesses, including the popular Milford Road.

“I’ve requested an urgent briefing from the New Zealand Transport Agency in regards to the closure of Milford Road.

“Local businesses estimate that each day the road is closed there is a loss of around $1.5 million, this is a huge loss for our economy and the local tourism providers.

“The communities of Gore, Mataura and Balclutha have been amongst the hardest hit in the floods and the rebuild is going to be tough.

“Businesses in these areas are facing immense costs as they get back up and running and the losses they’ve incurred as a result of closing are also considerable.

“Tourism operators who are already dealing with the fallout of coronavirus are now facing uncertainty about whether they should cancel next week’s bookings.

“The Government has been missing in action with the exception of $100,000 for Rural Support Trusts, this isn’t going to go far enough to make a real difference.

“If National was in Government we would make fixing the roads a priority and would be giving businesses the certainty and support they need.

“I’m working hard to assist in getting Milford Road open as soon as possible and I’m on the ground helping out with the clean-up in Gore. I’m proud of the way the community is getting on with what needs to be done, but they deserve more support from the Government.”

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