Budget 2011: New fresh water clean-up fundEnvironment Budget 2011
Environment Minister Nick Smith today announced the establishment of a new contestable fund to help councils and communities clean-up nationally significant water bodies polluted by poor historic management.
“We have a number of significant rivers and lakes that require major clean-up investments where it is beyond the capacity of councils alone to meet the cost. A pre-condition for the Government’s funding support is councils having effective rules in place to prevent ongoing pollution. This is about the Government using both a carrot and stick approach to improving freshwater management,” Dr Smith said.
“This initiative brings together a number of existing one-off clean-ups in Waikato, Rotorua and Taupo into the Fresh Start for Fresh Water Programme as well as reprioritised funding in the Budget for the new contestable clean-up fund of $7.5 million per year for 2011/12 and 2012/13. The total investment, incorporating existing commitments, is $26.2 million in 2011/12, $23.7 million in 2012/13, and including out years involves $264.8 million.
“This Fresh Start for Fresh Water Clean-up Fund is about the Government providing a more consistent framework for supporting existing river and lake clean-ups and providing new funding that enables all regions a fair opportunity to secure Government financial support.
“This initiative was specifically proposed by the Land and Water Forum’s Fresh Start for Freshwater Report support by 58 representative water stakeholders and endorsed at 18 public meetings throughout New Zealand.”
The Government will be inviting applications for the new fund in June 2011 with an expectation of new projects being approved by August.