There really is something for everyone in this week's committee agenda. The Public and Active Transport Committee (PAT) checks out regional public transport, reports on patronage (serious recovery) and plans further improvements. Environmental Policy Committee will work out how to prioritise waterbodies for water quality and biodiversity improvement, approve the rollout of Catchment Action Plans and report on the implementation of the Biosecurity Operational Plan. Regional Leadership looks at the chunky delivery of Fresh Water Farm Plans among other things. Safety and Resilience Committee is updated on natural hazard futures programmes for South Dunedin and the head of Lake Whakatipu, plus progress on flood management infrastructure and Civil Defence. Click here for the meetings papers, read on for my pre-meeting summaries. Buses and planning for better services Two long awaited improvements to the bus system start on September 4 - Queenstown's Route 5 (Lake Hayes Estate) and the Mosgiel Express. These were to be underway in 2020, but we all know what happened then and how long it's taken to get PT back on track. Bus, ferry and total mobility numbers are all way up and we're ready to build further on the system we have. You'll find updated business cases for improvement to both Queenstown and Dunedin public transport but they are contigent on funding and other constraints. There is a report scoping the potential for a regional public transport system which indicates there is definitely a case for considering these connection. Big thanks to those people who patiently feed the network problems and their ideas to us. Yes, we do listen, consider and feed your thoughts into our processes and yes we do follow up the complaints. So do keep the us abreast of the good the bad and the ugly. You can track the passenger numbers, look at what's planned and check out the big picture here. Environmental Implementation Committee Prioritisation of projects There are many degraded waterbodies in Otago. At this meeting we consider a process for prioritising where our limited budgets and activity should go. Integrated Catchment Management programme This outlines the rollout of the Catchment Action Plans. There are key principles that underpin this programme which focuses on holistic environmental management. The report contains a summary of facts in figures, readiness for action, existing groups that can be worked with and environmental pressures in each Fresh Water Management Unit or Rohe. You can find these reports and staff recommendations in the agenda here. Regional Leadership Committee Consent Fees Support Fund Following complaints about community groups paying to get consents to do work that benefits everyone and works towards ORC goals, the council implemented a support fund to cover such fees. In the 2022/2023 year, 9 applications were received and all granted. You can see the recipients and details of their projects in item 8.1 of this agenda. Fresh Water Farm Plans rollout How we will deliver the government policy of Fresh Water Farm plans is also on this agenda. These are property specific plans designed to prevent and repair degradation to fresh water. These provide flexibility for farmers to find and implement their own solutions. In some instances step changes in farming and growing will be required - it won't necessarily be easy and there are some serious risks involved in the roll out - particularly around resourcing and capacities. This is a huge piece of work with many challenges in getting buyin and support. It requires strong relationships, good resourcing and excellent communication. The full plan is in agenda item 8.3. And for the time poor, there is a summary powerpoint at the same link. Safety and Resilience Committee South Dunedin Futures This programme is working out a climate adaption programme in response to natural hazards facing the area. The update discusses the five worksteams in place pulling together information and community. ORC is working in partnership with Dunedin City Council, Mana Whenua and scientific partners including Otago University, GNS Science and NIWA. The five workstreams are: Natural hazards (investigating, monitoring and predicting), strategy and programme, comms and engagement, risk assessment and adapation options (following the PARA - protect, accomodate, retreat, avoid - framework). A final adaptation strategy is to be ready by mid 2026 and will be followed by an implementation plan. Head of Lake Whakatipu Progress towards the development of a natural hazards adaptation strategy for this area is reported in this paper. Current work is focusing on "What Matters Most?" and "What can we do about it?" There are updates to the work programme include flood hazard assessment for the Buckler Burn and the development of a flood forecasting model for the Glenorchy Lagoon. A social impact assessment will take place between September and November this year. The next community discussions and presentations take place at the end of this month - August 31. Read about both of these items in this committee agenda Climate Resilience, Flood Repairs and Projects This offers details and updates on four flood protection related projects: West Taiari Contour Channel and Bridges Updgrade, Upgrade and installation of flow management structures at Robson Lagoon, Riverbank Road Flood Stabiliations and the Outram Flood Seepage Mitigation. Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) This paper updates the committee on the work of the CDEM team and how it works.
As always, do be in touch with feedback, suggestions and questions.