A funding boost from the government means 30 new jobs will be created across the Tasman District.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment recently confirmed $1.5million worth of funding to redeploy locals who have lost their jobs due to Covid-19.

The programme, managed by the Tasman District Council, will see $1million being spent removing trees and roadside hazards, while $500,000 will be spent increasing roadside drainage.

The proposal was submitted to the government as a ‘shovel-ready’ project, aimed at fast tracking infrastructure projects around the country to get people into jobs and stimulate the economy.

Tasman District Council transportation manager Jamie McPherson says the process is well underway, and that 30 people will be employed as a result of the funding boost within the next few weeks.

While the project will create 30 jobs for between six and twelve months, Jamie says the emphasis is on giving new skills to those who have found themselves unemployed due to Covid.

“It’s not just about taking people and giving them some temporary work and putting them back on the street after the project is finished, we want to give people skills that will enable them to stay in the industry and stay connected to work.”

Jamie says that clearing roadside hazards has been a priority for council for some time, but they haven’t had the funds to undertake the work.

“This is a win win. We know there are hazards, but council has had a very modest budget for this in the past.”

“Trees and other roadside hazards leave no margin for error for drivers when they are really close to the road. When drivers make mistakes, they shouldn’t pay with their lives.”

The council has also received funds that it applied for under the Innovating Streets for People Pilot Fund, designed to create safer, healthier and more people-friendly streets.

The funding is aimed at letting councils fastrack projects.

The council has received a 90 per cent subsidy to improve the Croucher – D’Arcy neighbourhood in Richmond.

With a budget of $132,000, the trial will aim to slow traffic in the area and improve walking and cycling safety, as the neighbourhood is a key link between central Richmond and schools in the Salisbury Road area.

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