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Estuary edge earthquake legacy issues, Southshore and South Brighton

CCRU share with you the CCC initiated workshop held on Wednesday 29th of May in the South Brighton community Hall to identify the community needs in relation to the estuary edge earthquake legacy issues, Southshore and South Brighton.

A city council resolution dated 9th of May, instructed council staff to undertake urgent work on the earthquake legacy investigations project for South Shore and South Brighton and report back in August 2019 for Council decision as follows:

Estuary edge current and pre-earthquake state and risk analysis - to identify outstanding community needs. This will include specific actions and opportunities to mitigate inundation and erosion that addresses earthquake.

This resolution led to a CCC initiated workshop on Wednesday 29th of May, held in the South Brighton community Hall, with the purpose of identifying the community needs in relation to the estuary edge earthquake legacy issues. Click here for the CCC Estuary for meeting outline- PDF

A cross section of community group representatives and individuals were invited to attend. These included- Southshore Residents Association, CCRU, Estuary Trust, Campgrounds, the Yacht Club, South Brighton Surf Club, Community Board Members, local councillors and other individuals that are active in the Southshore and South Brighton community. The aim was to canvas the community needs in response to the resolution.

Understandably tight time constraints did not allow this meeting to be fully public. So to encourage transparency, CCRU made a request to the CCC to record the meeting for wider community access. As this was not a public meeting this request was not accepted. There was however a Coastal Futures newsletter published in a timely fashion by the CCC that indicates general information. Click here for Coastal Futures Update 30 05 2019 Estuary edge.pdf

As a further effort to keep to the community informed, we asked a representative of CCRU who attended the meeting to give their views and impressions of the workshop. Having long worked to encourage the discussion of the estuary edge repair we also provide you with the work CCRU undertook in preparation for the workshop, recording CCRU views and constructing a list in relation to our group views on community needs- Click here for CCRU Preparation Workshop Document 29 May 2019.pdf

“My impression of the workshop held 29 May by CCC, to identify community needs in relation to the estuary-edge earthquake legacy issues, is that I feel cautiously optimistic that Southshore and South New Brighton may finally get some solutions and actual works on the ground."

Brendan Anstiss, CCC’s General Manager of Strategy, introduced the workshop. Notable to me was an encouraging change in the usual CCC language when Brendan said “There is opportunity when we do the earthquake legacy works to make it better – how much better is a cost question. We need to make sure there is some amenity value not simply reinstating what was there”.

The fact that CCC are open to ensuring there is amenity value and some betterment is an important signal and CCRU will be wanting to see this followed through and reflected in the solutions presented to Council in August. Brendan was careful to state that betterment does enter the grey area of long-term adaptation effort.

There was good representation from the community with the Tennis Club, Yacht Club, Surf Club, Sustain South Brighton, The Bridge South Brighton Trust, The Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust, South New Brighton School and Playcentre, SSRA, CCRU and several individuals from both Southshore and South Brighton.

The workshop was facilitated by a qualified facilitator, and community groups and individuals were asked to present what they saw the community needs were. CCRU had a long list, which we will publish on our website.

Council staff are collating all the needs and will present them back to us in the next few weeks. Needs will be assessed with the technical reports that CCC already have, as well as some updated technical reports currently being obtained, and a set of recommendations (solutions) will be presented to Council in August. Councillor David East confirmed there is appetite within Council for this work to be done.

Brendan Anstiss said, "it is a challenge for CCC to navigate finding solutions that balance the ecological, aspirational and amenity needs of the community." He confirmed there are parameters around solutions being practicable, physical feasibility and that regulatory solutions have a pathway.

And so I remain cautious, but cautiously optimistic.

It is time to heal. We need a sense of safety and hope for future. We've been battling for eight years and it's time to see action. CCRU reminded CCC staff that regeneration of our area still needs addressing and this needs to be put back on the table, we still lack some community assets/shops/gathering spaces and the surf club, tennis club, bridge trust etc all need help getting rebuilt.”

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