Ocean outfall working group needed

Beach scouring near the Merimbula ocean outfall earlier this year.
Beach scouring near the Merimbula ocean outfall earlier this year.

Council will be looking for 10 people to form part of a working group on the Merimbula ocean outfall project.

The group is seen as integral to effective community engagement during the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) and concept design phases for the project which is likely to run to $35 million.

The project has been declared State Significant Infrastructure (SSI) and the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARS) has been issued by the Minister for Planning. The SEARS emphasise the need for robust community engagement.

Council said the community working group would support the community engagement process and ultimately construction of the necessary infrastructure.

The group will be made up of a group of people representative of the impacted community. Council will seek formal expressions of interest from the wider community and “other trusted voices in the community”. 

The group will meet approximately five times, once design options are confirmed and they will meet together until they confirm a preferred design option.

They will work through a design and assessment criteria analysis process whereby they will actively participate in identifying the problem, prioritising issues, developing the assessment criteria and analysing the proposed project solutions developed by the project team by applying the assessment criteria.

At the end of the process, the group confirms the preferred option and recommends to council this option be selected.

Selection of the 10 community working group members will be based on formal expressions of interest who will be chosen by a panel consisting of the infrastructure committee chair, general manager and manager water and sewerage services. The group composition will aim to be representative of broad community demographics, impacted by the project.

First stage of ocean outfall