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Climate change work is behind the biggest proposed increase in staffing levels at the Dunedin City Council as personnel costs across the organisation are set to climb to nearly $70 million next year.
The council’s draft budgets for its 2021-31 plan released this week include a $1.5 million increase in personnel costs next year.
The increase represents a 2.1% increase in staffing costs, as an approved $67.9 million this year would rise to $69.4 million in 2021-22.
Of a proposed 10.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) increase at the council, 6FTE would be included to continue the council’s carbon neutral work programme and its South Dunedin climate change preparations.
On Thursday night the council published about 700 pages of reports relating to its forthcoming 10-year plan to be considered by councillors next week.
The reports show it would cost $831,000 to go ahead with the proposed zero carbon work.
And in order to address the rising sea level, ground water and flooding risks that low-lying South Dunedin faces, it would cost the council $500,000 to progress the South Dunedin Future programme.
A climate 2030 rapid review, by consultants Coffey Services, which surveys the current state of the council’s carbon programme and identifies opportunities to reduce or offset carbon emissions, highlights potential next steps as well as ‘‘quick wins’’ for the council.
In 2019, the council declared a climate emergency and set a goal of making the city carbon neutral by 2030.