Concern over ORC submission-fatigue

Despite possibly suffering "submission fatigue", people are being urged to have their say on the Otago Regional Council's 10-year plan outlining what it intends to do and how it should be funded.

Submissions on the draft long-term council community plan 2009-2019 close on Friday.

However, the long-term plan is just one of many documents on which the council is seeking public comment.

Others include the Regional Transport Plan, proposed changes to wetland provisions in the water plan and the second round of consultation on minimum flows and water allocation.

Cr Stephen Woodhead said, at a meeting of the policy and resource planning committee, there were "submissions for Africa" out for consultation.

"The community could be overwhelmed.

Some will have had three or four letters from us asking for feedback."

Cr Louise Croot said as such a large number of submissions (130) had been made on the first round of consultation on minimum flows and water allocation, maybe people were suffering "submission fatigue" when it came to making secondary submissions.

They close on May 5.

Cr Woodhead said that was where the Resource Management Act amendment Bill came in, as the council was hoping for a change to the requirement to do further submission processes.

The draft long-term plan provided for a general rate of $4.47 million compared to the $4.42 million in 2008-09 - an increase of 1.02% or $45,000.

It included proposals to introduce four new targeted rates to fund the Clean Heat, Clean Air project, public transport in Queenstown, Shotover Delta flood protection works and a new council office block.

Other projects proposed include flood protection work on the Taieri, continuation of improvements to Dunedin's bus services and the development of a Regional Plan: Climate, to manage the impact of climate change.

Submissions close on Friday and hearings were planned for later in the month.

The hearing panel would review submissions and make recommendations to the full council.

The finalised plan would then go to council for adoption in late June.


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