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ARC Draft Annual Plan to set direction

ARC Draft Annual Plan to set direction for new council

The Auckland Regional Council will conclude the majority of its budget deliberations at a Council meeting on Monday 7 March, and will adopt its Draft Annual Plan on 21 March 2005.

Recommendations so far indicate a 4.8% increase in rates for the average residential ratepayer.

ARC Chairman Michael Lee says that over recent years, higher expectations and responsibilities have been placed on the ARC, which have impacted on its budget requirements.

“Our Draft Annual Plan budget will attempt to balance the public transport, parks and environmental needs of our fast-growing community with the need to prune costs and deliver cost-effective public service,” Mr Lee says.

“Regional public transport, through the newly established Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA), will see a $10 million increase in ARC contributions, which will support a $20 million increase in operational expenditure, allowing ARTA to deliver increased bus and train services. This is considerably more than was provided in Year Two of the ARC Long Term Council Community Plan.”

“Funding from Auckland Regional Holdings of $138.2 million will enable the significant investment and commitment to new public transport infrastructure to continue.”

Government, through Land Transport New Zealand, will also make a significant contribution to transport funding in the Auckland region.

Mr Lee says that at Monday’s meeting, the ARC is expected to support the implementation of the Auckland Regional Growth Strategy through an increase in expenditure, and is also looking at ways of setting aside funds for acquisition of land for additional parks.

The Draft Plan will be open for public consultation from Wednesday 6 April to Friday 6 May. Copies will be available from the ARC or by going on-line at www.arc.govt.nz

Mr Lee says that the new ARC is a listening council that is committed to working in partnership with the whole community.

“I fully encourage people to let us know their views on what we are proposing and to make a submission by 6 May.”

“Everyone has a role to play in planning the region’s future, to maintain and enhance our quality of life.”

A summary of the Plan will be sent to all households and businesses as part of Region Wide, the council’s regular newsletter.

In addition to the formal submission and hearing process, the ARC will run an on-line questionnaire to make it easier for people to get involved and comment on what their regional rates help pay for.

Copies of the Draft Annual Plan and additional information about how to comment will be available from 6 April via:

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