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ECan draft annual plan submissions open


March 28, 2008

MEDIA STATEMENT
ECan draft annual plan submissions open March 29 – April 29

Submissions to Environment Canterbury’s draft annual plan for 2008/09 open Saturday March 29.

Anyone interested in the way the environment is being managed by the regional council, and the cost of this to ratepayers can put in a submission between then and April 29. As well as environmental management of natural resources, regional councils are also responsible for governance functions relating to public transport, regional land transport and the co-ordination of region-wide civil defence emergency management.

The general rate increase is lower than inflation at 2.2 per cent, close to the 2.1 per cent forecast in the Long Term Council Community Plan. The total budget for the 2008/09 ECan work plan is close to $112 million.

There are a number of ways for people to make a submission:
 Online from Saturday www.ecan.govt.nz/draftannualplan
 Emailed to mailroom@ecan.govt.nz
 Posted to ECan, Freepost 1201, Christchurch
 Dropped off at the ECan offices in Christchurch, Timaru, or Kaikoura
 Filled out on the page provided in the special edition of Living Here, a summary draft annual plan edition, being delivered across Canterbury from this weekend.

Of particular interest this year is the request for specific feedback from people living in Timaru, Ashburton, Rangiora and Kaiapoi to the introduction of a targeted rate to pay for subsidised Clean Heat Projects to help reduce winter air pollution. The proposed targeted rate would enable ECan, in conjunction with local district councils and central government organisations like EECA , to help lower-income families install insulation and clean forms of heating.

ECan is also putting more resources into managing water, in line with public expectations, with funding coming from general rates. Sir Kerry said increasing pressure on the region’s resources, in particular water in rivers or underground, meant an additional $1.6 million above what was set out in the Long Term Council Community Plan was needed for council work programmes. Accordingly, ECan is:

- Implementing metering of water takes. There are around 6000 consents covering water use in Canterbury. Central government legislation requiring water metering will be in force around June 2009.
- Reviewing resource consents in areas of high water demand to protect existing users and reduce environmental impacts of increasing abstractions.
- Increasing efforts with water management in areas where intensified demand is putting pressure on the water resource.

ENDS

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