QLDC submissions to ORC draft Ten Year Plan
The Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) is seeking greater investment and a more collaborative approach from the Otago Regional Council particularly in the areas of transport, emergency management, water quality and pest management.
On Friday, 11 May 2018 , QLDC provided three letters as detailed submissions to the Otago Regional Council (ORC) draft Ten Year Plan that reflect key issues faced in the district, effecting both the community and the environment.
QLDC Mayor Jim Boult said that the Council has commended ORC for many proposals within its draft plan but has also sought for the ORC to ramp up its response to the district.
“ORC has provided a clear vision for the region and a strategy that is complementary to that of QLDC. We feel it’s important to acknowledge the proposals presented that will positively affect our local residents but like us, ORC has got to meet the challenge of extreme growth in our environment,” said Mayor Boult.
QLDC felt that there were opportunities in the ORC draft plan to improve some of the proposed outcomes for Queenstown Lakes. In particular, relating to growth and demographic projections.
Mayor Boult reflected that, “the $2 bus service launched in 2017 has been a great success for Queenstown and immediate surrounds, but it has to keep developing additional routes and increased frequency to be the game-changer that Queenstown transport needs. Critically, the population forecasts used by the ORC fail to reflect the peak day projections, we have urged ORC to revisit those figures.”
QLDC had also requested additional investment in emergency management by allowing for a second dedicated Emergency Management Officer in the district. This was to reflect the complex nature of the district, isolated rural communities, and high visitor numbers, in the context of a significant event such as an Alpine Fault rupture.
Increased collaboration and partnership was also proposed by QLDC to ensure both the Council and residents could participate in developing ORC’s plans. QLDC highlighted the excellent community groups within the district addressing biodiversity, wetlands and pest control issues, and urged ORC to engage with them.
Urban growth was also emphasised as an opportunity for collaboration and QLDC has requested greater involvement from ORC experts in developing a Future Development Strategy (FDS) for the Queenstown Lakes District.
“QLDC is required to prepare an FDS in order to comply with the National Policy Statement for Urban Development Capacity, and to develop it through a meaningful collaboration with immediate neighbours in Central Otago and at ORC. We also need ORC engagement on Housing Infrastructure Fund applications on consenting matters and transport issues,” said Mayor Boult.
“Council is working tirelessly to address congestion and housing affordability but we need partners to help us achieve the best outcome for both residents and visitors to the district. We have formally requested that assistance from ORC and we’re confident we can work together to achieve QLDC’s own ten year vision: Vibrant Communities, Enduring Landscapes, Bold Leadership.”
QLDC has requested to present at the upcoming hearings in Dunedin during the week commencing 23 May.