QLDC to consider draft Annual Plan 2023-24
Queenstown Lakes District Councillors will be asked to consider the draft Annual Plan 2023-2024 consultation document and supporting information for public consultation.
The draft annual plan makes adjustments against the budget set out for Year 3 in the 2021-2031 Ten Year Plan and includes details of progress made to date.
Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Glyn Lewers said: “Council continues to work hard at delivering on its major projects and servicing the community, within an evolving landscape. It’s facing many of the challenges shared by others at this time: rising interest rates, high levels of inflation, staff shortages linked with accommodation challenges and supply issues are all factors affecting our budget with the cost of running any business increasing.
“Council is not immune to these pressures and as an organisation we continue to strive for greater cost efficiencies while protecting our levels of service and delivery on behalf of the community.
“Recent building defect and weather tightness claims against the Council have also had a significant impact. The combination of these conditions has required Council to seriously review its capital works programme and service delivery,” said Mayor Lewers.
As a consequence, the draft Annual Plan will propose a reduced capital expenditure (capex) programme as Council puts in place the financial provision to meet these costs. This has largely led to the rescheduling of projects into later years and will be further scrutinised in the next Long Term Plan review (commencing later in 2023).
The draft Annual Plan also proposes a higher-than-expected rates increase, at an average of 13.6%.
Queenstown Lakes District Council Chief Executive Mike Theelen said: “While a tough proposition in the current cost of living crisis, the Council is also facing considerable cost increases and has worked hard to minimise the size of any increase in rates. Increases in some user fees such as building consents, animal registration, and sport and recreational services, among others are also proposed. Keeping the balance between general rate funding and direct user fees is an important part of spreading the load appropriately.
“On the other side of the ledger Council is also expected to receive an improved dividend from Queenstown Airport which will help offset some increases to ratepayers.”
Public consultation on the draft Annual Plan 2023-24 is proposed to begin on Friday 24 March 2023 and close on Wednesday 26 April 2023. Council is taking this opportunity to look ahead to the next Long Term Plan (referred to as the Ten Year Plan) and invite early thoughts from the public to feed into this process. The annual plan submission process also includes the opportunity to apply for a community grant from the fund available every year for one-off community projects or operational costs.
Copies of the consultation document will be circulated in April. Council also plans to pop up throughout the district for community members to speak with staff and Councilors about the draft plan. Keep an eye out for details to be published on letstalk.qldc.govt.nz