It's feedback time in the Thames Coromandel district
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Posted September 23, 2020
Council Matters ,
Brian Gentil asked Whangamata Councillor Terry Walker from the Thames-Coromandel District Council about the consultation-a-thon because the Council has three issues they’re asking for your feedback on right now.
Terry said Council is looking at three policies they invite people to feedback on. First up was gambling where the Thames Coromandel district has learnt through a report that $10.6 million is spent locally on gaming machines, more than twice the national average. This is the second highest spend on gaming machines in the country and the district also has a machine to adult ratio of more than twice the average.Since the current policy was adopted in 2015, venues and machine numbers have fallen but the amount spent on gaming machines has continued to rise.Council is proposing to continue with a ‘sinking-lid’ approach which means that no new gaming venues or machines can be established in the district, and that as gaming venues close, they can’t be replaced.The draft policy also seeks to include TAB venues in the sinking-lid approach. The current policy allows new TAB venues as well as the merger of existing gaming venues.
Consultation on the draft water demand strategy will help Council make decisions on the best tools they can use to manage water demand - eg: investigating installing more water meters – they track what is used rather than a general charge – or the costs.Already there’s water metres at some properties in Coromandel Town, Thames/Thames Valley, Pauanui and commercial areas of Whitianga. $1.37 per 1000 litres of water is what an ordinary water user spends in the district a day– that’s the same as 28 showers or 13 baths. If people knew how much they used and how much it cost it’s hoped it would change habits.Thames Coromandel is rolling out more public education about reducing water use.
The current Long Term Plan has $16m million to upgrade many of the water treatment facilities by the end of the 2021/22 financial year.Whitianga is complete, Tairua is complete, Pauanui goes ahead November 2020, Coromandel - May 2021, Beverly Hills (Whangamata) - June 2021, and programming for the others is to be determined.
Longer-term plans for meeting population demand for fresh water are also continually being assessed through Council’s Asset Management Plans and in the upcoming 2021-2031 Long Term Plan, which goes out for consultation in early 2021.
Brian asked Terry about the Significance and Engagement Policy. Terry explained how this Policy is used by Council staff to determine when and how to consult on a proposal.It also provides clarity to communities on what proposals they can expect to be consulted on.
One change proposed in the draft policy is to raise the dollar amount for an activity to be classified as significant from $1 million to $5 million.
To find out more about how you can provide feedback about the issues affecting you and the Thames Coromandel district visit www.tcdc.govt/haveyoursay
Click on our podcast link to listen to the full interview with Whangamata Councillor Terry Walker from the Thames-Coromandel District Council about the consultation-a-thon.