18 Dec 2014

Council budget cleared for consultation

4:20 pm on 18 December 2014

The Auditor-General has given the green light for the Auckland Council to put out its contentious 10-year budget for consultation after last-minute changes were made.

Auditor-General Lyn Provost.

Auditor-General Lyn Provost. Photo: OFFICE OF AUDITOR-GENERAL

The draft Long Term Plan includes ideas such as motorway charges or higher petrol taxes to help pay for transport projects deemed otherwise deemed unaffordable.

Lyn Provost said the draft identifies the main issues and choices facing the region and the consequences of those.

It had to be changed last week after mayor Len Brown accepted that a funding plan for the $2.5 billion City Rail Link based on government contributions starting five years earlier than agreed was unreasonable.

Ms Provost says that change was not influenced by a letter to her from three concerned councillors.

"The matters that were brought to my attention by those councillors were already in hand, because they were significant issues in the consultation document."

The most contentious element of public consultation next year is expected to be debate about whether new taxes and charges should be imposed to help pay for transport projects.

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