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May 11, 2015 | by  | in News |
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VUWSA and Uni weigh in on Council’s plans

VUWSA and the University have made submissions to the Wellington City Council’s recently drafted Long Term Plan for 2015 to 2025.

The Long Term Plan looks at the current and future needs of Wellingtonians and sets out how the Council plans to improve the city and what it will spend.

VUWSA’s submission pointed out that students contribute at least $610 million to the city’s economy annually and expressed the association’s hope that the council will continue to work on a Warrant of Fitness plan for rental housing.

While VUWSA maintained its stance against the plans to extend the Wellington Airport Runway, it remained in full support of the Council’s “fairer fares” proposal to usher in reduced tertiary student fares for public transport.

Unlike VUWSA, the University expressed their support for the Airport runway extension as well as the Council’s proposed Tech Hub and Screen industry enterprise zone.

Both University management and VUWSA agreed on the need for increased private sector accommodation for students in central Wellington. Additionally, both supported the Council’s moves to install better lighting in the city and its plans to improve cycleways.

The Council has dubbed the proposal “Wellington’s plan for sustainable growth”, with $200 million set aside for growth projects, such as a $65m indoor arena, a $30m film museum and $90m for the airport’s runway extension.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown assured Salient that “tertiary students are really important for the capital” and the Council is focused on job creation so that those leaving university will be able to have “careers here in Wellington”.

Wade-Brown also attested to the Council’s continuing work on rental house Warrant of Fitness, cycling and climate change initiatives and keeping bus fares low.

Public submissions on the long-term plan have now closed, and the Council will now consider the submissions and officially adopt the amended plan on 24 June.

Because the plan is super long, boring and riddled with repetitive cliches about “providing opportunities for everybody”, Salient has broken down the main parts that will affect us students.

Transport

The plan allows for $45 million to go into a renewed cycleway network, which will hopefully increase the amount of people around Wellington riding “fixies”, as if there weren’t enough already. A further $10m has been set aside for public transport, with improvements to key bus routes and low-emission bus services. The Council also hopes to relieve the daily traffic nightmare around the Basin with “double-tunnelling” of the Mount Vic and Terrace tunnels.

Installation of LED street lighting

Having actually listened to that guy on those “Here’s a Tip” Energy Spot ads, the Council is considering installing LED street lighting throughout the city. LED lighting has the potential to halve the $2.3 million a year the Council spends on lighting. LED lighting has already been successfully trialled along Courtenay Place, with no one noticing the difference. Hopefully this illuminating initiative will light the way towards safer city walkways.

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