Convention Centre Consultation - August

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Date:
Jun 21, 2013

Consultation on a proposed Queenstown convention centre will be undertaken by the Queenstown Lakes District Council in early August, QLDC Mayor Vanessa van Uden said.

“There is huge interest in the convention centre and already a lot of debate. It’s important that Council informs that debate by making all of the relevant information available to the public,” Mayor van Uden said.

Although no agreement had been reached with the consortium selected as the preferred party for negotiation, the Council was reaching a position where it could make relevant information available.

“The community has to be able to make informed comment about the merits or otherwise of a convention centre and how it might be developed and operated,” she said.

There would be no secret deals.

 “We are still some way from any firm agreement with the consortium, but whatever is proposed will, as I have previously stated, be fully disclosed to the public, inclusive of potential options,” she said.

At the heart of the project, said Mayor van Uden, was the question of cost to the public versus private investment.

“We cannot expect the private sector to invest in the convention centre unless there is a viable business case. Equally, the scale of any public investment needs to be balanced with the economic return to the District,” she said.

QLDC Chief Executive Adam Feeley reiterated that matters remained on track with the convention centre. “Negotiations are never a public process but I have been satisfied that good progress is being made,” he said.

“We have commissioned an impact assessment on the convention centre itself, as well as an economic analysis of the wider District impact of this project, both of which support the economic case for a convention centre.”

Considerable work had also been done on the consenting issues and application process; analysing site options; and forecasting likely revenue and expenditure from the venue – all of which would form part of the information disclosed in the public consultation.

“People understandably wanted a quick solution, but this was a ‘once in a generation opportunity’ to develop a major piece of tourism infrastructure. Such projects are complicated and if they are to succeed they need to be well-planned and have widespread public buy-in,” Mr Feeley said.

ENDS

For further information please contact Vanessa van Uden 027 229 6008 or Adam Feeley 021 333 539.

 

By: Jo Blick