More conference centre details sought by Qtown council
A council working party has been asked to provide more detail on a proposed Queenstown conference centre within six months.
The Queenstown Lakes District Council considered a feasibility study prepared by the working party at its meeting in Wanaka yesterday.
The study said the conference centre could cost as much as $43.7 million but did not identify a site. The study indicated it could generate an average of $26.4m a year to the Queenstown economy in the first five years.
It concluded there was a good overall business case for a new conference centre.
The high capital cost of the centre, and the modest direct cash returns but significant wider economic benefits, meant the funding to build the centre would "require a broad element of risk-sharing".
Most of the funding would need to come from public sector stakeholders on behalf of the wider communities they represented, it said.
Councillor Lex Perkins said plans for a conference centre had been in the pipeline since the 1990s and he questioned the need for further studies saying he believed they already had all of the answers. However, Cr Cath Gilmour was not so confident and said she did not share Cr Perkins' level of comfort about the information that had been gathered.
Questioning how the project would be funded and debt would be recovered, Cr Gilmour said there was still a lot of work to be done before the council got the community to support such a centre.
Mayor Vanessa van Uden reminded councillors that commissioning a study and asking for more information did not mean they had agreed to build a conference centre.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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