Expect a big debate about convention centres at next
Thursday's meeting of the Queenstown Lakes District Council.
That is the word from councillors spoken to by the Otago
Daily Times yesterday.
The council's proposal for a convention centre on its
Lakeview site in central Queenstown will be on the agenda but
in what form even councillors did not know yesterday.
A press release from council chief executive Adam Feeley
yesterday said the meeting ''will consider the proposal'' but
gave no further details.
The agenda is not due out until Monday.
Asked to give their views on the rival proposal for a
convention centre at Remarkables Park, Frankton, put up by
developer Alistair Porter, all councillors spoken to
expressed interest in what Mr Porter was proposing.
While none suggested what they had heard so far was enough
for them to call for an end to the council's proposal just
yet, Cr Simon Stamers-Smith came closest, describing it as
''a lame duck, not a dead duck''.
''Certainly if Porter is going to go ahead, as he indicates
he will, there's not room for two of them, I wouldn't have
Cr Calum MacLeod said he was keeping an ''open mind'' on the
debate ''but if someone is proposing to build one, then you
would need to look at it.''
Cr Lex Perkins expected a ''huge discussion'' but would not
be drawn on how Mr Porter's proposal might affect his support
for the council proposal.
''I still say the best place for the convention centre is up
in the camping ground park, the original site.''
Cr Alexa Forbes said the council had to follow a process and
take things ''one step at a time''.
''He is putting out something to the community that has to be
Deputy Mayor Lyal Cocks said he had not ''made a call'' on
the convention centre debate. Mr Porter had provided the
council with ''a fair bit'' of information,but councillors
had not discussed it yet.
''This is a big project and will require a lot of thought.''
Cr Ella Lawton said she looked forward to hearing more about
Mr Porter's proposal, and said any project requiring
ratepayer money needed to be ''a well-thought-out project and
show benefits for the whole community''.
It is understood councillors will attend a workshop on
Monday, where they will be presented with information about
the operations and finances of convention centres.