Council's Lakeview plan called 'lame duck'

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 thought.''

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 considered.''

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.



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