8 June 2017
News that Central Otago District Council (CODC) has been successful in gaining $318,000 government funding for tourism infrastructure projects has been warmly welcomed.
Tourism Minister Paula Bennett today announced the successful projects in the second round of the Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Grant Fund.
Two CODC projects were successful:
- The installation of solar powered compacting rubbish and recycling bins at eight sites around Lake Dunstan, Clyde, Alexandra and Roxburgh. The project will increase the Council's ability to respond to growing visitor demand and ensure the surrounding area is kept rubbish free. ($139,200 government co-funding for the $173,000 project)
- Works to upgrade the plumbing systems of two existing toilet facilities at Lake Dunstan (Weatherall Creek and Champagne Gully), and construct new toilet facilities in the Cromwell town centre. The plumbing upgrades will improve capacity at both sites, enhancing their ability to respond to increased visitor numbers, including freedom campers. The Cromwell town centre toilet facilities will help address strong visitor growth in the town. ($178,800 government co-funding for the $298,000 project)
"The news that this district has gained the largest amount of any in Otago in the second round of the Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Grant Fund, with almost half the $690,000 granted in Otago coming here, is obviously great news," said Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan.
"This will allow the Council to work to ameliorate the effect of the huge increase in tourist numbers in the district for the benefit of both the visitors and locals alike."
Visitor spending in Otago was up eight per cent to an estimated $3.6 billion for the year to April and Mrs Bennett said the new facilities would help the region respond to and benefit from growth in the local tourism sector.
"While tourism is hugely valuable to the economy, it's important locals continue to support the sector and are able to enjoy their own spaces – quality infrastructure helps with that."
This is the second and final round of the Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Grant Fund, which was announced at Budget 2016 to provide co-funding for infrastructure used by visitors and locals, such as carparks, toilets, rubbish disposal and minor water management projects.
"The fund will be subsumed by the new Tourism Infrastructure Fund of $100 million over four years, which will support local communities facing pressure from tourism growth and in need of assistance – areas with high visitor numbers but small ratepayer bases, for example," said Mrs Bennett.