Tourist mag­net or white ele­phant?

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

Cy­cle trails

It’s quite telling that the peo­ple who are pro­mot­ing cy­cle trails are those that have an in­ter­est in them. The most re­cent, from Roxburgh Gorge Trail Trust and Cen­tral Lakes Trust mem­ber Mal­colm Macpherson say­ing that cy­cle trails will be big­ger than hy­dro, wine or snow sports in­dus­try is fan­tasy ( Mir­ror, Oc­to­ber 17). We are in a time of global re­ces­sion, fewer peo­ple are spend­ing money trav­el­ling to des­ti­na­tions like New Zealand. It is un­cer­tain how long the down­turn will last. Be­fore tourism re­cov­ers tourists need to make the money first. Tourism will be one of last in­dus­tries to re­cover. There are high oil prices when over­seas in­dus­tries are wait­ing for a re­cov­ery to hap­pen. When the re­cov­ery starts the de­mand for oil over­seas will in­crease, in­creas­ing the price. This will in­crease the price of flights to and from New Zealand, so ex­pect to see less Euro­pean and North Amer­i­can trav­ellers here. Sur­veys have shown that few Asian trav­ellers par­tic­i­pate in cy­cle tourism. Aus­tralia has its own cy­cle trails, as will most of New Zealand. We’ve been sold a white ele­phant, and one that we have all paid for through taxes. I’d love to be wrong and see that these trails are a suc­cess. But look­ing over­seas, I won­der if the trails will gen­er­ate enough to main­tain them­selves. Ross Calver­ley, Alexan­dra

Cromwell’s new waste­water scheme

1. Does the Cromwell Community Board think the ex­tra $230 to $543 for a waste­water up­grade plus the ex­tra $400+ for the ex­tra wa­ter charges go­ing to each ratepayer, on top of their rates, will en­cour­age younger fam­i­lies to stay in Cromwell? 2. Do you think that all the ex­tra rates will en­cour­age the growth in busi­ness con­fi­dence? 3. It’s stated that there are 9000 peo­ple in our community. Can chair­man Neil Gillespie con­firm this? 4. The in­dus­trial waste go­ing to the ponds: Is this charged at in­creased rate to the home owner? 5. Peter Greenwood of the Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict Coun­cil said there was very lit­tle dif­fer­ence in the test­ing of the wa­ter qual­ity from be­low, and above, the treat­ment ponds, so why has this changed so rapidly ? 6. The glossy that ar­rived in my mail­box, makes com­par­i­son with the Wanaka project pure scheme. Can we be as­sured that we are not go­ing to have the same prob­lems that they en­coun­tered? 7. The glossy, when mak­ing men­tion of the con­sent pe­riod achiev­able, if we up­grade the sys­tem, has words like ‘‘we should re­ceive, and will most likely re­ceive a 35-year con­sent’’. Are we ratepay­ers not en­ti­tled to an ab­so­lute guar­anty that this is achiev­able prior to spend­ing all this money? 8. Is the Cromwell community board look­ing to take ad­vice from any other party, other than the coun­cil on this up­grade. If not, why not ? S Suther­land, Cromwell Neil Gillespie, Cromwell Community Board Chair re­sponds: 1. We are not do­ing this up­grade nec­es­sar­ily be­cause we want to but we know we have to. We need a new re­source con­sent and these two op­tions ap­pear to be the most likely to se­cure that. The en­vi­ron­ment, and pub­lic health and safety, will be the bet­ter for it. 2. The busi­ness community will know that the ef­fects on the en­vi­ron­ment, which they are con­tribut­ing to, are be­ing ap­pro­pri­ately mit­i­gated. 3. The 9000 is the pro­jected peak day pop­u­la­tion for 2011, which in­cludes the usu­ally res­i­dent pop­u­la­tion and all vis­i­tors to the wider area. The Waste­water Treat­ment Plant must be de­signed to carry this load. The fig­ure is based on Sta­tis­tics NZ data with lo­cal growth fac­tors con­sid­ered. 4. The cost of the waste­water sys­tem is borne by all the community con­nected to it. Some users pay more based on po­ten­tial load­ing and de­mand. 5. Cromwell waste­water dis­charge has failed to meet its con­sent con­di­tions since around 2002. Of par­tic­u­lar con­cern is con­sent breaches due to sus­pended solids (al­gal lev­els) and fae­cal co­l­iforms (bug lev­els) in the dis­charge ef­flu­ent. Dye test­ing ear­lier this year has shown us that we fail to meet wa­ter qual­ity stan­dards un­der the Otago Re­gional Coun­cil Re­gional Plan: Wa­ter. 6. Odour con­trol is a key re­quire­ment of the new Cromwell waste­water treat­ment sys­tem. 7. The con­sent pe­riod is set by the re­gional coun­cil hear­ings panel. Dis­trict Coun­cil staff can­not sec­ond guess what time­frame or con­di­tions this panel may wish to im­pose on the Cromwell Waste­water Dis­charge Per­mit. Un­for­tu­nately no guar­an­tee can be given. 8. The Board has had a num­ber of con­sul­tants and waste­water in­dus­try ex­perts in­volved in the up­grade process to en­sure our community get the best prac­ti­ca­ble op­tion. If Mr Suther­land or any other mem­ber of our community has ques­tions or wants to learn more, please head along to the Cromwell Ser­vice Cen­tre on Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 30, at 5.30pm for a pub­lic meet­ing on the waste­water treat­ment up­grade project.

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