Eco­nomic plans ap­proved

Central Otago Mirror - - OUT & ABOUT - DEB­BIE JAMIESON

Queen­stown Lakes Dis­trict coun­cil­lors ap­proved a plan to in­vest more than $150,000 in eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment de­spite con­cerns there were no specifics about how to spend the money.

The pro­posal was to grant $100,000 a year to the Queen­stown Cham­ber of Com­merce and $50,000 to Study Queen­stown. It also sought the cre­ation of a full time eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment staff mem­ber within the coun­cil.

Queen­stown Cham­ber of Com­merce chief ex­ec­u­tive Ann Lock­hart said the cham­ber had been ful­fill­ing an eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment role, in­clud­ing work­ing with coun­cil on a visi- tor levy, labour force project and wel­com­ing del­e­ga­tions of in­vestors.

‘‘We’ve been the un­of­fi­cial front of eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.’’

The first use of the money would be to de­velop an in­te­grated and co-or­di­nated busi­ness de­vel­op­ment plan for the whole of the dis­trict, she said. The cham­ber was yet to work with the coun­cil on a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing.

Coun­cil­lor Calum Ma­cleod said when the Wanaka Cham­ber of Com­merce sought and was ap­proved $100,000 an­nual fund­ing it al­ready had a plan in place. Cr Ella Law­ton said she was un­com­fort­able with the pro­posal: ‘‘With­out a plan, how can we make a de­ci­sion?’’

Mayor Jim Boult said the plan was an in­terim step.

CELIA CROSBIE

Ann Lock­hart

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