Time’s running out to apply for $100 million fund

Wanaka. Photo: Nikki Heath / Wanaka Sun

MP urges Councils to seek funding

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean wants Central and Queenstown Lakes District Councils (QLDC) to apply for funding from the Government’s new Tourism Infrastructure Fund (TIF).

The fund, which was announced as part of the Budget 2017, supports local communities that are under pressure from the growth of tourism, particularly those with a small amount of ratepayers.

Up to $25 million is available each year for four years and Jacqui wants to see councils from the region putting their applications forward.

“I encourage local councils, responsible for some of our busiest tourist hotspots, to get their proposals finalised so that they can apply for a share of the new $100 million that’s on offer,” Jacqui said.

“We know how valuable tourism is to our economy, but also recognise the pressure that tourism growth has placed on infrastructure. We live in a beautiful part of the country and communities tell me that they want to keep it that way, that’s why this funding support is so important and why I have lobbied my colleagues to ensure the needs of communities around this region are met.”

QLDC spokesperson Jimmy Sygrove said the QLDC was currently assessing the criteria for the TIF and would make a decision on whether to apply.

Both the Central Otago District Council (CODC) and QLDC benefitted from government funding via the Regional Mid-Sized Tourism Facilities Grant Fund in June this year.

CODC received $294,000 for a toilet upgrade at Lake Dunstan and new rubbish bins around the region, while QLDC was given $150,000 for new toilets at Makarora.

Applications for the TIF will be accepted from local councils and community groups, with council support, until September 4.

More information is available at www.national.org.nz

Applications close 27 August 2017. Email: nikki@pembroke.co.nz

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