Freedom camping funding boost for Otago region
Waitaki MP and Parliamentary Private Secretary for Tourism Jacqui Dean has welcomed new Government funding to help Otago communities struggling with freedom camping issues.
“Budget 2016 will include a new $12 million Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Fund to help communities fund some of their smaller infrastructure needs, including freedom camping.
“I’m delighted that this funding has been set aside in Budget 2016. It will allow local people to take the steps needed to manage freedom camping more effectively.
“It is also a sign that the Government acknowledges the freedom camping issue and is ready to help communities around Otago in dealing with it.
“We are all aware of the concern freedom camping has caused around this region and I’m confident this funding will help manage the issue more effectively for everyone’s sake.
“Tourism is thriving and the benefits are flowing back into local communities. However, that growth is also putting the pressure on some of our smaller communities.
“We can’t continue to see visitor numbers growing without also putting the infrastructure in place to manage that growth and this fund is a really positive step in the right direction.
“A working group, made up of representatives from the sector, will manage the application process and provide Ministers with advice on the sorts of projects that can be funded.
“The $20 million in new Budget funding, which is in addition to the over $130 million a year the Government currently spends, aims to help all regions realise their tourism potential and reap the economic benefits that it brings,” Mr Dean said.
Authorised by Jacqui Dean MP, 127 Thames Street, Oamaru