Government not ruling out $30 million crypto aid to QLDC
Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty has said that the Government “has not ruled out” $30 million of Government support to the Queenstown Lakes District Council to cover the cost of installing filters to manage the current cryptosporidium water crisis.
Speaking at a media conference late this afternoon the Minister said that he “did not want to politicise his visit” and that the priority was for the council to get on top of the crisis and discover the source of the tap water contamination.
The Minister also emphasised that he was in Queenstown to share the message that the town open for business and the dual crisis of the rainstorm and crypto contamination was under control.
No more properties are now red stickered and the clean-up following Friday’s record-breaking rain is proceeding well.
Mayor Lewers told reporters that talks were ongoing to purchase an interim UV filtration system from another South Island local council but that the talks were “commercially” sensitive, and he was trying to “get the best price for ratepayers.”
Noticeably absent from today’s media conference was QLDC CEO Mike Theelen who mayor Lewers said earlier this week was on holiday attending a wedding.
Today he said that he was not 100% sure when Mr Theelen was due back, with interim CEO Tony Avery adding that Mr Theelen was on “extended leave.”
Mayor Lewers and Mr Avery thought that the Mr Theelen would be back towards the end of September and that there was no need to ask him to come back early as “everything was under control and working well.”
Mr Theelen recently received an 8% salary increase to $415,321.09 in spite of the council approaching its debt limit and facing severe cutbacks due to the likely absence of a bed tax that had been included in council budgets as $163 million of revenue.