News

Mayor says Asian junket 'worth every cent'

FRASER Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell has defended what many have described as his Asian junket, labelling the highly controversial council trip a success.

Cr O'Connell, infrastructure councillor Trevor McDonald and cost-cutting councillor Chris Loft joined council chief executive officer Lisa Desmond for a week-long trip to China and Japan.

At the end of September the delegation travelled to Leshan, in China, and Kasukabe, in Japan, to fulfil the Fraser Coast Regional Council's sister city obligations.

Despite $30,000 being budgeted for sister city arrangements, Cr O'Connell said only "probably a couple of thousand dollars" was spent on the trip.

He was asked whether he thought the trip was worth every cent.

"Absolutely," he said.

"And thanks to the generosity and the hospitality of our host, our cost and financial consideration was kept at an absolute minimum."

However at the council meeting in Hervey Bay on October 1, councillors were slammed by ratepayer activist Allan Fuary for their trip overseas.

"I must admit I feel nothing but contempt to those members of this council who took money from the struggling ratepayers in this region so as to allow themselves to wallow in the trough of self interest," he said.

But an adamant Mayor said the delegation was warmly welcomed by Leshan and Kasukabe business leaders and politicians.

Cr O'Connell said millions of Chinese and Japanese people had heard about the Fraser Coast in their trip.

"We signed further agreements," he said.

"The chamber of commerce at Kasukabe has 3700 members.

"Leshan, our sister city in China, has a population of 3.6 million.

"This is about global networks, it's about promoting the Fraser Coast."

The trip to Asia was the first time this council had travelled overseas.

In August last year a six person group from Leshan visited the Fraser Coast.

Topics:  china, fraser coast, gerard o'connell, japan, mayor




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Both men’s and women’s United battle for second

United's Brad Mitchell. United Warriors v KSS Jets in their eighth round Wide Bay League at Hervey Bay Sports Club.Photo Matthew McInerney  / Fraser Coast Chronicle

UNITED Warriors will keep the heat on the Wide Bay League leaders.

Jets launch second program to help develop juniors

BMee's Lars Olsen (right) leads the SportFirst Extension program.Photo Contributed / Charlie B Photography

KSS Jets launch their second junior Extension program.

Hervey Bay Seagulls emerging squad to take flight

Broncos game development manager Paul Dyer with Fraser Coast league hopefuls (bottom L to R) Jorden Tyssen, Riley Rehren, Tyson Roberts, Daniel Foxwell, (top L to R) Braden Whittaker and Kurt Lee. Photo Griffith Thomas / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Hervey Bay Seagulls' emerging squad will take flight next week.

Latest deals and offers

Barnaby Joyce talks Johnny Depp's dogs in Tweed

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce talks about Johnny Depp's dogs Pistol and Boo...

Billy Slater talks Origin Team

Queensland Origin great Billy Slater.

Queensland Origin great Billy Slater talks about this years team and his return to...

Road rage caught on Dashcam

Attack with a baseball bat caught on Dashcam

Video of a violent road rage incident in Orange last December.

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked