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We're paying for Mayor and CEO's trip to China

FRASER Coast ratepayers will foot the bill when the council's chief executive officer and the Mayor travel to China and Japan next month.

In September, councillors Trevor McDonald, Stuart Taylor and Chris Loft will fly with CEO Lisa Desmond and Mayor Gerard O'Connell to Leshan in China and Kasukabe in Japan.

The three councillors can contribute up to $750 from their discretionary fund to their trip but ratepayers would pay for the Mayor and CEO to travel.

The council delegation is expected to be joined by some of the region's business people and educational representatives.

Cr O'Connell said the nine-day trip would promote the Fraser Coast as a tourism and education destination.

But despite Cr O'Connell's claim, the region's peak tourism and marketing body, Fraser Coast Opportunities, probably would not be going.

"At this stage no," Cr O'Connell confirmed.

When asked why, he replied the group had "probably got stuff on".

But he confirmed FCO general manager David Spear was considering the invitation.

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The Fraser Coast has shared a sister city agreement with Leshan since 1997 and will sign a formal sister city agreement with Kasukabe on September 27.

In the council's 2014-15 budget, $30,000 was set aside for the sister city program, with Cr O'Connell saying that money could also be spent if delegates from the sister cities travelled to Australia.

"We won't go anywhere near spending that for the 12 months," he said.

"There is a policy attached to it but there will be contributions from councillors who pay their way."

In August last year representatives from Leshan visited our region and Cr O'Connell said September's trip would be returning the favour

"They often come over to the Fraser Coast and we host them so it's only fitting we return the compliment," he said.

"We will be over in Leshan for the opening of the Australian garden - we will then go to Kasukabe for a sister city agreement and Kasukabe festival."

Topics:  ceo china fraser coast hervey bay japan ratepayers trip



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