Council backs NZ trip for Wilson

By Sarah Schwager
CASEY councillor Rob Wilson will fly to New Zealand in June to speak at an international conference on behalf of council.
Last week, council decided to endorse Cr Wilson to fly to Auckland to present a paper on the Cranbourne North Development Plan at the International Cities, Town Centres and Communities Conference.
It is the first overseas travel for a councillor that has been supported by council in some time.
Last year, Cr Wilson caused havoc among council after trying to get council’s endorsement for a trip to Malta for the Fifth International Conference on Waste Management and the Environment.
In the end, council agreed only to pay his hotel and conference fees, in the meantime setting a precedent that councillors be endorsed only for travel within Australia.
However, Councillor Janet Halsall said the fact that the cost of travelling to Auckland (about $950) was far less than a flight to Perth (about $1400) meant funding the trip was worthwhile.
“It is important to show what we are doing here,” she said.
“The offer was accepted by the organising committee. That, in itself, is a significant coup.”
Deputy mayor Kevin Bradford said it was the first overseas travel for a councillor that he had considered supporting.
“This (Cranbourne North Development Plan) is an important development not only for Casey but for Victoria,” he said.
“Council should be very proud of that. At this conference we will be able to show a large portion of representatives from Australia, New Zealand and other countries of the council’s unique development.”