Sister city group aims to strengthen ties

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Executive assistant to the Mayor Katie Merwood bids farewell to Mayor Gary Brennan who is off to Japan and China to represent the City of Bunbury.
Camera IconExecutive assistant to the Mayor Katie Merwood bids farewell to Mayor Gary Brennan who is off to Japan and China to represent the City of Bunbury. Credit: Picture: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

A delegation of the city’s leaders is strengthening ties with Bunbury’s sister cities in a jam-packed Asian adventure.

Mayor Gary Brennan and City of Bunbury chief executive officer Mal Osborne are leading the group in a 10-day trip to Setagaya in Japan and China’s Jiaxing.

Bunbury has had a 30-year sister city relationship with Setagaya and a Jiaxing business office is located in the CBD.

The delegation flew out on Friday and will be “flat out” with appearances and functions focusing mostly on issues such as innovation and technology, waste management and education, according to Mr Brennan.

“Since the time I’ve been Mayor (more than four years) we’ve had delegations from Jiaxing and we’ve had delegations from Setagaya,” Mr Brennan said.

“We had a big delegation from Setagaya last year to mark the 30th year of our city sister relationship – they had a delegation of about 20 come here.

“So both Setagaya and Jiaxing have been keen for me to make an official visit to those places.

“I didn’t want to do a visit during my first term, I felt that was an unfair cost on the community.”

The trip for Mr Brennan, Mr Osborne and City of Bunbury International Relations senior officer Carol McDowall is covered in the budget, while others tagging along on the trip – including Mr Brennan’s wife and Cr Murray Cook – have paid their own way.

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