Mayor's India trip for Adani jobs is 'not a holiday'
HE MIGHT have a fear of flying, but it's been decided - the Gladstone Regional Mayor will jet set to India next month to fight for Gladstone's involvement in Adani's proposed Queensland mega mine.
While it was decided among councillors in today's general meeting, councillor Matt Burnett said he already had all the "jabs, needles and medication" necessary for the business trip.
Cr Burnett said he wanted to make it clear - the approximately $3000 trip that would see him, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and five other regional city mayors - meet with the Indian mining giant's chairman Gautam Adani, was no holiday.
"I just started taking the malaria tablets and let me tell you that's not a fun time," he said.
"But I am seeing it as an opportunity to show Adani what Gladstone has to offer - which I believe are some of the best engineering and exporting services in the world, through local trades and business and the port."
In the meeting, councillors acknowledged the Gladstone community wasn't entirely on-board with the idea, to which deputy mayor Chris Trevor said "ignore the nay-sayers, and do what's best for the town".
"I know personally that our mayor has a fear of flying, so this was not a decision that came lightly for him," Cr Trevor said.
"But you are stepping up for the Gladstone region in a big way."
Cr Peter Masters said it "just wouldn't sit right with him" if Gladstone was to miss out on the opportunity, while mayors of Mackay, Townsville and Rockhampton attended.
Cr Glenn Churchill also threw in his two cents, and said the mayor should use the opportunity to convince Mr Adani to rethink his choice to build the rail further south, closer to Gladstone.
"We don't want to see it pushed up north," he said.
"We have all the best facilities right here - exporting, infrastructure, support and all of the rest.
"Try and see if you can convince him to pay a visit down our way to see what we have here," Cr Churchill said, donning a cheeky smile.
During the trip Cr Burnett will pay a visit to the world's largest solar farm, and it would only benefitGladstone.
"Over the years, and currently we have had many development applications for a solar farm right here in Gladstone, this trip could also provide further insight into that," he said.
Cr PJ Sobhanian said he was surprised at how little the amount was for a trip overseas, and even joked whether the mayor was "rowing there himself".
"We should be thanking the mayor for the decision he has made, it really is in the best interest for Gladstone, jobs and the economy," he said.