Boosting Bundy's trades with China

HOPEFULLY the wives of Bundaberg Regional Councillors Ross Sommerfeld and Tony Ricciardi do not mind them working while on holiday.

Funded from their own pockets, the councillors will take off on Saturday for sister city Nanning in southern China, and will spend a third of their Asian holiday drumming up business for Bundaberg.

“We're going to bring other proposals to Nanning to strengthen the relationship,” Cr Sommerfeld said.

“We're going to the biggest expo in south-east Asia.”

The CAEXPO (China-ASEAN Expo) is designed to establish trade links with western communities, and Cr Sommerfeld and Cr Ricciardi plan to extend Bundaberg's already-firm cultural relationship to areas such as agriculture and aviation.

“We're on a mission to up the ante,” Cr Sommerfeld said.

“We are serious about the sister city program and want to make big inroads this time.”

A sister city council staff exchange program is also in the works, with Cr Sommerfeld and Cr Riccardi set to present a proposal at the delegation.

The sister city program between Bundaberg and Nanning has been in place for 11 years.

The councillors have also taken a 10-week Mandarin course in preparation for the trip, and will next year do a 24-week course.

They will also ask for an early invitation to next year's expo, so state government funding can be organised for Bundaberg Regional Council to have a stall to showcase what this region has on offer.

Meanwhile, Mayor Lorraine Pyefinch, who visited Nanning last year and in 2005, recently returned from a self-funded five-day trip to Birmingham, Southampton and London.

Her fact-finding mission on waste management strategies, to help find a cost-effective solution for our region, was presented to council on Monday.

Cr Pyefinch said the “very solid agricultural base” here would suit some techniques that involved burning by-products or crop trash in furnaces to generate energy.

While she said the tour included small-scale strategies that could be viable for a region this size, she could see potantial in larger projects that may work for south-east Queensland, with the right support and funding from the federal government.

Although she had a full program, Cr Pyefinch said she still managed to spread the word on Bundaberg products and tourism opportunities.

“I talked to a lot of people about Bundaberg ginger geer now available in Tesco,” she said.

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