PERTH Council voted to send Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi to China to attend a mayors’ forum at Nanjing World Historical and Cultural Cities Expo 2016.
The expo takes place in late October.
The Council agenda stated the Lord Mayor had recommended an elected member take her place at the conference but at Tuesday’s meeting this was amended so Ms Scaffidi would attend.
A City of Perth spokesman said Cr Janet Davidson had explained the change when moving the motion.
Cr Davidson said “it should be a mayor to mayor forum” but did not explain why the agenda contained a different recommendation.
The City did not answer questions on why the change had occurred, or if attendance at the conference had been offered to the Deputy Lord Mayor or any other elected member of Council.
The conference will also be attended by staff member Claire Smith, who has responsibility for the City’s sister relationship with Nanjing.
Nanjing and Perth have had a sister city relationship since 1998, fostering connections between the cities in the areas of education, culture, sport, and tourism.
Nanjing is home to more than eight million people and is a city of huge economic importance to China.
The report by City staff recommended councillors approve the trip, “recognising the importance of the City’s relationship with Nanjing and the need to facilitate engagement to support the relationship”.
The Mayors’ Forum will facilitate discussions about the balance between cultural heritage preservation and industry development.
Senior leaders from Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, United States, Canada, Argentina, Bolivia, Greece, Russia, South Africa and Zambia have confirmed their attendance.
Attendance at the conference will cost $4500 in airfares and $1500 for accommodation, to be sourced from the City’s 2016-17 International Engagement budget.