Townsville trip not necessary

FORMER councillor Jan Strom has questioned the need for a Coffs Harbour City Council (CHCC) delegation to visit Townsville for two days next week.

The group will consist of Councillor Ian Hogbin, council staff members Stephen Sawtell, Cherelle Brook and Megan Dixon, Chamber of Commerce president Sonja Wallis and Coffs Coast Advocate editor Lee McDougall.

To be hosted by Townsville Council, the delegation will visit many parts of the Queensland city, including the Strand redevelopment, museum, entertainment centre, city centre redevelopment.

Ms Strom says the trip is unnecessary because it is a case of 'been there, done that'.

She cites a 'stream' of visits between the cities since a Coffs Harbour delegation, including her- self, travelled north in 2001.

"Other CHCC visitors to Townsville that I am aware of include Cr (Jenny) Bonfield, Steve Sawtell and Mark Ferguson and there have been at least three Townsville delegation visits to Coffs," she said.

Council general manager Mark Ferguson said there had been only one previous fact-finding visit to Townsville in 2003.

Next week's trip would cost the council about $3000, with the noncouncil members contributing towards their costs and Townsville Council covering the cost of accommodation.

"They have a very heavy schedule of work," Mr Ferguson said. "Townsville is just one site we need to be looking at in trying to assess best practice and how to apply it locally."

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