CEO, mayor pay their own way

Photo: Fairfax Media

By Ewen McRae

Moorabool council chief executive Derek Madden and mayor Paul Tatchell will travel to China this week, following an invitation from a potential investor.

Both Mr Madden and Cr Tatchell will self fund the 10-day trip, with no council money allocated.

The invitation came from the overseas owners of the Lal Lal Estate, and will involve Mr Madden and Cr Tatchell attending various events to strengthen the council’s ties with the owners.

Mr Madden said it was a good opportunity to grow investment within Moorabool.

“I feel it’s an opportunity to go and speak to some investors that are operating within the shire,” Mr Madden said.

“I’m more than happy to cover the cost of the flights and accomodation.”

The council hopes to grow its relationship with Lal Lal Estate to include the development of a tourism-based product, farm educational components, a wool museum and further development and expansion of a working merino farm.

The trip is in stark contrast to a recent decision by Melton council to send two councillors and a council manager to Colombia to attend a conference, at a cost of at least $13,350 to the council.

Despite opposition from a number of councillors, mayor Bob Turner, councillor Michelle Mendis and council community planning manager Matt Wilson will attend the UNESCO International Conference on Learning Cities.

It will be the third time in the past four years that Melton ratepayers will foot the bill to send council representatives to the conference.