Robert Doyle is keen to take a $61,000 junket to Denmark to meet princess Mary.
The 5 day envirofest will cost Melbournians $2,000 a day per person. Whilst Robert Doyle tries to claim that the trip is not a junket and that it will deleiver “tanable” benefits to the city. He failed to outline exatcly what these benefits were and why the City of melbourne needs to fund four people to join in on the junketfest. Greens Councillor Cathy Oke is keen to be included on the invitee list.
No junkets’ lord mayor packs his bags for trips
November 3, 2009
LORD Mayor Robert Doyle will take two overseas trips in the next six weeks – a year after promising to end foreign junkets for Melbourne City councillors.
Cr Doyle will lead a party of four to the Copenhagen Climate Change conference next month at a cost to ratepayers of $61,000.
He will also attend a World Bank summit in Singapore in a week’s time that has been paid for by the World Bank.
When he was elected last year, Cr Doyle made it clear he would focus on Melbourne and ruled out overseas junkets.
”It’s a good commitment for me to make personally and to say to my councillors that they should be making no junkets,” he said in November. ”I may take the occasional day trip to Frankston … I think we know what the problems are here. My job is to stay here and work on the solutions.”
Cr Doyle said yesterday his decision to head overseas did not break his election promise because his trips were not junkets.
Referring to the Copenhagen visit, he said: ”It is not a wasted trip, it is not for personal pleasure.
”It is to bring something home for Melbourne and to take us to the table of world discussion on perhaps the most important economic, social and environmental question before us, that of climate change.”
Cr Doyle’s decision to go to Copenhagen comes after campaigning to return cars to Swanston Street, criticising tram super-stops and supporting handing Yarra Park to the MCG.
He has also championed retrofitting city buildings to make them more sustainable and reduce their carbon footprint.
The Age revealed last month that Melbourne City Council has little chance of achieving its greenhouse gas emissions target by 2010 and may buy carbon offsets to meet the goal.
The Lord Mayor’s $61,000 trip also comes just months after the council increased the cost of parking in the city to raise funds.
Cr Doyle said he decided to announce the trips on the eve of the Melbourne Cup because the decision had just been made.
He said the council would need to approve the Copenhagen trip at a meeting on November 17, but added that his fellow councillors supported the trip.
He said it was important that Melbourne was represented at Copenhagen.
”It is such an important forum. The world leaders will be in Copenhagen and we have a generous invitation from the Mayor of Copenhagen … ”Our aim is to have cities recognised in the new agreement. Cities contribute 75 per cent of the emissions … the problem lies with cities, solutions lie with cities.”
Cr Doyle’s trip will not be the first for a councillor this year. Greens councillor Cathy Oke travelled to Canada and the US in June at a cost of $9691.
Cr Oke said she supported Cr Doyle’s trip to Copenhagen.
”I think it is incredibly important that he goes,” she said.
She said 100 mayors from around the world had been invited but only two from Australia, Cr Doyle and Clover Moore from Sydney