Melbourne City Council weighs up value of Lord Mayor Robert Doyle’s planned US trip

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has been invited to a summit in New York.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has been invited to a summit in New York. Source: News Limited

Source: Herald Sun
  LORD Mayor Robert Doyle is set to jet off overseas on a ratepayer-funded trip to New York next month.

Melbourne City Council will meet next Tuesday to decide whether or not to give the Lord Mayor the green light for the trip to the United States.

Cr Doyle will be handed a kitty of $3500 for the one-week jaunt if it is given the go-ahead.

The cash will go towards accommodation and expenses, according to council agenda notes.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has invited Cr Doyle to a summit on how to make cities more livable, sustainable and healthy.

Costs for the trip will be met from the existing 2013-2014 annual plan and budget allocation, the notes state.

Cr Doyle famously announced “no junkets” as his election platform in 2008, which he later clarified to mean he was opposed to trips that showed no benefit to the public.

He did not make the same commitment last year when he was re-elected in a landslide.

The agenda notes state: “This is an unprecedented invitation for the City of Melbourne.

“The Lord Mayor will be in a pivotal position to showcase the city’s achievements.”
Last month Cr Doyle rubbed shoulders with Boris Johnson when the London Mayor visited Melbourne.

In 2009 Cr Doyle stayed in a $1200-a-night hotel suite while in Copenhagen for global climate talks.

On that occasion city ratepayers paid more than $50,000 for the trip and a stop-off in London.