Mayor to join Premier on a mission to United States

Published: 22 May 2019

The last time Mayor Greg Williamson took part in a trade mission to the United States it reaped dividends for our region and council is hopeful an upcoming trip will do the same.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has invited Cr Williamson to join an official trade mission to the BIO Convention in Philadelphia in the United States early next month.

An ordinary meeting of council today endorsed Cr Williamson’s attendance. Invitations have only been extended to a small number of Queensland mayors.

Mackay’s invitation is on the back of attendance by Cr Williamson and Deputy Mayor Amanda Camm at a similar event in the United States last year.

Cr Williamson said that last trip had helped secure an economic return for the Mackay region.

“During that trip, we were part of discussions linked to biopharmaceutical research, which ultimately resulted in State Government funding and a private business commitment for the establishment of a new medical research facility in Mackay,’’ he said.

That facility is the Coral Sea Clinical Research Institute, which officially opened in February and is leading the fight against coeliac disease through clinical trials of drugs and vaccines.

Cr Williamson said that result highlighted why it was important for Mackay to be represented at such trade missions.

“Accepting the Premier’s invitation could open more opportunities associated with biotechnology, which supports diversification of the Mackay region’s economy,’’ he said.

Cr Williamson will attend the Premier’s trade mission prior to the start of the Bio Convention, which runs from June 3 to 6.

The cost for the mayor’s attendance will be between $17,000 and $18,000, including return flights, accommodation and meal costs.

Today’s meeting also endorsed Cr Camm to be Acting Mayor during the period of Cr Williamson’s overseas travel.