As a City that will grow to the size of Canberra in terms of population growth – we need to leverage opportunities regionally, nationally and globally to attract visitors, grow economic investment, and attract partners to collaborate with on our innovation-based projects. Our reality is that we need to make things happen for ourselves which we have done already through the Werribee City Rejuvenation and our Wyndham International Sports Precinct at Tarneit which will be home to the new A-League team.
We will be strengthening this work through the formalisation of our Sister City relationship with Changzhou in China. In two weeks, Cr Henry Barlow and our Director of Deals, Investment and Major Projects – Kate Roffey and myself will travel to Changzhou for four days to attend the official signing ceremony.
I understand the stigma that exists around the traditional Sister City program, however Sister City relationships are culturally significant in China and provide access opportunities that may have not previously existed. The formalisation of the Sister City relationship between Wyndham and Changzhou represents a milestone in Wyndham’s recognition as an international City which is extremely important.
Later this month our CEO, Kelly Grigsby, our Head of Strategy and Policy Impact, Natalie Walker and Cr Kim McAliney and Cr Josh Gilligan will take part in the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s (UDIA) study tour that is visiting New York, Washington and San Francisco. This is being attended by other Councils, planning authorities, developers and other industry representatives. It is unprecedented opportunity for the stakeholders who make key decisions about Wyndham’s future development to learn together about what can be achieved by looking to best practice examples.
I understand that overseas travel for Councillors and Council staff is something that can be frowned upon – however I believe that if we continue to sit back and wait for hand outs from the Government or just rely on ratepayer funds to pay for our much-needed infrastructure, we aren’t doing ourselves any favours. We need to generate our own opportunities and as we know, the world is a much smaller place now.
I am confident that both programs will support Council in achieving its objectives in terms of positioning Wyndham as a destination for future investment and through the education of decision makers.
Cr Mia Shaw - Wyndham City Mayor