Gunnedah’s trade mission delegates have been home barely a few weeks but are already preparing to host a return party from China.
Gunnedah council will invite representatives from the Yinzhou government to visit Gunnedah during AgQuip in the week of August 20-26.
Councillors resolved at the April ordinary meeting, held at historic Emerald Hill, to allocate a $5000 budget to host the trade representatives. A proportion of the funds will adsorbed from surplus available through the initial trip to China last month.
The early planning includes tourist visits to “iconic Gunnedah sites” according the business paper, as well as “iconic Australian entertainment” and shared meals with council and community representatives. Primary costs such as flights and accommodation would be covered the visiting delegation.
“It is important that an allocation of money is available to ensure that our guests are treated well, as our delegation was treated well,” the paper states.
Gunnedah mayor Jamie Chaffey said although planning was in its infancy, they hoped to secure performances by local artists, perhaps the shire band and Indigenous groups.
He said Gunnedah a had “long tradition of whipcrackers” and hinted there might be some opportunity there as well.
Given the host country’s generous welcome last month, Cr Chaffey said it was important they returned the courtesy in Gunnedah while balancing the financial interests of the community.
“All activities will come at some cost,” he said.
“We want to be fiscally responsible but we also want them to experience all the good things about Gunnedah.”
He said climatically, AgQuip is a “great time of year” to host their visitors while showcasing the strength of the agriculture sector.
He hoped the visit will strengthen the relationship between governments and encourage further engagement between business, following the mayor’s singing of a Friendly Relationship Exchange agreement with the Yinzhou District during the recent trip.
Council’s director of planning Andrew Johns said some “accommodation issues” will need to be overcome prior to the visit but they were not expected to be a major hindrance.