Gunnedah has formalised a sister city relationship with the Yinzhou district of Ningbo, Zhejiang province in China.
Six delegates from the Yinzhou government travelled to Australia at Gunnedah Shire Council’s invitation, to attend the official ceremony at Wolseley Park in Gunnedah on Friday.
Delegate Lyu Hongqin signed the Friendly Relationship Exchange Agreements with Gunnedah mayor Jamie Chaffey following trade and investment missions in March.
Both Ms Lyu and Cr Chaffey addressed the audience, painting a picture of the Yinzhou district. Shenhua Watermark Coal employee, Chen Chao translated for Cr Chaffey and fellow employee Joel Zhao translated for Ms Lyu.
“China and Australia have a strong complimentary relationship,” Ms Lyu said.
“Recently we have seen more and more exchanges and more and more co-operations across different industries.
“We hope to further deepen our cooperation with Gunnedah in agriculture, livestock and other industries, expand exchanges with Gunnedah’s health and education sector, promote win-win development and promote friendly relationships between the two places on a new level.”
After the signing was complete, the two parties exchanged gifts. Ms Lyu presented Cr Chaffey with a handwritten letter from the mayor of Yinzhou and a handmade art work of the Chinese character for dragon made out of gold.
In kind, Cr Chaffey presented Ms Lyu with a painting by local artist Shirley Urquhart, and a framed photograph of Gunnedah Shire councillors and the Yinzhou delegates taken on Thursday night.
Cr Chaffey and Ms Lyu then filled in the soil around a freshly planted Chinese elm.
A number of St Mary’s College students were present for the event and the stage band performed at the end of the proceedings.
Cr Chaffey said he welcomed the new ties with the Yinzhou district.
“Entering into this relationship with the Yinzhou government will see the exploration of social, cultural and economic co-operation between two great regions from worlds apart,” Cr Chaffey said.
“This is a truly historic occasion for our community that will see many benefits well into the future.”