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Macdonald praises sister city bonds.

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Media Release

Senator the Hon. Ian Macdonald

Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government


2 December 1998 





Sister City affiliations can be a valuable means of ensuring Local Governments p
rovide world’s best practice local services, Federal Minister for Local Government, Senator Ian Macdonald said today.

Addressing the Port Stephens Council and the Australian Sister Cities Association, in Port Stephens, Senator Macdonald highlighted both the cross cultural benefits and the practical economic benefits for Councils who foster Sister City relationships.

"Such is the value and popularity of these relationships that Australian cities now have around 460 sister city agreements in 36 countries, from Austria to New Zealand,"

"Since 1987 links with Greece and Italy have more than doubled, new links have been established with Turkey, Malta, Sweden, South Africa, former Soviet bloc countries; while links with our traditional partners the US, UK and New Zealand have remained strong."

"The greatest growth has been in links with the Asia Pacific region, with links to Japanese Cities increasing six-fold, with China four-fold and new links in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Taiwan."

Senator Macdonald said that Sister Cities bonds were about friendship but more particularly:

  • the free exchange of regular and up to date information on world’s best practice,
  • the development of new ideas through specific forums, and
  • the building of leadership networks that lead to practical outcomes for local government.

Senator Macdonald said that he was a strong advocate of innovation to help overcome the many challenges Local Governments face. He commended the Port Stephen’s Council for its entry to the recent Innovation in l ocal Government Awards, for an Integrated Environmental Waste Management Strategy.

"We have, all of us, a responsibility to keep up to date with contemporary ideas and new innovations," said Senator Macdonald.

"Local innovation plus the sharing of knowledge with Sister Cities can only be positive, provided Councils seek practical and accountable outcomes from their Sister City bonds."

Senator Macdonald will be speaking to the conference at Port Stephens RSL, 

Shoal Bay Road, Port Stephens at 10 am, 2/12/98.
** Interview opportunity **

Media Contacts: Phil Connole 0417 063 605 / David Moore 0417 774 724.