Ballarat City Council to visit East Timor

2/10/2009 9:08:00 AM
THE future of Ballarat's links with Ainaro will be the focus of a Ballarat City Council visit to East Timor next week.

Mayor Judy Verlin will lead a seven-person delegation on the week-long visit to the Ainaro district.

Central ward Cr Mark Harris and the council's People and Communities director Carolyn Barrie will make the trip, along with The Courier editor Angela Carey.

The council's official relationship with Ainaro dates back to a friendship agreement signed in 2003 by then-mayor David Vendy.

Cr Verlin said the visit would be a fact-finding mission to bring the new council up to speed with projects supported by the city.

"We'll be doing a number of visits to projects. We'll be looking at the work that's been done on the ground and the next stages of that,'' Cr Verlin said.

Among the key decisions for the council is the tenure of an Australian Volunteers International worker stationed in Ainaro.

"Council contributes to that financially and so we will be looking at whether there is an opportunity to extend that contract."

The trip will coincide with local government elections to be held next Friday.

The delegation will meet with the state administration in Dili to discuss the transition to local government in Ainaro.

A report on the delegation's findings will be presented to the council before the end of October.

Cr Verlin said she would like to meet with representatives of the various Ballarat groups with connections to East Timor

"I'd like to be able to pull them together and then report back on our findings and see where we're at and look at possible future initiatives and ways we might be able to further work together.''


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