TAMWORTH Regional Council general manager Paul Bennett will join the Namoi Unlimited trip to China in March.
Tamworth Regional Council voted in favour of adding Mr Bennett to the delegation.
Juanita Wilson said it would provide bang for council buck to send the mayor and GM to China.
Mark Rodda called on council to provide information about benefit of the China trips on council’s website and said he’d been “bombarded with questions” about the trips.
“Some things are confidential but it’s just to keep stakeholders up to date on why we’re spending money on these trips,” he said.
Joint council organisation chairman, Andrew Hope said each of the seven councils setting off to China were taking a general manager or economic development officer for the trip.
The joint organisation will pay expenses for mayors from Gunnedah, Gwydir, Liverpool Plains, Narrabri, Tamworth, Uralla and Walcha councils.
However, each of the councils had to pull funds from their respective budgets to send general managers and senior staff.
Cr Hope said the point of inviting council staff on the tour was to give them an “understanding of how it works”.
He said developing business relationships with foreign countries could take years to build and hoped Namoi Unlimited’s first trip to China would “develop a platform” for the region’s businesses to tap into foreign investemnt.
The group will meet with the Ningbo government which “operates the biggest sea-port in China”, Cr Hope said.
“The last thing we want to do is race over there under-prepared,” Cr Hope said.
Cr Hope said his measures of success for the trip would be establishing a relationship and making it known “our region was open for business on the right terms”.
Uralla will join Namoi Unlimited on the March voyage to China, despite the council voting to leave the joint organisation from June.
It will join the New England joint organisation, which will impact the Namoi group with the loss of Uralla’s $33,000 membership fee .
“We’re still funded until the end of the financial year, initially it will be business as usual but once the final membership works out there may be some financial impacts,” he said.
Mr Bennett declined a request for an interview with The Leader.