Gladstone mayor Matt Burnett and Queensland Premier, the Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk MP at the official opening of the Northern Oil Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant in Gladstone.
Gladstone mayor Matt Burnett and Queensland Premier, the Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk MP at the official opening of the Northern Oil Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant in Gladstone. Paul Braven GLA010617NORTHOIL

Mayor defends $15,000 trip to USA

MATT Burnett has dismissed the naysayers about his upcoming trip to the United States.

The Gladstone Regional Council mayor is part of a trade delegation, heading to San Diego and other parts of the States, to spruik Gladstone as a biofuels hotspot.

According to a council report, the cost of the trip is expected to be about $15,000. The money will come from the council's economic development budget.

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>> Mayor off to the US to sell Biofuels project

>> Australia's first Biofeuls plant opened in Gladstone

Cr Burnett said he knew people would not be happy about the costs but the trip was worth it.

"I know there's already been a knocker, if not me than who, if the mayor doesn't go and promote the region, then who will," he said.

"If there's ever a reason to go to the Untied States now is the time, we just opened Australia's first biofuels plant, if the mayor of the city that opened Australia's first biofuels plant doesn't think it's worthwhile going, they're kidding themselves, it's absolutely worth going."

Cr Burnett said he would not be travelling business class like Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

 

Australia's first biofuels pilot plant was opened in Gladstone by the Premier of Queesland
Australia's first biofuels pilot plant was opened in Gladstone by the Premier of Queesland Paul Braven

 

Cr Burnett will attend the QUT Biotechnical Technology function in San Diego, as well as a number of biofuels summits.

"There's no rest," he said.

"I'm there for about five days and it's just jam-packed."

The trip comes off the back of the opening of the Northern Oil Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant at the start of this month.

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>> Biofuels plant could be 10 times bigger with double the number of jobs

Southern Oil managing director Tim Rose, the driving force behind the plant, is also part of the trip.

All councillors voted to support the trip during Tuesday's meeting.

Cr PJ Sobhanian said he thought it was "critical" the mayor make the trip.


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