Two international travel trips were approved at the April 3 Ballarat City Council meeting.
The first trip is for the Deputy Mayor, or a Councillor delegate, and a Council officer to attend the Shenzhen Smart Cities Forum, NEXUS Nanjing-Victoria Start Up Summit and the Victoria-Jiangsu Sister State Anniversary Summit, all in China in May.
- It follows an invitation from the City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp and LaunchVic, the State Government’s business and industry development agency, for the Mayor, or other Councillor delegate, and a Council Officer to join an official senior delegation to China.
- The City of Ballarat is a partner in the Ballarat StartUp business program, which helps community members with a business or entrepreneurial idea to develop it into a successful business.
- Two StartUp Ballarat participants have been invited to attend the NEXUS Nanjing-Victoria Start Up Summit, along with any other StartUp Ballarat business successful in a regional pitch competition.
- These businesses will have the opportunity to compete for $100,000 in prizes and investments, as well as the chance to pitch to Chinese venture capitalists.
- Cost is $6000-$8000 covering a councillor, officer and two Ballarat-based businesses and is to be funded from the Ballarat StartUp Business program, co-funded by the State Government. It is expected the hosts and collaborative partners will cover most travel and accommodation costs within China.
- It will position the City of Ballarat as a regional innovation leader, and also allow us to pursue the opportunity to host the 2020 NEXUS summit, calculated to provide an economic return of $11,000, with this annual summit to alternate between Victorian and Jiangsu cities.
- Support Ballarat entrepreneurs and technology businesses to access Chinese investment and export opportunities.
- Promote Ballarat as an investment and tourist destination, and an innovation and creative city leader.
- Strengthen relationships the City of Ballarat has with our Chinese friendship cities, including Yangzhou and Wuxim.
- Collaborate with the City of Melbourne to encourage co-operation between Victorian local governments.
- The Shenzhen Smart Cities forum will provide a platform for international engagement on smart, safe and liveable cities, as well providing public services through digital platforms.
- Victoria-Jiangsu Mayor’s Forum will bring together mayors from both states for talks on unlocking investment.
- The Jiangsu Victoria Sister State 40th Anniversary Gala Dinner will advance the sister-state relationship.
- There is also the opportunity to attend the 3rd World Intelligence Congress focused on artificial intelligence, and particularly its potential local government uses.
- Victoria’s exports to China are expected to increase by over $5 billion in the next 10 years, with the state’s share of Chinese investment into Australia expected to increase from 8% to 20% by 2026. This is a compelling argument for a City of Ballarat international engagement strategy based on China, including improving support to local businesses to help them access this key market and building and maintaining trusted relationships.
- The delegation will be in partnership with other regional cities, the City of Melbourne, the Victorian Government, AusTrade, DFAT and the People’s Government of Nanjing and Shenzhen.
The second trip is for the Mayor and a Council officer to attend the 15th World Congress of the Organization of World Heritage Cities (this is NOT the World League of Historical Cities) in Krakow, Poland from June 2-5
* It recognises Ballarat’s leadership role, along with the City of Bendigo, within the 13 Central Highlands Councils in their bid to achieve a UNESCO World Heritage listing for the Central Victorian Goldfields region, which is expected to boost the area’s economy by $68 million annually.
- It is estimated for every one per cent increase in tourism in the Central Victorian Goldfields region, $11 million would be added to the regional economy.
- The nine councils involved in a successful World Heritage listing of the Cornwall West Devon Mining Landscape have leveraged more than 90 million pounds of new investment in the area.
- Leveraging a UNESCO World heritage listing to achieve these benefits locally requires a level of international engagement.
- Ballarat and Bendigo are leading a coalition which represents close to half a million people spread over nearly 40,000 square kilometres, or 17 per cent of the state.
- Comparative sites that have achieved World Heritage listing have seen major economic and social benefits and this would be a major platform for Central Goldfields renewal and long-term prosperity.
- It will also allow the City of Ballarat to gain exposure to new World Heritage networks, advocate for UNESCO Creative Cities Network membership and learn about key sustainable tourism insights.
- An invitation to the City of Greater Bendigo to participate will also be extended.
- Cost is $13,000, which is within the Development and Planning 2019/20 budget parameters, with funding assistance to also be sought from hosts, collaborative partners and other sources.
- This congress is the principle international event of UNESCO World Heritage Listed Cities.