Amy Johnson defends Cairns trip

Amy Johnson has defended her ratepayer-funded trip to Cairns.

Amy Johnson has defended her ratepayer-funded trip to Cairns.

A COUNCIL-funded trip to Cairns undertaken by City of Ballarat councillor Amy Johnson was conducted to help foster relationships with another regional art gallery. 

Speaking to The Courier from Cairns on Sunday, Cr Johnson said part of one of the Art Gallery of Ballarat’s collections had been unveiled at the gallery in Queensland. 

“It is crucial we support them, and we have millions of dollars invested in the Ballarat Art Gallery so it is important we support other regional galleries,” she said. 

“Part of the gallery’s strategic plan is to support other regional galleries.” 

Cr Johnson received the invitation from the Cairns Regional Gallery with the City of Ballarat paying approximately $1600 for the 

trip. 

However, the trip is expected to have cost much less than this, according to Cr Johnson who said this was a maximum estimate. 

City of Ballarat chief executive Anthony Schinck said Ms Johnson launched the Capturing Flora Exhibition at the Cairns Regional Gallery, with the trip not coming before a council meeting due to late notice. 

“The invitation came about at late notice due to Councillor Coltman being unable to attend,” he said. 

“Council’s travel policy provides a process for the CEO approving travel at late notice, with a report to be provided to the next meeting (of) council.”

Cr Johnson stayed an extra night at her own expense. 

While this extra night didn’t have any council commitments, Cr Johnson said she learnt a lot of things about the city which could be incorporated into Ballarat. 

“I was looking at the way the city has been constructed and planned,” she said. 

“They have a real focus on pedestrians and cyclists.”

Some of the ideas she said she had posted on social media channels and had received quite a bit of feedback from residents in Ballarat.

melissa.cunningham@fairfaxmedia.com.au

matthew.dixon@fairfaxmedia.com.au

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop