Sunshine Coast mayor visits Alotau

Normal, Papua

The National, Monday 28th November 2011

SUNSHINE Coast regional council mayor Bob Abbot made a lightning weekend visit to sister city – Alotau – this month.
Alotau’s sister city was originally Noosa, on the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland, Australia, which now comes under the Sunshine Coast regional council.
The council has helped Alotau in capacity-building of the Alotau urban level government (AULG) officers, provided hundreds of wheelie bins and children’s playground equipment at Alotau’s scenic beachfront.
It continues to support Alotau in many other ways.
Abbot’s visit was an evaluation exercise to foster the sister city relationship and the Commonwealth local level government good practices scheme.
The two areas under the Commonwealth scheme were the:
l    Waste management; and
l    Urban development plan.
Abbot’s relationship with Alotau goes back to 2006 when he first visited.
He was the first to receive Alotau as the sister city to Noosa and to cement the relationship.
He was welcomed by Alotau Mayor Gita Elliot and AULG officials at Gurney Airport on Nov 18.
The welcome featured traditional Milne Bay dancers from districts in the province.
Abbot took part in the many festivities in Alotau like the eighth National Kenu and Kundu Festival and the Alotau Open Member’s Cup sports tournament.
All the Alotau teams in men’s and women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s netball made a clean sweep, winning their respective grand finals.
Abbot joined Elliot in several of the official engagements during the visit of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill on Nov 19.
He attended the official opening of the service delivery centre by O’Neill and later was introduced to the large crowd that greeted the Prime Minister at the Kenu and Kundu Festival grounds.
He presented a large colourful opal as a gift of friendship to O’Neill.
Abbot showed off his musical talents during the Kaoha function that night at the Alotau International Hotel when
he played his harmonica to the delight of the crowd.