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Council Watch UPDATE: Ballarat Council’s Europe trip will go ahead


Ballarat Council’s Europe trip will go ahead – but the flights will be economy class.

The change comes after Cr Amy Johnson put forward a motion to cancel the trip or, at the least, to change the tickets to economy class. 

Cr Johnson said the latter motion, which passed, saved rate-payers $35,000.

A further motion – that future flights also be economy class – was knocked back pending further review by a Policy Review Committee.

Tom: Who’s on that?

Cr Johnson: There’s a couple of councillors and staff.

Tom: So the same people who fly overseas business class will review whether it’s okay to fly overseas business class?

Cr Johnson: … yes, probably.

Click play to hear Cr Johnson’s interview with Tom Elliott


The Mayor of Ballarat defended a controversial ratepayer-funded trip to Europe for himself and two other councillors.

This is despite Ballarat council also applying for an exemption from the new Victorian rate-cap.

Des Hudson told Tom Elliott the trip was necessary, saying Ballarat needed to be positioned on the ‘world stage.’

The council also sponsors the Western Bulldogs, but has refused to disclose how much money they are investing.

Mr Hudson said on 3AW Drive the council was not being reckless with its spending.

‘We think we’re very mindful of how we spend our money, but we also need to make sure we can position Ballarat on the world stage,’ he said.

But Tom Elliott was left far from convinced by that claim.

Click PLAY below to hear more on 3AW Drive