Greg Bowden to join Graham Quirk on $60,000 trip

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk. Photo: Michelle SmithA key Brisbane lord mayoral advisor who became embroiled in the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption will take part in a $60,000, ratepayer-funded overseas trip in September.
Nanjing Night Net

Just a month after it was revealed at ICAC that Greg Bowden accepted a $5000 donation from Australian Water Holdings to secure a meeting with former Lord Mayor Campbell Newman in 2007, Brisbane City Council’s civic cabinet has given him the go-ahead to take part in the 11-day business mission.

Mr Bowden accepted the $5000 as head of Forward Brisbane Leadership, the fundraising body that catapulted Mr Newman to the lord mayoralty and Queensland premier’s job.

Now, as Lord Mayor Graham Quirk’s strategy, communication and economic development director, he will accompany Cr Quirk and two council officers on the trip to the Middle East, China and Singapore in September.

The Lord Mayor said he had full confidence in his advisor.

“Mr Bowden had no involvement other than his role at that time as fundraiser, he was the recipient of the cheque,” Cr Quirk said at Tuesday’s council meeting.

“This was Mr Bowden’s only involvement, if there was more, ICAC would have come knocking.

“The moment it became public knowledge, the LNP returned all donations.

“I want to give you an assurance today, Mr Bowden had no involvement, he was recipient of monies in relation to his role at the time as the fundraising director of this organisation and that was his only involvement.”

Forward Brisbane Leadership wound up in 2012.

The $5000 payment was returned in March, seven years after it was made.

The delegation will also consist of 45 Brisbane business leaders and will visit Abu Dhabi, Shanghai, Hyderabad and Singapore.

It will be Cr Quirk’s first visit to these cities as Brisbane’s Lord Mayor.

It also emerged at Tuesday’s meeting that civic cabinet has approved a five day trip for deputy mayor Adrian Schrinner to Singapore in June, to attend the fifth annual World Cities Summit.

Defending accusations from Opposition Leader Milton Dick they were “travel junkets”, Cr Quirk said they were necessary to establish economic relationships for Brisbane.

“Today cities are much more, much more than simply roads, rates and rubbish,” he said.

“They are about economic powerhouses becoming more and more relevant as the drivers of economic activity.”

Last year’s Lord Mayor’s business mission generated $230 million in investment in the city, Cr Quirk said.

“My job is to stay focused, to try in difficult times to get some doors opened for this city,” he said.

“With Asia it’s about the creation and development of relationships and I’m committed to that.

“I don’t care what criticism comes in relation to that because I know what I am doing is right, it is right for the businesses of this city, for the point of growth of this city and I will continue to stay committed to the job I have as Lord Mayor of Brisbane.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

This entry was posted in 南京夜网龙凤. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.