Give us a thumbs up, Obama
A CONTINGENT OF 120 members of the Korean media is on its way to Ipswich for the G20 Summit next month and Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale insists US president Barack Obama should be popping in as well.
Cr Pisasale said Amberley Air Force Base was "the safest and best place" for President Obama and his presidential plane Air Force One to land.
The QT understands the most likely scenario is for President Obama to land at Brisbane Airport and then take the presidential helicopter Marine One to a location near his Brisbane accommodation.
Either way, Ipswich will receive a spin-off from the G20 summit when the Korean media stay at the Metro Hotel International Ipswich. The entourage, in Australia to cover the visit of Republic of Korea President Park Geun-hye, will also be given a civic reception.
Metro Hotel International Ipswich general manager Earl Muir said the hotel would be "set up as the media centre to broadcast back to South Korea".
"They will be putting up a sound proof booth on the terrace and they will all have desks in the function room," he said.
"We were selected because accommodation is at a premium in Brisbane, but also because of our corporate facilities and because we have the NBN capacity.
"There will be over 100 journalists uploading stories back to South Korea so it is a credit to our conferencing ability.
"It is a very important and somewhat sensitive business to take. We have to be mindful of the proper protocols."
An advance party from Korea is already in Ipswich but the bulk of the entourage will be staying in the city from November 14-16.
Mr Muir said the hotel and city would welcome the visitors.
"I am just in the process now of trying to recommend some dinner locations for them. We are trying to find some iconic Aussie dinner experiences around the city," he said.
Meanwhile Cr Pisasale said he would not be surprised if Amberley was utilised for President Obama's visit.
"RAAF Base Amberley is the safest landing spot for any world leader in Australia," Cr Pisasale said.
"President Obama could take a helicopter from here or travel by road. Unlike in Brisbane, the roads from here are open and could be well protected.
"We could put cameras anywhere along the route if President Obama's security detail was to travel by motorcade."
While President Obama's minders would probably not agree to a swing by Ipswich, Cr Pisasale said "if Barack was making the decision he would say yes".
"This could be a great opportunity for the US President to meet Australians," he said
"Leadership to me is about interaction with people.
"Barack Obama is here for the G20 but it would be wonderful for him to have a look at a city that has been named in the top 21 intelligent communities in the world and see our fantastic revitalisation from the floods.
"(Cr) Cheryl Bromage has looked at some of the things the Americans have done with their natural disaster responses and Ipswich leaves them for dead.
"The systems that we have put in place after the flood are second to none."
Cr Pisasale said the Korean visit was "fantastic for the city and a great feather in our cap".
"They will all be talking about what an exciting city Ipswich is," he said.