(Charmed) life of Brian: CEO scores China trip

Council CEO Brian Pidgeon is taking flight to China on a ratepayer-funded delegation.
Council CEO Brian Pidgeon is taking flight to China on a ratepayer-funded delegation.

RATEPAYERS are forking out thousands of dollars to send Toowoomba Regional Council CEO Brian Pidgeon on a week-long trip to China.

Mr Pidgeon, council's CEO since July 2013, was selected to take part in the Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise delegation without the knowledge of at least one councillor.

That councillor, who spoke to The Chronicle yesterday, was surprised to hear the CEO would be a delegate.

Mr Pidgeon will join Mayor Paul Antonio as a ratepayer-funded participant on the delegation which, according to a media statement, aims to build ties between Toowoomba and China's regions.

>> Council appoints Pidgeon as full-time CEO

Cr Antonio said it was crucial Mr Pidgeon attend because there would be "significant negotiations" that would have "operational implications" for the council.

Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise chairman John Wagner and CEO Shane Charles will also go on the trip.

Mr Charles said his expenses would be covered by the enterprise, which receives $450,000 a year from council.

He said Mr Wagner would pay for the trip himself.

Should council's CEO be taking part in the delegation to China?

This poll ended on 04 November 2014.

Current Results





This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Mr Charles said the enterprise had no input into who represented council.

"I think it's very important, especially considering that Asian culture holds leadership and authority so highly, that the mayor attends," he said.

"But it's also important someone from management should travel with the mayor."

Deputy Mayor Mike Williams said councillors had discussed the delegation and who would be attending at several briefings.

"(But) there is no formal approval needed for the trip. Councillors have discussed it and approved it.

"(Mr Pidgeon) is travelling as support for the mayor to provide advice and back-up."

In a Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise media statement, it was outlined that the delegation would visit Shanghai, Hangzhou, Chengdu and Xian.

AERgO International commercial manager Jamie Kennedy will also travel with the delegation.

A council spokesman said the costs of the delegation would be revealed in the "appropriate section" of the 2014-2015 annual report.

Topics:  ceo mayor paul antonio toowoomba toowoomba regional council

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Sharing cultures through food

DIG IN: Lockyer Valley Community Centre volunteers at the Harmony Day food tasting

Community centre hosts Harmony Day event

Gordon reflects on farming life in the Lockyer

LOOKING BACK: Laidley's Gordon Niebling says he has loved his farming life and living in the Lockyer Valley.

The self-proclaimed 'Jack of all trades”, Gordon Niebling.

Clare Atkinson Journalism Scholarship needs your support

IN HONOUR: Brightview's Lesley Atkinson is urging the public to help continue the Clare Atkinson Memorial Scholarship.

Help continue Clare Atkinson's legacy and the future of journalism.

Local Partners