March 27, 2011 Leave a comment
My visit to Fremantle’s very first Sister City Seberang Perai (which is the mainland part of the Penang, Malaysia) was short but very special and productive.
The first day of the trip consisted of been whisked straight from the airport to a meeting with the Chief Minister of State of Penang (their equivalent of the Premier of WA ) and his ministers.
After spending half an hour with the Premier and then meeting his ministers including his new Minster for Gender Equity – who was very dynamic – we did a press conference that gained national media attention. Not what I was expecting, but very pleasing. (I also did think it was somewhat ironic that I had easier access the Premier and ministers of Fremantle‘s sister city than I do to their equivalents in WA!)
In my time with the Chief Minister one of the main areas of conversation was sustainability and waste. They were especially interested in our reduced use of landfill and recycling which are they are just starting to raise awareness of. It was good to be able to talk about the SMRC model Fremantle is part of and they seemed to keen to come to WA to find out more.
Growing car dependence if also a huge problem in Penang and it was good to be able share experiences including how our CAT service worked.
The first day primarily focused on Seberang Perai which has been our sister city since 1978. It was clear why as it is also port city – although the major port has now moved further south. Interestingly it also used to be a major Australian airbase which I also went and visited.
The second day had more of a heritage focus which I will outline in the next post.