OPEN LETTER TO THE PRIME MINISTER
2 April 2014
The Honourable Mr Tony Abbott MP
Commonwealth Government of Australia
Dear Prime Minister:
AUSTRALIA AT EXPO 2015 MILANO ITALY
I write to your esteemed office on this occasion with regards the above, and a response from the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade stating that Australia is "yet to confirm its participation", now at nearly less than a year to the Expo's commencement.
I acknowledge the points raised in the Department's response and understand that quantifying the trade and other benefits for participating at a World Exposition can be difficult, given financial and other constraints.
Let me, on behalf of Celebrate 88, with more than several years experience in World Expositions spanning since Brisbane's World Expo 88, that the short term and long term benefits of hosting and being represented at a World Exposition are considerable, and along with the Arts, Sports, representation at and hosting of Olympic Games, and give Australia an unparalleled opportunity for nation-branding in an international setting/networking furthering Australia's diverse global interests, trade of course included.
Given these undeniable benefits to Australia's representation at World Expositions, especially in one of Australia's major trading partners, historically and in a contemporary sense, the European Union, I believe the decision to participate at Milano should now not be a question of "if" but when.
We are already at the point of less than 400 days to the commencement of the Expo. We run into the danger, as I am sure you are aware, that unless a decision to participate is made within the next four weeks, it shall be deemed too late, from logistical, funding, and other considerations for Australia to be represented at Milano.
I impress upon you, Prime Minister, therefore to quickly approve Australia's representation at Milano.
I, and the international community at Milano, which already includes over 150 nations, including the UK and USA, await your response.