Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Open Letter to Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs

30 April 2014

The Honourable Ms Tanya Plibersek MP
Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs
Commonwealth Government of Australia

Dear Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs:

I write to you on this occasion further to previous correspondence concerning next year's World Exposition at Milano Italy and Australia's representation there.

I have written to your Government counterpart and also the Prime Minister, however, now, at one year to go before the commencement of the World Fair, the Australian Government is yet to commit to be represented at Milano.

Dear Shadow Minister, Australia has a proud and long record of hosting and being represented at World Expositions - the 'cultural Olympics' - from Sydney 1879 to Melbourne 1888, to Brisbane 1988, and the stunning Australia Pavilions at Montreal 1967, Seville 1992 and Shanghai 2010.

Already over 150 nations have committed to Milan, including the UK, USA, China, Japan, Korea - in fact most of our major trading partners and the developed and developing world.

Australia's absence from Milan 2015 would be a major loss for our nation's trade and foreign affairs branding, in this decade's major cultural public diplomacy opportunity.

Not participating at Milan would not only represent a major omission, embarrassment and lack of opportunity to further Australia's interests on the world stage, both in terms of visitor impact and inter-Pavilion and international business networking but it would be the first time in the modern era that Australia has not had a Pavilion at a Universal Exposition.

Dear Shadow Minister, I implore upon you, to bring our Government into account to announce Australia's representation at Milano soon.

This is a major international public diplomacy initiative that Australia cannot afford not to be represented at.

I look forward to your representation in Parliament, and to your response.

Yours sincerely,

John McGregor
Celebrate 88
Progressing Brisbane's World Expo 88 and Australia at World Expositions
Tel 0455 488 787
Surfers Paradise Queensland

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