WARRNAMBOOL has sister cities Miura in Japan and Changchun in China, but council election candidate Graham Ryan says we should be looking closer to home.
He has called for an official sister-city link with Melbourne — only 260 kilometres away.
“We need to build stronger relationships with Melbourne,” Mr Ryan said.
“It’s a lot closer than China and could develop into significant economic benefits for our region.
“There are a potential 4.6 million customers just three hours away so it’s vital that they know what Warrnambool has to offer and consider our city for a holiday or sea change.”
Mr Ryan, who is making his first foray into local council elections, said the benefits of stronger links with Melbourne would include having council-owned caravans utilised year-round.
He also suggested free train rides from Melbourne and Geelong and improving the Lady Bay boat ramp so fishermen did not drive past and spend their money elsewhere.
“We are in a tough economic climate and we are seeing the impacts of that on a daily basis,” Mr Ryan said.
“A strong business approach is necessary to ensure Warrnambool maximises its potential and we can come out the other end of any downturn in a strong position.
“Above all we need seven compatible councillors who will pledge to put the past behind and work together as one for the better of the City of Warrnambool.”
He also called for greater effort in attracting more of the 2.8 million overnight visitors along the Great Ocean Road to Warrnambool.