Council’s call to help Iwaki recover
TOWNSVILLE City Council will use the $ 20,000 it had planned for a visit to Iwaki to help its disaster-ravaged sister city recover from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
The council this week kick-started a public appeal for funds to help Iwaki, which suffered extensive damaged in the natural disasters and the resultant nuclear disaster after an explosion in a nuclear power plant.
Townsville and Iwaki entered into a sister city agreement in August, 1991 and a delegation was to travel to Japan for the 20th anniversary celebrations later this year.
The council, though, will use the money to help rebuild Iwaki, with Mayor Les Tyrell calling on the public to help turn the $ 20,000 into a lot more.
‘‘ Council has decided to institute a public appeal for funds,’’ Cr Tyrell said.
‘‘ The best way at this time to provide assistance is to provide cash and we’ll be instituting a public appeal for donations from Townsville community to send to sister city council.
‘‘ We’ll be putting in $ 20,000 to start the appeal off. It’s a figure that was put aside for next year’s budget for a visit by Iwaki to celebrate the sister city anniversary.
‘‘ It’s quite obvious they now won’t be attending so council has moved that allocation to form the basis of the appeal for Iwaki residents.’’
Cr Tyrell said due to the scale of the disaster, making contact has been difficult.
‘‘ Iwaki has been a sister city for the past 20 years and there’s a lot of people who have had contact with Iwaki during that time and now it’s time to help.’’ Cr Tyrell has asked residents to be generous. For more details of how you can help, go www. townsville. qld. gov. au.