World leaders snub Mayor's invite to come to the Coast
G'DAY Barack, how about a surf with me this Friday? Vladimir and Tony will be there too. Regards, Mark.
This is probably not the wording, but Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson has sent invitations to the world leaders attending this weekend's G20 summit.
He had hoped they would have time to squeeze in a visit to the region.
Sadly, only one leader took a bite.
Cr Jamieson said the President of the European Union, Herman Van Rompuy, showed some interest in possibly visiting and then later declined.
With three-quarters of the world's population represented at the summit, Cr Jamieson said if ever there was a time to extend diplomacy and overcome conflict "this is it".
"We attempted to invite all the key leaders, including US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister David Cameron," Cr Jamieson said.
He said the invitations were sent out before a Russian missile was used to bring down a Malaysian Airlines jet, killing the 298 people on board.
And he had mixed feelings whether, in light of the tragedy, he would still extend the offer.
"The Sunshine Coast Council is not an overseer of foreign policy," Cr Jamieson said.
"I understand the great distress the (crash) caused the families, including a Sunshine Coast family who lost their parents on the flight.
"I am very mindful of this. However, only recently we had the Russian adventurer (Fedor Konyukhov) sail into the Coast and we had so much Russian media and support, so I have mixed feelings."
Cr Jamieson was aware that if any of the leaders had said yes, the council would have been lumped with the huge security bill.
"We would have been prepared to look at it, but they are on a short timeline. We hope the media entourage will pay a visit," he said.