Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, or her deputy, is off on the jaunt of a lifetime, all at the taxpayers expense to the tune of approximately $8,000 for an around trip to New York for a United Nations Forum.

The forum is the UN's central platform for review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, which the council incorporated into its community strategic plan last year.

Independent Councillor Kath Elliott slammed the trip, calling it a "junket". "If it walks like a junket and quacks like a junket, it's a junket".

Australia as a nation is the thirteenth biggest financial contributor to the UN. Australia contributed $748 million to the United Nations in 2016. Of that $748 million we borrow it, not from our own pockets, we take out a loan from the International Monetary Fund (owned by the United Nations) to pay the United Nations. Almost sounds like money laundering, doesn't it?!

In 2015, Newcastle became Australian's newest United Nations City, and a training hub for the Asia Pacific region following a UN decision to locate an International Training Centre at the University of Newcastle.

In 2016, Newcastle City accepted a United Nations flag from the UN's training arm to confirm Newcastle as a UN City and host of the first International Training Centre for Authorities and Leaders in Australasia and the Pacific region.

In 2018, the City of Newcastle incorporated The United Nations' Sustainable Development goals into its updated Community Strategic Plan.

The Australian taxpayers contribute $748 million a year and then the residents of Newcastle are slugged again to the tune of $8,000 for its UN connection.

The United Nations is nothing but an absolute rort, aided and abetted by the Councillors of the Newcastle City Council. What has the United Nations ever done for Australia? Through all of our drought, floods and bushfires, the United Nations was nowhere to be seen. So what exactly are we paying for them for.

Its time Australia exited the United Nations once and for all.

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