http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/sout ... 5827614516LORD Mayor Michael Harbison is set to embark on a trip to India to calm concerns over racially-motivated bashings of foreign students in Australia.
Adelaide City Council meets tonight to approve the trip and will also consider a proposal to send Deputy Lord Mayor Michael Henningsen to France for Anzac Day.
Education Adelaide estimates the international education industry creates more than 6000 jobs and delivers $741 million to the South Australian economy each year.
India's top envoy to Australia, Sujatha Singh, last week complained to Governor-General Quentin Bryce over attacks on Indians in Melbourne and labelled Victoria a state "in denial".
Mr Harbison yesterday said concerns over racism in the eastern states were "legitimate".
He said it was critical political leaders pressed the message South Australia was a safe destination.
"We must take every opportunity we can to put the message out about Australia's interest in India and the Indian population," Mr Harbison said.
"It's very important, not just economically for South Australia, butin terms of the vigour of our population.
"We have a low fertility rate and migration is our best and largest source of young people."
Mr Harbison said he had no personal commercial interest in the international student market - and he deflected concerns over the estimated $15,000 cost of the tripto ratepayers.
Council documents reveal winning positive media coverage in India will be a major focus of the four-city trip which is slated to begin on February 19.
Tensions between the nations reached boiling point with the publication in Delhi's Mail Today last month of a cartoon depicting a Victoria Police officer in Ku Klux Klan garb.
ACC will tonight consider a separate proposal to pay accommodation costs for Dr Henningsen's planned visit to Dernancourt, France for Anzac Day.
Good Quote for Harbo:
The Enemy (India) Of My Enemy (Melbourne) Is My Friend
Its the South Aussie way, When Victoria falls over, we take advantage God bless our state