Pattaya mayor, Aussie ambassador meet with different agendas

H.E. Australia Ambassador Allan James McKinnon and Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome discuss collaboration between the two governments at city hall.

Australia’s ambassador to Thailand again plugged a Brisbane architecture firm to design a stadium for the 2025 Southeast Asia Games in Pattaya during a meeting with Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome.

H.E. Allan James McKinnon visited Pattaya City Hall Oct. 6 to discuss tourism and the bid by Populous Pty Ltd. to design the Pattaya sports complex. The visit follows a December meeting between Sonthaya, Populous Director Ed Sanderson and Karan Surmaon, commercial diplomat for the Australian Trade and Investment Office.

Populous is interested in bidding on a new stadium and facilities for the SEA Games after previously working with the Malaysian government for the 2019 Games, as well as the London Olympics.

Sonthaya, however, seemed more interested in talking with the ambassador about Australians locked out of their own country during the coronavirus pandemic spending their government emergency living assistance funds on visits to Pattaya. The mayor was also interested in having Australian businesses with facilities in Chonburi and Rayong hold meetings in the city.
McKinnon thanked Sonthaya for the meeting and promised future collaboration in some form.

The two leaders discuss tourism and a Brisbane architecture firm’s bid to design a stadium for the 2025 Southeast Asia Games in Pattaya