The truth about my travel

As Lord Mayor, part of my role is to promote Sydney and learn from other cities. I take this very seriously and only travel when it is essential.

The Daily Telegraph's recent attempt to connect me to the outrageous misuse of funds by Federal MPs is misleading.

In stark contrast to politicians from the major parties chartering helicopters to attending party fundraisers; charging the public for trips to weddings or marathons; or taking their families on business-class holidays - I only travel for City of Sydney business purposes.

My interstate travel has been to attend meetings of the Council of Australian Capital City Lord Mayors, the NSW Government's Destination 2036 Conference for Local Government, an Urban Policy Forum and a Planning Institute Australia Congress. This travel is done either by flying (economy or business class depending on availability), or by driving.

My visit to China in 2014 helped boost the global reputation of our Chinese New Year Festival. During the trip, China's Ministry of Culture confirmed it will continue to have a significant participation in future Sydney Chinese New Year festivals.

I spoke at the China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing to promote our creative, design and digital growth sectors. I also helped broker new connections between local and Chinese universities.

The visit generated huge attention for Sydney in Chinese media, and has led to at least three delegations of Chinese government officials visiting Sydney in recent months.

My travel to Italy later this year is being paid for by the Rockerfeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities network. It is a chance to learn how other cities are dealing with challenges including heatwaves, terrorism, aging infrastructure, inefficient public transport, unaffordable housing and homelessness.

The City of Sydney is certified as carbon neutral under the National Carbon Offset Standard. This includes offsetting emissions for all work flights. In 2013/14 our emissions from flights were 1 tenth of 1 per cent (0.1% or approximately 57 tonnes) of our total organisational emissions.