By Australia First Party & New Australian Bulletin
Wagga council voted on Tuesday night to end its 32-year-old relationship with Chinese sister city Kunming. In a hotly debated motion, the winning vote to ditch Kunming was cast 4-3.
The meeting was held via a conferencing app owing to COVID-19 restrictions with the motion’s initiator, councillor Paul Funnell, addressing the council.
In a speech full of blunt truths, he highlighted the existential problems of being a democratic council with “…a business ethics document that speaks of transparency, ethical decision making and procurement practises”, while its sister city holds to “the very opposite” of those policies.
Cr Funnell, an independent, condemned the sister-city arrangement as “farcical” and argued the relationship was simply a one-way stream. He cited a request made to the council in January for Wagga Wagga to provide China with surgical facemasks and other medical equipment. “The request was in their interests,” he said, “We have received nothing.”
He went on to attack the incongruity of being a democratic council dealing with a communist dictatorship that has “locked up and tortured millions of Christians, Uighur Moslems, dissenters and so on.” He quoted a high-ranking member of the politburo who attested to China’s use of organisations such as its Confucius Society for “soft infiltration” of our nation.
“These are the people we are in a formal relationship with,” he said, “the communist regime via a disguised feelgood sister-city programme.”
“This report is about calling to sever official ties with the communist regime thereby supporting Australia beginning here in Wagga with our interests and to set an example for others to follow,” he added. “What has taken place in relation to the attitude of the Chinese authorities is not acceptable. We must end that relationship arrangement and not condone such behaviour…. We are not in a true friendship, so why lie to ourselves and not call it off?”
Cr Funnell also dismissed arguments that staying in the relationship was a way to influence China.
“After 32 years there is no change and obviously no influence…. Isn’t Hong Kong a classic example of remaining and yet having no influence?”
Earlier, he challenged the motion’s detractors who criticised the bill as ‘racist’ He told the council, “Communism is not a race! This is an attempt by those not wishing to have the discussion to shut it down by name-calling, as when disagreeing with a woman you must be misogynist or to question LGBTQ rights you are deemed to be a homophobe.”
The councillor also proposed that some opposing the motion had ethically compromised themselves in dealing with China.
“A number of councillors have received overseas junkets as recent as last year for a two-hour signing ceremony. I would say their opposition to this report speaks more about their conscience and not my report.”
The success of the motion was narrow. With mayor Greg Conkey’s absence, his deputy Dallas Tout excused himself from voting on the grounds of a conflict of interest, given he has ties with Chinese business. Kerry Pascoe also restrained from casting a vote on the same grounds. Cr Tim Koschel took the chair and cast his deciding vote in its favour.
Among the motion’s detractors was Labor Cr Dan Hayes, who accused Mr Funnell of deviating from the “three Rs” of council ‘roads, rates and rubbish” and inflating a motion to include international relations.
He suggested that many in Wagga still hold a connection with the Chinese community and that putting up such a motion “just inflames anti-Chinese sentiment.”
Of course, he would say that, given Labor’s commitment to shifting Australia culturally and economically under China’s rule. Moreover, he has a mixed-race daughter of part-Asian descent; another strong motivator to view any move away from a dangerous multicultural side-effect as xenophobic.
Wagga Wagga has had a long history of conducting business with the Chinese, often without the transparency that Cr Funnell alluded to. Those who’ve threatened that relationship have often been on the receiving end of a campaign of dirty deeds and harassment; something the more sensitive members of the council failed to acknowledge or demonstrate a powerful aversion to.
Cr Funnell has long been a thorn in the side of the Wagga Wagga establishment, or rather, the Beijing connection. He was once instrumental, along with Australia First Party, in shutting down a proposed China Trade Centre in the Riverina. For his patriotism he has befallen such ‘bad luck’ as finding his sheep poisoned, receiving threatening phone calls, and his family have suffered harassment.
One of the dirtiest operators in Wagga’s history was Liberal MP Daryl Maguire. He was first elected to represent Wagga in 1999 and then remain unshifted from his seat until 2018 when he resigned over a scandal brought before the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). Maguire has still not been convicted over the inquiry which revealed his shady involvement with Canterbury Council and a “mega big” Chinese client wishing to buy into development projects.
Therefore, yesterday’s severance of ties was not only symbolic but practical, since the temptation of Chinese money to buy influence has actively generated corruption that affected the lives of decent Australians. Moreover, it meant that China’s sway had taken economic and social advantage over Riverina natives unable to compete with that kind of baksheesh.
Cr Funnell’s comments regarding the false cries of “racism” are a significant feature of his address and bespeak the stratagem used by Beijing to pressure Australia’s Achille’s Heel over race.
It is pathetic to think that it’s through something so shallow, and an area of which Beijing itself has no conscience, to respond to reasonable criticism of a foreign system and the presence of its minions by condemning your own people mechanically and without due consideration. But these fools have been well-trained to serve the interests of everyone but their own while others, such as Maguire, are motivated purely by greed.
More importantly, Cr Funnell said the severing of ties would serve as an example for the rest of Australia. In that, what he has done, is not only patriotic but heroic. Australia is at a precarious tipping point — either it heeds the lessons from coronavirus and the inherent hazards of globalism, or it allows the quislings to shout down the inevitable debate of how to rehabilitate economically post COVID-19.
The drive towards nativism and protectionism is gaining pace and it’s only to be expected that those who’ve sold us into this position of near-fatal compromise will persist in supporting China. They are already doing so.
The natural traitors such as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews will not be moved from their course. As such, nationalists are at a crucial and epochal crossroads where our influence can now lose the stigma that has kept us down and our guidance may be critical in saving Australia from those who would have us ruled from Beijing. Or even from Washington for that matter.