Chinese Government threatens Melbourne Sister City relationship in attempt to dictate Foreign Policy

The Chinese Government is once again seeking to strong brow Australia in an attempt to dictate to Australia Australian Foreign Policy and who Australia should and can invite to visit Australia.

The Chinese Government has threatened to cancel Melbourne’s Sister City relationship with Tianjin if Lord Mayor Robert Doyle does not intervene to stop the screening of a film about Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer at the Town Hall today.

The Chinese Government has considerable power and is not afraid to exercise it by threatening bilateral trade and cultural relationships. In Russia for example the Dali Lama has been refused a visa to visit Russia due to undue Chinese pressure (Even though Tibetan Buddhism is one of Russia’s recognised religions) .

If they can strong arm Russia what hope is there that Australia will not bow to pressure? Last I knew Australia was a democratic sovereign nation and as such our foreign policy is independent from other nations. If the principle of maintaining independence over our sovereignty places at risk Melbourne’s Sister City relationship with Tianjin then so be it, let the Chinese Cookie crumble.

The Chinese Government has declared Rebiya Kadeer a terrorist (in the same league as the Dalai Lama – I had met the Dalai Lama in Melbourne back in 1992 and he did not seem to be a Terrorist to me) even though there is no such evidence that would warrant this charge

Australia’s Parliamentary Foreign Affair’s Chairman, Michael Danby, spoke out in support of Rebiya Kadeer right to visit Australia.

Michael Danby has been hard to contact and efforts to contact his office to discuss this matter has failed (due to ongoing staffing issues and his constant absence from his electoral office)

But in this instance we fully support his stance (if only he would push for more democratic and fair electoral reformsMichael Danby is a member of the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters)

Chinese Government threatens Melbourne Sister City relationship in attempt to dictate Foreign Policy

The Chinese Government is once again seeking to strong brow Australia in an attempt to dictate to Australia Australian Foreign Policy and who Australia should and can invite to visit Australia.

The Chinese Government has threatened to cancel Melbourne’s Sister City relationship with Tianjin if Lord Mayor Robert Doyle does not intervene to stop the screening of a film about Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer at the Town Hall today.

The Chinese Government has considerable power and is not afraid to exercise it by threatening bilateral trade and cultural relationships. In Russia for example the Dali Lama has been refused a visa to visit Russia due to undue Chinese pressure (Even though Tibetan Buddhism is one of Russia’s recognised religions) .

If they can strong arm Russia what hope is there that Australia will not bow to pressure? Last I knew Australia was a democratic sovereign nation and as such our foreign policy is independent from other nations. If the principle of maintaining independence over our sovereignty places at risk Melbourne’s Sister City relationship with Tianjin then so be it, let the Chinese Cookie crumble.

The Chinese Government has declared Rebiya Kadeer a terrorist (in the same league as the Dalai Lama – I had met the Dalai Lama in Melbourne back in 1992 and he did not seem to be a Terrorist to me) even though there is no such evidence that would warrant this charge

Australia’s Parliamentary Foreign Affair’s Chairman, Michael Danby, spoke out in support of Rebiya Kadeer right to visit Australia.

Michael Danby has been hard to contact and efforts to contact his office to discuss this matter has failed (due to ongoing staffing issues and his constant absence from his electoral office)

But in this instance we fully support his stance (if only he would push for more democratic and fair electoral reformsMichael Danby is a member of the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters)

Chinese Government threatens Melbourne Sister City relationship in attempt to dictate Foreign Policy

The Chinese Government is once again seeking to strong brow Australia in an attempt to dictate to Australia Australian Foreign Policy and who Australia should and can invite to visit Australia.

The Chinese Government has threatened to cancel Melbourne’s Sister City relationship with Tianjin if Lord Mayor Robert Doyle does not intervene to stop the screening of a film about Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer at the Town Hall today.

The Chinese Government has considerable power and is not afraid to exercise it by threatening bilateral trade and cultural relationships. In Russia for example the Dali Lama has been refused a visa to visit Russia due to undue Chinese pressure (Even though Tibetan Buddhism is one of Russia’s recognised religions) .

If they can strong arm Russia what hope is there that Australia will not bow to pressure? Last I knew Australia was a democratic sovereign nation and as such our foreign policy is independent from other nations. If the principle of maintaining independence over our sovereignty places at risk Melbourne’s Sister City relationship with Tianjin then so be it, let the Chinese Cookie crumble.

The Chinese Government has declared Rebiya Kadeer a terrorist (in the same league as the Dalai Lama – I had met the Dalai Lama in Melbourne back in 1992 and he did not seem to be a Terrorist to me) even though there is no such evidence that would warrant this charge

Australia’s Parliamentary Foreign Affair’s Chairman, Michael Danby, spoke out in support of Rebiya Kadeer right to visit Australia.

Michael Danby has been hard to contact and efforts to contact his office to discuss this matter has failed (due to ongoing staffing issues and his constant absence from his electoral office)

But in this instance we fully support his stance (if only he would push for more democratic and fair electoral reformsMichael Danby is a member of the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters)

The Code of SilenceThe Road to China block by a wall of bureaucracy

The Melbourne City Council has speciously claimed immunity where immunity does not exist. The Age Newspapers has sought copies of correspondence from the City Council to the Chinese Embassy but the Council administration has refused to release the documents in a code of silence claiming diplomatic immunity. This is further abuse of process and a further denial of ensuring the Council is open and transparent. Diplomatic immunity does not extend to the City Council. neither the Council administration or the Lord Major are diplomats in spite the fact that John So is entitled to a diplomatic passport, he is not covered under btol convention of diplomatic immunity.

In a surprise move Greens Councillor, Fraser Brindley, has played lip service top the notion that the documents should be published. Do not expect Brindely to do anything other then comment from a far. Unlike his predecessor Brindley’s commitment to open and transparent government is not that strong. He does not have a good track record on holding them to account. Brindley is more noted for his efforts to avoid open public disclosure and previously referred Council reports for consideration behind closed doors at an illegal Councillors forum meeting. The meeting you have when your not having a meeting. Under the terms of the Local Government all meetings of council must be open to the public and only items declared confidential are discussed in closed session.

The reports consider by the Council in the Councillor only briefings are not confidential and should have been discuss in open session.

Likewise the correspondence between the Council and the Chinese embassy should also be made public.

Hopefully the Age will appeal against the Council’s refusal to provide copies of documents.

Council’s China link letters blocked
February 1, 2008

Source: The Age

MELBOURNE City Council has refused to release correspondence with the Chinese consulate, claiming the letters are exempt from freedom of information requests because of diplomatic immunity.

Lord Mayor John So, who has a history of close ties to the Chinese Government, said yesterday he had not interfered in the decision to keep all council correspondence — both to and from the Chinese consulate in Melbourne — confidential.

The Age last year requested, under freedom of information laws, all correspondence between the council and the consulate.

But the council’s lawyers have refused.

They argue that the Chinese consulate is immune from freedom of information laws because of the “inviolability” articles of the Vienna Convention.

These say that all official correspondence of consulates can be shielded from scrutiny.

Acting council chief executive Geoff Lawler said the council had asked the Chinese consulate if it was happy to release documents to The Age.

“The Chinese consulate objected on the grounds that they were exempt under the Vienna Convention,” he said.

But city councillor Fraser Brindley said the council had made a mistake refusing to release the documents.

“A council talking to a consulate shouldn’t be confidential,” he said. “This is another in a long list of incidents where John So’s doing what the Chinese Government wants done. “Is his first service to the Chinese Government or to Melbourne?”

Last year, Cr So used his numbers on the council to quash a proposed Town Hall reception for the Falun Gong movement, which is banned in China.

The Chinese consulate did not return calls from The Age yesterday.

The Code of SilenceThe Road to China block by a wall of bureaucracy

The Melbourne City Council has speciously claimed immunity where immunity does not exist. The Age Newspapers has sought copies of correspondence from the City Council to the Chinese Embassy but the Council administration has refused to release the documents in a code of silence claiming diplomatic immunity. This is further abuse of process and a further denial of ensuring the Council is open and transparent. Diplomatic immunity does not extend to the City Council. neither the Council administration or the Lord Major are diplomats in spite the fact that John So is entitled to a diplomatic passport, he is not covered under btol convention of diplomatic immunity.

In a surprise move Greens Councillor, Fraser Brindley, has played lip service top the notion that the documents should be published. Do not expect Brindely to do anything other then comment from a far. Unlike his predecessor Brindley’s commitment to open and transparent government is not that strong. He does not have a good track record on holding them to account. Brindley is more noted for his efforts to avoid open public disclosure and previously referred Council reports for consideration behind closed doors at an illegal Councillors forum meeting. The meeting you have when your not having a meeting. Under the terms of the Local Government all meetings of council must be open to the public and only items declared confidential are discussed in closed session.

The reports consider by the Council in the Councillor only briefings are not confidential and should have been discuss in open session.

Likewise the correspondence between the Council and the Chinese embassy should also be made public.

Hopefully the Age will appeal against the Council’s refusal to provide copies of documents.

Council’s China link letters blocked
February 1, 2008

Source: The Age

MELBOURNE City Council has refused to release correspondence with the Chinese consulate, claiming the letters are exempt from freedom of information requests because of diplomatic immunity.

Lord Mayor John So, who has a history of close ties to the Chinese Government, said yesterday he had not interfered in the decision to keep all council correspondence — both to and from the Chinese consulate in Melbourne — confidential.

The Age last year requested, under freedom of information laws, all correspondence between the council and the consulate.

But the council’s lawyers have refused.

They argue that the Chinese consulate is immune from freedom of information laws because of the “inviolability” articles of the Vienna Convention.

These say that all official correspondence of consulates can be shielded from scrutiny.

Acting council chief executive Geoff Lawler said the council had asked the Chinese consulate if it was happy to release documents to The Age.

“The Chinese consulate objected on the grounds that they were exempt under the Vienna Convention,” he said.

But city councillor Fraser Brindley said the council had made a mistake refusing to release the documents.

“A council talking to a consulate shouldn’t be confidential,” he said. “This is another in a long list of incidents where John So’s doing what the Chinese Government wants done. “Is his first service to the Chinese Government or to Melbourne?”

Last year, Cr So used his numbers on the council to quash a proposed Town Hall reception for the Falun Gong movement, which is banned in China.

The Chinese consulate did not return calls from The Age yesterday.

The Code of SilenceThe Road to China block by a wall of bureaucracy

The Melbourne City Council has speciously claimed immunity where immunity does not exist. The Age Newspapers has sought copies of correspondence from the City Council to the Chinese Embassy but the Council administration has refused to release the documents in a code of silence claiming diplomatic immunity. This is further abuse of process and a further denial of ensuring the Council is open and transparent. Diplomatic immunity does not extend to the City Council. neither the Council administration or the Lord Major are diplomats in spite the fact that John So is entitled to a diplomatic passport, he is not covered under btol convention of diplomatic immunity.

In a surprise move Greens Councillor, Fraser Brindley, has played lip service top the notion that the documents should be published. Do not expect Brindely to do anything other then comment from a far. Unlike his predecessor Brindley’s commitment to open and transparent government is not that strong. He does not have a good track record on holding them to account. Brindley is more noted for his efforts to avoid open public disclosure and previously referred Council reports for consideration behind closed doors at an illegal Councillors forum meeting. The meeting you have when your not having a meeting. Under the terms of the Local Government all meetings of council must be open to the public and only items declared confidential are discussed in closed session.

The reports consider by the Council in the Councillor only briefings are not confidential and should have been discuss in open session.

Likewise the correspondence between the Council and the Chinese embassy should also be made public.

Hopefully the Age will appeal against the Council’s refusal to provide copies of documents.

Council’s China link letters blocked
February 1, 2008

Source: The Age

MELBOURNE City Council has refused to release correspondence with the Chinese consulate, claiming the letters are exempt from freedom of information requests because of diplomatic immunity.

Lord Mayor John So, who has a history of close ties to the Chinese Government, said yesterday he had not interfered in the decision to keep all council correspondence — both to and from the Chinese consulate in Melbourne — confidential.

The Age last year requested, under freedom of information laws, all correspondence between the council and the consulate.

But the council’s lawyers have refused.

They argue that the Chinese consulate is immune from freedom of information laws because of the “inviolability” articles of the Vienna Convention.

These say that all official correspondence of consulates can be shielded from scrutiny.

Acting council chief executive Geoff Lawler said the council had asked the Chinese consulate if it was happy to release documents to The Age.

“The Chinese consulate objected on the grounds that they were exempt under the Vienna Convention,” he said.

But city councillor Fraser Brindley said the council had made a mistake refusing to release the documents.

“A council talking to a consulate shouldn’t be confidential,” he said. “This is another in a long list of incidents where John So’s doing what the Chinese Government wants done. “Is his first service to the Chinese Government or to Melbourne?”

Last year, Cr So used his numbers on the council to quash a proposed Town Hall reception for the Falun Gong movement, which is banned in China.

The Chinese consulate did not return calls from The Age yesterday.

Jetset private local travel Cost of local travel ($140/week car allowance) makes Cr Jetter the highest spending Councillor in our Car free City

While we eagerly await the publication of the City Council’s travel expenses. The Melbourne Weekly reports on Cr Carl Jetter and his top of the list local travel expenses. Cr Jetter we understand is overseas visiting China. It turns out he has an outsourced business association in China which raises the question how many of his council funded overseas trips to China are private as opposed to being Council related?


The weekly reports that Cr Jetter has been charging the City of Melbourne $140.00 per week travel expenses to drive into the city from his home in Ashburton. Cr Jetter’s expenses are twice that of any other Councillor. (Excluding John So and Garry Singer who have use of a Council funded and supplied limousine, the costs of which are not included in the Councillor expense statements). Cr Carl Jetter was elected as a member of John So’s China/Australian friendship association team. Our City Councillors have travelled to China more then any other country.

Jetset private local travel Cost of local travel ($140/week car allowance) makes Cr Jetter the highest spending Councillor in our Car free City

While we eagerly await the publication of the City Council’s travel expenses. The Melbourne Weekly reports on Cr Carl Jetter and his top of the list local travel expenses. Cr Jetter we understand is overseas visiting China. It turns out he has an outsourced business association in China which raises the question how many of his council funded overseas trips to China are private as opposed to being Council related?


The weekly reports that Cr Jetter has been charging the City of Melbourne $140.00 per week travel expenses to drive into the city from his home in Ashburton. Cr Jetter’s expenses are twice that of any other Councillor. (Excluding John So and Garry Singer who have use of a Council funded and supplied limousine, the costs of which are not included in the Councillor expense statements). Cr Carl Jetter was elected as a member of John So’s China/Australian friendship association team. Our City Councillors have travelled to China more then any other country.

Jetset private local travel Cost of local travel ($140/week car allowance) makes Cr Jetter the highest spending Councillor in our Car free City

While we eagerly await the publication of the City Council’s travel expenses. The Melbourne Weekly reports on Cr Carl Jetter and his top of the list local travel expenses. Cr Jetter we understand is overseas visiting China. It turns out he has an outsourced business association in China which raises the question how many of his council funded overseas trips to China are private as opposed to being Council related?


The weekly reports that Cr Jetter has been charging the City of Melbourne $140.00 per week travel expenses to drive into the city from his home in Ashburton. Cr Jetter’s expenses are twice that of any other Councillor. (Excluding John So and Garry Singer who have use of a Council funded and supplied limousine, the costs of which are not included in the Councillor expense statements). Cr Carl Jetter was elected as a member of John So’s China/Australian friendship association team. Our City Councillors have travelled to China more then any other country.

McClown pays visit to Mao Old Habits die hard as Melbourne’s former one year term Deputy flys to China at Geelong’s expense

The Geelong News reports that Peter McMullin, Former Melbourne City Councillor and currently Mayor of Geelong) has dipped into Geelong Ratepayers coffers to fund a trip to China. McMullen (also referred to McClown) was sacked as Melbourne Deputy Lord Mayor in 1997 having only served one year as Deputy to failed Lord Mayor Ivan Deveson. The reason being he ratted on his collegues and promises givin to the electorate.

McClown is also remembered for his University days where as a devote Maoist he campaigned against the Zionist cause as he sang praise and reiterated quotes from Chairman Mao’s little red book.

The Geelong News reports that McClown had spent over $8,000 on a three day visit to China raising ongoing concern about the misuse and abuse of Council funded overseas travel.

Under the provisions of the Local Government Act and regulations City Councils MUST maintain a travel register of all overseas and interstate travel undertaken by City Councillors and or Staff.

It is unknown if any staff from the City of Geelong accompanied Geelong’s Mayor on his China tour. Past experiences from the City of Melbourne show that additional costs are picked up and allocated to the staff members travel accounts which tend to go unnoticed. It is also not known if the City of Geelong has adopted Melbourne City Council’s creative accounting methods where cost occurred are not disclosed nor recorded on any expense statements.

Peter MCMullin was implicated in the Geelong City Council Campaign funding scandal that surfaced earlier this year.