The Beagle Editor, I was most disappointed to hear that one of our councillors participated, by comment, in a Pauline Hanson social media post that can only be construed as a racist rant from Hanson against the Chinese. One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, insisting he immediately suspends sale approvals by the Foreign Investment Review Board and safeguards Australians against a mass foreign buy-up.
The post on her social media page attracted a lot of comment including that of one of our councillors who contributed: "Yes, as compensation for all the welfare and economic tragedy that this pandemic has caused we should take back the land that the Chinese Government owns and to be fair they can keep all the land Australia owns in China. Oh Yeah, that's right we can not own land in China!!! Go Figure wake up." Given China is our number one trading partner and our local councillor wants the Federal Government to take back land Chinese owned here as compensation for the Covid 19 flu might I suggest the headline for this letter to the editor to be along the lines of:"Councillor calls for seizure of land held by Chinese in Australia as compensation for Covid 19 flu impact". Why would our councillor be swimming around online in this abysmal pit of racism at a time such as this? The Eurobodalla Council promotes on its Invest in Eurobodalla the "Eurobodalla Shire is open for business" "Our air, soil and water are as clean as you will find anywhere. A ‘land of many waters’ is also a land of many valleys, and we have a wealth of rich alluvial soils. "With Canberra two hours west, Sydney four hours north, and direct flights to Singapore out of Canberra, paddock-to-plate opportunities in Eurobodalla are significant and immense." Not wanting to let the councillor's comments and support for Pauline Hanson's rant go by unchallenged a response from a local resident appeared saying "comments like this encourage xenophobia and passively endorsed racist attacks on people like myself who have Asian heritage... as a [councillor] in our shire you have a decidedly Trumpish attitude." "in such a time of heightened emotion it is irresponsible to be espousing views that will cause more harm. We are all entitled to our views but people who have the social capital you do should be using it for the good of the society, not to be divisive". The Eurobodalla region will be in desperate need of investors to stimulate our local economy. This may include Chinese investment into our dairy industry, our forestry products, our shellfish industry and even our solar industry as we have seen already with English energy companies building solar farms in the area on what were once traditional grazing lands. The Eurobodalla region now enjoys and welcomes many nationalities, including those from China, who have chosen to settle and invest in our region. With the next local elections in 2021 looking to be a contest of Labor, Liberal and Green candidates with a showing of Independents it appear, once again, that there may be representation of One Nation at the ballot box as we saw with a Batemans Bay resident and ex-Eurobodalla councillor standing for the One Nation Party in the 1999 New South Wales Legislative Assembly elections for the seat of Bega. I ask, is a councillor with such "shut the gate" opinions really what we want or need as we move to survive this virus and look to rebuild, publicly espousing "Eurobodalla is OPEN for business (unless you are China)". Name and address supplied