Sister cities retie the friendship knot

A decision made last month for Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, to cut ties with sister city Kunming, China, was reversed at an extraordinary meeting of Wagga Wagga City Council held remotely one week later and livestreamed via Council’s facebook page and website.

Councillors voted 6-1 in favour of a motion to rescind a resolution from the 14 April 2020 ordinary meeting for Wagga Wagga to repeal and sever, any and all sister city agreements associated with China.
Council also endorsed a report put to the meeting by Mayor Greg Conkey, authorising the him to write a letter of apology to the Mayor of Kunming and recommit to Wagga Wagga’s sister city and friends in China.

In his report to Council, the Mayor outlined the city’s strong relationship with Kunming spanning more than 30 years.

“As a Council and as a community, let’s show the world that we haven’t changed – we are the same community with a proud history of leading regional initiatives.

“A letter to our friends in China is a start towards reclaiming the reputation and confidence in the compassion and inclusiveness of our city.”

The resolution was passed in unusual circumstances which enabled the three councillors to pass a motion which was strongly opposed by most of the elected members.

The Acting Chair from the 14 April meeting, who effectively passed the motion with his casting vote, has since publicly apologised for making the wrong decision and announced he supported the rescission motion.

The majority of councillors expressed deep regret that the resolution had caused harm to the reputation of the city and completely misrepresented the inclusive and multicultural heart of the community.