VOICING far-right ideologies, a candidate for the local council in Busselton, Western Australia, south of Perth, has urged like-minded extremists with low profiles to seek election to council by hiding their views.
Stephen Wells, who is standing in Busselton’s October 21 council elections, appeared on a video on fringe website XYZ in June coaxing others to run for council, which he said was easier than standing for Parliament. “You only need a couple of thousand votes and you’ll get a lot of votes from people just ticking your name … they won’t know who you are until after you’re elected, and even then you can keep it quiet for quite a long time.
“All you have to do [in council] is vote ‘no’ at the appropriate moments and it’ll probably be the 10th or 12th time you voted ‘no’ that they’ll finally find out, but by then you’ll have earned a few quid. And they’ll have to dismiss you. And to dismiss you is a big news event; it’s also a big win for us.
“Nobody knows anything about you, you’re just a local person … Just talk about local issues.
“If you’re ever told you’re being dismissed for being a Nazi, you can just say, ‘How many gas chambers do you think I can achieve from the local council level?'” He is then heard laughing at a joke about “wood-chipping” Jews and making soap from them.
Wells denigrated gays, commenting, “Any race with a high rate of criminality is going to have a high rate of homosexuality,” and referenced “the globo-homo bulls**t”. He said of female MPs that “all women in politics are whores”. He ridiculed Foreign Minister Penny Wong’s Asian background and used derogatory language against Asians.
Busselton mayor Grant Henley told media he is deeply concerned about Wells. “Virtually he’s saying you can go out and say anything to get elected and then you can carry out your actual agenda. People having hidden agendas – it makes [councils] a scary place to be.”
Anti-Defamation Commission chair Dvir Abramovich condemned Wells’ antisemitic and white supremacist remarks and said extremists should not be permitted by the Australian Electoral Commission to stand in local government elections. “Words are bullets and this man has joked about building Holocaust gas chambers by being a councillor.”