FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 20 Sep. 2021
Australians speak out against nuclear submarines and AUKUS
Australia cannot become a staging point for the U.S. military, we cannot abrogate our sovereignty to the U.S., we cannot encourage nuclear proliferation and risk environmental catastrophe.
Australian peace, environmental and other activists and organisations are opposed to the Morrison Government decision to join the trilateral security agreement between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States (AUKUS) and the development of nuclear submarines.
This authoritarian decision, taken without consultation or engagement of the Australian public, undermines Australian sovereignty, wastes taxpayers’ money, damages the environment and poses a threat to peace in the region and to global peace.
With this agreement, the Australian Government can no longer claim it is remaining neutral between Beijing and Washington. Now Australia is ‘all in’ with America, regardless of the public.
This agreement also cements military dependence on the U.S. as Australia becomes unable to operate without Washington’s approval. Furthermore, the Morrison Government has also committed to allowing further U.S. military forces into Australia.
This will not only deny Australia the ability to act independently but will also make it complicit in dangerous regional tensions and conflict, undermining global cooperation to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
AUKUS is a step backwards for diplomacy, deepening a Cold War mentality, which has alienated Australia not only from France but our neighbours such as Malaysia and Indonesia.
Building nuclear submarines will impose an extraordinary economic burden on the Australian people. Funding for welfare, education, the environment and healthcare will be raided. These resources should be directed to the health, social and economic needs of workers and the Australian people.
There will also be a significant environmental cost as the presence of these vessels in our cities and harbours is a clear and present danger. There are already nine nuclear reactors on the seafloor from sunken nuclear submarines.
For these reasons and many more, we are calling on the Australian Government to fully withdraw from AUKUS and the development of nuclear submarines.
This statement was issued following an emergency meeting of over one hundred activists from around Australia.