No War! Stop AUKUS!

Greens MPs in the NSW Upper House have tabled the first-ever joint motion, which unpicks the danger of the AUKUS pact.

On behalf of herself and her colleagues Amanda Cohn, Cate Faehrmann and Sue Higginson, Abigail tabled the following notice of motion: 

(1) That this House notes that if the AUKUS plan for Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarines goes ahead it would result in a huge expansion of militarism in the Asia-Pacific region and that the AUKUS pact looks like a dangerous version of 21st century imperial dominance.

(2) That this House notes that:

  1. not one credible defence analyst has stated that war with China is inevitable, and that this position is supported across the political divide from Greens Senators David Shoebridge and Jordon Steele-John, former Prime Ministers Paul Keating and Malcolm Turnbull and former Foreign Minister Bob Carr,
  2. China has one overseas military base while the United States of America has over 800, many of them bordering China,
  3. an ugly aspect of the government and the media’s propaganda towards China is that it is leading to a rise in racism directed at people living in Australia from Asia and of Asian descent.

(3) That this House notes that:

  1. history shows that major defence projects routinely blow their budgets,
  2. the AUKUS project will drain money from public services, First Nations justice and climate action,
  3. the federal government has not been honest and transparent with the true costs of the AUKUS project, with recent revelations showing that the publicised figure of $368 billion will only pay for five of eight committed submarines, and that the true current estimate of this project is closer to $500 billion,

(4) That this House notes that:

  1. the AUKUS submarine deal will require Australia to set up storage sites for highly enriched nuclear waste that will remain dangerous for about 125,000 years,
  2. in addition to the risk of nuclear waste, the presence of US nuclear-powered and armed submarines visiting Fremantle and an east coast submarine base, possibly at Port Kembla, would add these locations along with Pine Gap and the US military base in Darwin to a list of likely targets in the event of a war.

(5) That this house notes the enormous groundswell of opposition from peace groups, anti-nuclear proliferation organisations, trade unions and everyday working people to the AUKUS nuclear subs plan, including:

  1. a mass mobilisation on 6 May in Port Kembla, organised by the South Coast Labor Council and affiliated unions, which saw 5,000 unionists, peace campaigners and community members march down through Port Kembla to say “No Nuclear Subs in Port Kembla or Anywhere!”
  2. the 24 May action organised by the Sydney Anti-AUKUS Coalition, along with unions, MPs and community groups, to protest AUKUS and its associated war drive on China and call on the Australian government to reallocate the half a trillion dollars earmarked for AUKUS submarines to health, housing and education programs amid a cost of living crisis.

(6) That this house notes the criticism of the submarine deal that the AUKUS pact undermines Australia's sovereignty. As AUKUS will require essential technology development to be under the direction of the partners in this project at different stages of its development and operations, Australia’s sovereign capabilities will be compromised.

(7) That this House calls on the federal Albanese Labor government to:

  1. withdraw from the AUKUS pact,
  2. discontinue plans to build or purchase nuclear submarines,
  3. sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons,
  4. work collaboratively with our Asia-Pacific neighbours to promote the Asia-Pacific region as one that is independent of power blocks, non-aligned and non-nuclear,
  5. commit to promoting a foreign policy with China based on respect and peaceful coexistence,
  6. commit to an independent defence force and a reduction in military expenditure consistent with the defensive security needs of Australia,
  7. agree to legislation that would require the parliament to approve the sending of Australian troops to an overseas conflict, and
  8. redirect the hundreds of billions of dollars earmarked for AUKUS to addressing the urgent crises of climate catastrophe, affordable housing and the cost of living.

(8) That this House:

  1. Recognises that the key to the Albanese or any future government adopting the above proposal or something similar will be the activism of a massive broad-based peace movement,
  2. Notes that peace and anti-nuclear groups, unions, the Greens and some former Labor leaders have expressed their opposition to AUKUS.

(9) That this House commits to opposing the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal, and blocks the development of any enabling infrastructure regarding storage or maintenance of nuclear powered submarines.

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