Greens say no nukes, no waste, no AUKUS ahead of Rockingham public hearing

Australian Greens

The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee is holding a hearing in Rockingham to discuss the Government’s proposed legislation for the Australian Nuclear Power Safety Bill on Thursday 4th of April 2024.

Senator Jordon Steele-John, the Australian Greens portfolio holder for Nuclear Disarmament, Peace and Foreign Affairs will be in attendance at the hearing alongside his colleagues Senator David Shoebridge and Senator Dorinda Cox. The hearing will receive evidence from WA local anti-AUKUS groups, the WA Government and those seeking to benefit from the AUKUS deal.

Steele-John and his Greens colleagues have long criticised AUKUS, calling for the Government to rethink the deal, which sees a rotational force of nuclear-powered submarines entering Australian waters as soon as 2027.

In 2022, Senator Steele-John tabled a petition in the Senate from the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network on behalf of 26,000 people who support Australia’s withdrawal from the AUKUS agreement and to scale back the United States’ involvement in Australian defence.

“I hope that this hearing will show that the AUKUS deal does not exist to benefit our WA community, instead, it benefits large weapons manufacturers and consultants at a time when profits are at an all-time high. As a Rockingham local, I’m concerned about how AUKUS will affect our biodiversity hotspots like Cockburn South, especially in the event of a nuclear accident” said Jordon Steele-John.

David Shoebridge, Greens Spokesperson for Defence said: “This Bill creates a regulator with an inherent conflict of interest, overrides First Nations and community rights, all to allow the dumping of US and UK nuclear submarine waste in Australia.

“It is a desperately undemocratic, cynical and dangerous bit of legislation.”

“The Albanese Government is flailing around on this issue, contradicting their own Department, stumbling through negotiations, not explaining their legislation and hiding from the public.

“You cannot get more high stakes than nuclear power and high level nuclear waste, one wrong move can have devastating consequences and so far it has all been wrong moves.

“The Government has designed this law to ride roughshod over First Nations people who have successfully defended their land from previous attempts to dump nuclear waste.” Senator Shoebridge said.

“Nuclear waste disposal on First Nations land without consent continues to threaten our sovereignty and ability to self-determine. We have been the land, air and water custodians for more than 65000 years. We understand and care for communities, people and the environment. AUKUS is the byproduct of continued oppression and erosion of the human rights of First Nations people” said Senator Cox.

In addition to the public hearing, Senator Jordon Steele-John is hosting a panel discussion including Senator David Shoebridge, Senator Dorinda Cox, and Greens Candidate for the Legislative Council Sophie McNeill, at the Coogee Community Centre on the 4th of April at 6:30 pm to talk about how the community can get organised to stop the AUKUS deal and keep WA nuclear free.

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