Protesters gathered outside the Lowy Institute building on June 20 to condemn the federal government's refusal to support a proposed international treaty to ban nuclear weapons. At recent United Nations meetings to discuss a new legal instrument to prohibit nuclear bombs, the Australian government was part of a loose group of "weasel" nations opposing a ban treaty.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop addressed a Lowy Institute forum that day. Among the demonstrators was a "giant weasel" handing out leaflets exposing the government's stand to passersby.
Gem Romuld of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons said: "We are urging Julie Bishop to change Australia's weasel status and join 128 nations that are ready to ban nuclear weapons.
"It is likely that negotiations for a ban treaty will begin in 2017. We want the Australian government to move beyond the Cold War ideology that is preventing meaningful action on nuclear disarmament. A ban treaty is the vital next step for the elimination of these weapons of ultimate horror."