Community opposition to the secret AUKUS nuclear submarine deal is growing. A petition by Independent and Peaceful Australia Network, signed by almost 27,000 people, was tabled by Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John on September 27.
More than 1000 people supported a statement in The Saturday Paper and The Weekend Australian on the one-year anniversary of the AUKUS deal being signed on September 16.
Chairperson of the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) Annette Brownlie said the large number of people making public calls for peace “is an indication of the depth of concern in the community about the defence and foreign policy directions of the Australian government”.
“The financial blow out in this era of war talk and preparations is absurd: over $170 billion is estimated for the nuclear propelled submarines alone.”
IPAN is campaigning for AUKUS to be scrapped and for federal Labor to urgently sign the United Nations Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons.
Steele-John, the Greens Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, Peace and Nuclear Disarmament, said the AUKUS military pact “escalates tensions in the Asia-Pacific and significantly increases the likelihood of nuclear arms proliferation among non-nuclear armed states”.
“No one wants nuclear submarines to be floating off the coast near Brisbane or near my hometown of Rockingham in Western Australia,” he said.
The billions need to be redirected to services our community actually needs, Steele-John said, including free dental care under Medicare, properly funding the National Disability Insurance Scheme and building more affordable and accessible homes.