Protesters say AUKUS makes us less safe

April 3, 2024
Protesters march to the West Australian Defence Forum. Photo: Stop AUKUS WA/Facebook

Stop AUKUS WA organised a peaceful protest outside the West Australian Defence Forum on March 19.

Attendees were met with chants of “Money for housing, not for war” and “No nuclear subs, stop AUKUS now”. Banners read: “China is not the enemy, stop AUKUS now”, “Fight climate change not war” and “Keep defence out of STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics]”.

Stop AUKUS WA spokesperson Elizabeth Hulm said: “The forum’s agenda perpetuates the fallacy that arming for war acts as a deterrence; that hosting and home-porting nuclear-powered submarines at HMAS Stirling, just over 6 kilometres from Rockingham, will protect us.”

Former Coalition Prime Minister Scott Morrison signed AUKUS, a multi-billion dollar military pact with Britain and the United States. It is a military commitment that Labor in opposition and in government has maintained. Deputy prime minister and defence minister Richard Marles is a particularly strident advocate.

Sam Wainwright, Stop AUKUS WA spokesperson, told the protest that AUKUS “won’t make us safer”. He said for WA, people and the ecology living on or near Garden Island and Cockburn Sound will potentially be exposed to radiation.

“It also increases the risk of [Australia] being a target should hostilities in the region break out.”


Protesters march to the West Australian Defence Forum. Photo: Stop AUKUS WA /Facebook

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