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Government’s support for nuclear weapons a stunning betrayal

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 14 Nov 2011

The Australian Government must end its support for the maintenance of the United States' nuclear arsenal and take a genuine stand against nuclear weapons, the Australian Greens said today.

Greens spokesperson on nuclear affairs Senator Scott Ludlam said the revelation the Australian Defence Department had urged the US to keep nuclear weapons in a confidential submission to a 2009 US review exposed "a stunning betrayal of nuclear disarmament efforts by our country".

"Former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd spoke out against nuclear proliferation and said Australia had to champion what he called the ‘ultimate objective of a nuclear weapons-free world'. He requested that the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties undertake an exhaustive inquiry, which recommended unanimously that our government promote a Nuclear Weapons Convention.

"At the same time, our Defence Department was telling Washington that 'Australia has an abiding interest in a safe, secure and reliable United States nuclear stockpile'.

"The next Defence White Paper must state in black and white that Australia sees no role for nuclear weapons in our national security doctrine.

Senator Ludlam said a British report released last month estimated the US would spend $700 billion on the nuclear weapons industry over the next decade.

"The US is drowning in debt, and facing an extended and debilitating economic recession, but the US Government wants to spend $70 billion a year on nuclear weapons over the next ten years. It is not just ridiculous, it is criminal."

Media Contact: Giovanni Torre - 0417 174 302



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