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Peace & Nuclear Disarmament (covers Defence)

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British Government fails test on Australian nuclear victims, but fight continues

Efforts to secure Act Of Grace payments for the victims of British nuclear testing will be stepped up after the British Government's disappointing response, Senator Scott Ludlam said today.

"I call on Foreign Minister Bob Carr to raise this proposal directly with his UK counterparts.

"Because of difficulties victims of the British nuclear testing were facing in the courts, I wrote to British Foreign Secretary William Hague twice making the case for ex gratia payments to Australians exposed to British nuclear testing in the 1950s and ‘60s.

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Greens welcome apology and inquiry on Defence abuse cases

The Australian Greens welcomed today's apology to victims of sexual assault in the defence forces and the announcement of a high level inquiry into the hundreds of abuse allegations.

"The Greens join the Government in expressing our deep sadness and apology to victims of abuse in the defence forces," Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.

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Government rolls WA out like a welcome mat for US military

The Australian Greens have urged the Federal Government to consult widely with the West Australian public before turning HMAS Stirling into a major American military hub.

The Greens spokesperson assisting on Defence, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, said rolling Western Australia out "like a welcome mat" would reduce the flexibility and independence of Australian foreign and defence policy.

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US says jump, Government asks ‘how high’ at AUSMIN

The Greens have urged the Government to put Australian interests first at the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultation starting tomorrow, starting with the release of the legal agreement underpinning the increased US military presence in Australia.

Australian Greens spokesperson assisting on Defence, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, said that US-Australian defence deals had been "a one-way street" for too long.

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Coalition sinks to new depths with nuclear submarine plot

The Greens have urged Labor to stand firm against increasingly unhinged calls for the acquisition or leasing of American nuclear attack submarines.

Australian Greens spokesperson assisting on Defence, Senator Scott Ludlam, said the Coalition and Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon had "taken leave of their senses" on nuclear submarines.

"Labor should ignore these ill-conceived schemes. Leasing nuclear submarines from the United States would hamstring Australia's defence flexibility and foreign policy independence, and eliminate the possibility of local maintenance work in Australia.

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Coalition votes against its own amendment and sells out Australian universities

The major parties have colluded to throw Australia's research sector into a bipartisan black hole, the Australian Greens said today after the Coalition voted to defeat its own key amendment to the Defence Trade Controls Treaty Bill.

"Tony Abbott's ‘just say no' madness now even extends to amendments moved by his own side. It looks like Mr Abbott got pulled into line by the US Government overnight," said Greens Senator Scott Ludlam.

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Lessons of history must be applied to defence planning for the future

The Australian Greens today urged the Federal Government and Opposition to learn the lessons of history on defence policy.

The Greens spokesperson assisting on Defence, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, said the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott "raised important points at his RSL speech today but failed to draw the important conclusions".

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Defence procurement report raises the alarm

A Senate committee report into defence procurement initiated by the Australian Greens has made essential and unanimous recommendations to simplify the system.

In the wake of a series of costly blowouts and project cancellations that has degraded Australia's defence capability, the Greens have called for the recommendations to be applied and new thinking brought to bear.

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Inquiry just the first step in reforming defence

A law firm's report indicating almost 900 people have made plausible allegations of abuse within the Australian Defence Force demands an urgent and comprehensive response, the Australian Greens said today.

The Greens acting defence spokesperson, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, said a top-level inquiry was needed to come to grips with the full extent of the culture of abuse and silence that has allegedly plagued the ADF for decades.

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