Greenpeace statement on AUKUS nuclear subs

SYDNEY, 16 March 2023 – With regards to the AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine deal, the following statement is attributable to David Ritter, Chief Executive Officer of Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

The decision to spend such an astonishing amount of money on these weapons of war represents a staggering misstep, and is not in Australia’s national interest. This is the wrong decision at the wrong time for the wrong reasons.

Imagine how far those billions of dollars could go in stopping climate pollution, restoring our precious ecosystems, or in supporting public health, education and welfare? While these umpteen billions are being spent on nuclear submarines, survivors of climate change are still homeless in Australian towns; our precious wildlife faces extinction for want of adequate funding, and our energy system needs investment to secure the clean energy transformation at emergency speed and scale.

These billions could go towards households, to help everyday Australians electrify their homes, building a safer place for our children and reducing our energy bills – instead of overseas arms manufacturers. 

This deal risks turning Australia into a nuclear dumping ground and putting us on a path to a proliferation of nuclear technology and waste in our region. Generations to come will be forced to live with – and clean up – the mess.

Why has there been no serious public consultation about the decision to have nuclear powered submarines? The Australian public holds deep concerns about nuclear power, and with good reason. Just last month, half the country stopped when a highly radioactive device the size of a tic tac somehow fell off a truck in Western Australia. Why should the Australian public have confidence that we can handle the nuclear waste of eight submarines when one small radioactive capsule couldn’t be safely contained and managed?

 

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For more information please contact Kimberley Bernard on 0407 581 404 or email [email protected]