A delegation from AWPR campaigned at the ALP national Conference in Brisbane on the 18th of August.
AWPR committee members Andrew Bartlett, Donna Mulhearn and Peter Murphy joined a large gathering outside the conference centre to protest the contentious military agreement. AWPR’s objection to AUKUS is based on the total secrecy and lack of consultation surrounding the deal.
Our team handed out flyers questioning the massive defence pact and leaflets promoting the need for war powers reform. They also discussed the issues involved with official delegates attending the conference.
Donna was also present inside the event as an official observer.
AWPR has expressed strong concern about AUKUS since it was announced by Scott Morrison in 2021. The pact was simply announced by the then PM without any public consultation.
In November 2021 AWPR published a position paper which also pointed out that there was no debate or consultation with parliamentarians before the deal was announced.
More than 50 Labor Party local branches have passed anti-AUKUS resolutions but despite the intense debate within the party, the leadership managed to win the day when the issue came up for a vote.
But many activists and groups including Labor Against War say they are just getting started and the fight is far from over.
While many believe AUKUS should be scrapped altogether AWPR argues that at the very least an open inquiry should be held to properly examine the deal. Read our Media Statement calling for an inquiry here.
Labor MP Josh Wilson was one of the only government MPs to speak out against AUKUS at the conference.
He said the decision for Australia to buy nuclear-powered submarines was “not justified”.
“Deterrence is not a one-word justification for every defence position,” Mr Wilson said.
AWPR’s Donna Mulhearn spoke at the rally outside the conference. Watch the video of her comments here.
See the AWPR AUKUS flyer HERE