The sweeping national security changes under the AUKUS agreement should be the subject of a full parliamentary debate before Australia proceeds with the controversial plan.
That’s according to former diplomat and President of Australians for War Powers Reform (AWPR), Dr Alison Broinowski AM.
AWPR is today releasing a position paper on the agreement which raises serious concerns about how the plan could dramatically alter our defence and foreign affairs standing in the world. (attached)
“By unilaterally agreeing to AUKUS Prime Minister Morrison has failed to provide the most basic level of transparency and accountability, which is expected by the Australian public,” Dr Broinowski said.
“These decisions were taken by a small group behind closed doors, with no input whatsoever from all our MPs and Senators. Australia is a democracy, not a one-man show.”
Despite weeks of media coverage, most of which has focussed on the submarine issue, many other key questions remain unanswered about AUKUS.
Are Australians comfortable with the plan for a massive rise in the number of American troops deployed in Darwin?
To what extent will the U.S. seek to base more bomber aircraft in northern Australia?
Will there now be far more nuclear armed vessels from the U.S. visiting Darwin and Fremantle?
Will the government be obliged to store U.S. weapons and armaments in Australia?
“Many of the implications of AUKUS have not been adequately thought through or scrutinised,” Dr Broinowski said.
“Giving the U.S. such a lead role in our defence will undermine the ADF’s capacity to act independently and in Australia’s interests.”
“The current media discussion over China, often initiated by government ministers, has become dangerous and alarmist and is leading us away from a sensible and sober assessment of our defence needs.”
“Peter Dutton’s comment this week that Australia would be very likely to join any war over the future of Taiwan is disturbing and should be rejected.”
“That’s why the whole parliament should have time set aside ASAP to have a proper debate about whether Australia really needs AUKUS to ensure a stable and peaceful region.”
Dr Alison Broinowski is available for interview. The AUKUS DECLARATION 17 Nov 2021 is attached.