The Australian people and the national Parliament have been bypassed and sidelined in today’s massive announcements on defence and nuclear powered submarines.
That’s according to former diplomat and acting President of Australians for War Powers Reform (AWPR), Dr Alison Broinowski AM.
“The lack of transparency and accountability in today’s declaration from the Prime Minister is breathtaking.
“These decisions, which will have far reaching consequences were once again taken by a small group behind closed doors, with no input whatsoever from all our MP’s and Senators.
“There are already suggestions that the defence budget will need to be doubled to accommodate the plan. And this comes at a time when health, climate and an aging population will be demanding attention and extra funding.”
In addition to the lack of consultation AWPR has several serious concerns about the new pact. These include:
- The plan is likely to inflame tensions with China thereby increasing the risk of conflict.
- Prospective visits by US & UK nuclear-powered vessels to Australian ports for repair and resupply further militarises our region.
- The pact could far more readily draw Australia directly into any conflict between the US and China over Taiwan.
- The new pact could have an adverse impact on Australia’s relationship with New Zealand.
- The plan keeps Australia tied to a world dominated by superpowers and takes us away from a genuinely independent foreign policy.
- The submarine decision breaks the long held and accepted understanding that Australia is nuclear free. This decision alone requires serious discussion within the parliament and community.
Dr Alison Broinowski is available for interview.
Media contact: Mark Robinson | firstname.lastname@example.org | 0415 041 409