A petition calling for the controversial AUKUS military pact to be cancelled has been presented to federal parliament.
With almost 27,000 signatures the document also calls on the government to halt plans to spend up to 170 billion dollars on nuclear submarines.
The petition was organised by the national peace group IPAN – the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network, and was tabled in parliament this week by Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John.
Senator Steele-John said the AUKUS agreement would do nothing to reduce conflict in our region.
“The AUKUS pact escalates tensions in the Asia-Pacific and significantly increases the likelihood of nuclear arms proliferation among non-nuclear armed states.
“Instead of investing billions of dollars into submarines that no one needs or asked for, we must reallocate funding from the military to services our community actually needs; things like free dental care included under Medicare, properly funding the NDIS, or building more affordable and accessible homes.”
IPAN Chair Annette Brownlie said the petition demonstrates growing opposition to increased militarism.
“Around the world, people are speaking up opposing the war preparation economy and we in Australia need to build the public voice for independent peacebuilding policies, an end to the AUKUS pact and calling on the current government to urgently sign the United Nations Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).”
In addition to the petition IPAN joined with several community, environment and faith organisations to crowd fund thousands of dollars to pay for ads in the Saturday Paper and the Weekend Australian.
In part the ads read:
“We call on the Government of Australia in the interests of peace and security for the Australian people and the region:
To advise its AUKUS partners that Australia will not be involved in a war against China over Taiwan or disputed territorial waters in the South China Sea, or any other country, and will not allow use of Australian territory for that purpose.”
AWPR shares some of the concerns about AUKUS that have been put forward by IPAN. Our view is outlined here in The AUKUS declaration.
For more info on the IPAN campaign visit change.org