The NSW Teachers’ Federation State Council meeting on June 4 passed the following motion.
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The Federation opposes the announcement, made in September 2021, by former Prime Minister Scott Morrison of a new tripartite strategic defense alliance between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, in a first time to build a class of nuclear-powered submarines, at an absolute minimum cost of $70 billion.
Indeed, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute has estimated the cost could be as high as $170 billion.
The Federation notes that this wasteful military spending by the former Morrison government is on top of the billions already lost after the previous submarine contract was scrapped.
The billions wasted on submarines could be much better spent on expanding public renewable energy assets to tackle the climate emergency and on increasing government funding for essential public services including health, education and technology. welfare.
Only six countries in the world have nuclear submarines, and they all have nuclear power plants. Proponents of nuclear power and nuclear weapons have been emboldened by the Morrison government’s AUKUS decision. Submarines will use highly enriched uranium ideal for nuclear weapons.
The Australian government has repeatedly attempted to place nuclear waste dumps on First Nations lands. The AUKUS deal will only intensify this pressure.
The Federation stands in solidarity with workers around Port Kembla and Newcastle who are fighting this nuclear threat against their communities who have been flagged as possible candidates for a coastal base for submarines.
Labour’s lazy bipartisan support for the AUKUS partnership in opposition is cause for serious concern and serious pressure now needs to be put on the new [Anthony] Albanian government to reject this obscene military escalation.
In addition, the new Prime Minister must take immediate action to deliver on his party’s pre-election pledge to finally make Australia a signatory to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
This motion will be brought to the next Australian Education Union Federal Executive meeting for consideration.
[The Sydney Anti-AUKUS Coalition is hosting a Resisting AUKUS and the war on China meeting on June 15 at the Maritime Union of Australia offices in Sydney and online. Details here.]