Australian news, and some related international items

Greens pick anti-nuclear candidate to challenge Treasurer Josh Fraudenberg

Greens pick anti-nuclear candidate to take on Frydenberg,  The Age,  By Annika Smethurst, September 17, 2021 Melbourne lawyer and activist Piers Mitchem has spent years researching global efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, and now he wants Josh Frydenberg’s job.

Days after the Morrison government unveiled plans for a new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, the Greens will announce on Saturday that Mr Mitchem is its candidate for Kooyong – the seat in Melbourne’s affluent, leafy eastern suburbs held by the federal Treasurer.

………. Speaking to The Age ahead of the Greens announcement, Mr Mitchem described the Morrison government’s decision to purchase a new fleet of nuclear submarines as “a deeply, deeply worrying announcement” that could have profound implications for nuclear proliferation globally.

“The risk is that other countries, who have much stronger incentives to build nuclear weapons than Australia does, would rely on this precedent as a pretext for developing their own nuclear capabilities,” he told The Age.

“These submarines are likely to run on highly enriched uranium [HEU] – the same grade of uranium used in nuclear weapons – which would shatter a decades-long practice of non-nuclear states refraining from using HEU for military activities.

“Many Australians would also rightly be concerned at the prospect of these nuclear reactors floating in the harbours of their capital cities at any given time.”

Mirroring the party’s election strategy in the neighbouring seat of Higgins, the Greens will try and convince the well-heeled voters of Kooyong, which includes the suburbs of Hawthorn, Kew, Balwyn, Canterbury and Camberwell, that the Morrison government is beholden to the National Party, particularly on climate policies.

The Greens campaign is expected to focus on the return of Barnaby Joyce as the minor party tries to convince more progressive Liberal Party supporters voters to reject the Coalition.

In a direct attack on Mr Frydenberg as Treasurer, the Greens will also campaign on JobKeeper payments paid to big businesses during the pandemic which Mr Mitchem described as “one of the most unforgivable policy failures in the history of this country”…….

Greens leader Adam Bandt accused Mr Frydenberg, who suffered a sizeable swing at the 2019 election, of failing to deliver on climate change promises made during the last election……

September 19, 2021 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics

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