Australian news, and some related international items

ACTU digs in on nuclear-free policy in headache for Labor over Aukus subs

Coalition seizes on Michele O’Neil’s comments, claiming they send a ‘confusing signal’ on $368bn nuclear submarine acquisition

Paul Karp Guardian, 28 Mar 23

Australian unions have restated their position in favour of a “nuclear-free defence policy”, creating a headache for the Albanese government over the $368bn Aukus nuclear submarine acquisition.

The position, restated by Australian Council of Trade Unions president, Michele O’Neil, on Tuesday, was seized on by the Coalition, which claimed it sent a “confusing signal” for Labor and its industrial wing to be divided on nuclear submarines.

Since the deal was announced earlier in March, the Albanese government has faced criticism from former prime ministers Paul Keating and Malcolm Turnbull, and former Labor ministers Doug Cameron, Gareth Evans, Kim Carr and Bob Carr.

The Labor caucus has united behind the government’s position, with only MP Josh Wilson expressing public concerns, despite many unions opposing the nuclear submarine acquisition.

Asked if she would have preferred the purchase of conventional submarines, O’Neil told the National Press Club that the ACTU had “a longstanding policy of opposition to nuclear power, nuclear waste and proliferation”.

“We also have a longstanding policy position that supports a nuclear-free defence policy.

“These are not positions that have been developed in the last weeks and months. They are decades long and our position hasn’t changed.”…………………………………………..


March 31, 2023 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics

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