Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

25 September – anniversary of nuclear bombing at Maralinga – causing Aboriginal deaths, and later deaths of soldiers exposed to radiation.

David Jarvis

On 25 September 1957, a 6 kiloton nuclear device was exploded at Maralinga range South Australia. None of the aboriginals whose bodies were discovered by the armed service personnel were living.

The Aussie and British Defence personnel all died in their fifties from cancers. Australia spent over 100 $million cleaning up the English’s nuclear explosions and the smaller and more dangerous tests that occurred in the hundreds!

After a long and difficult legal battle, the indigenous families received less than $14 million aud in compensation for their losses of habital land and family deaths and ongoing radioactive damage done to their genome.

In three days time will the Australian government hold a day of mourning for those lost lives?

September 24, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, weapons and war | Leave a comment

China, and others, see the International Atomic Energy Agency as biased in supporting AUKUS nuclear submarines plan

Ed note. My problem with the IAEA is that it is NOT an impartial body, on matters nuclear

China accuses IAEA of issuing a ‘lopsided’ report on AUKUS nuclear submarines plan, more https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-09-14/china-iaea-lopsided-aukus-nuclear-submarines-report/101441254 By foreign affairs reporter Stephen Dziedzic 15 Sept 22

China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has launched a furious attack on the UN nuclear watchdog over AUKUS, accusing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of issuing a “lopsided” report about Australia’s plan to build nuclear submarines while ignoring widespread concerns about its ramifications for non-proliferation.

Key points:

  • The IAEA issued a report to member states which said it was “satisfied with the level of engagement” from Australia, the UK and US
  • A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman slammed the report, saying China was “gravely concerned about the substance” of it
  • China has lobbied against AUKUS accusing the three countries of undermining the non-proliferation treaty

Last week the IAEA sent member states a confidential report on Australia’s move to develop the submarines drawing on nuclear submarine technology provided by the United States and the United Kingdom.

China has lobbied relentlessly against the deal in international forums, accusing the three countries of undermining the non-proliferation treaty and fuelling a regional arms race.

However Reuters reported last Friday that the IAEA issued a confidential report to member states which said it was “satisfied with the level of engagement” with the agency from all three nations so far.

Earlier this week the IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi struck a similar tone while addressing the agency’s Board of Governors, saying the Secretariat had held four “technical meetings” with the three AUKUS members so far and suggesting it was comfortable with the way they were handling the matter.

But on Tuesday Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning slammed the report, saying China was “gravely concerned about the substance.”

“This report lopsidedly cited the account given by the US, the UK and Australia to explain away what they have done, but made no mention of the international community’s major concerns over the risk of nuclear proliferation that may arise from the AUKUS nuclear submarine cooperation,” she said.

“The report turns a blind eye to many countries’ solemn position that the AUKUS cooperation violates the purpose and object of the NPT.”

IAEA report finds AUKUS non-proliferation risks ‘limited’

While China has repeatedly attacked Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom over the agreement, this is the first time it has publicly excoriated the IAEA over the matter.

US and Australian officials have privately accused Beijing of gross hypocrisy over its public attacks on AUKUS, pointing out that China has been rapidly developing its own fleet of nuclear powered submarines — including submarines capable of launching nuclear weapons.

But nuclear non-proliferation advocates have also raised serious concerns about AUKUS, suggesting that it will establish a dangerous precedent by allowing a non-nuclear state to acquire nuclear propulsion technology for the first time.

Indonesian diplomats have also repeatedly made it clear they’re uneasy about the plan, and the country’s foreign ministry recently claimed recently that it won widespread support at the United Nations nuclear non-proliferation review conference for its plan to monitor nuclear material in submarines more closely.

Reuters reported last week that the IAEA report acknowledged Australia’s argument that the non-proliferation risks posed by AUKUS were limited because it would only be provided with “complete, welded” nuclear power units which would make removing nuclear material “extremely difficult.”

It reportedly also said the material within the units could not be used in nuclear weapons without chemical processing which requires facilities which Australia does not have and will not seek..

September 18, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia needs a non-nuclear submarine – the TKMS TYPE 218SG would be fine – just do it, Richard Marles!

This article is definitely worth the read! Highly possible we may not be getting nuclear subs in Australia – and the reasons why!

National Times The Answer is staring Richard Marles in the Face. ( Article by Politics Australia) 17 Sept 22.

It was fomer Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s rank incompetence, stupidity and arrogance that has landed Australia in its Submarine replacement program dilemma

But all this goes back the Liberal Party and its bizarre idea to buy French Nuclear Submarines and have them convert back to a conventional propulsion system. This meant a complete redesign of the existing hull to accommodate diesel engines, fuel tanks and bank of batteries.

Just what were our Defence Planners thinking, obviously the French must have been laughing all the way to the bank.

All this was done in the face of existing and proven conventionally designed submarines. Submarines that were available at the time.

It was only because Scott Morrison wanted to appear the big man by cancelling the French submarine contract and tugging his forelock to the British and the Americans who held out the distant promise of Australia buying British or American Nuclear Submarines. In reality it was about basing existing American submarines here for them to operate out of Australia.

As it turns out the current and forecast British and American building programs have no scope to add in an extra eight or so submarines for Australia’s needs and never intended to.

Then there was Peter Dutton’s desperate political pitch that Australia could lease a couple of Nuc Boats from the Americans, another stupid idea.

At present Richard Marles is doing an ‘all the way with LBJ’ routine, sticking to the script with Australia purchasing Nuclear Submarines. Having Nuc Boats isn’t just a matter of tying them up at the Port of Darwin, Freemantle, or Sydney. There needs to be specific infrastructure to accommodate, service and maintain these expensive pieces of kit and that is something Australia does not have.

Sure, the proponents of Nuclear Submarines will argue that Nuc Boats have unlimited range and would be able to conduct long range patrols right up into the South China Sea, in cooperation with the Americans, and remain on station undetected for weeks and weeks on end.

While in theory this is true, Nuc Boats and to a lesser degree conventional submarines are governed by the same logistical problem that faced the Germans in WWII and that is the amount of food they need to carry.

Politics Australia can assure our readers that a Nuc Boat’s endurance is governed by the amount food it can carry which obviously limits its time on station.

So, let’s look at some basic economics.

If it were to occur, Australia might purchase a current Virginia class submarine which costs $US3.6 billion ($5.2 billion) but as reported in the Australian Financial Review by Andrew Tillett who reports that estimates for the new design put the price tag at between $US5.8 billion ($8.4 billion) and $US6.2 billion ($9 billion) per boat.

However, the cost of a German 218 class submarine is $1.36 Billion.

For instance, the German 212A, 214 and 218 class submarines are very capable and are equipped with Air Independent Propulsion.

The Air Independent Propulsion allows submarines to stay underwater longer before surfacing to recharge the battery that powers its systems. The battery is charged by a diesel engine that needs air to operate.

As such, the Type 218SG Submarine can last underwater two times longer than Australia’s current Collins Class submarines. “That makes the submarine even more stealthy and mysterious because it can be all over the place without coming up,”

They have a crew of 30 and can stay submerged for 3-4 weeks.

Australia could buy 10 class 212A or 218 submarines off the shelf for approximately $15B by around 2030,

It’s widely known the Germans are very keen to do a deal with Australia over Submarine purchases.

The conventional Submarines are quieter than nuke boats and could be maintained in Australia.

Nuclear submarines are unmaintainable in Australia and would have to be maintained in the USA. Crews in the vicinity of 100 to 137 add to the costs, and if ever delivered, it won’t be until at least 2045 at a cost of more than $150B.

Food for thought, isn’t it?

Richard Marles has to stop dithering and tugging his forelock to the Americans and think about Australia’s needs first and not those of the Americans and their anti-China stance.

Richard Marles can order German, Japanese, Spanish or Swedish conventional submarines and have them delivered in a timely manner whilst still maintaining Australia’s best interests.

Stop dithering Richard Marles and just ‘do it’

September 15, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Aw gee shucks – Australia can be IMPORTANT if we lead USA’s attacks with our AUKUS submarines !

Marles said nuclear subs would make “the rest of the world take us seriously”,

Final design and cost of Australia’s nuclear submarines to be known in early 2023, Defence minister Richard Marles links the cutting-edge technology to Australia’s economic and trade success

Guardian, Josh Butler, Thu 15 Sep 2022 The defence minister, Richard Marles, says Australia’s pathway to acquiring nuclear submarines is “taking shape”, flagging key decisions within months about which ship to use, how to build it and boosting the country’s defence-industrial capability.

On the first anniversary of the Aukus pact, Marles said nuclear subs would make “the rest of the world take us seriously”, linking the cutting-edge technology to Australia’s economic and trade success.

Final design and cost of Australia’s nuclear submarines to be known in early 2023

Defence minister Richard Marles links the cutting-edge technology to Australia’s economic and trade success…………………………….

On the first anniversary of the Aukus pact, Marles said nuclear subs would make “the rest of the world take us seriously”, linking the cutting-edge technology to Australia’s economic and trade success.

“The optimal pathway is taking shape. We can now begin to see it,” he said. “With Aukus there’s a really huge opportunity beyond submarines of pursuing a greater and more ambitious agenda.”……..

Marles, also the deputy prime minister, said the first steps toward acquisition of nuclear submarines were on track. In a briefing call with journalists this week, he said the current timeline had Australia slated to make initial announcements in the first part of 2023.

The government plans to give answers to five questions by that time: the final design; when it can be acquired; what capability gap that timeline will create and solutions to plug it; the cost; and how Australia’s plans comply with nuclear non-proliferation obligations.

The government is said to be choosing between building American or British ships, or some hybrid. Marles said the government was not ready to announce which type of submarines would be built but hinted Australia’s design could be “trilateral” in nature………..


In a press conference with Marles in the UK earlier this month, the British defence secretary, Ben Wallace, said future submarine designs may see a combination of British, American and Australian components.

“We are on to our next design and our new one and that might well be fully shared with all three nations as a collaborative design,” he said.

The cost of the submarine program is not yet known but is expected to be in the tens of billions. Marles linked the Aukus arrangement not only to military but economic security, saying a boosted submarine fleet would protect freedom of navigation through vital shipping routes.

“We need a highly capable defence force which has the rest of the world take us seriously and enables us to do all the normal peaceful activities that are so important for our economy,” he said………

V Adm Jonathan Mead, the chair of the nuclear submarine taskforce, also spoke of protecting “sea lanes” on the call.

Mead said the navy was investigating workforce challenges, such as how to build and crew the ships – which may involve placing Australian staff in British and American nuclear schools or agencies, laboratories and shipyards

“The exchange of these personnel will be both ways and won’t just involve our submariners,” he said.

Facilities to build and maintain the submarines in Australia are part of the equation. Defence this year pinpointed Brisbane, Newcastle and Port Kembla as possible sites for an east coast nuclear base and consultation with those communities is said to be in its early stages.

Marles also spoke of building Australia’s defence-industrial capability on the back of the nuclear process…………………..“We hope Aukus can help develop a genuinely seamless defence industrial base across the US, the UK and Australia.”…………………….

A report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (Aspi), released on Thursday, recommended further investment in other Aukus streams like hypersonic missiles and artificial intelligence technology, to help plug a capability gap while the submarines are built………..

Such short-term investment may force government to make “difficult choices and trade-offs” in its defence strategic review, also slated for March, Aspi said.  https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/sep/15/final-design-and-cost-of-australias-nuclear-submarines-to-be-known-in-early-2023

September 15, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia needs a non-nuclear submarine – the TKMS TYPE 218SG would be fine – just do it, Richard Marles!

This article is definitely worth the read! Highly possible we may not be getting nuclear subs in Australia – and the reasons why!

National Times The Answer is staring Richard Marles in the Face. ( Article by Politics Australia) 17 Sept 22

It was fomer Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s rank incompetence, stupidity and arrogance that has landed Australia in its Submarine replacement program dilemma.

But all this goes back the Liberal Party and its bizarre idea to buy French Nuclear Submarines and have them convert back to a conventional propulsion system. This meant a complete redesign of the existing hull to accommodate diesel engines, fuel tanks and bank of batteries.

Just what were our Defence Planners thinking, obviously the French must have been laughing all the way to the bank.

All this was done in the face of existing and proven conventionally designed submarines. Submarines that were available at the time.

It was only because Scott Morrison wanted to appear the big man by cancelling the French submarine contract and tugging his forelock to the British and the Americans who held out the distant promise of Australia buying British or American Nuclear Submarines. In reality it was about basing existing American submarines here for them to operate out of Australia.

As it turns out the current and forecast British and American building programs have no scope to add in an extra eight or so submarines for Australia’s needs and never intended to.

Then there was Peter Dutton’s desperate political pitch that Australia could lease a couple of Nuc Boats from the Americans, another stupid idea.

At present Richard Marles is doing an ‘all the way with LBJ’ routine, sticking to the script with Australia purchasing Nuclear Submarines. Having Nuc Boats isn’t just a matter of tying them up at the Port of Darwin, Freemantle, or Sydney. There needs to be specific infrastructure to accommodate, service and maintain these expensive pieces of kit and that is something Australia does not have.

Sure, the proponents of Nuclear Submarines will argue that Nuc Boats have unlimited range and would be able to conduct long range patrols right up into the South China Sea, in cooperation with the Americans, and remain on station undetected for weeks and weeks on end.

While in theory this is true, Nuc Boats and to a lesser degree conventional submarines are governed by the same logistical problem that faced the Germans in WWII and that is the amount of food they need to carry.

Politics Australia can assure our readers that a Nuc Boat’s endurance is governed by the amount food it can carry which obviously limits its time on station.

So, let’s look at some basic economics.

If it were to occur, Australia might purchase a current Virginia class submarine which costs $US3.6 billion ($5.2 billion) but as reported in the Australian Financial Review by Andrew Tillett who reports that estimates for the new design put the price tag at between $US5.8 billion ($8.4 billion) and $US6.2 billion ($9 billion) per boat.

However, the cost of a German 218 class submarine is $1.36 Billion.

For instance, the German 212A, 214 and 218 class submarines are very capable and are equipped with Air Independent Propulsion.

The Air Independent Propulsion allows submarines to stay underwater longer before surfacing to recharge the battery that powers its systems. The battery is charged by a diesel engine that needs air to operate.

As such, the Type 218SG Submarine can last underwater two times longer than Australia’s current Collins Class submarines. “That makes the submarine even more stealthy and mysterious because it can be all over the place without coming up,”

They have a crew of 30 and can stay submerged for 3-4 weeks.

Australia could buy 10 class 212A or 218 submarines off the shelf for approximately $15B by around 2030,

It’s widely known the Germans are very keen to do a deal with Australia over Submarine purchases.

The conventional Submarines are quieter than nuke boats and could be maintained in Australia.

Nuclear submarines are unmaintainable in Australia and would have to be maintained in the USA. Crews in the vicinity of 100 to 137 add to the costs, and if ever delivered, it won’t be until at least 2045 at a cost of more than $150B.

Food for thought, isn’t it?

Richard Marles has to stop dithering and tugging his forelock to the Americans and think about Australia’s needs first and not those of the Americans and their anti-China stance.

Richard Marles can order German, Japanese, Spanish or Swedish conventional submarines and have them delivered in a timely manner whilst still maintaining Australia’s best interests.

Stop dithering Richard Marles and just ‘do it’

September 15, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Pine Gap a target as Ukraine invasion raises nuclear war risk, Australian defence expert warns

A humiliated Russia could be driven closer to China in a ‘grand coalition’, former Joint Intelligence Organisation director says

Guardian, Ben Doherty 7 Sept 22,

Australia could become a nuclear target due to its hosting of a US military base at Pine Gap in the Northern Territory, one of Australia’s leading defence strategists has warned.

Prof Paul Dibb, an emeritus professor at the Australian National University and former director of Australia’s Joint Intelligence Organisation, said the current Russian invasion of Ukraine carried potential global nuclear consequences, with the possibility of a defeated and humiliated Russia pushed closer to China in “a grand coalition … united not by ideology but by complementary grievances”……….

Australia should not feel its geographic distance from the epicentre of the conflict affords it any significant protection, Dibb argued.

“We need to plan on the basis that Pine Gap continues to be a nuclear target, and not only for Russia. If China attacks Taiwan, Pine Gap is likely to be heavily involved,” he said.

“We need to remember that Pine Gap is a fundamentally important element in US war fighting and deterrence of conflict.”

Pine Gap is a highly secret US-Australian military installation near Alice Springs. It serves as a major hub for US global intelligence interception, and for satellite surveillance operations for military and nuclear missile threats in the region.

Russia is unlikely to be able to subjugate Ukraine in its current invasion, Dibb said, but Ukrainian military is unlikely to succeed in driving out Russian troops entirely. “Most likely there’ll be a negotiated conclusion, probably at the ceasefire talk.”

Regardless, Dibb argued, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, was unlikely to be deposed as a result, but he would be a leader grown increasingly isolated, and the threat of nuclear escalation was real.

“There’s little doubt that Putin is the sort of person who won’t resile from the use of nuclear weapons, particularly if it looks as though he’s losing this war. But he must surely realise that there’s no such thing as the limited use of tactical nuclear weapons in isolation from their escalation to a full-scale strategic nuclear war.

“Once we enter the slippery slope of even limited nuclear exchanges, the end result will be escalation to mutual annihilation – something about which both Putin and Xi Jinping may need reminding.”

The comprehensive defeat of Russia in Ukraine would bring its own dangers, Dibb argued.

A severely weakened, isolated and smaller Russia might then become more – not less – dangerous for the world.”

A Russia left humiliated would be driven closer to China, Dibb said, with the nuclear powers forming what he described as a “grand coalition”, unified “not by ideology but by complementary grievances”.

Dibb told the Guardian: “The most serious threat to America would be a de facto alliance between China and Russia, united in the common cause of their hatred for the west.” ………………….https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/sep/07/pine-gap-a-target-as-ukraine-invasion-raises-nuclear-war-risk-australian-defence-expert-warns?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other&fbclid=IwAR0C13ws8uQOEBEW6RVAReW1B96DyhginkTX1ujZ-CEeLKm1ePkchpnKzr4

September 10, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia’s Defence Strategic Review and the loss of Australia’s strategic autonomy to the US

 https://johnmenadue.com/the-defence-strategic-review-and-the-loss-of-australias-strategic-autonomy-to-the-us/, Pearls and Irritations, By John Menadue, Sep 8, 2022

Over the next two weeks we will be running a series of articles to focus on the Defence Strategic Review (DSR) which is headed by Sir Angus Houston and the Hon. Stephen Smith.

In becoming a US proxy, even patsy, we are on a risky and dangerous path.

Smith was Minister for Defence when the Gillard Government committed to US Marines in Darwin. As Minister he told us in 2011 that ‘Australian troops are making good progress in Uruzgan province…the Taliban is losing ground’. On the domestic front he told us in 2016 that Mark McGowan was a failed party leader. He offered himself, unsuccessfully, for ALP preselection for a State seat in order to defeat McGowan.

The review was announced on 3 August with submissions closing on 30 October.

But is it a genuine review? Minister Marles called it a ‘snap review’. Stephen Smith has told the Western Australian newspaper that a ‘draft report with initial findings would be given to the Minister for Defence Richard Marles on November 1’. That is one day after submissions close!

My major concern however is that this Review will be dominated by the Washington Club and its derivative media followers with the mistaken but widespread and spurious view that China is a military threat to Australia. The Club is very ignorant of Chinese history. It trash talks and goads China day after day.

This Review takes place against a successful anti China campaign in Australia waged by organisations like the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the Office of National Intelligence, politicians and importantly by our media including the ABC. There has been a colonisation of the mind by western media.

Our new Prime Minister is also not immune to the anti China infection. His first rushed overseas trip was to join the anti China group at QUAD and NATO.

As set out in the terms of reference for the Review on Critical information Requirements. ‘the review is to be informed by the intelligence and strategic assessment of the most concerning threats which challenge Australia’s security’.

It’s clear to everyone that the unstated assumption in setting up this Review is that China is a threat in some undefined way.

Although not naming China, Angus Houston was quickly out of the blocks after the announcement of the Review by commenting that ‘the deteriorating strategic environment facing Australia is the worst I have seen in my lifetime’.

But is that so? Is China a threat?

China may be a threat to the United States Empire with its 800 bases world wide, including 19 in Japan and ROK ringing China, but it is not a threat to the United States or Australia.

Countries of our region have built more balanced and better relations with China than we have.

In the last forty years the US has waged numerous illegal wars resulting in the death and displacement of millions of people. In that time China has not waged a single war.

China will become a threat to us if we continue on our present very dangerous path of acting as a US proxy and tying ourselves ever more closely to the United States a county that is the most violent in the world and almost always at war.

As Jeffrey Sachs put it in a recent interview, ‘A new database …has just shown that there have been more than 100 military interventions by the United States since 1991. It’s really unbelievable’.

On the domestic front the US is more and more a failing or failed state.

Will the US fall into the Thucydides Trap by refusing to accept its own decline and fearful of a rising power, China.

In considering the ‘China threat’ what is the evidence? What is China’s intent? What is its capability to threaten Australia? How does Chinese history inform us? Are China’s security concerns largely limited to its own borders and relations with buffer states?

In Australia today we are witnessing a new version of the “yellow peril’. We seem unable to shake ourselves free of our racist history.

As Hugh White has described it, our unthinking alliance with America means that we may be sleep walking to war with China.

We need to take resolute action to slow the rapid ceding of our national sovereignty to the US. In becoming a US proxy, even patsy, we are on a risky and dangerous path.

The series starts tomorrow.

September 8, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Britain “supports” Australia’s nuclear submarines – (UK and USA vying for the sale to Oz?)

Britain pledges nuclear submarines support, Canberra Times, By Paul Osborne, September 2 2022 , The UK’s international trade secretary has pledged Australia will get strong support from Britain to develop and sustain a nuclear-powered submarine fleet……….

But no decision has been made on using the British Astute class model or the US Virginia class.

An 18-month consultation period on the technology is due to wrap up in March.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan told a forum in Adelaide on Friday the British government was committed to seeing the project through for the long term.  https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7887473/britain-pledges-nuclear-submarines-support/

September 3, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Anti-AUKUS campaign ramps up over U.S.-China war talk

Independent Australia By Bevan Ramsden | 1 September 2022,

Given our massive commitment to military spending and continuous “war talk”, protests within the peace movement are growing to prevent Australia from entering another disastrous U.S.-led war, writes Bevan Ramsden.

INDICATORS THAT preparations are being made for war are coming thick and fast.

The 2021 announcement of the AUKUS (Australia, UK and the U.S.) military pact and Australia’s acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines (either from the USA or the UK) has heightened and broadened public concerns about Australia’s deeper involvement in another potential U.S.-led war — this time with China.

Intensifying war talk and massive spending on war preparations have not gone unnoticed in the Australian community. It has provoked a response which is rapidly spreading that our foreign policies may be taking us into an unnecessary and avoidable war, not heading towards security and peace.

A recent Lowy Institute poll showed that just over half the Australian population is not in favour of supporting the United States in a war against China.

The city councils of both Newcastle and Wollongong are united in opposing the establishment in their cities of port facilities for nuclear-powered submarines and the Brisbane City Council has reaffirmed its commitment to a nuclear-free city.

A number of trade unions – the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) Queensland branch, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and the NSW Teachers Federation to name only a few – have strongly condemned AUKUS and the planned acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines. 

Community organisations including Friends of the Earth, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Pax ChristiAustralians for War Powers Reform and the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) have likewise condemned the planned acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines.

Heightened public concerns and opposition to a war with China come largely in response to the formation of the Australian Anti-AUKUS Coalition (AAAC). 

More than 25 community, peace, faith organisations, trade unions and hundreds of individuals have united to campaign nationally against preparations for a possible war with China and to oppose nuclear submarines and the AUKUS war pact. Public anti-AUKUS protests have occurred in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Wollongong, Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane and Darwin with more planned in coming months.

The AAAC is currently coordinating the gathering of hundreds of signatures from individuals and organisations for a national advertisement to be published in a major national newspaper on 16 September, the anniversary of the announcement of AUKUS and the purchase of nuclear submarines. 

The proposed advertisement reads as follows:

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;
  • to sign and ratify the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons; and
  • to cancel military spending for AUKUS war preparations, including cancellation of the acquisition of nuclear-propelled submarines, so that urgent domestic social needs (climate change mitigation, education, health including public hospitals and housing) can be better addressed.

Further, a petition initiated in November 2021 by IPAN in conjunction with the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition has received 25,500 signatures.

The petition is headed ‘No Nuclear Submarines; End U.S dominance; Healthcare not Warfare’ and reads in part:

‘The Australian Government must withdraw from AUKUS, stop the development of nuclear submarines and end integration into the U.S. military.’

The Australian Government’s commitment to purchasing billions of dollars in weaponry, mainly designed for offensive war and interoperability with the U.S. military – not specifically for the self-defence and sovereignty of Australia – is evidence of the Government’s preparations for a potential war against China thousands of miles away from Australia.

Previous governments have committed close to one-quarter of a billion dollars on so-called defence but these items suggest war preparations coordinated with the United States, aimed at containing and/or confronting China militarily.

Some of these commitments include:

  1. Upgrading the (RAAF) Royal Australian Air Force’s Tindal aircraft runway to take U.S. B1 bombers, which are capable of carrying nuclear weapons, at a cost of $1.1 billion.
  2. Building a huge fuel site in the Northern Territory to power U.S. fighter jets (estimated $270 million).
  3. Acquiring 135 U.S. M-1A2C Abrams tanks at a cost of $3.5 billion.
  4. Developing high-speed, long-range missile defence systems at a cost of up to $9.3 billion.
  5. Acquiring eight nuclear-propelled submarines at a cost that experts predict will blow out to $170 billion-plus (these hunter-killer subs are designed for operation at long distances from Australia and are too large to be effective in the relatively shallow coastal waters of Australia).
  6. $10 billion to build a port on the east coast of Australia to service nuclear-powered submarines — and we are told it will be made available to the U.S. and UK for servicing their nuclear-powered and probably nuclear-armed submarines.
  7. Seventy-two F-35 fighter bombers will be purchased from the U.S. at a cost of about $16 billion.
  8. Purchasing nine frigates at a cost of $35 billion.

The costs to Australia of having over 2,000 U.S. marines stationed in the Northern Territory each year are unknown as questions by IPAN to the Federal Minister for Defence evoked the answer: “It is a matter of national security and cannot be divulged.”

These foreign troops stationed on our soil are not under the control of the Australian Government. They take their orders from the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command which has recently established a regional headquarters in Darwin.  

………………………………….. The strongest indicator of preparation for war has been Australia joining with the U.S. and UK in what purports to be a war pact – AUKUS – but appears purpose-built to contain and/or confront the Chinese militarily. This new alliance was entered into without any parliamentary or public discussion and has been imposed dictatorially upon the Australian people.

The change of government has not seen, as yet, any change in this general thrust to prepare for war. The Albanese Government supports AUKUS. And while PM Albanese and Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong have sought to use more moderate language towards our neighbours on their recent overseas tours in an attempt to heal relations broken by the previous Coalition Government, the thrust of their foreign policy has not changed.

In a speech recently in the USA, Defence Minister Richard Marles called for the integration of our ADF with the U.S. military rather than interoperability, which was the policy of the previous Australian Government.

This would mean loss of sovereign control of our own ADF to the U.S.

………………………………………….. Every stop should be pulled out to prevent Australia from being drawn into yet another disastrous U.S.-led war. The peace movement is growing rapidly to do its best to prevent that from happening.

If you wish to add your signature to the national newspaper advertisement protesting the military spending for AUKUS war preparations, including cancellation of the acquisition of nuclear-propelled submarines, click here…………………….
more https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/anti-aukus-campaign-ramps-up-over-us-china-war-talk-,16718

September 1, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Our Air Force is already ‘operating against China’


 https://johnmenadue.com/our-air-force-is-already-operating-against-china/ Pearls and Irritations By Mike Gilligan, Aug 26, 2022

Australia is seemingly as eager as ever to be pushed out on a plank by our American friends, professionally. Ever the faithful “patsy”.

What’s got into Australia’s defence administration, when our military believe that warlike actions against China is what is required of them daily in the South China Sea? The government has not declared China to be a military threat to Australia. How can there be such a disconnect between the Australian government’s policies and our military’s actions?

On 22nd August, ABC News reported that Air Marshal Chipman met with US Secretary for the Air Force Frank Kendall. The RAAF Chief warned China had established a “formidable aerospace capability” in the South China Sea, but military operations could still be conducted there:

“It doesn’t make it impenetrable and it doesn’t mean you can’t deliver military effects to achieve your interests when you are operating against China,”

At the highest level, our Air Force is planning and acting to penetrate China’s air defences. And publicly enthusiastic about it. While complaining that Chinese pilots were not behaving “professionally”. All within a ruse of preserving “rules”.

There is a well- known Australian military syndrome found mainly at the footslogger level whereby the infectious American military mindset induces our military to identify unquestioningly with US goals. The Service chiefs and Secretary of Defence have long had an important role in containing it. Yet here we find a Chief infected. The disease has grown to an epidemic with repeated US joint military exercising in northern Australia over recent months.

Apart from undermining foreign policy and diplomacy it is structurally damaging to our defence. Any sober strategic view of our security always returns to Australia having to stand alone. We cannot count on the US for a variety of substantial reasons.

A lot of effort and money has gone into creating that independent capacity. Much of it is idiosyncratic. The Jindalee surveillance network is an example, which has enabled a quantum leap in effectiveness of Australia’s defences. The US initially had embarked on that same surveillance course but changed tack to a space-based system. The two forces depend on entirely different systems for operations, in fundamental ways. So limits to interoperability exist which must be preserved if we are to retain a self-reliant defence.

The danger in wholesale embrace of the American way is that we are gutted of the hard-won pillars of self reliance. Who is looking out for that?

Indeed, is anyone in charge of Defence in Canberra? Once, a strong Secretary would have called a meeting of the Defence Committee to ask the military Chiefs how their organisations behaviour is furthering government’s security objectives. With the Secretary of Foreign Affairs alongside, who might have talked of the aim to “reset” with China.

However, as our military is already at war against China with the US, let’s get a fix on how it’s going. The US response to the Pelosi visit to Taiwan makes an interesting comparison with its reaction to the last Taiwan crisis in 1996. Then the US sailed an aircraft carrier force through the Taiwan Strait in a “get out of my way” demonstration of power. With no China military response. Now, twenty five years later China has reacted to Pelosi with a demonstration of defensive power – exercising with live firings in the same waters around Taiwan. America’s Nimitz-class super aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and an accompanying strike group were tucked well out the way in the Philippine Sea before heading back to port in Yokosuka Japan. The US claims it chose not to over react. Others say it knew that reacting as previously was not an option because of China’s defences. And it shows the US is already on the retreat. At least this notion would occur to Taiwan, and allies Japan and Korea.

It was President Lyndon Johnson who worried, sixty years ago, about sending “good American boys to fight for Asian boys” in its proxy war with China through Vietnam. Today a conflict with China which consumed American troops would be politically unthinkable (if anything is unthinkable today). If America can’t find a proxy to contain China then it will relent. The penny might drop for America’s Asian allies, the front-line proxy candidates. But not for Australia, seemingly as eager as ever to be pushed out on a plank by their American friends, professionally. Ever the faithful “patsy”.

September 1, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

US admiral issues blunt warning on building Australian submarines in overstretched shipyards

ABC By defence correspondent Andrew Greene, 1 Sept 22,

A senior US Navy official has warned helping Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines could be too big a burden for America’s already overstretched shipyards.

Key points:

  • Constructing additional submarines would be “detrimental”, US program executive officer for strategic submarines says
  • Admiral Pappano’s comments are the strongest public intervention so far on the idea
  • The Defence Department is conducting an 18-month study on the best option for Australia to acquire nuclear-powered subs

During an online forum, the US program executive officer for strategic submarines was questioned on America’s shipbuilding workforce and the implications of the AUKUS partnership with Australia.

Rear Admiral Scott Pappano said the ambitious plan could hamper his nation’s own nuclear submarine program, as well as the United Kingdom’s, in comments made to the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

“If you are asking my opinion, if we were going to add additional submarine construction to our industrial base, that would be detrimental to us right now,” Admiral Pappano said.

The rear admiral added that significant investment would be needed to provide “additional capacity, capability to go do that”

“I won’t speak for the UK, but I think that exists for both the US and the UK where we’re looking right now,” he said.

The Defence Department is currently conducting an 18-month study on the best option for Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarine capability, with a report due to hand down official recommendations in March.

Earlier this year former defence minister, now Opposition Leader, Peter Dutton claimed he was confident Australia could secure two American-built Virginia-class nuclear submarines by 2030.

Mr Dutton insisted that if the Coalition had remained in office, it could have been “in a position to make an announcement around July-August” on acquiring US-built nuclear submarines.

Private reservations

US naval figures have long held private reservations about allowing Australia to join an American production line for nuclear-powered submarines, but Admiral Pappano’s comments are the strongest public intervention so far…………………….

UK says submarines a ‘collaborative program’

British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace remarked that Australia’s future nuclear-powered submarines, under the AUKUS agreement was “not an either, or type question” between British or American designs, but could be a collaborative program between the three nations………………………………   https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-09-01/us-admiral-issues-blunt-warning-on-building-aus-subs/101394250

September 1, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australian submariners to train onboard British nuclear-powered submarines under AUKUS deal

ABC, By Jack Hawke in London, 1 Sept 22,

Australian submariners will train onboard British nuclear-powered submarines for the first time in the latest announcement under the AUKUS security pact.

Key points:

  • Royal Australian Navy submariners will train with British Royal Navy counterparts on nuclear-powered subs
  • Australia will be provided with its own nuclear-powered submarines under the AUKUS agreement
  • Defence figures have warned Australia is facing a capability gap because of ageing submarines

Under the deal, Royal Australian Navy sailors will join their British counterparts on the Astute-class submarines after completing specialised nuclear training courses.

Defence Minister Richard Marles met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace on Wednesday in Barrow-in-Furness in England’s north-west to attend the commissioning of the latest Astute-class submarine, the HMS Anison.

Mr Marles said Australia was “eager to learn from our counterparts”.

……………………………………. But where exactly the new submarines will be built and whom will build them will not be revealed by the federal government until at least March next year.

Concerns have also been raised by some defence experts over the timeframe for the delivery of the next generation submarines, which may not happen until the 2040s…………….. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-09-01/australian-submariners-to-train-on-british-nuclear-submarines/101389052

September 1, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

AI Group Unveiled: a propaganda service for Defence, big business and the Coalition

Michael West Media, by Michael West | Jul 22, 2020 ,

Is AI Group just a front for big business and foreign weapons manufacturers? Michael West reports on the rise of government and business propaganda outfits who are suddenly mute when the subject turns to the delicate matter of who funds them.

“Given the tone of the questions and misspelling of Willox you can list it as “no response”,” sniffed Tony the PR man for AI Group.

“Dang!” we muttered … “Willox, Willox, Willox. No “c”!”

And two “ns” in Innes too! This was indeed a grave error, a double-banger, getting the name of a PR guy wrong in an email to a PR guy. Unforgivable!

Albeit unsurprising. Lobbyists are famously taciturn when it comes to the subject of their own affairs, even as their views are plastered weekly across national media.

Our questions were about who funded them and how much of their hefty $72 million in annual revenue comes from big business, multinational weapons makers and the Government itself.

These questions are important because AI Group and other lobbyists such as the Australia Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) are sermonising constantly about the way governments and everybody else should be conducting their affairs.

ASPI too is largely funded by foreign defence contractors and the Federal Government. It was little surprise therefore that, hard of the heels of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s urgent yet vague warning earlier this month that Australia was the victim of menacing cyber attacks, it was ASPI which promptly named China as the culprit and affirmed the urgent nature of the unnamed threats.

Looking at the 2019 financial statements for AI Group, which you will not find on its website, the “peak employer organisation” made $14.3 million from Federal Government contracts last year, which rather helps explain why it is rare to see any criticism of government policy, other than a spot of whining at decisions which do not favour big business enough.

It is by no means alone in this. The Big Four consulting firms Deloitte, EY, PwC and KPMG are in the same boat, reeling in some $700 million in fees annually by consulting to the Government.

On top of its taxpayer take, AI made $38 million from “consulting, management services and training businesses”. So, not only is AI a lobby group but it is also is running businesses for profit, even a law firm while it pays no income tax.

This self-appointed not-for-profit (NFP) is sitting on cash and liquid assets of $76 million and it notched up income of $72 million last year. What did it spend it all this money on?

Some $55 million went on employees. The next biggest item was “Communications” at $5.6 million. They do do a lot of communicating and when it comes to having their voice heard in mainstream media, AI – and particularly its chief executive – Willox are slick operators, perhaps the best in the business lobby.

But unlike the Business Council of Australia, the Minerals Council, and think tanks such as the Sydney Institute and the Institute for Public Affairs (IPA), they actually get large government consulting deals as well as running profitable businesses.


In this, they are similar to the NSW Business Chamber, which boasts revenues of $237 million a year, also runs a law firm and vocation businesses and is even a registered charity…………………………………………..

 https://michaelwest.com.au/ai-unveiled-another-propaganda-service-for-defence-big-business-and-the-coalition/

September 1, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australian government working with pro-nuclear zealot Jonathon Mead to plan US/UK nuclear submarines for Western Australia.

Australia’s defence forces investigating Garden Island nuclear submarine capabilities. Peter Law, The West Australian, Fri, 26 August 2022,

The strategic review of Australia’s defence forces is investigating the capacity of HMAS Stirling at Garden Island to simultaneously receive multiple nuclear-powered submarines from the US and UK.

The Henderson maritime precinct, south of Perth, has also been identified as a potential site for maintenance work on Australia’s planned nuclear submarine fleet, former defence minister Stephen Smith revealed.

Mr Smith and retired Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston were earlier this month appointed to lead the sweeping review of the army, navy and air force, which will report to the Albanese Government by next March.

Speaking at the Indian Ocean Defence and Security Conference in Perth on Friday, Mr Smith said a draft report with initial findings would be given to Defence Minister Richard Marles on November 1.

Mr Smith said the review was working “hand in glove” with a separate task force chaired by Vice-Admiral Jonathan Mead, which is looking at the options for Australia acquiring a nuclear submarine powered capability.

The pair this week visited Garden Island to see what infrastructure improvements were needed in the short and long term, “if a number of nuclear submarines, UK or US, would arrive at HMAS Stirling tomorrow”.

“We also are interested in, ultimately, on the basis that at some stage Australia acquires nuclear submarines, what potential do we have for maintenance and sustainment on the Henderson maritime strip,” he said.

Similar visits will take place in Port Adelaide and Brisbane in coming months, as well a tour of the nation’s “northern and western approaches”, including at RAAF bases Curtin and Learmonth…………………..  https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/australias-defence-forces-investigating-garden-island-nuclear-submarine-capabilities-investigated-c-8018706

August 27, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear bomb tests at Emu Field remain obscured by Maralinga and the mists of time

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-24/nuclear-testing-at-emu-field-featured-in-new-book/101329172 ABC Radio Adelaide / By Daniel Keane, 22 Aug 22,

In hindsight, Michael Parkinson’s TV talk show hardly seems the likeliest forum for sober reflection on nuclear annihilation. 

But in 1971, the celebrity interviewer welcomed onto his celebrated stage journalist James Cameron, a man who had, 18 years earlier, witnessed the first atomic blast at Emu Field in outback South Australia.

Nuclear weapons, he told Parkinson, were “the ultimate punctuation mark” in humanity’s “progress towards perdition”.

The words echoed his front-page report for The Age on October 16, 1953 — the day after the test:

“The familiar mushroom column climbed unsteadily for 15,000 feet, leaned and dropped, and the world stumbled one more step towards the twilight.”

Codenamed Totem, the two Emu Field bomb tests have, in the view of James Cook University author Elizabeth Tynan, been regarded for too long as mere precursors to the more notorious detonations at Maralinga.

Her new book seeks to correct this by establishing Operation Totem as a portentous episode in its own right.

“The tests there pre-dated Maralinga by three years and they caused enormous difficulty and disruption and tragedy to the Aboriginal people of the Western Desert,” Dr Tynan said.

The Secret of Emu Field is the product of extensive archival excavation, including in the United Kingdom.

Amid Cold War hardships and anxieties, British officials were desperate to develop an affordable nuclear arsenal for their new fleet of jet bombers.

“They were looking to create a workable weapon; I call it the austerity bomb,” Dr Tynan said.

“They wanted to do it quickly because they had the V bombers coming, they had a number of political pressures and geopolitical pressures as well.”

Among several remarkable occurrences at Emu Field was the flight of a Royal Air Force Canberra bomber through the Totem 1 mushroom cloud barely six minutes after detonation.

“In colour it was a dark red-brown,” Wing Commander Geoffrey Dhenin, who enthusiastically piloted the plane, later wrote.

“Until just before we emerged, the forces on the elevators increased to such an extent that I thought I might lose control.”

One of the aims of that mission was to determine the threat from fallout in atmospheric testing to commercial airline traffic.

In an unforeseen irony, the atomic cloud from Totem 1 — which kept its mushroom shape “for 24 hours because of wind conditions” — was spotted by airline passengers passing over Oodnadatta.

The black mist

Today, it isn’t a cloud but a mist that remains one of the few aspects of the Totem tests to endure in the collective consciousness.

The so-called “black mist” was reported by nearby Aboriginal communities, but it wasn’t until a 1980 report by The Advertiser that it came to public attention.

The 1985 royal commission into British nuclear tests was equivocal on the health effects, but concluded that “Aboriginal people experienced radioactive fallout from Totem 1 in the form of a black mist or cloud at and near Wallatinna”.

Bruce Lennon was a young boy at the time and likened the impact to “having a really bad flu”.

“We were close to Emu Field; dad was a contractor, we did a lot of moving around,” he said.

Also in the area, at Mabel Creek station, was the family of Sister Kenise Neill.

“My father at the time of the Emu Field [tests] would have been 22. There’s a story that my grandmother used to tell about him,” she recalled.

“He was out fencing with Aboriginal people around the station and came home covered in a black, slimy, greasy stuff.”

Murray Neill was 24 when he died in 1956.

His daughter said it was now almost impossible to know whether the story told by her grandmother was an account of fallout.

“I didn’t really know about Emu Fields … and because our family had left before the [later] Maralinga testing, it didn’t make sense,” Sister Neill said.

“I presumed the black fallout with my dad wasn’t nuclear.

“It’s really only through reading Elizabeth Tynan’s book that I thought that my dad could have actually died from radiation.”

The persistence of secrets

The black mist may have dissipated, but other mists still cloud the Totem tests.

Dr Tynan said British files she inspected during her research had since been “withdrawn from public view”, and that there were unanswered questions about the second test and the plutonium fuel.

“The Operation Totem tests at Emu Field were intended as a comparative trial to test two different kinds of nuclear fuel,” Dr Tynan said.

I can’t say that I ever got to the bottom of what was happening with Totem 2. From the documents I’ve seen, [it] was a very, very secret weapon.”

By the time of the second test on October 27, James Cameron and the rest of the press pack had long since departed.

But the bomb had left its mark on Cameron’s mind.

In a piece published the day after he died, in the same year as the royal commission into British tests, Cameron reflected on the nuclear age with typical grace and resignation:

“I personally witnessed the explosion of atom bombs, and did nothing about it, and could do nothing except protest, tiresomely and uselessly.”

This article is the second in a two-part series, the first of which focused on the tests at Maralinga.

August 25, 2022 Posted by | aboriginal issues, history, reference, South Australia, weapons and war | Leave a comment