Australian Local Government Association endorses the ban

Jun 21, 2021 | News

The National General Assembly calls on the Australian Government to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Australian Local Government Association

21 June 2021

At its National General Assembly in Canberra today the Australian Local Government Association unanimously passed a motion calling on Australia to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The motion was moved by Darebin City Council (VIC) and seconded by the City of Ryde (NSW). Fremantle (WA), Mt Isa (QLD), Randwick (NSW), Byron Shire (NSW), City of West Torrens (SA), Inner West (NSW), Newcastle (NSW) and the City of Yarra (VIC) also backed it ahead of the conference. As the motion passed the conference erupted in applause.

The push for the national body to endorse the Treaty comes after 35 Australian councils have publicly declared their support for it, along with over 400 cities worldwide. ALGA represents the 537 councils across Australia.

The Treaty is the first to comprehensively outlaw the production, stockpiling, transfer, hosting, use, threat of use of nuclear weapons, as well as assistance with any of the prohibited acts. With 86 signatories and 54 states parties currently, the Treaty entered into force in January this year.

Australia has not yet signed or ratified the agreement, although the Australian Labor Party has committed in policy to do so in government.

Cr Louise Steer of Inner West Council said “It’s fantastic how many councils are on board with the nuclear ban treaty and now its national local government policy. In only a few years, ICAN has changed the way people think about nuclear weapons.”

ICAN campaigner Jemila Rushton said “By endorsing the Treaty, the voice of local government has made a powerful contribution to the push for Australia to join the ban, a critical step towards a nuclear weapon free world.

The Australian Government is currently part of the problem, but the Treaty provides an opportunity for us to become part of the solution, in line with our record of joining the bans on other inhumane and immoral weapons.”

Delene Cuddihy, a member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Australia, said “The risk of nuclear weapons use, whether by accident or design, is growing. All levels of government have a responsibility to protect their citizens from this grave threat. We congratulate the members of the ALGA for their courage in passing this motion which will be one more step towards ridding the world of these weapons of mass destruction whose use could end humanity as we know it.”

Councils will continue to endorse the Treaty in the wake of the successful motion at ALGA. 



It was such an honour to move the motion on behalf of Darebin Council, calling on the Australian government to sign the treaty. I had the Nobel Peace Prize in my hand, won by Darebin residents Dimity Hawkins and Dave Sweeney, co-founders of ICAN, and my hands were shaking as I was ready to argue for why this is so important to me and my city. 
Darebin has a long history of activism in this area, opposing nuclear weapons for many years. Personally, I was very moved by visiting the Hiroshima Peace Museum and believe that anyone who has witnessed the horrors of Hiroshima or Nagasaki will understand the need to abolish nuclear weapons. 
While I had been really keen to speak, what better result could we ask for then this being supported by all 537 councils in attendance, with no opposition?
Susanne Newton

Councillor, City of Darebin