The ICAN Cities Appeal was endorsed by Darebin City Council on 3 December 2018.
MOVED: Cr. T McCarthy, SECONDED: Cr. K Le Cerf
MINUTE NO. 18-011
(1) Endorses the ICAN Cities Appeal, that is, that Darebin City Council “is deeply concerned about the grave threat that nuclear weapons pose to communities throughout the world. We firmly believe that our residents have the right to live in a world free from this threat. Any use of nuclear weapons, whether deliberate or accidental, would have catastrophic, far-reaching and long-lasting consequences for people and the environment. Therefore, we warmly welcome the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by the United Nations in 2017, and we call on our national government to sign and ratify it without delay.”
(2) Writes to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs informing them that Council has endorsed the ICAN Cities Appeal and call for the government to sign and ratify the Treaty on behalf of the Australian people.
(3) Issue a media release announcing Council’s endorsement of the ICAN Cities Appeal.
CARRIED (3 December 2018).
2019: Public Mural
The Mayor of Darebin, Cr Susan Rennie, announced the Council’s endorsement of the ICAN Cities Appeal at a ceremony launching a public mural project to honour ICAN on 10 December 2018.
Preston-based co-founders of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Dimity Hawkins and Dave Sweeney, have been honoured by the City of Darebin with a mural at Preston Library as an enduring inspiration for active citizenship on local and global issues.
The mural was commissioned to acknowledge ICAN’s 10 year campaign against nuclear weapons which saw ICAN presented with the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2017. The mural was officially opened on Tuesday 16 April, with over 300 people attending the event outside the Preston Library on Kelvin Grove.
The mural celebrates ICAN, while also paying tribute to Yankunytjatjara Elder, Yami Lester, whose activism against nucleartesting in Australia was an inspiration and call to action for the ICAN founders. Local artist, Hayden Dewar, is the Melbourne-based muralist and visual artist who created the mural. “We are very proud that two of our local residents have been part of founding a group which has been awarded such a prestigious honour,” said Darebin Mayor, Cr Susan Rennie. “For many Australians, nuclear weapons are not a distant, abstract threat, but a lived reality and Council is honoured to be able to recognise Dimity Hawkins and Dave Sweeney and the tremendous campaign they have staged to help rid the world of nuclear weapons.”
The mural can be seen on the Preston Library building on Kelvin Grove, Preston. Text from Darebin Community News June/July 2019.
Photos: Karina Lester, daughter of legendary anti-nuclear and aboriginal rights activist Yami Lester, speaks at the mural featuring his image in December 2018; The Crowd gathers for the opening of the mural outside Preston Library in December 2018; ICAN Co Founders Dave Sweeny and Dimity Hawkins join Karina Lester and family members and Photogrpaher Jessie Boylan at the mural opening.
2021: Councillor Roundtable
2021: Councillor Suzanne Newton attended a special Councillors Roundtable hosted by ICAN Australia to celebrate the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in March 2021.
Screenshots of councilors attending an online Councillor Roundtable in March 2021.
2021: Divestment Motion
On 23rd August 2021, Darebin City Council passed a motion to examine how the council can embed exclusions of nuclear weapons investment in council policies.
According to ICAN the Australian public supports action on nuclear disarmament and abhor nuclear weapons. In 2018 79% of Australians supported Australia signing and ratifying the UN ban treaty. Darebin were successful in leading the way in presenting a motion that was passed unanimously by Council’s across the country at the June ALGA conference. To follow on with this work it is now incumbent on councils to critically examine their own policies and practices to ensure steps are taken for eliminating nuclear weapons investments from council finances.
Moved by Cr Gaetano Greco, and seconded by Cr Susanne Newton.
(1) Notes that August the 6th Hiroshima Day and August 9th Nagasaki Day marked the 76th anniversaries of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
(2) Notes that at its National General Assembly in June 2021, the Australian Local Government Association delegates unanimously passed a motion calling on Australia to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
(3) Notes the recent call by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Nobel Peace Prize winners in 2017) for cities and towns to takes steps to help reduce exposure to the development, testing, production, maintenance or trade of nuclear weapons related technology, parts, products or services.
(4) Receives a Council report in October that;
- Examines how Council can possibly embed exclusions of nuclear weapons in Council investment policies in alignment with the Climate Emergency Plan (Key Direction 6 – Fossil Fuel Divestment).
- Reviews whether Council is currently transacting with companies associated with the production of nuclear weapons and if so provide options on how to possibly divest from these companies.
- Considers how Council can advocate to ensure Council’s preferred super fund excludes nuclear weapons from its investment portfolio.
- Receive advice on further advocacy and communications opportunities to encourage other councils, organisations and communities to take action to prohibit nuclear weapons.
2022: Divestment Action Motion
On 31st January 2022, Darebin City Council passed a motion commiting to a review of council’s investment policy, action to reduce councils’ investments in nuclear weapons, and advocate more widely for action on divestment in local government.
The motion followed the previous commitment to examine divestment options in August 2021, and the subsequent report tabled to the meeting of councillors on January 31st.
Moved by Cr Gaetano Greco, and seconded by Cr Tim Lawrence.
1. Note that Council does not currently invest directly in companies that produce nuclear weapons.
2. Note the assessment that Council currently has investments with 6 institutions that have investments with nuclear weapons.
3. Note the recommended inclusion in the draft Investment Policy at Appendix A to inform all future investment decisions, stating ‘Council does not currently invest directly in companies that produce nuclear weapons. Wherever practical, council preferences financial institutions and investment products that do not directly or indirectly fund any activities in the arms industry.’
4. Adopt the draft Investment Policy (Appendix A)
5. Request that a further review of the Investment Policy be undertaken to strengthen and align the commitment regarding investments with institutions that hold nuclear related investments to the provisions for Fossil Fuel in advance of the annual review by the Audit and Risk Committee in March 2022 and receive the updated policy in April 2022 for adoption.
6. Note the advice outlinedas to how Council can advocate to ensure Council’s preferred super fund excludes nuclear weapons from thier investment portfolio.
7. Note the advice on further advocacy to encourage other councils, organisations and communities to take action to prohibit nuclear weapons.
8. Request that officers take action to commence divestment from institutions who have nuclear related investments, with a briefing provided to Councillors with an overview of any financial implications by April 2022.