New Prime Minister backs the ban
The election of the Albanese Labor Government heralds a new era in Australia’s approach to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. While the previous government shunned the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the Australian Labor Party has committed to sign and ratify it in government. Recent polling demonstrates ¾ of the Australian public support this action.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is a long-term champion of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, inspired by his late mentor Tom Uren, a former Labor Minister who witnessed the atomic bombing of Nagasaki as a prisoner of war. In proposing the resolution committing to the treaty in 2018, he said the new policy is “Labor at its best” and that “nuclear disarmament is core business for any Labor government worth its name”. In 2016 Albanese launched the Tom Uren Memorial Fund with ICAN, and has spoken out in support of the treaty in parliament, at public events and demonstrations since its negotiation in 2017.
A majority of the new government members have signed the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge to work for Australia to sign and ratify the Treaty. It has been backed by two dozen unions, including the national peak body, the Australian Council of Trade Unions. The Victorian, Tasmanian, Australian Capital Territory, South Australian, Northern Territory and Western Australian Labor branches, as well as over 50 local branches have passed motions declaring their support and calling upon Australia to join the ban without delay. Many have called for signature and ratification to be completed in the first term of the new government.
Following a decision of the Australian Parliament, signature and ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons can now proceed under the Albanese Labor Government.
In addition to the incumbent signatories of the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge, we are delighted to welcome the following new parliamentarians that have committed to work for Australia to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons:
Bennelong, NSW Jerome Laxale, Labor
Boothby, SA Louise Miller-Frost, Labor
Brisbane, QLD Stephen Bates, Greens
Chisholm, VIC Carina Garland, Labor
Cunningham, NSW Alison Byrnes, Labor
Goldstein, VIC Zoe Daniel, Independent
Higgins, VIC Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah, Labor
Hunter, NSW Daniel Repacholi, Labor
Kooyong, VIC Dr Monique Ryan, Independent
North Sydney, NSW Kylea Tink, Independent
Pearce, WA Tracey Roberts, Labor
Robertson, NSW Gordon Reid, Labor
Wentworth, NSW Allegra Spender, Independent
SENATE, ACT David Pocock, Independent
SENATE, QLD Penny Allman-Payne, Greens
SENATE, NSW David Shoebridge, Greens
SENATE, SA Barbara Pocock, Greens
SENATE, VIC Linda White, Labor
Image: Anthony Albanese MP holds ICAN’s Nobel Peace Prize medal while moving the resolution committing a future Labor government to signing and ratifying the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.