The ICAN Cities Appeal was endorsed by the City of Wollongong on 12 February, 2019.
“Wollongong City Council declared its local government area a nuclear free zone in 1980 and reaffirmed this nuclear-free stance in 2006. The ICAN Cities Appeal is consistent with the Council’s ongoing nuclear free position and our fears about the grave threat that nuclear weapons pose to the future of humanity. Wollongong City Council firmly believes that our residents have the right to live in a world free from this threat. The production and deployment of nuclear weapons, whether deliberate or accidental, would have catastrophic, far-reaching and long-lasting consequences for humanity and the environment.
Therefore, Wollongong City Council welcomes 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.
I have written to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs to advise that Wollongong City Council endorses the ICAN Cities Appeal.”
Cr Gordon Bradbery AM
Wollongong City Council
2021: Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the TPNW
The City of Wollongong passed a motion celebrating the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on the 1st of February 2021.
1. council notes the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) on 22 January 2021.
2. Council notes that nuclear weapons are now illegal under international law, along with chemical weapons, biological weapons, anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions.
3. Council congratulates all nations that have signed and/or ratified the TPNW and commends the work of civil society and Australian nuclear test survivors who continue to advocate for nuclear disarmament.
4. Council reaffirms its support for the TPNW and its call for the Australian Government to sign and ratify it.
5. Council will write to the Foreign Minister and Shadow Foreign Minister advising them of this motion.
6. Council review its investment vehicles to determine if any Council investment activities include holdings in companies associated with the production or maintenance of nuclear weapons, with the goal of ensuring it does not invest in nuclear weapons companies.
2022: Wollongong reaffirmed as a “Nuclear Free Zone”
The City of Wollongong reaffirned its declaration as a “Nuclear Free Zone” at thier April 4th Council Meeting.
Councillor Mithra Cox moved that council –
- Reaffirms its declaration that Wollongong is a “Nuclear Free Zone”.
- Notes that Wollongong City Council first made this declaration in 1980, and reaffirmed this commitment in 2006, and that this position statement was due for renewal on 30 March 2022.
- Notes that in 2019, Council signed on to the ICAN Cities appeal to support the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.”
Background provided by Councillor Mithra Cox:
Council’s existing position statement can be found here. The declaration of a nuclear free zone is a symbolic statement banning nuclear weapons and nuclear power. It does not prohibit radiopharmaceuticals used in nuclear medicine. Over 100 local government areas have declared themselves nuclear free zones. Wollongong has a longstanding commitment as a nuclear free zone, having first made that declaration in 1980 and renewing the commitment several times. Nuclear power and nuclear weapons pose a serious threat to human and environmental health and safety. An uncontrolled nuclear reaction can cause widespread contamination of air and water, something which has occurred most notably in Fukushima in Japan and Chernobyl in the Ukraine. To date, 1.5% of all nuclear power plants ever built have melted down to some degree. Nuclear power also creates radioactive waste that remains dangerous to human health for thousands of years. Nuclear weapons cause catastrophic harm and are a threat to the safety and security of all life on earth. They are the most destructive, inhumane and indiscriminate weapons ever created. A world without nuclear weapons is a world that is safer and more secure.