Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (19 May) . . Page.. 301 ..
MS CARNELL (continuing):
The ACT Government has developed a purposeful response to the Indian action. We will consult with the Commonwealth Government and monitor the Indian situation closely. I will be contacting the Prime Minister to inform him of the strength of feeling of the people of Canberra about the tests and to offer support as the Commonwealth decides on appropriate responses. I will be asking him to write to the Indian High Commissioner, expressing our strong opposition to these tests and encouraging India to abandon plans for further testing.
Mr Speaker, this unilateral Indian action has unnecessarily turned back the clock at a time when the international community has been making, I think, very good progress to ban things such as landmines and develop a comprehensive test ban treaty. The thrust of all this international action is clear - we want fewer weapons, not more of them. I therefore have moved the motion circulated in my name.
MR SPEAKER: Ms Tucker, you have an amendment. It might be easier if you spoke now and moved your amendment, and then we could have a cognate debate.
MS TUCKER (11.07): Mr Speaker, I rise now to support this motion, and I have an amendment to move. I move:
Omit all words after paragraph (3), substitute the following:
"(4) urges India's neighbours not to be drawn into a dangerous arms race and encourages all countries, including Australia, to renew their commitment to world peace by supporting Abolition 2000 - the global campaign for a convention, by the year 2000, banning the development, production, testing, deployment, use or threat of use of all nuclear weapons.
Further, the Assembly urges the Chief Minister to write to the Prime Minister (a) requesting that he inform, in the strongest terms, India's High Commissioner in Australia of this resolution and (b) requesting him to support Abolition 2000.".
As a politician elected to work towards creating a more sustainable, peaceful and socially just society, I believe the elimination of nuclear weapons is absolutely critical to achieving such a society. As members are aware, the ACT has demonstrated its commitment to supporting a world free of nuclear weapons by signing Abolition 2000 - a worldwide campaign which has been established to achieve a signed treaty, banning the development, production, testing, deployment, use or threat of use of all nuclear weapons.
As the preamble to Abolition 2000 states, nuclear weapons continue to pose the most dangerous threat to the existence of the human species and the planet. Towns and cities have been targets of nuclear weapons throughout the nuclear age and remain vulnerable to the massive destructive effects of nuclear weapons. In an historic ruling, the International Court of Justice in 1996 ruled: