Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (19 May) . . Page.. 303 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
That is why I am seeking to amend this motion to call on the Australian Government to support Abolition 2000. It is not enough to condemn India; we need to take a more active role in promoting the elimination of nuclear weapons. The Abolition 2000 resolution is in three parts. Firstly, it calls upon the governments of all nuclear weapons states to begin negotiations immediately on a nuclear weapons convention to prohibit and eliminate all nuclear weapons early in the next century and to complete these negotiations by the year 2000. Secondly, it calls for all nuclear weapons to be immediately taken off alert status, for all nuclear warheads to be separated from their delivery vehicles and for the nuclear weapons states to agree to unconditional no first-use of these weapons. Thirdly, it calls for a declaration of support for the further development of legally binding national and international nuclear weapon free zones throughout the world.
I also believe we cannot separate the mining of uranium from the nuclear weapons and testing debate, and India is a case in point. In 1960 India was first supplied with a uranium-heavy water reactor by Canada and heavy water and nuclear fuel by Canada and the United States for peaceful purposes. Neither facility was under full international safeguards. Plutonium extracted from the reactor supplied by Canada was used in a nuclear device tested in 1974. United States and French companies helped to build a pilot-scale reprocessing plant which began operation in 1966. As members are aware, the Federal Government has allowed the Jabiluka mine to go ahead. While the Labor Party's three mines policy is not acceptable, the Coalition's policy is much worse. Aside from Jabiluka, there are also other new mines or expansions of uranium mining in the pipeline. It is, in my opinion, the height of hypocrisy for the Federal Government to condemn India in the light of its own actions as far as uranium is concerned.
I am glad to support this motion, and I hope members support the amendment I have moved. I believe that they will, because it gives an opportunity to state once again, as a local community, the strength of feeling that we in this place have about the dangers of nuclear weapons development and to make it a courageous stand that we ask our Federal Government to take globally on this issue.
MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education) (11.15): Mr Speaker - - -
Mr Moore: Has the amendment been agreed to?
MR STEFANIAK: No. I will speak to both, Mr Speaker. I think you wanted a cognate debate, did you not?
Mr Moore: It is not amended yet, is it?
MR STEFANIAK: It is not amended yet. Ms Tucker has moved the amendment, though. Just on the amendment: Before I personally consider that further, I would like to know more about Abolition 2000.
Ms Tucker: You signed it. We all signed it, Mr Stefaniak. Everyone in the Assembly did. We have debated it.