What does the federal government's new Defence Strategic Review mean for Australia and the Illawarra? Win News
Romy Gilbert from WIN News covered the briefing at Wollongong Council, and the WAWAN - Wollongong Against War and Nukes community meeting ahead of the May 6 - Port Kembla: March Against the Nuclear Base.
Councillor Cath Blakey said:
"I think it's incredibly alarming. It's like it's implied that this is what Wollongong is in for, that the Federal Government is working towards nuclear submarines here in Port Kembla."
"They've talked about consultation and this feels like it's the kicking off of that consultation."
"I want to see Port Kembla ruled out as the site for nuclear submarines, but I also want to see talk of diplomacy."
Politicians split on possible Port Kembla nuclear subs base
Port Kembla is going to house a nuclear submarine base but the federal government isn't in any hurry to admit it. That's the theory of Greens Senator David Shoebridge in the wake of Monday's release of the Defence Strategic Review.
Sen Shoebridge believed that location was Port Kembla and the government was delaying any announcement until funding for the AUKUS subs project reached a level that made it too big to cancel.
"The review confirms the east coast for a nuclear-powered submarine facility but the government's refusal to confirm its exact location treats the people of the Illawarra like mugs," Sen Shoebridge said.
"Defence and the government have already indicated that Port Kembla is the preferred location for this facility. Putting off the confirmation of the exact location is essentially dishonest.
"The government needs to be honest with Australians, those living on the east coast and especially the Illawarra community and inform them of where this facility will be located before they lock in spending billions of dollars on these subs."
Story by Glen Humphries in the Illawarra Mercury, 25 April 2023.
Greens push Labor for details on Port Kembla submarine radioactivity
During Question Time in the senate on Friday, Greens senator David Shoebridge asked Labor senator Don Farrell how the submarines will be safely accommodated in major population centres such as Port Kembla.
Mr Shoebridge cited Griffith University emeritus Professor Ian Lowe's calculation that each US-built Virginia-class submarine carries 200 kilograms of highly enriched uranium.
"What guarantees are you providing on how that material can be safely accommodated in major population centres like Port Kembla?"
Mr Shoebridge called on the government to make clear to the Illawarra how the weapons-grade uranium powering each submarine would be safely stored when in harbour.
"Communities like the Illawarra who are being threatened with a nuclear submarine base deserve the truth about this reckless nuclear submarine deal and the Greens will keep demanding answers in Parliament until we get it," Mr Shoebridge said.
Story by Conor Browne in the Illawarra Mercury, 24 March 2023.
Labor Refuses to Say How Much Weapons-Grade Uranium Will Be On Its Nuclear Submarines
24 March 2023
In response to questioning by the Greens Defence Spokesperson David Shoebridge, the Labor government today refused to disclose how much weapons-grade uranium would be carried on the Virginia class submarines Australia will buy under the AUKUS submarine deal.Read more
Port Kembla nuclear submarine plan wins support from industry group, defence expert
The NSW Greens and the South Coast Labour Council said nuclear powered submarines floating in Port Kembla harbour would make the region a military target and jeopardise plans for renewable energy jobs at the port.
Story by Nick McClaren at ABC Illawarra, 16 March 2023.
Unions, business line up to oppose submarine base in Port Kembla
Wollongong City councillor and Greens candidate for Wollongong Cath Blakey said the people of Wollongong would say no to a submarine base.
Story by Connor Pearce in the Illawarra Mercury, 14 March 2023.
$368+ billion on submarines puts Illawarra at risk of nuclear attack while forcing funding cuts to the regions
Today’s $368+ billion submarine announcement should send a shiver through the Illawarra, with Port Kembla earmarked as the preferred base for the new nuclear-powered submarines.Read more
Aukus deal: US, UK and Australia agree on nuclear submarine project
No decision has been made on a future east coast submarine base, although Port Kembla near Wollongong, 100km (62 miles) south of Sydney, is thought to be a likely location.
A local official there said her community was worried by the possibility of a nuclear submarine base close by.
"It's causing alarm that it could make us a potential military target," Greens party councillor Cath Blakey told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
"I think it's a potential sovereign risk to Australia to be hitching ourselves to the US and the UK."