“Not here or anywhere else”: nuclear-submarine base protests in New South Wales 2023

There were over a thousand protesters who took to the streets of Wollongong to demonstrate against the AUKUS agreement’s central tenet: the stationing of nuclear-powered submarines in the area.

The previous Morrison administration considered Port Kembla, alongside Newcastle and Brisbane, for a new east coast headquarters.

Protesters against the proposed facility gathered in Port Kembla on Saturday, including members of the Australian Labor Party and union officials.

The event’s organizers have stated that they hope to “send a clear message that (they) don’t want a nuclear submarine base here or anywhere.”

Alexander Brown, a WAWAN member who has lived in the area for the past two decades, expressed concern that the construction of such a facility would slow the region’s progress toward a sustainable economy.

The grassroots organizer estimated that one thousand people would attend the event on Saturday.

He remarked, “This is the United States fomenting needless war in the region.”

Now, more than ever, a peaceful transition to a sustainable economy and stability in the area are essential.

“Neither here nor anywhere else do we want it.”

Without “discussion, debate or public consultation,” the previous administration reportedly declared the site as a potential submarine station, as Mr. Brown has said.

He remarked, “We were caught off guard.”

Acting Prime Minister Richard Marles announced the formation of a new agency to deliver the country’s nuclear program on the same day as the protest.

When asked about the government’s “commitment” to buy nuclear-powered submarines, Mr. Marles replied that the new Australian Submarine Agency (ASA) would assure delivery.

“The ASA will be responsible and accountable for delivering the ambitious program to acquire Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines,” he added.

The greatest levels of nuclear safety and radiation protection will be maintained during the entire life cycle of Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines thanks to “a specialized and dedicated regulator.”

Wentworth Street and Darcy Road was the starting point for the march at midday.

State and federal officials were in attendance, with David Shoebridge, senator for the Green Party of New South Wales, telling the gathering that Port Kembla presents an excellent opportunity for establishing a renewable energy centre.

After a month-long strategic study, the Albanese government said it would decide on an east coast location by the end of the decade.

The government has chosen to look at alternatives to the three locations proposed by Scott Morrison last year for the submarine base.

Leave a Reply