Letter to "The Age" by Dr Jenny Grounds
A letter published in The Age on Saturday 4 August 2012 by Dr Jenny Grounds, President of MAPW, argues that the proposal to base nuclear-powered ships and aircraft in Perth would be be out of step with the nuclear weapons-free zone to which Australia has been a signatory since 1985.
The full text of the letter is as follows:
AUSTRALIANS should be deeply disturbed by America's stealth-bomber approach to its military facilities in our region. We are seriously under-informed about the nature and extent of existing US defence and intelligence facilities, and now we are quietly being allowed to overhear a conversation, during the Olympic media frenzy, about a proposal to base nuclear-powered ships and aircraft in Perth (''American presence set to provoke Chinese ire'', The Age, 2/8).
Such a base would have far-reaching effects and be out of step with the nuclear weapons-free zone to which Australia has been a signatory since 1985. The last defence white paper in 2009 allowed a modicum of community input, but ended up paying little heed to the many submissions opposing military expansionism over democracy.
In the preparation of a new white paper, I hope the government will allow an open process so Australians can question the rationale of joining the US in a military build-up in our region that can only be perceived as belligerence towards our northern neighbours.
Jenny Grounds, Riddells Creek