The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) held a rally this morning outside Parliament House in Canberra to mark the start of negotiations towards a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. The rally deplored the fact that the Australian government, incredibly, is boycotting the negotiations and has not sent a delegate. There are over 110 countries participating; we are the only country in our region to refuse.
We have, however, got someone representing us: Sue Coleman-Haseldine, a Kokatha elder from near Ceduna, who spoke very movingly today at the UN in New York about her family’s experience of the nuclear bomb tests in South Australia in 1956. What was beautiful country is now not safe to live in.
Speakers at the rally this morning included Vintage Red member Katherine Kelly, as well as Senator Scott Ludlum (Greens, WA), Senator Lisa Singh (Labor, Tas.), and Bishop Pat Power.