Port Phillip Council joins fight against nuclear

Port Phillip Council has endorsed a Nobel Prize-winning campaign against the global threat posed by nuclear weapons.

Under a notice of motion adopted at its most recent Meeting, Council will:

  • call on the Australian Government to sign the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
  • endorse the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) Cities Appeal
  • ensure it does not invest in companies producing nuclear weapons.

Deputy Mayor Louise Crawford said the compelling Chernobyl television series was a timely reminder of the catastrophic effects of radiation.

“Nuclear weapons pose an unacceptable threat to people everywhere. It is important to do what we can to stop this horror happening again, especially when the use of such weapons would be deliberate,” Cr Crawford said.

Councillor Katherine Copsey, who raised the notice of motion, said ICAN has been part of global efforts to progress the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons since its beginnings in Melbourne in 2006. The organisation, whose members include Port Phillip residents, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.

“ICAN are homegrown heroes determined to take us to a future free from the threat of nuclear weapons. They perfectly epitomise the Margaret Mead quote: ‘never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has’.”

Fred Mendelsohn, AO, Emeritus Professor at the University of Melbourne, former director of the Florey Neuroscience Institute, a Port Phillip resident and original ICAN campaigner, welcomed Council’s support.

“The threat of nuclear weapons hasn’t gone away – the doomsday clock is at two minutes to midnight. Meanwhile, other indiscriminate weapons like landmines and chemical weapons have been banned,” Professor Mendelsohn said.

“ICAN’s enormously grateful that Port Phillip has joined the Cities Appeal. Now is the time to banish nuclear weapons.”

Seventy-nine countries signed the Treaty, which has so far been ratified by 32 nations. When this number reaches 50, the ban becomes international law.

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