Nuclear warship unwelcome in Fremantle waters

2nd July 2009 - The presence of a nuclear powered aircraft carrier off the coast of Fremantle is an unwelcome breach of the port city’s nuclear free policy, Greens (WA) Members of Parliament said today.

“For the USS George Washington to be anchored off our coast poses an unacceptable nuclear hazard to Fremantle and the entire coastal region of Perth,” Member for the South Metropolitan Region Lynn MacLaren said.

“We have had this military presence imposed on us without any public consultation. There is a total lack of concern on the part of our leaders for the social, environmental and regional impacts of the kind of military expansionism this warship represents”.

Fremantle MLA Adele Carles agrees with Ms. MacLaren’s statement.

“The lack of consultation with Fremantle residents as to whether they actually want a possibly nuclear-armed military presence in their city betrays a willingness on the part of State and Federal governments to ride roughshod over community concerns when it comes to the US alliance.” Ms Carles said.

Greens (WA) Port Spokesperson and Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region, Robin Chapple said that any visit by nuclear powered or armed vessels to WA ports was of concern.

“While we welcome legitimate shipping to our ports the presence of this, the world’s largest nuclear powered warship in our port area represents an intrusion into Fremantle’s nuclear free zone” Mr. Chapple said.

It is a long held policy of the US navy to neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons aboard its vessels. However it is well-understood that nuclear capacity is a major element of all US carrier fleets.

“The probability that this vessel or its escorts carry nuclear weapons essentially means that Fremantle and by extension WA become both a target for anti-US attacks and complicit in US military activities.” Mr Chapple said.

Lynn MacLaren MLC and Adele Carles MLA will be present at a rally at 10.00am, Saturday 4 July at the Fremantle Ports E-shed to ‘unwelcome’ the US warships.

For more information please contact Lynn MacLaren MLC on 0403 721 951, Adele Carles MLA on 0407 197 005, and Robin Chapple MLC on 0409 379 263

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