Australia and the Bomb

After WW II both Liberal and Labor parties in Australia supported the development of a nuclear bomb – that is why the nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights in Sydney was developed. They also supported uranium mining and export and nuclear power. So the major parties were not merely allowing the British to test their bomb at Maralinga they supported Australia getting a nuclear bomb. Australia did not acquire a nuclear weapon because it needed American support to get the technology to make a bomb. The US refused that support to both Australia and Canada but supported the British acquisition and testing on the bomb on Aboriginal land in South Australia.

If anyone in the Labor party disagrees with my take on the history, lets hear what you have to say about it.

There was a ban the bomb movement in Australia and members of the ALP and trade unions participated in that movement, but ALP policy was to join the nuclear race. So it is little wonder that when Hawke came to power in 1983 he made sure the ALP government mined and exported Uranium.

Both Liberals & Nationals supported Australian involvement in the nuclear club throughout this period.

“Plains of Maralinga” describes the British atomic bomb tests at Maralinga and their deadly side-effects on the Pitjantjatjara people. Song performed when Alistair was on tour with David Rovics in Australia in 2008.

Ian Curr
April 2013


Uranium – Policy

Maralinga –
Villains, Victims and Heroes: Contested Memory and the British Nuclear Tests in Australia –

Lucas Heights –

Towards peace : a workers journey / J.P. (Phil) O’Brien ; [with Bernie Dowling ; original artwork by Greg Dunbar]. O’Brien, J. P. (Phil), 1920- –

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