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Nuclear Disarmament Campaigns in Australia in the 1970s

In the 1970s important new Australian campaigns developed around nuclear issues, particular on the issues of uranium mining, US nuclear-weapon-related bases, nuclear ship visits, nuclear testing, and establishment of a Pacific nuclear free zone.

New and existing antinuclear organizations became increasingly active from 1971-72. These included MAUM (Movement Against Uranium Mining), Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, and the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific Movement. MAUM was initiated and led by Jim Falk, Joe Camilleri and Neil Barrett.[8] Some of the PND rallies and marches of the early 1980s were to equal in size the Vietnam Moratoriums.[10] In New Zealand there was widespread concern about French nuclear testing, nuclear ship visits, and US electronic bases in New Zealand.[12] Gorton, in particular (and unbeknown to the antinuclear movement at the time), was seeking to keep open an Australian nuclear weapon option in the absence of assurances of US nuclear protection.[14]

Nuclear weapons continue to pose one of the greatest threats to the future of humanity at the present time. In recent decades, new anti-nuclear organizations have become active while others established in the 1960-1975 period continue their work. Amongst the anti-nuclear organizations that are currently active are the Medical Association for the Prevention of War, the International Campaign To Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Australian Greens, Friends of the Earth Australia, and Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

MHG