Statement: ACTU's National Press Club Address


Tuesday 28 March 2023

Comments made today by the ACTU are disappointing and disheartening.

The Coalition has been bipartisan on AUKUS, because we know that it is a multi-generational, nation building project that demands support from governments around the nation, industry and the private sector. Most importantly, it needs the support of the Australian people.

For Labor and its industrial wing to be divided on nuclear submarines sends a confusing signal to the Australian people. It’s particularly damaging when the government has clearly articulated our strategic need for submarines, and has promised the creation of 20,000 local jobs.

The Opposition hopes that the ACTU can reflect on its “longstanding position” and adapt, as our strategic circumstances now demand. Indeed, it’s time to be progressive and not reactionary.

The ACTU should drop its archaic last century stance on nuclear power, and work on growing Australian industry in the national interest.

We call on the Albanese government to exercise leadership in bringing together its union wing in the national interest. We in Opposition are playing our part. We hope the Albanese government can play theirs.