Labor’s internal dissent over AUKUS is building

Jun 16, 2023
AUKUS banner with USA, UK, Australia flag icons. American, British, Australian security alliance pact design.

The Albanese government’s embrace of the AUKUS security pact faces a second internal rejection in as many weeks, with the Victorian branch of the Labor Party poised to condemn it on multiple fronts, writes Phillip Coorey in the AFR.

Two weeks after the Queensland branch of the ALP, at its state conference, refused to support a motion congratulating the Albanese government ‘‘for investing in the AUKUS agreement’’, two motions condemning the government’s actions will be moved at this week’s Victorian state conference.

Sources said that at this stage, the motions were ‘‘likely’’ to pass, which would be an embarrassment for Defence Minister and Victorian Richard Marles in his home branch, and set the scene for a bigger clash when Labor’s triennial national conference convenes in Brisbane in August.

The motions, if they pass, do not bind the federal parliamentary Labor Party, but the discontent threatens to erode its national security credentials, which Mr Albanese believes are as important as economic bona fides if Labor is to entrench itself in office.

The main motion, which will be moved by the Left-aligned Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, expresses ‘‘profound’’ disappointment over the government’s decision to embrace the security pact between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, and to spend up to $368 billion on nuclear-powered, conventionally armed submarines.

 

To continue reading, click here to access the full article (paywall) at the Australian Financial Review, published Jun 14, 2023.

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