Rev Steve Francis, Uniting Church Moderator says, “At Christmas, I am reminded of the angelic choir on the Galilean hillside, who in anticipating the birth of Christ sang a chorus of “Peace on Earth”. Uranium mining can lead to the growth of nuclear weapons, thus making the world a more dangerous place and a less peaceful world in which to live.”
Steve made the comments following the decision of the General Council of the Uniting Church in Australia, Western Australia on Monday 8 December, to call on the Federal and WA State Governments to ban the production, deployment, transfer and use of nuclear energy and weapons and reintroduce the uranium mining ban in Western Australia.
The Council also re-affirmed the commitment of the Uniting Church in Western Australia to divest from businesses and financial institutions involved in the production of nuclear weapons or nuclear energy and related exports, including uranium.
The Uniting Church, nationally and in Western Australia, continues to hold deep and abiding concerns about the social and environmental costs of the nuclear fuel cycle, including concerns regarding the pressures placed on Aboriginal communities to accept uranium mining, the safe disposal of industry waste, the safety of nuclear reactors and the economics of nuclear power.
Steve said, “Despite Australia’s tight regulations surrounding the export of uranium, these safeguards are not enough to ensure that Australian uranium will not contribute to weapons proliferation. Nuclear weapons are the only weapon of mass destruction not yet prohibited by an international convention, even though they have the greatest destructive capacity of all weapons. A global ban on nuclear weapons is long overdue and can be achieved in the near future with enough public pressure and political leadership.”
The Uniting Church in Australia is an active member of the World Council of Churches (WCC), which released the statement Towards a Nuclear Free World on 7 July 2014.