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Yarra Ranges Shire Council

12/20/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/19/2018 22:12

Yarra Ranges Youth Group urges Federal Government to sign UN nuclear weapon ban treaty

The Yarra Ranges Youth Reference Group is advocating to the Federal Government to ensure Australia signs the United Nations nuclear weapon ban treaty to keep communities and the environment safe around the world.

Council endorsed the ICAN Cities Appeal, a campaign led by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) at its 18 December Council meeting, asking the Federal Government to 'sign and ratify the ban treaty without delay'.

Yarra Ranges Council is one of many councils across Australia supporting the ICAN Cities Appeal to advocate for change and a commitment against nuclear weapons.

ICAN is a coalition of non-government organisations in 100 countries promoting

adherence to and implementation of the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. In 2017, following a global advocacy campaign by ICAN and its partners, a number of the world's nations adopted a landmark global agreement to ban nuclear weapons.

Youth Reference Group member Carly from Mooroolbark said the group met regularly to discuss a range of social and cultural issues.

'We have been discussing the threat that nuclear weapons pose, how disappointing it is that Australia hasn't signed it, and the role that everyone can play to bring this attention of the Federal Government,' Carly said.

'We want the Prime Minister to take action and sign the United Nations nuclear weapon ban treaty.

'History exhibits time and time again the immense costs of developing and utilising weapons of increasing levels of destruction.

'We need to move forward as a civilisation, not backwards. We must learn from the past, not repeat it.'

Ollie Hackett, 19, said it was important to protect future generations.

'Let's not allow this to happen to our future generations who are already being forced to deal with the ramifications of global warming and other crises that have already surfaced and are soon to arise,' Ollie said.

Yarra Ranges Mayor Tony Stevenson said that young people were the future leaders and it was a priority for Council to listen to them and to provide opportunity for them to contribute to the process of influencing State and Federal Government policy.

'We are proud that they are stepping up and making sure their voices are being heard, about the issues they care about,' Cr Stevenson said.

ICAN began in Australia and was formally launched in Austria in April 2007. It was inspired by the success of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which a decade earlier had played an instrumental role in the negotiation of the anti-personnel mine ban convention, or the Ottawa treaty.

Visit: www.icanw.org/au/cities/

Black Mist Burnt Country - Testing the Bomb Maralinga and Australian Art is being exhibited at Burrinja at Upwey, until 10 February 2019. The exhibition revisits the history of the British atomic test program in Australia in the 1950s through works by Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists across the mediums of painting, printmaking, photography and sculpture.

Visit: www.burrinja.org.au