The New Nuclear Threats

Editorial by Bill Frilay

SPC’s Government Relations Officer

The threat of nuclear war has become more urgent with reports from senior Japanese defence officials that “China is rapidly upgrading its nuclear capacity and is trying to reach parity with Russia and the US.” (The Age, 28 February, 2011).

What is the greatest threat to humankind? Disease? Starvation? Climate change? Nuclear war? We have had no nuclear weapons used against humankind since Hiroshima/Nagasaki and no escallation of hostilities to produce a World War III: protagonists might say, this is a sign of their success.  I think it has been more a matter of luck.  I remember as a secondary schoolboy the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. It was an unpleasant and uncertain time.  Then in 1983 the Soviets went close to pressing the button because of a misunderstanding on their part of a NATO exercise.
The world has so far been lucky, but at some time our luck may run out.  We approach Palm Sunday which, along with its religious significance, is now synonymous with peace.  There are many threats to peace.  But none with the cataclysmic impact that nuclear war- whether deliberate or accidental the results are the same – can bring. (photo: United Nations Flickr CC)

Nuclear disarmament: The great challenge

What can NGOs do?

Professor Tilman Ruff, Chair of the Australian Board of ICAN, will be addressing one of the world’s most pressing issues, nuclear disarmament. His talk will focus on how NGOs can contribute in the fight to rid the world of nuclear weapons. Rev Harry Kerr, Chair of Pax Christi (Vic), will also address the forum with a Christian perspective on this issue.
7.30pm Tuesday 29 March 2011

Study Centre, Yarra Theological Union,
98 Albion Rd., Box Hill.
Best entry via 34 Bedford St.

Click HERE for directions. Contacts:0432 991 085,;
Entry by donation. Tea and coffee available afterwards SPC Forum flyer

SPC Response to the RDA

By Joe Annetts
Member SPC & ‘concerned Australians’

As an outcome of the SPC forum on ‘Human Rights and the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention’ with Alastair Nicholson AO at the end of 2010, SPC wrote to the Prime Minister calling for the government to withdraw discriminatory legislation and unconditionally ‘reinstate’ the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) in the NT.  Last month, a response was received from the office of the PM.
The government claimed that it had reinstated the RDA in June 2010. Alastair Nicholson’s presentation at the SPC forum and his contribution to the Loss of Rights report provide expert legal commentary disputing that this legislation is a “reinstatement” of Indigenous people’s rights. The government said it had introduced a new non-discriminatory income management scheme. The reality is that many Aboriginal people are still ‘stuck’ on income management and are not happy with this. Recent statements by NT elders at the Second Elders Forum in Melbourne clearly illustrate this. Read More
To read SPC’s statement on the RDA, click here.

Ozanam Lecture 2011

An annual lecture held in honour of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society’s founder, Frederic Ozanam

7pm Thursday 24 March 2011
Guest speaker: Rev Desmond de Sousa CSsR
Lecturer in Catholic social justice and one of Asia’s leading social activists

Respondent: Maria Minto Cahill
President of Flemington Conference, St Vincent de Paul Society

Venue: St Francis Church, Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Light refreshments at 6pm in St Francis Pastoral Centre.
Parking at St Francis Car Park until 9pm (tickets validated for discount)
“Yours must be a work of love, of kindness, you must give your time, your talents, yourselves. The poor person is a unique person of God’s fashioning with an inalienable right to respect…” Frederic Ozanam


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