Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

Shadow Attorney-General

Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Senator for Western Australia


20 JUNE 2024


Prime Minister Anthony Albanese should warn Labor members of Parliament that juvenile attacks on the Coalition’s nuclear energy policy could undermine confidence in Australia’s AUKUS nuclear submarine program.

Shadow Attorney-General Senator Michaelia Cash said a social media post by Labor front bencher Andrew Leigh, depicting cartoon character Blinky Bill with three eyes, was a disgraceful example of misinformation likely to undermine confidence in AUKUS.

The post said: “Is this what Peter Dutton wants Blinky to look like in 50 years?”

“This sort of juvenile undergraduate attempt at humour should not be laughed off by the Prime Minister,’’ Senator Cash said.

“Labor has fully supported the AUKUS nuclear submarine program and Mr Albanese should come out and confirm to navy personnel that nuclear submarines will be safe for them to operate,’’ she said.

“As Western Australia will host the submarine program, including storage of waste, Mr Albanese should assure all Western Australians nuclear technology is safe,’’ she said.

“Mr Albanese should pull his front bench and all Labor MPs into line and tell them not to make such attacks,’’ Senator Cash said.

“Andrew Leigh is an assistant minister and should know better. He should immediately apologise and remove the juvenile post from his social media,’’ she said.

“Nuclear is one of the safest forms of energy generation. It’s roughly on par with solar power, and even safer than wind and hydro power,’’ Senator Cash said.

“The technology is safe enough for Australian Defence Force personnel who will shortly be operating nuclear propelled submarines under the AUKUS agreement,’’ she said.

“Australians are smart enough to work out that this type of attack is pure misinformation being pedalled by a Labor Government which has no legitimate objections to nuclear energy,’’ Senator Cash said.