• Kokatha Elder Sue Coleman-Haseldine urges government to sign nuclear ban treaty. (NITV )Source: NITV
Kokatha Elder Sue Coleman-Haseldine joined the ICAN peace ride group in Canberra to urge the federal government to sign United Nations nuclear weapons ban treaty.
Brooke Fryer

21 Sep 2018 - 11:12 AM  UPDATED 21 Sep 2018 - 11:20 AM

A team from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) arrived in Canberra on Thursday after riding 900km from Melbourne with the Nobel Peace Prize the group won last year.

The ICAN team arrived in Canberra on the first anniversary of the UN treaty opening for signatures to urge Australia to become a signature. So far 50 nations have signed.

Kokatha Elder Sue Coleman-Haseldine spoke outside parliament house yesterday to lend her support to the campaign.

Ms Coleman-Haseldine was first exposed to nuclear testing at Maralinga when she was two, and told the crowd many community members continue to suffer from cancer and birth defects due to radioactive exposure. 

“Aboriginal people indeed… at that time knew nothing about the effects of radiation and the future poisonous outcomes,” she said.

“There’s so many deaths in a region of various cancers… there has been no long-term assessment of health impacts in the region.

“What we urgently need to change is Australia’s position on the nuclear ban treaty. To all the policy and change makers here today, you can make this happen."

Ms Coleman-Haseldine  told NITV News it would be a brighter future for generations to come if the government were to sign the treaty.  

“I’m really proud to be here to ask the government to change their minds about the treaty and to sign on so that we can look forward to a nuclear free future,” she said.

First assistant secretary of International Security Division, Richard Sadleir, told senate estimates in October 2017 the government had "made a decision not to sign the treaty".

Anti-nuclear weapons campaigners on their bikes, nobel peace prize in tow
The ICAN bike ride has left Melbourne, with the anti-nuclear weapons campaign group hoping to pressure Canberra to sign on to the new UN treaty.