Australia and weapons of mass destruction

Australia And Weapons Of Mass Destruction

Australia and weapons of mass destruction

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Australia is currently not known or believed to possess weapons of mass destruction, although it has participated in extensive research into nuclear, biological and chemical weapons in the past.

Australia currently chairs the Australia Group, an informal grouping of countries that seek to minimise the risk of assisting chemical and biological weapon proliferation. All states participating in the Australia Group are parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention, and strongly support efforts under those Conventions to rid the world of chemical and biological weapons. As with chemical and biological weapons, Australia does not possess nuclear weapons and is not at all known to be seeking to develop them.

Biological Weapons

Australia has advanced research programs in immunology, microbiology and genetic engineering that support an industry providing world class vaccines for domestic use and export. It also has an extensive wine industry and produces microorganisms on an industrial scale to support other industries including agriculture, food technology and brewing. The dual use nature of these facilities mean that Australia, like any country with advanced biotechnology industries, could easily produce biological warfare agents.

The Australian Microbial Resources Research Network lists 37 culture collections, many of which hold samples of pathogenic...
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