In what has been described as ‘unrealistic’ and ‘unattainable’ by some opponents, Parliament today passed new legislation that will see almost half of all MPs being able to correctly say the word ‘nuclear’ in under thirty years.
Prime Minister Albanese conceded that the target would require ‘a lot of hard work’ and ‘an entirely different way of thinking about the word nuclear’, but said he wanted Australia to be ambitious. “Some people think it’s a forgone conclusion that we will always pronounce it ‘nucular’, but I want to challenge our Parliament to do better. This is a floor, not a ceiling”.
Opposition leader Peter Dutton said he did not support the target and wanted other ways of pronouncing the word to be explored. “I don’t think there is enough evidence yet to suggest that the ‘l’ is definitely before the ‘ea’. We haven’t considered ‘noo-cula’. We need to also look at ‘noo-cola’. I think everything should be on the table”.
He said he would wait for other OECD countries to change before committing Australia. “There’s no evidence that other countries – who use the word nuclear a lot more than we do – are doing anything to restrict mispronunciation, so I think this is all a bit premature”.
The Greens have called for a 100% compliance rate by the end of the month, saying in the event of a nuclear attack, being able to correctly pronounce the word will be critical.