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Australia is the only colony whose government volunteered to be a nuclear test site.

The Australian government permitted the UK to conduct a series of nuclear weapons development tests on its land.

In 1950 Britain’s Prime Minister Clement Attlee approached his Australian counterpart, Robert Menzies, to seek his agreement to test a British weapon on Australian territory. Menzies, who was eager to maintain strong links with Britain, agreed in principle immediately. There is no record of him consulting any of his Cabinet colleagues on this matter.

The British government, with the permission of the Australian government, conducted a series of nuclear weapons development tests in Australia. In total, 12 atomic detonations took place - three at the Montebello Islands in Western Australia, two at Emu fields in South Australia, and seven at Maralinga in South Australia.

But, Australia did not volunteer to be a test site, but agreed when approached by the British government.

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