Senator for New South Wales
NDP; IND, 1988–1990
Irina Dunn entered the Senate as a result of a court ruling in 1988. Although elected as a member of the Nuclear Disarmament Party for the state of New South Wales, after a dispute with her party she was sworn in as an Independent Senator for Nuclear Disarmament.
Senator Dunn effectively articulated the aims of the peace movement and anti-nuclear issues. In Parliament she repeatedly proposed the closure of United States defence bases and the exclusion of nuclear-armed warships from Australia. She was particularly adamant that Australia should not export uranium to countries that made nuclear weapons.
Dunn was also committed to environmental and conservation issues. She campaigned against logging in the south-east forests of NSW and sought to guard against the development of national estate protected sites and the pollution of coastal waters.
In 1990 she introduced an amendment to the Electoral Act for the use of proportional representation in House of Representatives elections and proposed a bill for the removal of sexist and discriminatory language from federal legislation. Although these proposals were not adopted she relished her ability to act according to her ‘conscience and judgment’.
After her defeat at the 1990 election Dunn returned to her previous occupation as a writer, editor and publisher.