Tuesday, 18 September 2018
I, and also on behalf of Senator Whish-Wilson, move:
That the Senate:
(b) notes further that Japan has threatened to withdraw from the IWC and indicated its intention to continue hunting for 'scientific' purposes; and
(c) calls on the government to:
(i) commit to sending a vessel to patrol the Southern Ocean this summer, and
(ii) investigate Australia's legal options under international law.
The Australian government is resolutely opposed to all forms of commercial and so-called scientific whaling. The government welcomed the International Whaling Commission's recent rejection of Japan's proposal to overturn the global moratorium on commercial whaling. The commission also rejected attempts to weaken its decision-making rules and establish catch limits for commercial whaling. The Australian government worked hard with partner countries in the commission to achieve this outcome. We will continue to work to encourage Japan to remain in the IWC and to abide by its majority decisions. Sending a vessel to the Southern Ocean will not achieve any of Australia's or the IWC's policy or legal objectives.
It is extremely disappointing that the government is not prepared to follow through with what was an election promise to make sure that there was observation of and a watch on what Japan was doing in the Southern Ocean over summer. We know they've already said they're willing to and they're planning on killing 330-odd minke whales. That's what they've said. This government promised to send a vessel down there and now they're crab walking away. Why is that? That's the question to this government. They're going weak at the knees. They promised the Australian people they would do this and now we hear in this chamber today that they're not prepared to follow through. It's pathetic.