Nov 10, 2005

Adjournment – Whaling



10 November 2005

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (4.58 p.m.)—This week, Japanese whaling ships began their journey to slaughter whales in Australian waters. This comes at a time of strong legal advice from Australian and international experts that a case before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea has a very good chance of success. This tribunal has the right to prescribe provisional measures that could be granted within 14 days to stop the whale slaughter.

Diplomacy is important, and we are with the government there, but diplomacy has not worked. The Japanese plan to double their take this year and also to take fin whales, larger whales, for the first time in some while. Given that in 1999 the Howard government appealed to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to stop Japan fishing for southern blue fin tuna, the Howard government must now take immediate legal action to stop the slaughter of these whales. The Minister for the Environment and Heritage criticised Labor for not taking the action. However, he must not be aware that ITLOS was only formed in 1996 and heard its first case in 1997. We need to do more than condemn Japan in meetings, important as that is; we need to take action in the real world to stop this slaughter.