May 20, 2005

Campbell’s Clangers on Whales

Campbell’s Clangers on Whales

MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 20 May 2005

Environment Minister, Ian Campbell, has finally put his head above water and told us he has “a plan” to save the whales. Tragically, his plan is full of holes.

Senator Campbell’s “plan” merely re-announced the already existing Australian Whale Sanctuary, but he’s dropped the Australian Antarctic Territory from his map of the sanctuary.

That’s a huge chunk of Australian territory that seems to have been conceded to Japanese whalers.

Also, Senator Campbell has merely re-announced the existing protection for whales under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.

It’s a pity his Government didn’t enforce their own laws, because that might have saved the 400 whales that have been killed in Australian waters since 1999.

And he’s finally released a recovery plan for whales, as required by the 1999 EPBC Act.

I today joined with State and Territory Ministers to demand that

• Whaling activity is stopped from occurring in Australian Territorial waters by the Commonwealth Government.

• Immediate steps are taken to prosecute boats detected slaughtering whales within Australian Territorial Waters.

• The Foreign Minister applies diplomatic pressure to Japan to stop it from expanding its whale killing activity.

• The Howard Government take immediate action to ensure Australia’s opposition to the proposed expansion of whale killing is clearly conveyed to all International Whaling Commission members.

• The Howard Government push at the International Whaling Commission for a South Pacific Whale Sanctuary.