May 20, 2005

Labor calls on Howard to stop whale slaughter in Australia

Labor calls on Howard to stop whale slaughter in Australian waters

MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 20 May 2005

Shadow Minister for the Environment, Anthony Albanese, joined with State and Territory Governments today to condemn the Howard Government for its failure to effectively oppose the proposed slaughter of Humpback Whales and the proposed increase in the slaughter of Minke Whales.

In a joint Communique released today, all State and Territory Governments and the Federal Labor Opposition 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.

• That the Howard Government reaffirm its commitment to the establishment of a South Pacific Whale Sanctuary.

We recognise the environmental and economic benefits of protecting whales, and call on the Howard Government to do more than just talk.

Whale watching is a major eco tourism industry in Australia.

We will continue to work together to pressure the Howard Government to protect whales.

Communique follows:

Whale Conservation
Communiqué

Federal Shadow Environment Minister State and Territory Environment Ministers

Anthony Albanese MP (Federal Shadow), Hon. John Thwaites (Vic), Hon. Bob Debus (NSW), Hon John Hill (SA), Hon Dr Judy Edwards (WA), Hon Jon Stanhope (ACT), Hon Desley Boyle (QLD), Hon Judy Jackson (Tas), Hon Marion Scrymgour (NT)

Whaling in Australian Waters was banned in 1981 when the Whale Protection Act 1980 came into effect.

Australia has traditionally led international efforts to protect whales.

Australia played a key role in the declaration of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in 1994.

Given the proud record that Australia has had in the past in international whale conservation, current moves by Japan to increase it’s killing of whales must be strongly opposed.

The States and Territories of Australia join with the Federal Opposition in condemning the Howard Government for its failure to effectively oppose the proposed slaughter of Humpback Whales and the proposed increase in the slaughter of Minke Whales.

All the States and Territories and the Federal Labor Opposition demand that

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

• Immediate steps be taken to prosecute boats detected slaughtering whales within Australian Territorial Waters under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

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

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

• That the Howard Government reaffirm its commitment to the establishment of a South Pacific Whale Sanctuary.

The social, environmental and economic benefits of protecting whales is recognised by all the Australian State and Territory Governments and the Federal Opposition.

Whale watching is a major eco tourism industry in Australia.

The Humpback Whale is listed as a vulnerable species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and deserves full protection.

We will continue to work together to pressure the Howard Government to protect Whale populations.

20 May 2005