Jun 22, 2005

Question without notice: Whaling


22 June 2005

Mr ALBANESE (2.06 p.m.)—My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. Is the Prime Minister aware of the comments by the Parliamentary Secretary for Industry, Tourism and Resources, who, according to yesterday’s Cairns Post, said that the slaughter of whales for food is ‘okay’? Is the Prime Minister aware that the member for Leichhardt stated that he has ‘issue with the government taking a position of total prohibition against countries killing whales’? Given that whale watching contributes some $300 million annually to Australian tourism, will the Prime Minister send a clear and unequivocal message by harpooning the member for Leichhardt from his position as parliamentary secretary for tourism?

The SPEAKER—That question is bordering on being ruled out of order, but, if the Prime Minister chooses to answer it, I invite him to do so.

Mr HOWARD—I would be happy to answer it. I am glad they have the heavyweights in action now! I simply say that our policy on this is very well known. What is more, it has been powerfully articulated by Senator Ian Campbell, who has done a wonderful job. I endorse without reservation everything that he has said on the subject.