Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 19 February 1987
Page: 262

Senator McINTOSH —I refer the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs to the sinking last year of the boat the Southern Raider by the French Navy and the subsequent conviction of the crew, including Australian citizens, for illegal fishing. Is the Minister aware of a report in the Australian today in which the French Defence Minister has admitted that the boat was not fishing? Given this and the admission in October by Prime Minister Chirac that he personally ordered the French Navy to open fire on the Southern Raider, I ask the Minister whether the Government has sought a formal explanation from the French Government on the reasons for the sinking of the Southern Raider. If not, will he now do so?

Senator GARETH EVANS —No formal explanation has yet been sought from the French Government, although the Australian Government has been continuing to monitor the situation quite closely on the ground. The question of whether an explanation will be requested is still under consideration. The vessel was registered in Panama and it may be in fact appropriate for that country to make a formal request.