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"Lick whaling, not stamps"

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"Lick whaling, not stamps"

Senator Siewert, 7th June 2006

Senator Rachel Siewert has stated her support for demonstrations occurring around the country today for stronger Australian action to protect whales.

"Tomorrow is World Ocean Day," Senator Siewert said. "It would be a fitting day for the Federal Government to take a real stand to protect these majestic creatures," she said.

In the wake of the slaughter in January, Environment Minister Ian Campbell's announcement of a new series of whale stamps falls well short of the steps that must be taken to protect the creatures this year.

"On 8 November last year, Minister Campbell pointed out on ABC radio that he would know diplomacy had been successful if the whaling fleet returned to Japan empty.

"The boats returned with 863 slaughtered whales in their cargo holds. This year the proposed hunt is even bigger. Clearly diplomacy failed, and now real action must be taken.

"The International Fund for Animal Welfare convened an independent legal panel which found that so-called 'scientific whaling' is illegal. It found emphatically that Japanese whaling is unlawful under international law, and contravenes several international conventions."

"This is only the latest piece of evidence on the pile. What more does the Minister need to take legal action?"

"The way is open for the Australian Government to commence legal proceedings against the Japanese whalers. The Minister can even put one of his stamps on the envelope," Senator Siewert said.

For more information or comment call Chris Twomey 0407 725 025