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Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Page: 3584

Mr Robert asked the Minister for Home Affairs, in writing, on 25 February 2009:

Why did the Federal Police raid the anti-whaling ship Steve Irwin?

Mr Debus (Minister for Home Affairs) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

On 9 February 2009, Japanese authorities referred a number of incidents between the Marine Vessel (MV) Steve Irwin and Japanese whaling vessels to the Australian Embassy in Tokyo. As a result of the referral and in accordance with Australia’s domestic obligations under the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation 1988, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) commenced preliminary enquiries regarding alleged violations of Australian domestic law.

As a result of these enquiries, the AFP boarded and executed a search warrant on the MV Steve Irwin, following its arrival in Hobart on 20 February 2009. The decision to execute a search warrant was an operational decision of the AFP.

Further information on this matter is available in the Hansard record of the AFP’s appearance before Additional Estimates on 23 February 2009.