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Tuesday, 11 September 2018
Page: 6054


Senator WHISH-WILSON (Tasmania) (16:09): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator WHISH-WILSON: It's nothing personal against Senator Ruston, but she is a junior minister with no experience in this portfolio. This is an extremely important juncture in the development of the International Whaling Commission. At a time when the Japanese government have become so bold that they are no longer even hiding behind the figment of scientific whaling but, indeed, are suggesting, after 30 years, going back to full commercial whaling, what do we do? We send a junior minister to Brazil to the International Whaling Commission. Japan has sent nine members of their parliament to this delegation. What do we get? A minister that's not even going to be there when the motion is moved in the last two days of this week. What signal does this send the Japanese government? It sends a signal that we're weak and spineless on this issue and that we have backed away from 30 years of leadership on protecting whales. It's a disgrace.

The PRESIDENT: The question is that motion No. 1029 be agreed to.