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Wednesday, 14 November 2018
Page: 8164


Senator WHISH-WILSON (Tasmania) (16:21): I ask that general business notice of motion No. 1203, standing in my name for today, relating to whaling, be taken as a formal motion.

The PRESIDENT: Is there any objection to this motion being taken as formal?

Senator Ruston: Yes.

The PRESIDENT: There is an objection.

Senator WHISH-WILSON: I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator WHISH-WILSON: It's very disappointing that this motion about Japanese whaling has been denied formality today. This is not a complex foreign matter; this is a very simple matter. The Japanese whaling fleet left two nights ago from Japan, heading to the Southern Ocean. The Japanese Prime Minister is coming to Australia this Friday. We're rolling out the red-carpet-engagement treatment for the Japanese Prime Minister. It's a friendship/close allies visit to talk about closer regional ties, defence and national security.

This is an issue. There is a massive object in the room that no-one is talking about, and it's called a minke whale. There are 333 of them that the Japanese harpoon fleets are heading into the Southern Ocean to kill this summer. Why aren't we doing something about it? I think that this motion reflects what most Australians feel on this issue, and this chamber has thumbed its nose at the sentiment of the Australian people.