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Tuesday, 10 August 2004
Page: 26044

Senator BROWN (5:57 PM) —The answer is `historical' but it is not in this agreement. What on earth does the minister mean when he says that it is historical that there are whales, porpoises and dugongs listed here as a sort of remnant from some past age of slaughter and trade and when he says, `Goodness me, we won't be looking at trading in these creatures in the future'? They are on the list. He mentioned the WHO; maybe he meant the WTO. It is inconceivable that Australians negotiating this agreement—this government, the Howard government—could leave whales and dolphins, and cetaceans generally, on the list. What Senator Nettle's inquiry leads to and what I am asking is this: will the government take them off the list, to remove doubt? If there is no doubt that they are not going to be traded in the future, will the government remove these from the tariff list to dispel the doubt which otherwise the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society has every right to entertain?