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Friday, 6 December 1985
Page: 3210


Senator VIGOR(3.29) —The Australian Democrats approve the general intention of the Ashmore and Cartier Islands Acceptance Amendment Bill 1985 to clarify the laws which operate in the islands and to update Northern Territory law which applies in that area. The Minister for Territories (Mr Scholes) stated in his second reading speech, that he would be recommending to the Governor- General a Territory ordinance specifying that certain Northern Territory laws shall not apply or are to be modified. The example given was a criminal code Act. We certainly agree that several aspects of this Act are obnoxious. However, we are particularly concerned at the omission of any reference to exemption or modification of the Northern Territory environment and conservation legislation as it would apply to Ashmore and Cartier Islands.

The Northern Territory conservation laws are the worst and the weakest in Australia, falling far below the standard of Federal legislation to protect the environment. For instance, mining is permitted in national parks. I instance the Jabiru mine in the Kakadu National Park. Of course, this may result from the fact that the Northern Territory Minister responsible for the environment is also the Northern Territory Minister for Mines and Energy. Mention was made in the second reading speech of the Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce (Senator Button) of the petroleum and other exploration companies already active or examining possibilities in the area of Ashmore and Cartier Islands. I believe that this should set off a few alarm bells and alert us to the environmental damage already threatening these islands. Because of time restraints, I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard three newspaper cuttings from the Northern Territory News, two dated 4 Febrauary 1984 and one dated 7 February 1984.

Leave granted.

The documents read as follows-

GOVERNMENT HOPES DASHED OVER

ISLAND CONTROL

By Frank Alcorta

A letter sent recently by Home Affairs and Environment Minister, Mr Barry Cohen to Territory MHR, Mr John Reeves, dashes all hope that the NT Government had to recover administrative control of the Ashmore and Cartier Islands.

The two groups of islands have been the subject of controversy between the Territory and Federal Governments after Mr Everingham offered to include the Cocos (Keeling) Island within the Territory boundaries for voting purposes if Cartier and Ashmore were transferred to Territory control.

The NT Government has also disagreed with the Federal Government's decision to exclude Territory fishermen from the newly-declared Ashmore National Park.

In his letter to Mr Reeves, Mr Cohen says that the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier have been Commonwealth Territory since 1933 when it took control of the islands from the United Kingdom.

``For convenience, the Territory was administered together with the Northern Territory,'' Mr Cohen said.

``This arrangement ceased when the Northern Territory gained self-government on July 1, 1978, and the Territory is now administered by the Department of Territories and Local Government''.

Mr Cohen said that on advice of the Commonwealth Crown Solicitor the three islands on Ashmore reef are owned by the Commonwealth and could therefore be declared a reserve under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act of 1975.

The Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve was proclaimed by the Federal Government on July 28, 1983.

The reserve includes the whole Ashmore reef, the three islands on the reef and the surrounding waters to a depth of 50 metres.

But the issue could be complicated by the Jabiru oil finds.

Two days ago discussions over the potentially oil rich field between Australia and Indonesia began.

Officials of the two countries will try to resolve where the sea border should be drawn.

If the border is drawn on the basis agreed by the Indonesians in 1971 it will give Australia jurisdiction over 70 per cent of the sea-bed between Australia and Indonesia.

But if the agreement is drawn along the basis discussed by the Portuguese before they surrendered their East Timorese colony to the Indonesians things are likely to be a lot tougher for Australia.

In 1974-75 the Portuguese insisted that the sea-bed boundary should be drawn half-way between Timor and Australia which would put the Jabiru oil fields in Indonesian territory.

Australian Government sources insist that the Jabiru oil field is not affected by the negotiations although they concede that the adjacent Kelp area is right in the middle of the Timor trough which is the subject of negotiations.

The discussions are likely to be complicated by the fact that the Indonesians might try to reopen negotiations on the whole question of the boundary rather on filling the gaps.

In the unlikely event that this happens, sovereignty over Jabiru and the whole oil field in Kelp will be thrown into question.

ISLAND CONTROL NOT FOR NT

Apparently the NT Government is not going to have a say in the future administrative control of the Ashmore and Cartier Islands.

This is important because the islands are in the Jabiru oil zone, the source of Australia's petroleum needs in the immediate future.

Although there is no suggestion that the islands and the surrounding sea area will be questioned by the Indonesians, there is a strong doubt that the Kelp region to the west of Cartier will be opened to BHP.

The discussions between Indonesia and Australia are likely to be long and arduous.

The issue is oil. Let us not make any mistake about it.

This was the overriding concern of the Portuguese when they started negotiations with Australia in 1974.

The negotiations were broken off after the Indonesian invasion of East Timor.

The Indonesians were far more accommodating than the Portuguese because they wanted Australian consent, if not approval, of their take-over of East Timor.

But now circumstances have changed. Australia has accepted a de-facto annexation of East Timor and the Indonesians no longer have to pander to world opinion for their action in Timor.

There has also been a formidable bout of oil exploration activity in the surrounding seas.

The activity resulted in the Jabiru find and in very optimistic forecasts in the Kelp region, just west of Jabiru.

This is likely to influence the discussions on the sea boundary.

Neither wants a brawl over vast empty expanses of sea. Neither would be interested in the ownership of a few desolate coral reefs.

But the potential of oil riches makes these discussions different.

Australia will argue that the Ashmore and Cartier Islands were ceded to the Commonwealth by the British Government through a treaty that had nothing to do with the Dutch colonies, namely Indonesia.

Responsibilities

The Indonesians will probably argue that the whole shelf between Australia and Timor should be negotiated and that Indonesia was not part of old colonial agreements negotiated by European powers.

Australia must stick by its responsibilities to the Territories of Ashmore and Cartier as well as for its claim to the Kelp shelf.

In exchange we should offer co-operation in exploration and exploitation of oil fields in Kelp.

We should also offer the Indonesians a piece of the cake in the establishment of refinery facilities in Darwin.

ISLANDS PARK BRAWL BREWS

No Consultation-Tuxworth

By Frank Alcorta

A new brawl is developing between the Federal and Territory government over Canberra's intention to declare the Ashmore group of islands a national park under the control of the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Services (ANPWS).

The first intimation of the Federal Government's intentions came in May 1983 when Professor J D Ovington, ANPWS director, wrote to Mr B J Cameron, then NT Primary Production secretary.

Professor Ovington said in his letter that under the National Parks and Wildlife Service Act 1975, he was required to prepare a Plan of Management for a reserve as soon as practicable.

The plan would be designed to ``provide strict protection to the reef system.''

Professor Ovington at the time refused to give guarantees that commercial fishing would be allowed in the park area.

In October 1983 Mr Ian Tuxworth, NT Primary Production Minister, wrote to Mr J Kerin, Federal Primary Industry Minister.

Mr Tuxworth referred to the previous correspondence between his department and Professor Ovington and complained that the ANPWS had consulted only federal departments.

``I am very concerned'', Mr Tuxworth said, ``that not only was not my department consulted by your Fisheries Division but that the ANPWS also has made no attempt to discuss this matter with either my department or the NT fishing industry.

He sought assurances that the NT Government and industry would be fully consulted in the development of a management plan for the Ashmore national park.

Mr Kerin was not helpful in his answer. He said that the proclamation of a reserve in the Ashmore island was ``a matter for decision by the ANPWS only.''

The federal minister, however, did not rule out future fishing operations in the park area.

Fisheries Division chief in the NT, Mr Dick Slack-Smith, said that he had been in contact with the ANPWS in relation to the development of a management plan.

``The future of fishing in that area should be taken into account,'' he said.

The Ashmore and Cartier Islands recently became a matter of controversy between the Territory and Federal governments when it was suggested that the Cocos Islands should be included within the Territory boundaries for voting purposes.

The Chief Minister, Mr Paul Everingham, said before Christmas that his government would consider the Cocos proposition if the Federal Government devolved control of the Ashmore and Cartier Islands to the Northern Territory.

The two groups of islands are important not only for their fishing potential but because they are placed within the boundaries of the oil-rich Jabiru field.

BHP, in charge of Jabiru, could not be contacted for comment this morning on the possible effects of the declaration of the park on future oil exploration.

The Indonesian consulate in Darwin also refused to comment on the future of Indonesian fishermen who now used the islands as base for their operations.


Senator VIGOR —Cartier Island is used by migratory birds which Australia has undertaken to protect. The agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of Japan for the protection of migratory birds in danger of extinction and of their environment deserves to be looked at. This area needs better protection. I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard the text of that agreement, rather than discuss it.

Leave granted.

The agreement read as follows-

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

CANBERRA, A.C.T.

AGREEMENT

between the

GOVERNMENT OF AUSTRALIA

and the

GOVERNMENT OF JAPAN

for the Protection of Migratory Birds in danger of extinction and their environment

(Tokyo, 6 February 1974)

Entry into force: 30 April 1981

TREATY SERIES 1981

No. 6

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING SERVICE

CANBERRA 1982

AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF JAPAN AND THE GOVERNMENT OF AUSTRALIA FOR THE PROTECTION OF MIGRATORY BIRDS AND BIRDS IN DANGER OF EXTINCTION AND THEIR ENVIRONMENT

The Government of Japan and the Government of Australia,

Considering that birds constitute an important element in the natural environment and play an essential role in enriching the natural environment and that this role may be enhanced by proper management thereof,

Recognising the special international concern, as expressed, for example, at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, for the protection of migratory birds and birds in danger of extinction,

Noting the existence of bilateral and multilateral agreements for the protection of migratory birds and birds in danger of extinction,

Considering that many species of birds migrate between Japan and Australia and live seasonally in the respective countries and that there are certain species of birds which are in danger of extinction and also that co-operation between the two Governments is essential for the conservation of these birds, and

Desiring to co-operate in taking measures for the management and protection of migratory birds and birds in danger of extinction and also for the management and protection of their environments,

Have agreed as follows:

Article I

1. In this Agreement, the term `migratory birds' means:

(a) the species of birds for which there is reliable evidence of migration between the two countries from the recovery of bands or other markers; and

(b) the species of birds with subspecies common to both countries or, in the absence of subspecies, the species of birds common to both countries (excepting those whose non-migratory nature is biologically evident). The identification of these species and subspecies shall be based upon specimens, photographs or other reliable evidence.

2. (a) The list of the species defined as migratory birds in accordance with paragraph 1 of this Article is contained in the Annex to this Agreement.

(b) The competent authorities of the two Governments shall review from time to time the Annex and, if necessary, make recommendations to their respective Governments to amend it.

(c) The Annex shall be considered amended three months after the date upon which the two Governments confirm, by an exchange of diplomatic notes, their respective acceptance of such recommendations.

Article II

1. Each Government shall prohibit the taking of migratory birds or their eggs. However, exceptions to the prohibition of taking may be permitted in accordance with the laws and regulations in force in each country in the following cases:

(a) for scientific, educational, propagative or other specific purposes not inconsistent with the objectives of this Agreement;

(b) for the purpose of protecting persons and property;

(c) during hunting seasons established in accordance with paragraph 3 of this Article; and

(d) to allow the hunting and gathering of specified birds or their eggs by the inhabitants of certain regions who have traditionally carried on such activities for their own food, clothing or cultural purposes, provided that the population of each species is maintained in optimum numbers and that adequate preservation of the species is not prejudiced.

2. Each Government shall prohibit any sale, purchase or exchange of migratory birds or their eggs, whether they are alive or dead, except those taken in accordance with the second sentence of paragraph 1 of this Article, or of the products thereof or their parts.

3. Each Government may establish seasons for hunting migratory birds taking into account the maintenance of normal reproduction of those birds.

Article III

1. Each Government shall take special protective measures, as appropriate, for the preservation of species or subspecies of birds which are in danger of extinction.

2. Whenever either Government has determined the species or subspecies of birds which are in danger of extinction and taken special protective measures therefor, the Government shall inform the other Government of such determination and of any cancellation thereafter of such determination.

3. Each Government shall control the exportation or importation of such species or subspecies of birds as are determined in accordance with paragraph 2 of this Article, and of the products thereof.

Article IV

1. The two Governments shall exchange data and publications regarding research on migratory birds and birds in danger of extinction.

2. Each Government shall encourage the formulation of joint research programs on migratory birds and birds in danger of extinction.

3. Each Government shall encourage the conservation of migratory birds and birds in danger of extinction.

Article V

Each Government shall endeavour to establish sanctuaries and other facilities for the management and protection of migratory birds and birds in danger of extinction and also of their environment.

Article VI

Each Government shall endeavour to take appropriate measures to preserve and enhance the environment of birds protected under the provisions of this Agreement. In particular, it shall:

(a) seek means to prevent damage to such birds and their environment;

(b) endeavour to take such measures as may be necessary to control the importation of animals and plants which it determines to be hazardous to the preservation of such birds; and

(c) endeavour to take such measures as may be necessary to control the introduction of animals and plants which could disturb the ecosytems of unique island environments.

Article VII

Each Government agrees to take measures necessary to carry out the purposes of this Agreement.

Article VIII

Upon the request of either Government, the two Governments shall hold consultations regarding the operation of this Agreement.

Article IX

1. This Agreement shall be ratified and the instruments of ratification shall be exchanged at Canberra as soon as possible.

2. This Agreement shall enter into force on the date of the exchange of the instruments of ratification.1 It shall remain in force for fifteen years and shall continue in force thereafter until terminated as provided herein.

3. Either Government may, by giving one year's notice in writing, terminate this Agreement at the end of the initial fifteen year period or at any time thereafter.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorised by their respective Governments, have signed this Agreement.

DONE in duplicate, in the English and Japanese languages, each text being equally authentic, at Tokyo, this sixth day of February, one thousand nine hundred and seventy-four.

For the Government

of Australia

(signed) D. J. HORNE

For the Government

of Japan

(signed) MASAYOSHI OHIRA

1 The Agreement entered into force on 30 April 1981.

ANNEX

Common Name

Scientific Name

1 Streaked Shearwater

Calonectris leucomellas

2 Wedge-tailed Shearwater

Puffinus pacificus

3 Fleshy-footed Shearwater

Puffinus carneipes

4 Sooty Shearwater

Puffinus griseus

5 Short-tailed Shearwater

Puffinus tenuirostris

6 Wilson's Storm-petrel

Oceanites oceanicus

7 Leach's Storm-petrel

Oceanodroma Leucorhoa

8 White-tailed Tropic-bird

Phaethon lepturus

9 Brown Booby

Sula leucogaster

10 Masked Booby

Sula dactylatra

11 Red-footed Booby

Sula sula

12 Greater Frigate-bird

Fregata minor

13 Lesser Frigate-bird

Fregata ariel

14 Cattle Egret

Bubulcus ibis

15 White Egret

Egretta alba

16 Garganey Teal

Anas querquedula

17 Ringed Plover

Charadrius hiaticula

18 Mongolian Sand-dotterel

Charadrius mongolus

19 Large Sand-dotterel

Charadrius leschenaultii

20 Oriental Dotterel

Charadrius asiaticus

21 Eastern Golden Plover

Pluvialis dominica

22 Grey Plover

Pluvialis squatarola

23 Turnstone

Arenaria interpres

24 Red-necked Stint

Calidris ruficollis

25 Long-toed Stint

Calidris minutilla (including Calidris subminuta)

26 Baird's Sandpiper

Calidris bairdii

27 Pectoral Sandpiper

Calidris melanotos

28 Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Calidris acuminata

29 Curlew Sandpiper

Calidris ferruginea

30 Knot

Calidris canutus

31 Great Knot

Calidris tenuirostris

32 Sanderling

Crocethia alba

33 Ruff (Reeve)

Philomachus pugnax

34 Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Tryngites subruficollis

35 Broad-billed Sandpiper

Limicola falcinellus

36 Little Greenshank

Tringa stagnatilis

37 Greenshank

Tringa nebularia

38 Wood Sandpiper

Tinga Glareola

39 Grey-tailed Tattler

Tringa Brevipes

40 Wandering Tattler

Tringa incana

41 Common Sandpiper

Tringa hypoleucos

42 Terek Sandpiper

Xenus cinereus

43 Black-tailed Godwit

Limosa limosa

44 Bar-tailed Godwit

Limosa lapponica

45 Eastern Curlew

Numenius madagascariensis

46 Whimbrel

Numenius phaeopus

47 Little Whimbrell

Numenius minutus

48 Pin-tailed Snipe

Gallinago megala

49 Japanes Snipe

Gallinago hardwickii

50 Red-necked Phalarope

Phalaropus lobatus

51 Oriental Pratincole

Galareola pratincola

52 South-polar Skua

Stercorarius skua

53 Pomarine Skua

Stercorarius pomarinus

54 Arctic Skua

Stercorarius parasiticus

55 White-winged Black Tern

Chlidonias leucoptera

56 Crested Tern

Sterna bergii

57 Asiatic Common Tern

Sterna hirundo

58 Black-naped Tern

Sterna sumatrana

59 Bridled Tern

Sterna anaethetus

60 Little Tern

Sterna albifrons

61 Noddy

Anous stolidus

62 Oriental Cuckoo

Cuculus saturatus

63 Spine-tailed Swift

Chaetura caudacuta

64 Fork-tailed Swift

Apus pacificus

65 Barn Swallow

Hirundo rustica

66 Yellow Wagtail

Motacilla flava

(Note from the Department of Foreign Affairs to the Embassy of Japan, Canberra)

CH103523

I

The Department of Foreign Affairs presents its compliments to the Embassy of Japan and has the honour to refer to the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of Japan for the Protection of Migratory Birds and Birds in Danger of Extinction and their Environment which was signed at Tokyo on 6 February 1974.

In accordance with Article III (2) the Department wishes to inform the Embassy that the Government of Australia has determined that the species or subspecies of birds in the attached list are birds in danger of extinction.

The Department of Foreign Affairs avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Embassy of Japan the assurances of its highest consideration.

CANBERRA, A.C.T.

30 April 1981

OFFICIAL LIST OF AUSTRALIAN ENDANGERED BIRDS

(Dates shown in parentheses represent the date of the last authentic record of a taxon.)

Scientific Names

Common Names

Procellariiformes Procellariidae

Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera

Goulds Petrel

Pterodroma solandri

Providence Petrel

Puffinus carneipes hullianus

Lord Howe Island Fleshy-footed Shearwater

Pelecaniformes Sulidae

Sula abbotti

Abbott's Booby

Fregatidae

Fregata andrewsi

Christmas Island Frigatebird

Falconiformes Accipitridae

Accipiter radiatus

Red Goshawk

Gruiformes Pedionomidae

Pedionomus torquatus

Plains Wanderer

Rallidae

Tricholimnas sylvestris

Lord Howe Island Woodhen

Charadriiformes Laridae

Anous tenuirostris

Lesser Noddy

Psittaciformes Psittacidae

Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae cookii

Norfolk Island Parrot

Cyclopsitta diophthalma coxeni

Coxens Fig Parrot

Geopsittacus occidentalis

Night Parrot

Neophema chrysogaster

Orange-bellied Parrot

Pezoporus wallicus

Ground Parrot

Polytelis alexandrae

Princess Parrot

Psephotus chrysop terygius

Golden-shouldered Parrot

Psephotus dissimilis

Hooded Parrot

Psephotus pulcherrimus (1922)

Paradise Parrot

Strigiformes Strigidae

Ninox novaeseelandise royalla

Norfolk Island Boobook Owl

Ninox squamipila natalis

Christmas Island Owl

Caprimulgiformes Caprimulgidae

Podargus ocellatus plumiferus

Plumed Frogmouth

Passeriformes Atrichornithidae

Attrichornis clamosus

Noisy Scrub Bird

Maluridae

Malurus coronatus

Purple-crowned Wren

Amytornis dorotheae

Dorothys Grass-wren

Amytornis textilis textilis

Thick-billed Grass-wren

Acanthizidae

Dasyornis longirostris

Western Bristlebird

Dasyornis broadbenti littoralis (1940)

Rufous Bristlebird

Cracticidae

Strepera graculina crissalis

Lord Howe Island Currawong

Timaliidae

Psophodes nigrogularis

Western Whipbird

Pardalotidae

Pardalotus quadragintus

Forty-spotted Pardalote

Zosteropidae

Zosterops albogularis

Norfolk Island Silvereye

Meliphagidae

Lichenostomus melanops cassidix

Helmeted Honeyeater

Manorina melanotis

Black-eared Miner

Turdidae

Drymodes superciliaris colcloughi (1915)

Northern Scrub Robin

(Note from the Embassy of Japan, Canberra to the Department of Foreign Affairs)

II

EMBASSY OF JAPAN

112 Empire Circuit

Yarralumla, A.C.T. 2600

No. 81-024

NOTE VERBALE

The Embassy of Japan presents its compliments to the Department of Foreign Affairs and has the honour to acknowledge the receipt of the latter's Note Verbale No. CH103523 dated 30 April 1981, informing the Embassy that the Government of Australia has determined the species or subspecies of birds in danger of extinction in accordance with the provisions of Article III (2) of the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of Japan for the Protection of Migratory Birds and Birds in Danger of Extinction and their Environment.

The Embassy has further the honour to inform the Department that the Government of Japan has also determined the species or subspecies of birds in danger of extinction as listed in the enclosure, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the above-mentioned Agreement.

The Embassy of Japan avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Department of Foreign Affairs the assurances of its highest consideration.

Canberra, A.C.T.

30 April, 1981

LIST OF ENDANGERED SPECIES OF BIRDS IN JAPAN

Common Names

Scientific Names

Short-tailed Albatross

Diomedea albatrus

Oriental White Stork

Ciconia ciconia boyciana

Japanese Crested Ibis

Nipponia nippon

Aleutian Canada Goose

Branta canadensis leucopareia

Bonin Buzzard

Buteo buteo toyoshimai

Japanese Golden Eagle

Aquila chrysaetos japonica

Ryukyu Serpent Eagle

Spilornis cheela perplexus

Volcano Islands Peregrine Falcon

Falco peregrinus fruitii

Japanese Ptarmigan

Logopus mutus japonicus

Japanese Crane

Gurs japonensis

Nordmann's Greenshank

Tringa guttifer

Stejneger's Wood Pigeon

Columba janthina stejnegeri

Red-headed Wood Pigeon

Columba janthina nitens

Blakiston's Fish-owl

Ketupa blakistoni blakistoni

Pryer's Woodpecker or Okinawa Woodpecker

Sapheopipo noguchi

Owston's White-backed Woodpecker

Dendrocopos leucotos owstoni

Inoue's Three-toed Woodpecker

Picoides tridactylus inouyei

Lesser Chinese Bulbul

Pycnonotus sinensis orii

Borodino Wren

Troglodytes troglodytes orii

Ryukyu Robin

Erithacus komadori komadori

Stejneger's Ryukyu Robin

Erithacus komadori namiyei

Yaeyama Ryukyu Robin

Erithacus komadori subrufa

Amami Ground Thrush

Turdus dauma amami

Torishima Bushwarbler

Cettia diphone panafidinicus

Japanese Swampwarbler

Megalurus pryeri pryeri

Hahajima Honeyeater

Apalopteron familiare hahasima

Bonin Islands Japanese Greenfinch

Carduelis sinica kittlitzi

Lidth's Jay

Garrulus lidthi


Senator VIGOR —I thank the Senate. The agreement with Japan recognises the importance of birds to our environment and it states that each government shall take measures to preserve and prevent damage to migratory birds. Surely we should be taking this commitment into consideration now that we are updating legislation covering Ashmore and Cartier Islands. We must take preventive measures before it is too late.

A memorandum of understanding between the Australian and the Indonesian Governments signed by the Fisheries Division of the then Department of Agriculture and Indonesia's Director of Consumer Affairs in 1974 allows traditional fishermen to fish in the waters of Ashmore and Cartier Islands. I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard that short memorandum.

Leave granted.

The memorandum read as follows-

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF AUSTRALIA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA REGARDING THE OPERATIONS OF INDONESIAN TRADITIONAL FISHERMEN IN AREAS OF THE AUSTRALIAN EXCLUSIVE FISHING ZONE AND CONTINENTAL SHELF

Following discussions held in Jakarta on 6 and 7 November, 1974, the representatives of the Government of Australia and of the Government of the Republic of Indonesia have agreed to record the following understandings.

1. These understandings shall apply to operations by Indonesian traditional fishermen in the exclusive fishing zone and over the continental shelf adjacent to the Australian mainland and offshore islands.

By ``traditional fishermen'' is meant the fishermen who have traditionally taken fish and sedentary organisms in Australian waters by methods which have been the tradition over decades of time.

By ``exclusive fishing zone'' is meant the zone of waters extending twelve miles seaward off the baseline from which the territorial sea of Australia is measured.

2. The Government of the Republic of Indonesia understands that in relation to fishing in the exclusive Australian fishing zone and the exploration for and exploitation of the living natural resources of the Australian continental shelf, in each case adjacent to:

Ashmore Reef (Pulau Pasir) (Latitude 12* 15' South, Longitude 123* 03' East) Cartier Islet (Latitude 12* 32' South, Longitude 123* 33' East) Scott Reef (Latitude 14* 03' South, Longitude 121* 47' East) Seringapatam Reef (Pulau Datu) (Latitude 11* 37' South, Longitude 122* 03' East) Browse Islet (Latitude 14* 06' South, Longitude 123* 32' East).

The Government of Australia will, subject to paragraph 8 of these understandings, refrain from applying its law regarding fisheries to Indonesian traditional fishermen who conduct their operations in accordance with these understandings.

3. The Government of the Republic of Indonesia understands that, in the part of the areas described in paragraph 2 of these understandings where the Government of Australia is authorised by international law to regulate fishing or exploitation for or exploitation of the living natural resources of the Australian continental shelf by foreign nationals, the Government of Australia will permit operations by Indonesian nationals subject to the following conditions:

(a) Indonesian operations in the areas mentioned in paragraph 2 of the understandings shall be confined to traditional fishermen.

(b) Landings by Indonesian traditional fishermen shall be confined to East Islet (Latitude 12* 15' South, Longitude 123* 07' East) and Middle Islet (Latitude 12* 15' South, Longitude 123* 03' East) of Ashmore Reef for the purpose of obtaining supplies of fresh water.

(c) Traditional Indonesian fishing vessels may take shelter within the island groups described in paragraph 2 of these understandings but the person on board shall not go ashore except as allowed in (b) above.

4. The Government of the Republic of Indonesia understands, that the Indonesian fishermen will not be permitted to take turtles in Australian exclusive fishing zone. Trochus, beche de mer, abalone, green snail, sponges and all molluscs will not be taken from the seabed from high water marks to the edge of the continental shelf, except the seabed adjacent to Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Browse Islet and the Scott and Seringapatam Reef.

5. The Government of the Republic of Indonesia understands that the persons on board Indonesian fishing vessels engaging in fishing in the exclusive Australian fishing zone or exploring for or exploiting the living natural resources of the Australian continental shelf, in either case in areas other than those specified in paragraph 2 of these understandings, shall be subject to the provisions of Australian law.

6. The Government of Australia understands that the Government of the Republic of Indonesia will use its best endeavours to notify all Indonesian fishermen likely to operate in areas adjacent to Australia of the contents of these understandings.

7. Both Governments will facilitate the exchange of information concerning the activities of the traditional Indonesian fishing boats operating in the area west of the Timor Sea.

8. The Government of the Republic of Indonesia understands that the Government of Australia will, until the twenty-eighth day of February 1975, refrain from applying its laws relating to fisheries to Indonesian traditional fishermen in areas of the Australian exclusive fishing zone and continental shelf other than those specified in paragraph 2 of these understandings.

Jakarta, November 7, 1974

First Assistant Secretary Fisheries Division

Australian Department of Agriculture

(A. G. Bollen)

Director of Consular Affairs

Department of Foreign Affairs

of Indonesia

(Agus Yaman)


Senator VIGOR —I thank the Senate. Clause 3 (b) permits fishermen to land on Ashmore reef solely for the purpose of obtaining fresh water. Clause 4 prohibits the taking of turtles. Both clauses are regularly being broken. The National Parks and Wildlife Service believes that non-traditional Indonesian fishermen are entering the area and they are destroying bird and turtle life. The Service is unable to take effective action to protect the area against the damage caused by these fishermen. The agreement permits fishermen to enter the area. I bring to the notice of honourable senators the fact that the Customs Act, the Fisheries Act and the Quarantine Act are being broken. Cholera already exists on Ashmore Island and the Indonesian fishermen are the prime suspects for its introduction.

For these reasons the Australian Democrats will be moving an amendment to this Bill to provide some protection for these islands which are nearer to Timor than they are to Australia. I believe we should note that tomorrow is the tenth anniversary of the invasion of East Timor. I bring that to the notice of the Senate.