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Wednesday, 2 December 2015
Page: 9677


Senator WHISH-WILSON (Tasmania) (15:53): I, and also on behalf of Senator Wang, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) in 1979 Australia adopted an anti-whaling policy, permanently ending whaling in Australian waters,

(ii) in 1986, the International Whaling Commission moratorium on commercial whaling came into place,

(iii) in March 2014, Australia won its case against Japan in the International Court of Justice in regards to whaling in Antarctic waters,

(iv) in November 2014, Japan lodged a new whaling plan with the International Whaling Commission to slaughter 3 333 minke whales in Antarctic water,

(v) in April 2015, the Scientific Committee rejected the need for lethal whale sampling in order for Japan to achieve its scientific objectives,

(vi) on 19 November 2015 the Federal Court of Australia fined the Japanese whaling company Kyodo $1 million for hunting whales within an Australian whale sanctuary, and

(vii) in the week beginning 29 November 2015, the Japanese Government gave notice That the whaling fleet will be leaving port to carry out their commercial whaling; and

(b) calls on the Government and the Prime Minister (Mr Turnbull) to:

(i) uphold their election commitment and send a customs patrol vessel to monitor any Japanese whaling activity, and collect evidence for future legal actions,

(ii) raise the issue, and express the disappointment of the Australian people, directly with the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzō Abe, during discussions on bilateral relations, and

(iii) consider the option put forward by the Second Sydney Panel of Independent Experts to pursue United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea dispute resolution mechanisms to hold Japan accountable for their continued commercial whaling.

I seek leave to make short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator WHISH-WILSON: I think I speak on behalf of most Australians today when I say that they are disappointed, frustrated and just a little bit angry that yesterday a Japanese harpoon fleet left Japanese waters to travel for the Southern Ocean, to what is deemed to be an international whale sanctuary, under the guise of doing research whaling, which has been found by the International Court of Justice to not be an excuse to slaughter whales. In fact, their actions have been found to be illegal. The motion in front of the Senate today is a message from the parliament that this government needs to take strong action. It needs to raise this issue at the highest level, with the Japanese Prime Minister, when our Prime Minister meets him in two weeks time. We need to make sure our Customs vessel is sent—in line with LNP policy going into the last election—to monitor the Japanese boats. And we need to immediately launch a new set of legal actions through the United Nations.