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Wednesday, 5 December 2018
Page: 9552

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Senator WHISH-WILSON (Tasmania) (16:39): I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes the service of the Sea Shepherd's MY Steve Irwin in defence of the world's oceans and marine life through a total of 18 campaigns over the past 10 years, including:

(i) nine Antarctic whale defence campaigns: Operation Leviathan (2006), Operation Migaloo (2007), Operation Musashi (2008), Operation Waltzing Matilda (2009), Operation No Compromise (2010), Operation Divine Wind (2011), Operation Zero Tolerance (2012), Operation Relentless (2013) and Operation Nemesis (2016),

(ii) one Kimberley whale defence campaign: Operation Kimberley Miinimbi (2012),

(iii) two Great Australian Bight oil drilling campaigns: Operation Jeedara (2016) and Operation Jeedara II (2018),

(iv) one Great Barrier Reef coal mining campaign: Operation Reef Defence (2018),

(v) one Southern Ocean illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing campaign: Operation Icefish 2 (2015), and

(vi) one Southern Indian Ocean illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing campaign: Operation Driftnet (2016); and

(b) calls upon the Federal Government to:

(i) officially recognise the service of the MY Steve Irwin, and

(ii) honour its 2013 election commitment and send customs vessel to the Southern Ocean this summer to monitor Japanese whaling, especially given the absence of the Sea Shepherd.

I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator WHISH-WILSON: Senators, can I have your attention for one second. Who in this chamber honestly, genuinely wants to sea whales slaughtered this summer in the Southern Ocean? Who wants to see the Japanese whaling fleet slaughter whales in the Southern Ocean? I think I can say that unanimously none of us do, and most of the Australian people don't want to see it either. For nine whaling campaigns, this boat, the MY Steve Irwin, has gone down to the Southern Ocean and put the Sea Shepherd crew between the Japanese whaling fleet and Australian whales. All this motion asks is that this be recognised. The boat is about to be decommissioned and, in recognition of the service of the MY Steve Irwin and all the great work the crew has done over the years including taking on unregulated and illegal fishing very successfully. May I say that we call on the Australian government to uphold their election commitment and send a Customs vessel to the Southern Ocean this summer to twin the Japanese sailing fleet and let them know there are eyes on the water.