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Lack of Government action on whaling

The Australian Greens today expressed deep concerns for the upcoming whaling season, after comments from Minister Garrett revealed that the Government has no plans to send a vessel into the Southern ocean this summer.

"I am deeply disappointed and amazed that the Government is not sending a boat down to monitor the Japanese whaling activity this season," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

"With reports that the Japanese fleet have already left port, it is only a matter of time before they start whaling."

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Government must make clear their position on whaling: Greens

The Australian Greens today accused the Rudd Government of backing down on whaling.

Senator Rachel Siewert said when asked in estimates hearings that the Government still hasn't decided whether to take legal action to protect whales or committed funding to ongoing surveillance of whaling activities.

"We have the next whaling season starting in the very near future but still no decision from the Government," said Senator Siewert.

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Whaling & International Legal Action

Legal & Constitutional Affairs Committee
Budget Estimates for 2008-09 (Supplementary hearings)

Senator SIEWERT-I want to ask about whales and about where we are up to with any international
action that Australia may or may not be considering. Could we have an update of where we are up to, please?

Mr Campbell-The government is still considering whether to commence legal proceedings.

Senator SIEWERT-It seems to have been considering it for quite a period of time. Is there a time frame for when you will finalise that?

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Rudd must raise Indigenous Rights at UN

The Australian Greens are calling on the Prime Minister to make a statement in support of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples when he addresses the UN General Assembly this week.

"This is a one-off opportunity to show a new face of Australian politics when Kevin Rudd addresses the United Nations," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

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Greens ‘New Century’ Australia Senate Agenda

The Australian Greens today outlined their vision for Australia in the new century ahead of the opening of the Balance-of-Power Senate.

Australian Greens Leader, Senator Bob Brown, said a record 1.17 million people voted Greens at the last election, and the five Greens Senators were ready to work constructively with all parties to respond to the challenges of the new century.

"Pollution, poverty, discrimination and the destruction of Australia's forests and precious environments are the legacy of the last century and decades of greed and inaction."

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Greens welcome Colombian hostage release

The Australian Greens welcomed the release today of Clara Rojas one of two hostages released by Colombian rebels. Clara was running mate and campaign manager for Greens' ex-presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, with whom she was kidnapped in 2002.


Greens Senator Rachel Siewert called on the Australian government to join international efforts to secure the release of all hostages and bring peace in the long-running war in Colombia.


"Unfortunately Ingrid and thousands of other hostages are still being held by the rebels."

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Greens Condemn Assassination

The Australian Greens today condemned the assassination of Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.
"The extremists responsible for this despicable act clearly want to further destabilize Pakistan and undermine progress towards democracy," said Greens spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.


"We join Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in urging all parties in Pakistan to act with restraint and to work for a return to a peaceful democratic process."

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Greens Support call for International Body to Control High Seas

The Australian Greens have supported the call by the IUCN today for urgent action to deal with the growing threat to our oceans from unregulated activity beyond national jurisdictions.

"Ocean mining, iron fertilization, seismic testing, bioprospecting and overfishing are causing increasing problems in oceans around the world and as a consequence the international community needs to respond by establishing an Intergovernmental Panel on the Oceans to assist in the development of policies that respond to these threats," according to Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

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