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Abetz blocks debate on his own whaling bill

Tasmanian Liberal Senator Eric Abetz today voted with the Government to block debate on his own bill to stop Australian companies aiding or abetting the slaughter of whales by the Japanese whaling fleet.

The Prohibition of Support for Whaling Bill was devised by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert after Japanese whalers chartered planes out of Hobart and Albany to spy on Sea Shepherd ships going to obstruct whaling. Senator Abetz then asked Senator Siewert if he could co-host the bill.

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Provisions of services, support and resources to whaling ventures

ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AND BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AMENDMENT (PROHIBITION OF SUPPORT FOR WHALING) BILL 2010

First Reading

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia) (9.59 am)—I, and also on behalf of Senator Abetz, move: That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 to prohibit the provisions of services, support and resources to whaling ventures.

Question agreed to.

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Greens call for end to Aussie spy planes aiding Japanese whaling

The Australian Greens today introduced a private Senators Bill to ban any form of Australian assistance to Japanese whaling, such as the use of spy planes.

"My Bill creates a new offence making it unlawful to provide services, support or resources to an organisation engaged in whaling so the Australian government and local companies can no longer assist Japan's brutal whaling regime," said Australian Greens whaling spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Garrett's whale expedition is more fiddling while Rome burns – Greens

While the launch of an Antarctic whale research expedition today will contribute important scientific data, Minister Peter Garrett is kidding himself if he thinks it will do anything to influence Japanese whaling, according to The Australian Greens.

"Late last year the statements of the new Japanese government clearly indicated that they are pursuing what they consider is their national right to hunt whales for domestic consumption," Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Greens concerned Japan using military personnel to protect illegal whaling

The Australian Greens are deeply concerned by reports that Japan has deployed military personnel on vessels to protect its Antarctic whaling fleet.

"This is unconscionable behaviour which must be immediately condemned by the Australian government to prevent possible escalation of violence in our southern seas," Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens Marine Spokesperson said today.

"News that the Japanese security escort Shonan Maru 2 is employing 'military-style tactics' is very worrying and a sign things might turn violent.

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Govt must take legal action against Japanese whaling right now: Greens

The Australian Greens today called on the Rudd Government to commence legal action against Japan's whaling operations immediately, and make any new deal on a free trade agreement contingent on an end to Antarctic whaling.

"It appears there was no progress made with the Japanese Prime Minister yesterday. The longer the government delays commencing legal action the more whales will be killed in our southern oceans," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Rachel on Japanese whaling - ABC Breakfast

The annual whale hunt is about to commence in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary with Japanese whalers, including the factory ship the Nisshin Maru, in place for the slaughter of nearly 1,000 minke whales and 50 fin whales. The start of the hunt coincides with a brief visit to Japan by Kevin Rudd, who will stop over in Tokyo on his way to Copenhagen to meet the new Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

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Government legal action on whaling needs to be enacted immediately

How many more whales have to die before the Government makes up its mind if it is going to take legal action against Japan, asked the Australian Greens today.

"Mr Rudd's threats to take legal action are laughable, unless he has the will to put them into action - his Government has been using the same lines for the last two seasons just as the Coalition did before them, and Australians don't believe him" said Australian Greens marine spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.

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