typing is not activism….

environ mentalism, fresh articles, interviews & checkitouts from Sydney.

Alternative Australian Government to intercept Japanese whalers – Rudd & Garrett throw down!

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Hell yes!! Kevin Rudd has today announced that if the ALP is elected later this year, Australian naval vessels will be used to intercept the Japanese whaling fleet in Australian waters. This will be a massive step forward. Not only did he state that the Howard government has been ineffective, but also announced that it may be time for Australia to get active outside the International Whaling Commission process in order to end the fiasco of ‘scientific whaling’.This will no doubt become a clearly stated policy, but shadow environment minister Peter Garrett has today also posted a release regarding the international criminality of permitting whaling in Australian waters, as well as mentioning a parliamentary attack on Howard regarding the practice.

Environment minister Malcolm Turnbull has thrown on his do-things-backward hat in reply. As a lawyer, he condones support for Japan’s breaches of international law, and as an Australian environment minister he is more interested in supporting ‘impactive industry’ as long as it’s run by a wealthy Australian corporation or a powerful foreign government. And if it wasn’t for Japanese whalers, how would we know how many whales are being killed in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary each year?

Turnbull has posted this lengthy bit of poffle on his website. The main argument is that Australia can nt legally succeed in challenging whaling, and therefore will not. But that doesn’t mean the government is sitting on its hands.

In particular we have strong support from like-minded countries in the IWC and will continue to work in that forum towards extending whale sanctuaries; retaining the moratorium on commercial whaling; and seeking a permanent global ban on commercial whaling.”

The entire statement is not important for what it says, but what it doesn’t say.

– Australia will do nothing to stop the slaughter of up to 1000 endangered whales in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary for ‘scientific research’, as in kill-measure-sell commercial whaling. There is no point extending sanctuaries which don’t actually afford any protection.

– Australia will do nothing to protect whales under CITES

– Australia’s government is more interested in using the navy to make life difficult for refugees and small-time fishermen than to discourage the Japanese whaling fleet.

– Of course pro-whaling governments are going to support measures which don’t so anything to protect whales; inaction is hardly a diplomatic coup.

From the article:

“We propose this as a new, fresh course of action in the future,” he (Rudd) said in Brisbane. “There’s been so many resolutions passed by the International Whaling Commission in recent years expressing its outrage over Japan’s so-called scientific whaling approach.

“Obviously that approach of international pressure through the IWC has not worked.

“We need to look at a new approach.”

see this article on Sea Shepherd in Antarctica for the Australian context, but this is bloody good news in a country that used to matter environmentally and has now become one of the worst offenders on climate change (see both these links to properly understand Turnbull’s doublespeak), old growth logging, destruction of Aboriginal sites of significance, water mismanagement, etc.


Written by typingisnotactivism

May 21, 2007 at 5:29 pm

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