An
interesting testimonial from Question Time in the Senate yesterday:

Senator CHAPMAN —I direct my question to the
Minister for the Environment and Heritage. Will the minister update the Senate
on the Australian government’s efforts to stop whaling in the latest context?
In addition to that, has the government considered any alternative policies?

Senator IAN CAMPBELL —I thank Senator Chapman
for a question that I know most Australians—probably all Australians—have a
deep interest in, as Australia has for many years led international efforts to
try to bring an end to whaling. Clearly, we have had during the past few months
a ramping up of the Japanese whaling effort in the Southern Ocean in waters off
Antarctica. We have also heard an intention
announced by the Norwegians to massively increase their whale harvest, though
that has not received as much attention. I think that people who care about
whaling should not always concentrate on the Japanese; we should focus our
wrath equally on the Norwegians, because what they do is at least as
reprehensible as what the Japanese do.

Over summer, we as a nation have witnessed
the Greenpeace ship not only visiting the Southern Ocean and running a policy
of harassment against the whalers but also, very constructively, sending
photographic images of the whale slaughter by the Japanese in the Southern
Ocean all around the world. I had the great pleasure of meeting Shane
Rattenbury and the Greenpeace team in my office just before question time. I
think other members and senators will have the chance to meet them. I must say
that the work they did over the summer was in distinct contrast to the actions
of Paul Watson on the Sea Shepherd, who I think set back the cause of whaling
by unnecessarily taking potentially illegal action, causing collisions and
potentially putting life at risk at sea. Compared to his activities, I think
Greenpeace did the world a great favour. I commend the sensible approach that
Shane took in handling a potentially explosive situation…

Who
woulda thunk it?

Peter Fray

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