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The Australian Government Is Betraying the Whales

January 1, 2008

The Australian Government Is Betraying the Whales

The Labour Party of Kevin Rudd was elected on a promise to oppose illegal Japanese whaling in the Southern Oceans.

Once elected that promise became just another re-positioning of do nothing strategies designed to give the illusion that the government is doing something about the problem. First they decide not to intervene opting to take pictures of illegal whaling, something that Greenpeace has been doing for years. And then so as to not offend Japan, they remove the guns from the Oceanic Viking because the pirate whalers might feel intimidated.

More smoke and mirrors, more posturing, more diplomatic tail chasing, more talk and more maintaining of the status quo.

And now in a total betrayal, the Australian government has announced that it will keep the coordinates of the Japanese fleet secret so as to not benefit non-governmental organizations attempting to interfere with the killing of the whales.

The government will not even release information on the status of the Oceanic Viking in relation to the Japanese fleet.

"Once again the cards are stacked against us as governments continue to cooperate with each other to maintain the status quo," said Captain Paul Watson. "In my opinion this new government has absolutely no intention of doing anything to constructively oppose illegal Japanese whaling. Now they are protecting the criminals."

Has the Oceanic Viking made contact with the Japanese fleet? We don't know and we won't be told if they do. Has the promised A319 aircraft operated by the Australian Antarctic Division made contact with the whalers? We don't know and we won't be told if they do.

The Government announced a surveillance plan in December with a pledge to lead an international diplomatic effort against Japanese whaling. Have they done so? Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus refuses to comment on operational matters.

"It is obvious that Japan is exerting intense pressure on Australia to do very little. For the Rudd government it appears that the policy is to present the appearance of aggressively opposing illegal whaling to satisfy the domestic pressure to end whaling but at the same to do very little in order to maintain a cordial trade relationship with Japan," said Sea Shepherd Executive Director Kim McCoy.

The Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin will depart Melbourne on January 1st to return to the Southern Oceans in pursuit of the Japanese whaling fleet.



 

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