The Federal Labor Government was a global leader in whale conservation. In 2007 Labor announced a five point policy platform designed to encourage the end of so-called ‘scientific’ whaling and build support for the permanent protection of whales.
From 2008 Federal Labor invested $38 million into alternatives to invasive whale research and in July 2013 Labor announced a two year extension of funding to the International Whale and Marine Mammal Conservation Initiative.
The Federal Court found in 2008 that Japanese whalers Kyodo had killed whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary and that these activities were in breach of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
In 2010 the then Labor Government took legal action against Japan in the International Court of Justice, seeking to bring Japan’s whaling program in the Southern Ocean to an end. After a long legal battle Australia won a historic and resounding victory, with the Court ruling that Japan was in breach of its international legal obligations and must bring its whaling in the Southern Ocean to an end.
I am deeply disturbed at the recent announcement by the Japanese Government that it will ignore the ruling of the International Court of Justice and recommence the killing of whales in the Southern Ocean this summer. If the Japanese Government proceeds with whaling in Antarctic waters by Kyodo again this year, Labor will do all that it can to pressure Japan to abide by the Court’s ruling. Labor has called on the Liberal Turnbull Government to raise this incredibly important issue with Japan.
Labor sincerely hopes that whaling ceases not just in Australian waters, but across the globe. No whales need to be killed in the name of science.