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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

4 May 2000

AUSTRALIA OPPOSES NEW WHALING PLAN


Environment Minister Robert Hill says Australia will strongly oppose any move by Japan to extend its lethal whale research program.

Senator Hill said he was astounded at media reports from Tokyo suggesting Japanese Government wants to continue its existing minke whale kill and also to extend it to take two additional species, Bryde’s and sperm whales in the North Pacific. “

Australia has consistently condemned the existing whaling program, which has continued despite mounting international opposition. The prospect of it being extended defies belief,” Senator Hill said. “

There is no scientific justification for whales to be killed in order for them to be studied.”

Senator Hill said Australia would make urgent diplomatic representations to the Japanese Government expressing its opposition to the proposal and seeking an end to all lethal scientific whaling. “

The Australian Government will continue to promote increased protection for whales at the next International Whaling Commission meeting beginning in Adelaide next month,” he said.

May 4, 2000

Media contact: Rod Bruem (02) 6277 7640

Commonwealth of Australia