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The Hon Peter Garrett MP
Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts

Phoney Tony's whaling flip flops continue

Media release
28 May 2010
PG/61

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Tony Abbott and the Coalition have today continued their flip-flop approach on the question of whaling.

At a press conference today, Mr Abbott tried to have a bob each way when he refused to support the Australian Government’s decision to initiate legal action against Japan’s so-called ‘scientific’ whaling program in the International Court of Justice:

JOURNALIST: But that’s a loose term. If you were in government, would you take Japan to the international court or not?

ABBOTT: If we were in government we’d be able to see the legal advice, and as I said, we support appropriate and effective action at international tribunals.

JOURNALIST: So, you’re waiting to see more details before you’ll say whether or not you’ll support this case?

ABBOTT: What I’m saying is that we support appropriate and effective action in international tribunals.

Tony Abbott, Sydney press conference, Friday May 28, 2010

Mr Abbott’s position today stands in stark contrast to that of his environment spokesman only nine months ago:
"We think Australia should put together a coalition of nations to proceed legally against Japan under the International Law of the Sea."

Greg Hunt, The Age, August 4, 2009

And it even stands in contrast to Mr Abbott’s own stated position just four months ago:
"Coalition policy is not to take Japan to the international court. We are against whaling, but we wouldn’t seek to advance [the cause] in that particular way."

Tony Abbott, The Age, 12 January 2010

Once again Phoney Tony has shown that you just can’t trust a thing he says.  Today, there has once again been chaos and confusion from the Liberal Party on the important issue of whaling, after 12 years of inaction in government.

The Rudd Government’s decision today to initiate legal action in the International Court of Justice demonstrates our commitment to do what it takes to end whaling globally.

The Government has always been firm in our resolve that if we could not find a diplomatic resolution to our differences over this issue, we would pursue legal action.  The Government’s announcement today fulfils that commitment.

Commonwealth of Australia