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


15 May 1998

Environment Minister Robert Hill says the Howard government will continue to push its strong anti-whaling stance at the 50th meeting of the International Whaling Commission.

Senator Hill says Australia will not support any measure which increases the likelihood of a resumption of commercial whaling.

"Australia will strongly oppose any moves to resume commercial whaling, whether in territorial waters, Exclusive Economic Zones or on the high sea. We will reject any proposed trade-off which involves allowing commercial whaling in our oceans.

"We will also express our belief that there is no justification for the killing of whales for so-called scientific purposes and that the use of this legal loophole should end."

Senator Hill says Australia will continue to work towards its ultimate goal of a global sanctuary for whales.

"This year Australia has begun discussions with the countries of the South Pacific to investigate the establishment of a South Pacific Whale Sanctuary.

"We believe we can build momentum behind our push for a world-wide ban on the killing of these magnificent creatures.

"It would be an wonderful achievement if the IWC could use its 50th anniversary meeting to move beyond being a vehicle for the management of whaling to being a body concerned solely with the preservation of whales."

Australia's new Commissioner to the International Whaling Commission Howard Bamsey will attend the meeting being held in Muscat, Oman from 16-20 May.

The Howard Government has shown its commitment to the conservation of whales and other endangered species through the $1.25 billion Natural Heritage Trust, supporting the Endangered Species Program and the Coasts and Cleans Seas program.

Matt Brown (Senator Hill) 0419 693 515 or 02 6277 7640
May 15, 1998 (51/98)

Commonwealth of Australia