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whale of a bill (Read 1142 times)
freediver
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whale of a bill
Jan 17th, 2010 at 10:48am
 
http://www.ozpolitic.com/sustainability-party/why-allow-whaling.html

http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1168478179/0

Whale envoy Sandy Hollway lobbies Japan as costs mount

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26582645-953,00.html

THE Government says he is doing a great job. The Opposition is demanding answers.

And Australian taxpayers are left to question the value of flying a hand-picked "whale envoy" around the world at a cost that could reach $1 million.

The Courier-Mail can reveal former Sydney Olympic boss Sandy Hollway stands to pocket up to $200,000 for about 100 days' work.

Mr Hollway chosen for the job by Kevin Rudd is travelling the globe as Australia's envoy, trying to convince Japan to stop killing whales.

But the cost of the diplomatic mission has already reached $500,000 as Japan continues to ignore Australia's pleas to abandon its annual cull of hundreds of whales.

A staggering $342,000 has already been splurged on international travel by Mr Hollway and his envoy team, including trips to Japan, Chile, Mexico, Iceland and the US.

The total costs of the whale envoy could reach $700,000 to $800,000 by mid-year.

With tensions mounting over the whale hunt, anti-whaling protesters in Brisbane yesterday threatened to storm the Japanese Consulate.

About 40 people presented letters of protest to Japanese officials.

But the demonstration turned sour after officials initially refused to meet the activists and a team of special forces police officers was brought in to protect the building.

Although the conflict ended peacefully, protesters said they would continue action around the country in coming days.

Mr Hollway, a one-time adviser to former Labor prime minister Bob Hawke, was appointed a whaling envoy in October 2008 on a $1800-a-day retainer. His contract runs until June 30.

According to government documents, he has been paid $117,495 for just 57 days work.

Environment Minister Peter Garrett said Mr Hollway "has been putting Australia's case strongly at meetings with both like-minded and pro-whaling nations".

But the Opposition said the appointment was a waste of money and accused Mr Rudd of creating a "mini-me envoy" to travel the world at great expense and demanded to know what Mr Hollway did to earn so much.

"Kevin Rudd has created this position of whaling envoy in his own image. His mini-me envoy travels the world at great expense, holds lots of talks but has nothing to show for them in the end," Coalition spokesman Simon Birmingham said.

When he was Opposition leader, Mr Rudd promised to take Japan to the International Court of Justice in a bid to ban whaling in the Southern Ocean.

But the Government is instead now trying to win over countries through the annual International Whaling Commission meeting, causing Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to tell Mr Rudd to "put up or shut up".

"I challenge the Prime Minister either to take Japan to the International Court or to admit that that was always just an empty gesture," Mr Abbott said.

The Government is conducting an inquiry into last week's ramming of the Sea Shepherd protest vessel by a Japanese whaler and last night said it remained open to taking Japan to court.

"The Government's position is clear, we are firmly opposed to so-called scientific whaling and we are determined to try to resolve the issue diplomatically, but if that cannot be achieved we will take international legal action," a spokesman for Mr Garrett said.

"We have embarked on an unprecedented diplomatic effort on this issue and in keeping with our election commitment the envoy is a critical part of that."
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freediver
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Re: whale of a bill
Reply #1 - Jan 20th, 2010 at 6:40pm
 
Looks like it might cost us even more. It's time we stopped acting so high and mighty just because we choose to eat different animals.

Whaling row could put defence accord at risk

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26608721-5012761,00.html

JAPANESE ruling party lawmakers have questioned a plan to sign a defence logistics accord with Australia as the two countries are at loggerheads over Japan's annual whale hunts, an official said today.

The move comes as anti-whaling activists of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society have been harassing a Japanese whaling fleet on its annual hunt for hundreds of the sea mammals in Antarctic waters.

Australia opposes the hunts, carried out despite a 1986 international moratorium on commercial whaling under a loophole that allows "lethal research" whaling, and has threatened international legal action against Japan.

Japan's Government is considering submitting a Bill to Parliament on a defence pact that would allow the two countries' military to share food, fuel and other supplies and services in their operations overseas.

But some lawmakers of the ruling center-left coalition called on the Government to "cautiously" handle the accord when the vice defense minister, Kazuya Shimba, explained the Bill to them, a defence ministry spokeswoman said.

The lawmakers argued that signing a so-called Acquisition and Cross-servicing Agreement should be reconsidered in light of the recent harassment of Japan's whaling fleet.

"According to our vice minister, one of the lawmakers said he wants the Government to insist on Japan's current position," defending its right to hunt whales as part of its national heritage, the ministry spokeswoman said.

The vice minister had replied to the group of lawmakers that, although any two countries face their own particular bilateral issues, it was important "to maintain military relations of trust," she said.

In the latest showdown between Japanese whalers and the activists, the environmentalists' high-tech boat, the New Zealand-registered Ady Gil, sank in Antarctic seas in early January after a collision with the whaling fleet's security ship.

New Zealand and Australian authorities are investigating the incident, while Japan has lodged a strong protest with the Wellington government.

Both the whalers and the protesters blame each other for the crash.
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