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Government legal action on whaling needs to be enacted immediately

How many more whales have to die before the Government makes up its mind if it is going to take legal action against Japan, asked the Australian Greens today.

"Mr Rudd's threats to take legal action are laughable, unless he has the will to put them into action - his Government has been using the same lines for the last two seasons just as the Coalition did before them, and Australians don't believe him" said Australian Greens marine spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.

"Mr Rudd has confirmed there are no plans to use Australian boats to monitor whaling this season, as their only purpose was to gather evidence to support a future court case. That was two years ago - and what has been accomplished in that time?"

"The Prime Minister Rudd must raise the issue of whaling when he meets the Japanese Prime Minister next week. If he fails to resolve the issue next week with the Japanese Prime Minister, he should commence legal action in the international courts immediately," said Senator Siewert.

"Negotiations between Australia's Environment Minister, Whale Envoy and the Japanese Government have achieved nothing - as evident when we see the Japanese whaling fleet heading back out into the Southern Ocean."

"We cannot wait until the next International Whaling Commission meeting in mid 2010 to take action on Japanese whaling - that is after the current whaling season and hundreds of whales will be slaughtered while the Australian Government dithers."

"The Japanese plan to take nearly 1000 minke whales and 50 fin whales in their hunt this season. The only thing standing in the way of that quota is the Sea Shepherd, who again will be on the seas alone," she concluded.

For more information or media inquiries, please call Tim Norton on 0418 401 180

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