World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Australian Government Values Whales At $290 AUD Each

Australian Government Values Whales At $290 AUD Each

Thursday February 27, 2014 – Melbourne, Australia —Senate transcripts released yesterday have revealed a number of facts about Australian government’s program to monitor whaling operations in the Southern Ocean, including costs relating to the first, and so far only, surveillance flight.

Ms Donna Petrachenko, Chief Advisor of International Biodiversity and Sustainability and Australia’s Commissioner to the International Whaling Commission,stated that the surveillance flight cost $93,248 AUD for the lease of the A319 aircraft alone. Further costs for customs staff and other expenses remain undisclosed.

The total budget allocated for flights is $300,000, which, based on the cost of the first flight, allows for only two further flights this whaling season. No explanation has been given by the government as to why there has been only one flight to date.

Earlier this year, the Australian government reportedly spent $1.8 million AUD rescuing a Russian ship in Antarctica after the ship became stuck in ice.

Captain Siddharth Chakravarty of The Steve Irwin said, "The Australian Government's commitment to protecting the whales in the Southern Ocean is a very weak one. The cost of the surveillance program divided by the lives of 1035 threatened and protected whales equates to a mere $289.86 AUD per whale. Sea Shepherd's fuel bill alone is four times the allocation of the Abbot government's whale monitoring program."

On Wednesday, Australian Air Force Chief Geoff Brown shed doubt on the credibility of the monitoring program when he told a Senate estimates hearing that, "The [Airbus] A319 is not suitable for that task," of monitoring Antarctic whaling.

Captain Peter Hammarstedt of The Bob Barker stated, “Minister Hunt claimed that his surveillance flights would be more effective than sending a ship, while at the same time only budgeting for three flights for the entire three-month whaling season. My ship has sustained two unprovoked attacks so far and the promised aircraft wasn't present for either of them. Japan thinks that they can get away with battering and pummelling my ship as we uphold the will of the Australian people, because no one is here to watch them. An Australian Customs vessel could have prevented the ruthless and unprovoked attacks that Australia did nothing to stop.”

On Tuesday, Captain Hammarstedt wrote an open letter to Minister Hunt, expressing his disappointment at the Australian government’s lack of action in the face of an onslaught by the Japanese whaling fleet on the Sea Shepherd ships and the Australian citizens on board. The letter followed a second night-time ambush from the Japanese whaling fleet on his ship, during which three harpoon ships crossed his bow at close proximity 33 times, trailing steel cables meant to disable his ship’s rudder and propeller.

As yet, Mr. Hunt has not responded to the letter.

Operational matters relating to the Australian government’s surveillance flights remain confidential and there is currently no process to determine how the government will judge the effectiveness of its monitoring operations. Further, Mr. Malcolm Thompson, Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Environment, the Department under which the directive for the flights was initiated, has stated that he is “not even privy to, let alone able to share” information relating to the monitoring flight, but rather, receives debriefing from the Australian Customs Department, whose personnel are present on the flight.

In July 2013, Australia challenged the legality of the Japanese whaling operations at the International Court of Justice. The government would not commit to increasing law enforcement measures next season if a judgement is issued in Australia’s favour at International Court of Justice.

To read the Senate transcript visit:
http://tinyurl.com/px3s3hx

To read Captain Peter Hammarstedt’s letter visit:
http://tinyurl.com/oznupos

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

West Papua: “Lest We Forget”

AS Anzac approaches and Australians and New Zealanders remember those who fought and lost their lives on Anzac Day, it is hoped we will also remember the unfree people of the Pacific region and in particular those who are still suffering from human ... More>>

Iran: 81 Executions In One Week

Coincident with mass executions in the prisons of Ghezel-Hessar, Karaj and other cities, the anti-human regime of mullahs sent 16 other prisoners to the gallows in Mashhad and Birjand (northeastern Iran). Twelve of them were hanged collectively ... More>>

Al-Shabaab: Four Unicef Staff Killed In Somalia

Four UNICEF staff members have been killed in an attack on their vehicle in Garowe, Somalia. Four other UNICEF colleagues are in a serious condition. The IED (improvised explosive device) attack occurred when the staff were travelling from their guest ... More>>

UN: Suicide Attack In Jalalabad Condemned

NEW YORK/KABUL/GENEVA (18April 2015) – “I strongly condemn the brutal suicide attack that coincided with my visit to Jalalabad today,” said United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović during his visit to Afghanistan. ... More>>

Save The Children: STC Urges EU Leaders To Act To Prevent More Mass Drownings

Save the Children Urges EU Leaders to Act to Prevent More Mass Drownings at Sea. More>>

ALSO:

Japan: Independent Experts Slam Japan’s New Whaling Plan

Independent experts slam Japan’s new whaling plan and declare no more whales need to be killed for Antarctic research More>>

Gaza Strip: Attacks In The Border Areas

Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. The precise area designated by ... More>>

Australian Government: Iraq Deployment: Joint Press Conference, Canberra

Back in March, the Government announced that we were preparing a force for a Building Partner Capacity training mission in Iraq. I can inform you that today the Cabinet has decided to deploy that force. The deployment will start tomorrow and we expect ... More>>

UNHRC: UN Committee Against Torture To Review New Zealand

UN Committee against torture to review New Zealand, Congo, Romania, Luxembourg, Spain, Serbia, Colombia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia More>>

UNHRC: Nigeria: One Year On, Call To Bring Back Abducted Children

Nigeria: One year on, UN and African experts call for decisive steps to bring back abducted children More>>

EU & US Let Iran Win Top Seat On UN Women’s Rights Board

EU & US Allowed Iran to Win Top Seat on UN Women’s Rights Board, Rights Group Says More>>

Peaceful Tree Planting Attacked By Zionist Settlers/soldiers

Peaceful tree planting attacked by zionist settlers and soldiers, two Palestinians hospitalised and a German activist arrested. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news