Tasmanian Liberal Senator Eric Abetz today voted with the Government to block debate on his own bill to stop Australian companies aiding or abetting the slaughter of whales by the Japanese whaling fleet.
The Prohibition of Support for Whaling Bill was devised by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert after Japanese whalers chartered planes out of Hobart and Albany to spy on Sea Shepherd ships going to obstruct whaling. Senator Abetz then asked Senator Siewert if he could co-host the bill.
Opposition spokesperson Greg Hunt called on the Government to support the bill this week.
But today Senator Abetz did a back-flip to join the Government in blocking the debate.
"Senator Abetz first reacted to back the huge feeling against whalers in Australia but has back-flipped on direction from the Abbot leadership," Senator Brown said.
A recent poll showed 94% of Australians oppose Japanese whaling.
"When push comes to shove, the Abbott opposition is every bit as weak as the Rudd Government on whaling," Senator Brown said.
Senator Nick Xenophon supported debate on the bill.
Media contact: Erin Farley 0438 376 082