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Brown calls for big Hobart welcome for Sea Shepherd

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown has called on Tasmanians to give the Sea Shepherds' crew a big welcome back to Hobart next Saturday, March 6th.

A TV advertisement promoting the welcome will begin screening next week - You can see the advertisement here.

"After their courageous battles with the Japanese whaling fleet to protect the whales in Australia's Antarctic waters, this is a great chance for us all to welcome them all back home to Hobart," said Senator Brown.

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Abetz blocks debate on his own whaling bill

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.

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Japanese whalers invade as Rudd talks trade

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown has condemned the Japanese whaling ship's illegal invasion of Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone in Antarctica as belligerent and arrogant and a result of the Rudd Government's weakness over whales.

"While Mr. Rudd and, today, Foreign Minister Steven Smith have been politely talking up trade with Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, Japan's whalers have bared their backsides to Canberra," said Mr. Brown.

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Rudd dithers over whaling - Greens

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd should be taking the Japanese whalers to the International Court of Justice this whaling season and not next whaling season Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"Thousands of whales have been slaughtered while Kevin Rudd has dithered over action," said Senator Brown.

"Australians were promised court action against the whalers by Mr Rudd in 2007.

"Meanwhile the slaughter goes on in Antarctica.

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Brown seeks meeting with Japan's Foreign Minister

Greens Leader Bob Brown has asked to meet Japan's Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada when he visits Australia this weekend.

"I want the Japanese government to free Pete Bethune and to know that 94% of Australians oppose whaling in Antarctic waters," Senator Brown said in Hobart this morning.

"If the Rudd government conveys any message on whaling to Mr Okada, it will be muffled in talk about a Free Trade Agreement with Tokyo, joint naval exercises and competition with China for minerals from Australia."

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Brown lauds Ady Gil Captain's courage

Greens Leader Bob Brown says that the Captain of the Sea Shepherd boat Ady Gil has shown extraordinary courage in waters south of Australia's Heard Island today.

"Captain Peter Bethune, with his five crew, was nearly killed when the Ady Gil was rammed and sunk by the Shonan Maru 2. He has now boarded the Shonan Maru 2 itself to attempt a citizen's arrest of its captain and present a $3 million bill for the destroyed ship.

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Rudd should intervene in Whale War

The Rudd Government's decision to turn its back on the "whale war" in Australian Antarctic waters is irresponsible, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"The collision of a Japanese whaling ship and the Sea Shepherd vessel Bob Barker shows as much courage by Sea Shepherd as it does diplomatic cowardice by Canberra," said Senator Brown.

"The Prime Minister should dispatch a naval vessel to keep the peace.

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Rudd should seek Clinton’s support on whaling - Brown

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd should seek backing from the Obama administration to end Japanese whaling in Antarctic waters when Hilary Clinton calls into Canberra next Monday, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"Tokyo's petulant sniping at Julia Gillard over her super-modest comments on the sinking of the Ady Gil by Japan's whaling brigands shows nothing will satisfy Tokyo," Senator Brown said.

A ‘Stop the Slaughter' rally in support of Sea Shepherd's anti-whaling activities will be held in Salamanca Place this Saturday morning at 11:30AM.

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Garrett’s wait-till-after-the-election ploy on whales

The Rudd government will take no conclusive action on the Japanese whale slaughter in Antarctic waters this side of the 2010 federal election, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said in Hobart this afternoon.

"Environment Minister Peter Garrett's wimpish delay of any legal action until after the next International Whaling Commission meeting in June avoids upsetting Tokyo but will leave a trail of whale blood from Australian Antarctic waters to Japan," Senator Brown said.

Media contact: Peter Stahel 0433 005 727

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