Into the breach for whales

On a rare trip to Byron Bay in winter, the entire restaurant was silenced (also rare in the Bay) by a magnificent sight: a whale breaching off Clarks Beach.

Anyone who’s ever seen a whale breaching would be hard-pressed to deny the majesty of these amazing creatures, which is probably one of the reasons it’s easy to have sympathy for Sea Shepherd in their anti-whaling campaign.

The reports that the Japanese whaling fleet has been sending planes to spy on Sea Shepherd should be taken seriously by our politicians, who apparently claim to care about this issue.

With the Australian government and the Opposition relentlessly banging on about “border protection”, it seems hypocritical that they’re not actually doing anything to protect our borders from this illegal poaching.

I’d much rather see a government who was tough on people breaching our borders to illegally kill magnificent animals than tough on people who’ve been through several different types of hell to get here. The release of cabinet documents from 1979 at the start of the year reminds us that people seeking asylum in Australia is nothing new. Here’s something I thought I’d never do: praise Malcolm Fraser.

Fraser actually put compassion and humanitarian values on the cabinet table and Australia took in refugees from Vietnam – no shame in that at all; in fact we should all be rather proud that a Prime Minister showed leadership on this important issue.


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