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Good on ya Coffs

By CRAIG McTEAR

A LITTLE light reading is heading Kevin Rudd's way from the people of Coffs Harbour.

The PM is about to be inundated with 7200 letters signed by local residents and visitors, urging him to make good his pre-election commitment to send Australian ships to save humpback whales from slaughter by Japan.

The owner of Spirit of Coffs Harbour, Peter Bruce, and his army of helpers amassed the signatures at the weekend when they set up shop at Park Beach Plaza, Palms Shopping, Centro Toormina, the marina, and the Jetty Foreshores.

They are now in the midst of packing the letters into 16 boxes ready for mailing to Parliament House in Canberra.

"It's a sensational result," Mr Bruce said.

"I'm quite flabbergasted by it. I think it's quite phenomenal."

He said when he phoned Mr Rudd's office to inform them of the outcome, there was 'a great deal of silence' on the other end of the line.

"The secretary was seriously impressed. The letters will be sent on to Environment Minister Peter Garrett, and I do believe I will have a chat with him about it."

Letters are still available for signing at the cruise booking centre at the marina.

Alternatively, you can write your own to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, c/o- Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, PO Box 6500, Canberra, ACT, 2600.

Mr Bruce said lobbying Mr Rudd was the best way to protect our whales.

He said sending emails to the International Whaling Commission might sound like a good idea, but it would amount to little because the IWC did not have boats to send to protect the whales.

And protests to the Japanese Government would probably fall on deaf ears, he said.

Back in July, Coffs Harbour mayor, Cr Keith Rhoades, handed a letter to the mayor of our sister city, Sasebo, expressing Coffs Harbour's opposition to the Japanese Government's intention to resume whaling in the Southern Ocean.



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