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Estimates: Questioning the Fisheries Minister about the death of a false killer whale kept at Seaworld

During Parliamentary Budget Estimates on Wednesday 27 July 2022, I asked the Agriculture Minister about the death of a false killer whale in captivity at Seaworld. 

You can read the answers below or in the official Queensland Parliament Record of Proceedings (Hansard).

Mr BERKMAN: Thanks very much, Chair. I want to put my first question to the director-general, if I could. You might be aware of media back in March that reported a false killer whale had been captured and taken to Sea World for rehabilitation after beaching itself. This is not an orca; it is a different member of the dolphin family. Last week Sea World posted on its page that the animal had died. Can you advise whether Village Roadshow Theme Parks had applied for a licence to exhibit this false killer whale under the Exhibited Animals Act and does the department have any information on the cause of the animal’s death?

Mr FURNER: Just as a point of clarification, this may be a matter that fell within the exhibited animals part of the legislation which we dealt with in the early part of proceedings today. I know in some cases there is confusion between fisheries and exhibited animals, but that certainly would be my view, and I would be happy to hear your view in that respect, Chair.

CHAIR: I think that is a relevant point, that it may come under the Animal Care and Protection Act, but could the director-general furnish any information that he may have on this particular matter?

Mr Gee: Thank you, Chair. I just reiterate what the minister said: it is dealt with under the biosecurity provisions in legislation.

Mr BERKMAN: They are mammals, but they are ocean-dwelling mammals. Is there any practical obstacle to the question being answered in this forum?

Mr FURNER: Chair, once again there is a process that the member for Maiwar can avail himself of. There are no other committee hearings on today. The member for Maiwar could have been in appearance for the other part of the hearing that dealt with exhibited animals.

Mr BERKMAN: I was here and I took every opportunity that was available to me to ask questions. If the inclination is to hide behind standing orders, by all means. I will ask an alternative question if I could.

CHAIR: Do not engage in argument across the table. I think you have the answer that you are going to get because it clearly came under the auspices of the first part of the hearing. 

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