"Japanese whalers are barred from entry into Australian ports because they are criminals," said Steve Irwin quartermaster Jeff Hansen of Perth, Western Australia. "The Japanese whalers are killing endangered whales in an established whale sanctuary in contempt of an Australian Federal Court Order. How can my government entertain any such request from these poachers? That's like having bank-robbers calling up the mayor to demand that the cops not be allowed to return to the police station. Mr. Garrett represents me and the Australian people - not the Japanese whalers and he should remember that."

"It must be embarrassing to our government that we are out here doing what they only talk about, that we are actually saving whales while they play their diplomatic games with the Japanese. What is there to consider? We are Australians fighting for the whales and we have not hurt anyone nor damaged any property so how in hell can he be against us for that?" asked Benjamin Potts from Byron Bay, New South Wales.

The Steve Irwin is expected to arrive in Hobart around the middle of January.