A new era of Antarctic engagement was announced today by the Turnbull Government, with the launch of the Australian Antarctic Strategy and 20 Year Action Plan.
The Turnbull Government is providing $255 million in funding over the next ten years to enhance Australia’s Antarctic logistics and science capabilities.
This includes $55 million for infrastructure and $200 million for sustainable ongoing funding for the Australian Antarctic program.
This is the most significant package of measures ever developed to build Australia’s role as a leader in Antarctica.
Providing new operational funding and modernising the Australian Antarctic program will enable Australia to continue to deliver world-class science, and run our Antarctic operations safely and efficiently.
The acquisition of a world-class icebreaker for resupply and multi-disciplinary science represents the largest ever investment by Australia in our Antarctic program.
A deep-field overland science traverse capability and mobile research station infrastructure will provide essential support for critical Antarctic science.
We have committed to scope further options to establish year-round aviation access between Hobart and Antarctica.
This follows the successful trial of heavy lift cargo flights using Australian Defence Force C-17As this Antarctic season.
Under the Antarctic Treaty system, Antarctica is designated as a natural reserve, free of mining and devoted to peace, environmental protection and cooperative international science.
These investments allow us to work even more closely with other countries to strengthen this important and unique Treaty system.
The Australian and Tasmanian governments will continue to work to enhance Tasmania’s status as a global Antarctic research hub and the premier Gateway to East Antarctica, including the expansion of infrastructure in Hobart to accommodate the new icebreaker.