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Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministers
for the Environment, Sport, Territories
and Local Government
24 November 1996
The first public task that Senator Ian Macdonald will take on as new Parliamentary Secretary responsible for Australia's Antarctic program will be the official farewell of the 50th Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition (ANARE) for Macquarie Island from Hobart today.
The Macquarie Island station was established in 1948, and remains the oldest of ANARE's permanent stations. It was discovered in 1810, and after many decades of exploitation of its penguins and seals for fur and oil, was declared a nature reserve. Earlier this year, in recognition of its unique geological values and natural beauty, it was nominated by Australia for World Heritage listing.
"I am honoured by this opportunity to be present at the sailing of the 50th ANARE, and to farewell the members of the expedition", said Senator Macdonald.
"Every Antarctic and subantarctic expedition is special, and though the Antarctic program has seen many significant and far-reaching changes, the Antarctic and Subantarctic are still as far distant, and the work our expeditioners do there as important, as ever."
The first ANARE had a quick calm passage, and a highly productive year of research. I wish the 50th ANARE the same."
On board Aurora Australis are 57 passengers, including 16 members of the1997 Macquarie Island wintering party, under the leadership of Phil Barnaart. Phil has had a long association with Antarctica, being the first person to have performed the role of Station Leader at each of the Australian stations - Mawson, Davis, Casey and Macquarie Island.
Not only will this voyage see the annual station changeover and resupply but also important research programs, including bathymetric work,continuing monitoring of seals and penguins, and studies of ozone-depleted stratospheric air - of particular interest with ozone-depleted air now found over southern Australia.
Aurora Australis returned to Hobart yesterday after having been delayed by heavy ice conditions in leaving Davis. That voyage successfully completed he resupply of that station, important marine scientific work, and the placement of summer scientists at Australia's three Antarctic stations.
The ceremony for the departure of the 50th ANARE for Macquarie Island will be held at 3.15 pm on Monday 25 November at Hobart's Macquarie No 5 Wharf.The Aurora Australis will sail at 4:00 pm. For further details please contact Public Relations Officers Elizabeth Haywood on telephone 03/62323512 or 03/62279 593 or Peter Boyer on telephone 03/62323 515.