The Hon. Greg Hunt MP

Minister for the Environment

The Hon. Greg Hunt MP

Minister for the Environment

Sailing south for the Antarctic summer

Media release
15 October 2013

Today the Aurora Australis icebreaker begins the journey from Hobart to Antarctica for the start of the 2013-14 summer season.

From now until mid March next year around 500 expeditioners will travel south to support the vital work of the Australian Antarctic Programs.

Australia has had a strong presence in Antarctica for more than 100 years - carrying out important scientific research and working to protect this unique and fragile environment.

The Abbott Government will build on this commitment by strengthening Australia's research capabilities and maintaining our strong presence in the region with the 20 Year Strategic Plan for the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research.

The plan will ensure the significant investments from the Government into the Antarctic research and infrastructure will deliver additional jobs for Tasmania and it remains the international hub for Antarctic expeditions and research.

The Government has committed:

  • $24 million over three years to establish a new Centre for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research.
  • $25 million over five years for the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centres.
  • $38 million for upgrading the Hobart International Airport, to further strengthen the economic, tourism and scientific capacity of Tasmania.

This year's expedition includes the Aurora Basin project which will attempt to extract a 2,000 year old ice core, by drilling 400 metres deep. Australian scientists are leading their world in this research.

Greg Hunt

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