King penguins on Heard Island.
In year one the Australian Government will undertake Australia’s first formal management and scientific research visit to our Heard Island and McDonald Islands external territory since 2004. (Photo: Matt Curnock)

In the first year following the release of this Action Plan, the Government will have:

  • Finalised the contract arrangements and commenced building Australia’s new icebreaker – the most significant investment in the Australian Antarctic programme for a generation.
  • Established sustainable and ongoing funding for the Australian Antarctic programme to ensure we continue as a global leader in Antarctic science, policy and operations.
  • Commenced preliminary work to support investment decisions on major infrastructure and capabilities needed to support Australia’s position of future science leadership in Antarctica, including overland traverse capability, year-round aviation access and krill research infrastructure.
  • Established an arrangement for Department of Defence support to the Australian Antarctic programme, inclusive of a regular programme of flights to Antarctica using Australian Defence Force C‑17A aircraft.
  • Undertaken Australia’s first formal management and scientific research visit to our Heard Island and McDonald Islands external territory since 2004.
  • Streamlined Commonwealth and State regulatory and approval processes to facilitate increased use of Hobart as an Antarctic Gateway port by other nations.
  • Agreed on prioritised proposals to further enhance Tasmania’s status as an Antarctic Gateway through a joint Commonwealth, State and industry taskforce, including for roll-out of expanded infrastructure in Hobart to accommodate the new icebreaker.
  • Launched a Centre for Antarctic, Remote and Maritime Medicine, jointly with the Tasmanian Government, to pool expertise and build an internationally recognised centre of excellence for the delivery of remote medical care.
  • Assessed progress against achieving our national Antarctic interests and delivering on the Action Plan.