Advancing our national Antarctic interests

Australia will pursue its interests in the following ways:

Leadership and influence in Antarctica

Australia will strengthen its position as an international leader in Antarctica. It will:

  • Maximise Australia’s influence in the Antarctic Treaty system by engaging effectively with stakeholders, contributing world-class science and exercising leadership in the system’s forums.
  • Build strong and effective relationships with other Antarctic Treaty nations.
  • Ensure that Australia’s operations and activities in Antarctica reflect and advance the objectives and principles of the Antarctic Treaty system.
  • Strengthen Australia’s presence in Antarctica, improving access to East Antarctica, for our scientific research and operational needs.
  • Be a logistics collaborator of choice for East Antarctica.

Leadership and excellence in Antarctic science

Australia will have a flexible, efficient and reliable science support capability to undertake world-leading science that supports Australia’s national interests in Antarctica. It will:

  • Lead Antarctic science through an Antarctic science strategic plan.
  • Build Tasmania’s status as a global Antarctic research hub.
  • Collaborate with industry and other nations on cutting-edge science projects.
  • Lead an Australian Antarctic program that responds to and delivers on national science and research priorities including:
    • protecting and understanding Antarctica, particularly its environmental resilience and its connection to global systems
    • Antarctica’s influence on Australia, particularly its impacts on the wellbeing of Australians.
  • Be the science collaborator of choice in East Antarctica.
  • Be a lead collaborator elsewhere through our global leadership in climate and sustainability science and leading science support capability.

Leadership in environmental stewardship in Antarctica

Australia will be a leader and promote best practice in environmental stewardship in Antarctica across all aspects of its Antarctic program. It will:

  • Work to preserve Antarctica as a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science.
  • Maintain the Environmental Protocol’s ban on mining and oil drilling.
  • Conserve Antarctic marine living resources, including ecologically sustainable fishing.
  • Minimise the environmental impact of Australia’s activities in Antarctica.
  • Effectively manage the Australian Antarctic Territory and the Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands.

Develop economic, educational and collaborative opportunities

Australia will build economic and educational opportunities and domestic and international support for the Australian Antarctic program. It will:

  • Develop and promote Tasmania as the leading international Antarctic research hub and logistics Gateway for East Antarctica, including through collaboration with industry.
  • Promote understanding of the importance of Antarctica and the Antarctic Treaty system to Australia and the world.
  • Support Australian commercial operations, including sustainable fishing and tourism, in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean within the framework of the Antarctic Treaty system.
  • Build the professional reputation of the Australian Antarctic program to ensure it continues to attract high calibre participants.
  • Develop and support effective partnerships and joint ventures with business and other non‑Government organisations.