Public comment sought on Antarctic station upgrade

20 October 2003

The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) has invited public comment on the Initial Environmental Evaluation (IEE) of replacement living quarters at Davis station in Antarctica.

The existing living quarters were built in the 1970s and designed to accommodate 14 wintering and 25 summering expeditioners.

Australian Antarctic Division Director Dr Tony Press said that in the past 30 years the numbers of expeditioners had grown and the current facilities were now inadequate. The buildings' exposure to the harsh Antarctic weather conditions has also created the need for refurbishment.

"These days between 25 and 30 expeditioners spend the winter at Davis station. This number can climb to 100 in summer.

"The aim of the proposed new facility is to provide a building that meets current and predicted station populations at Davis and that will provide modern and energy efficient facilities," said Dr Press.

"Facilities also must meet current Australian Standards in relation to OH&S, energy management, heating and ventilation, and structural design," he said.

The proposed Davis station living quarters IEE is available from the Australian Antarctic Division, Kingston, Tasmania or from the AAD website.

The comment period closes on November 15, 2003.