The Australian Government recognises the strategic, scientific and environmental importance of Antarctica. The Action Plan builds on existing commitments, including:

  • A full and open procurement process and funding to acquire a new world-class research and supply Antarctic icebreaker.
  • Modernising essential infrastructure and equipment in Hobart and Antarctica to support the operation of the new icebreaker.
  • Funding for Antarctic science, of $24 million over three years to 2016–17 to fund an Antarctic Gateway Partnership, and $25 million over five years to 2018–19 for the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, both based in Hobart.
  • Funding of $38 million to extend the runway at Hobart International Airport to stimulate international engagement, growth in Tasmania’s Antarctic sector, and support for the Australian Antarctic program.
  • Establishing a joint Commonwealth, State and industry taskforce to develop proposals to further enhance Tasmania’s status as an Antarctic Gateway.
  • Signing a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding on Antarctic Cooperation with China during the November 2014 visit to Hobart by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
  • Trialling and implementing United States Air National Guard ski equipped Hercules aircraft flights to Davis station in support of the Australian Antarctic program under a collaborative arrangement with the United States of America.
  • An active and successful fisheries compliance program to eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the Southern Ocean.
  • Completion and evaluation of trial flights of Australian Defence Force C‑17A aircraft to Antarctica to provide an option for a new heavy-lift cargo capability.