Australia has strong and longstanding national interests in Antarctica. These interests determine the underlying policy settings that frame Australia’s engagement in Antarctica.
Australia’s national interests in Antarctica are to:
- maintain Antarctica’s freedom from strategic and/or political confrontation
- preserve our sovereignty over the Australian Antarctic Territory, including our sovereign rights over adjacent offshore areas
- support a strong and effective Antarctic Treaty system
- conduct world-class scientific research consistent with national priorities
- protect the Antarctic environment, having regard to its special qualities and effects on our region
- be informed about and able to influence developments in a region geographically proximate to Australia
- foster economic opportunities arising from Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, consistent with our Antarctic Treaty system obligations, including the ban on mining and oil drilling.