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.
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