In 2013, Dr Tony Press, former Director of the Australian Antarctic Division and former CEO of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, was commissioned by the Australian Government to critically assess Australia’s national interests in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

On 10 October 2014 the Government released Dr Press’ report, the 20 Year Australian Antarctic Strategic Plan. The Press Report provided a blueprint for Australia’s future engagement in Antarctica and options to expand Tasmania’s role as a leading Antarctic science and logistics hub.

The report examined the challenges ahead and provided recommendations on how the Federal and State Governments, working with business, researchers and the wider community can achieve that outcome.

The preparation of the report involved a comprehensive review of Australia’s Antarctic interests and extensive consultation with experts, stakeholders and the general public.

The report outlined an ambitious vision for Australia to work towards over the next 20 years. It contained recommendations on a range of key issues, including:

  • protecting Australia’s national interests in Antarctica
  • supporting and leading national and international Antarctic science
  • building economic benefits for Tasmania as an Antarctic Gateway city
  • Australia’s future Antarctic station operations, transport and deep field traverse capabilities and support for large field-based research campaigns
  • effective administration of the Australian Antarctic Territory.

In 2016, the Australian Government released its Australian Antarctic Strategy and 20 Year Action Plan, which builds on many of the recommendations made by Dr Press.