An independent report on a 20 Year Australian Antarctic Strategic Plan was released in October.
The report, commissioned by the Australian Government, provides a blueprint for Australia’s future engagement in the region and options to expand Tasmania’s role as a leading Antarctic science and logistics hub.
The preparation of the report by Dr Tony Press, former Director of the Australian Antarctic Division, involved a comprehensive review of Australia’s Antarctic interests and consultation with experts, stakeholders and the general public. The process attracted some 27 public submissions including from industry and science bodies, academic institutions, government agencies and the Hobart City Council.
The report provides a broad assessment of the current status of the Australian Antarctic Program and the challenges to maintaining and expanding Australia’s status in Antarctic science, operations and diplomacy.
It contains recommendations on a range of issues, including:
- 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; and
- Effective administration of the Australian Antarctic Territory.