A plan to renovate Australia’s ageing research station on remote sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island is open for public comment.

The renovation will include reducing the station area and number of buildings, refurbishing one and replacing three of the six field huts and looking at ways to protect the station from ocean inundation.

The Australian Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works (PWC) is now assessing the proposed rebuild in accordance with the Public Works Committee Act 1969.

The plan to renovate rather than replace the station on Macquarie Island was the result of a detailed study, which found a rebuild provided the best value for money within the budget.

It will also ensure the station is functional and able to support long-term science, including key stakeholders BOM, ARPANSA, Geoscience Australia and the Tasmanian Government.

The project to upgrade the sub-Antarctic island’s station began in 2016, when the Federal Government committed $50 million to secure the future of the facility and scientific research on the island.

The island is an important global site for scientific research including monitoring Southern Hemisphere weather and climate.

The existing research station was built in 1948, and has been operating continually ever since.

Referral documents are on the PWC website and public submissions on the proposal must be lodged by Wednesday 21 July 2021.