The Australian Greens have today launched a $205 million policy initiative to properly resource Australia's Antarctic and Marine Science.
"Antarctica is the world's last great wilderness area. It is an incredible place for scientific exploration and provides an unparalleled source of information on our climate and health of our oceans. It is also a fantastic opportunity for Tasmania." said Senator Christine Milne, launching the initiative.
The Australian Greens propose to:
- Fund an International Antarctic Science research centre/ joint venture - $10 million a year
- Restore funding for the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) - $0.5 million a year
- Ensure ongoing funding for the Integrated Marine Observing System of $18 million a year
- Provide capacity for the new RV Investigator ship to do up to 300 days marine research (instead of 65) - $24.7 million a year
The package of measures have been costed at $205 million over the forward estimates by the Parliamentary Budget Office and will protect important institutions from funding uncertainty and makes the most of our existing researchers.
"Additional funding to Antarctic science and marine research will help promote Hobart as a science hub and reinforce the branding of Tasmania as clean, green and clever. We have already attracted four of the lead authors of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change to Hobart. This gives us an incredible reputation globally.
"A globally renowned science research centre will attract other countries to make Hobart a base for collaborative research and re-supply. I met the leader of the Chinese Antarctic expedition recently and he was quite enthusiastic about that idea. Wouldn't it be fantastic if we could attract the Chinese to make Hobart their Antarctic base?" said Senator Milne
Anna Reynolds, Greens candidate for Denison launched the Initiative with Senator Milne.
"We are in a privileged position in Tasmania to be the global gateway to Antarctic exploration, marine and climate research. The Greens package is the investment needed to secure Hobart into the future as a globally recognised hub for Antarctic science and marine research."
"The federal government has taken its eye off the ball with this important sector - with funding cuts and uncertainty risking Hobart's reputation as the global hub for Antarctic science."