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Protecting and understanding Antarctica.



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Media Release

 

Senator the Hon. Ian Macdonald

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment

 

22 September 1998

 

PROTECTING AND UNDERSTANDING ANTARCTICA

 

The Coalition Government’s environment policy released today will ensure that Australia enhances its role as a leading Antarctic nation, said Senator Ian Macdonald, Federal Parliamentary Secretary for the Antarctic.

 

“The environment policy confirms the Coalition’s commitment to protecting this special region and increasing our understanding of its influence on Australian and global environmental systems.”

 

“The Coalition is committed to maintaining Australia’s lead in efforts to protect the Antarctic environment, and will continue to work with other nations to stop illegal fishing in the Southern Ocean. In addition to promoting stronger international conservation measures to achieve this goal, the Coalition has demonstrated the strength of its resolve by providing an additional $15.8 million to police our sub-Antarctic waters.”

 

“The Coalition will ensure that Australia’s activities in the region continue to meet the highest environmental standards. We will also continue to work to maximise opportunities for undertaking vital scientific research in Antarctica, whilst minimising infrastructure and logistic support costs.”

 

“As part of these efforts, the Coalition will examine options for a more flexible and efficient transport system to support Australia’s Antarctic research program and to improve our marine research capabilities. We will also continue to actively promote Hobart as the world’s premier ‘Antarctic’ city.”

 

“These policies build on the concrete actions that the Coalition took in its first term. In addition to increasing the level and proportion of Antarctic funding spent directly on scientific research and fighting illegal fishing, we directed our attention to ensuring protection of the Antarctic environment and Australia’s Antarctic heritage.”

 

“For example, the Howard Government successfully nominated Australia’s sub-Antarctic islands - Macquarie Island and the Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands - for World Heritage listing. The Government also provide half a million dollars to the AAP Mawson’s Huts appeal to support urgent conservation work on the historic and unique huts built during Sir Douglas Mawson’s 1911-14 Antarctic expedition.”

 

“The Coalition has demonstrated that it is serious about protecting Antarctica - the policy released today confirms and strengthens this commitment.”

 

For comment:  Philip Connole (Senator Macdonald’s office) on 07 4771 3066 or

0417 063 605

 

 

 

LK