Enhancing Hobart's position as gateway to Antarctica

27 April, 2016

Hobart's unique position as a research hub and gateway to Antarctica will be enhanced as part of the Turnbull Government's vision for Australia's future engagement with Antarctica.

The Minister for Tourism and International Education, Senator Richard Colbeck, joined the Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, in Hobart today for the launch of the Australian Antarctic Strategy and 20 Year Action Plan.

"It is a great outcome for Tasmania that the Action Plan includes a focus on enhancing Hobart as an Antarctic research hub and the premier gateway to East Antarctica," Minister Colbeck said.

"This plan is part of a bigger strategic direction for Tasmania based around strong research capacity, building of knowledge and innovative industry capability.

"This commitment by the Turnbull Government, along with Tasmania's natural strengths, positions the state well to attract further investment, growing our reputation and knowledge based economy.

"Tasmania will also benefit from a commitment to investigate options for expanding aviation capacity to establish year-round access between Hobart and Antarctica.

"The announcement I made last week regarding the Federal Government's approval of the $38 million to extend the Hobart airport runway will also greatly enhance Hobart's capacity to support international Antarctic operations."

Minister Colbeck said today's announcement builds on the Turnbull Government's previous commitments including $24 million for an Antarctic Gateway Partnership and $25 million for the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Co-operative Research Centre.

"The Turnbull Government recognises Antarctic science as a national priority and is committed to continuing Australia's leadership position in this area," Minister Colbeck said.

Media contact: Jemima Stagg - 0438 387 436 or jemima.stagg@aph.gov.au

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