MORRISON-JOYCE GOVERNMENT CAN’T BE TRUSTED ON ANTARCTICA

By Terri Butler MP

22 February 2022

The Morrison-Joyce Government has had almost a decade to take action on the Antarctic.

Now, they are asking Australians to believe they will provide new funding for Antarctic programs in two elections’ time. 

Now, they are asking Australians to believe they will provide new funding for Antarctic programs in two elections’ time. 

This Government has reportedly described today’s “announcement” as additional funding for the Australian Antarctic Division over five years from 2026.  

But their track record is one of cuts.

When this Government came to office they immediately cut funding to the Australian Antarctic Division, and reduced staffing, including scientific staff. 

When Labor left office the annual funding for the AAD was $129 million. By 2016 this Government had cut funding to $83 million per year. 

That same year, they announced plans to phase down the annual funding to $10.3 million per year by 2049.

And now, after almost a decade in office, they’re expecting Australians to believe they have had a change of heart on the eve of an election?

Tasmanians haven’t forgotten Morrison’s visit before the last election where he made Antarctica a key part of the Hobart City Deal. 

Three years later, the deal is a mess and this Government has failed to deliver on its Antarctic promises.

These cuts and broken promises speakvolumes about this Government’s priorities when it comes to the Antarctic.  

So, too, does their inaction on climate change. Because it is one of the most dire threats to the Antarctic, but the Morrison-Joyce Government still has no plan for real action on climate change. 

Labor has a proud history of supporting Antarctic research. The Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition (ANARE) was established under Labor Prime Minister Ben Chifley. Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke led efforts to protect Antarctica from mining in 1991.

TUESDAY, 22 FEBRUARY 2022