2.29 The committee recommends that the government
reaffirms the primacy of the Antarctic Treaty System to Australia's sovereignty
and national interests, and continues to support and resource Australia's
robust engagement in Antarctic Treaty processes and fora in the pursuit and
promotion of those interests.
2.32 The committee recommends that Antarctic and
Southern Ocean issues be a standing theme for Australian ministers and
officials in relevant multilateral and bilateral diplomatic discussions,
particularly those with our Asian neighbours, and that Australia continues to
seek all possible opportunities for constructive, practical cooperation with
other nations engaging in that region.
3.50 The committee recommends that Australia commits
to re-commencing maritime patrolling in the Southern Ocean, including a minimum
of two 40-day patrols by the Ocean Shield in the 2014-15 and 2015-16
3.53 The committee recommends that Australia explores
the possibility of concluding new agreements with neighbouring and like-minded
countries to cooperate in patrol and deterrence in the Southern Ocean, based
upon the example of the arrangements presently in place with France.
3.57 The committee recommends that the government
actively investigates the potential for further use of non-vessel technologies,
including consideration of the potential application of new Defence assets, to
support law enforcement and border patrolling in the Southern Ocean.
3.78 The committee recommends that the government
commits to continued funding of the Southern Ocean Research Partnership for at
least a further five years beyond the completion of the current funding in
3.79 The committee recommends that Australia
prioritises the active pursuit of further diplomatic discussions with Japan
about its future whale research plans, including extending a formal invitation
to Japan to join the Southern Ocean Research Partnership.
4.19 The committee recommends that researching the
impact of changes in the Southern Ocean on the Australian and global climate
remain a strategic priority in Australia's future planning and resourcing of
4.20 The committee recommends that Australia continues
its advocacy for the establishment by CCAMLR of new Marine Protected Areas in
the waters of East Antarctica.
4.60 The committee recommends that an immediate
commitment be made by the government to continue funding for Antarctic and
Southern Ocean scientific research beyond the sunset dates of existing
collaborative initiatives in 2017 and 2019.
4.61 The committee further recommends that appropriate
funding for Antarctic and Southern Ocean science be assured through a
commitment in the Budget process to a funding cycle reflecting, and integrated
with, the ten-year cycle of the Australian Antarctic Science Strategic Plan,
and in line with Recommendation 13.
4.63 The committee recommends that future allocation
of research funding for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean include specific
funds to support young and early-career scientists, in recognition of
Australia's comparative advantage in maintaining world-class scientific
expertise in these fields into the future.
4.64 The committee further recommends that government
agencies and scientific research organisations, particularly the science
community based in Tasmania, work to develop a program of mentoring to
facilitate information-sharing and professional support between experienced and
retired scientists and those commencing in the field.
4.74 The committee recommends that resources be
dedicated to the development and implementation of a Southern Ocean mapping
program, as a whole-of-government initiative under the guidance and
coordination of Geoscience Australia, and that such a strategy be included in
future decisions about the allocation of funding and vessel time.
5.20 The committee endorses Recommendation 28 of the
20 Year Australian Antarctic Strategic Plan, proposing a comprehensive review
of the budget and resourcing needs of the Australian Antarctic Division, and
recommends that this be adopted and undertaken by the government as soon as
5.52 The committee recommends that all options be
examined including that budgetary allocation be provided to restore the ability
of the RV Investigator to spend its optimum 300 days per year at sea, in
support of Australian and international scientific research.
5.56 The committee recommends that an interagency
working group be established to review Australia's current and proposed marine
assets and their utilisation, and to explore the potential costs and benefits
of a national fleet approach to the acquisition and management of Australian
5.57 Taking into account Recommendation 17, the
committee further recommends that the working group should commission and draw
on an independent expert study of Australia's requirements for effective
patrol, surveillance and research including in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic
waters, the ability of existing national maritime assets to meet those
requirements, significant gaps in capacity, and possible best-practice models
for the management and coordination of national maritime assets to meet
5.60 The committee recommends that CSIRO and the
Australian Antarctic Division work on a streamlined and integrated approach to
the management of scientific research proposals requiring vessel time in the
Southern Ocean and Antarctic waters, to ensure the efficient and appropriate
use of vessels.
5.79 The committee recommends that the Commonwealth
government and the Government of Tasmania work together on the development and
implementation of a dedicated strategy for maximising Tasmania's potential as
an Antarctic Gateway, including joint investment toward the upgrading of
Hobart's port and other key infrastructure, and drawing upon the
recommendations made in the 20 Year Australian Antarctic Strategic Plan.
5.95 The committee recommends that the government
considers options for further strengthening whole-of-government coordination in
the pursuit and promotion of Australia's national interests in Antarctica and
the Southern Ocean, including the appointment of an Australian Antarctic and
Southern Ocean Ambassador to coordinate whole-of-government policy and to
provide senior leadership for the promotion of Australia's interests and role
domestically and internationally.
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