Chapter 3 - Funding and operational concerns with the AAD

Chapter 3Funding and operational concerns with the AAD

3.1Submitters and witnesses raised a number of concerns with the committee about the operations of the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), including staffing levels, workplace culture and morale, and funding pressures which are seen to be a key contributor to the concerns raised within this inquiry.

3.2Funding has been a long-standing issue, seen to have been caused by the competition between science, and infrastructure and logistics projects. This chapter will scrutinise the underlying concerns presented to the committee about the Australian Antarctic Program and the AAD, in relation to funding, governance and risk, the focus on science, and staffing and culture. It will also look at actions currently underway to help address some of these issues.


3.3Funding pressures were seen by inquiry participants to be a key cause of the concerns both within and about the AAD, with a perception of funding tension between infrastructure and science projects. Participants spoke to the need for stable, long-term funding for significant monitoring projects, as well as for other specific science projects.

3.4The committee was also concerned about significant overspends within the AAD, with the allocation of funding through the Sustainable Funding Review (SFR), and whether there was any deficiencies in governance and oversight leading to budgetary constraints and overspends.

Sustainable Funding Review

3.5The AAD was allocated $804.4 million over a 10-year period in the October2022–23 Budget, known as the SFR. MrSean Sullivan, Deputy Secretary with the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) advised the committee that this was 'largely for ongoing funding [and a] supplementation to bring the level of funding to more sustainable levels'. MrSullivan explained how the SFR and Decadal Plan would work in unison, saying:

The correlation between a 10-year funding announcement and a decadal plan is consistent to give some confidence that there is ongoing funding for the division that increases marginally over time, with indexation attached to it. It gives a bit more certainty around funding for the future and planning for the future.[1]

3.6However, it remains unclear to the committee how this money is being allocated over the forward estimates and beyond.

Outcome 3 funding changes

3.7The AAD took the consistent view that the reduction of nearly $30 million in funding for 2023–24 was due to a lapsing temporary budget measure, in place to support the Division when the RSV Nuyina was unavailable (see Chapter 1 for background information).

3.8Mr Sullivan stressed that there was no 'trimming the budget', and that the AAD was 'operating within the budget that [it had] been allocated based on one platform post-May for the season planning', and the 'division significantly overspent because of the two-platform requirement'.[2]

3.9Mr Sullivan later told the committee that:

it was actually in the forward estimates that we would have a reduction in funding. Largely, that was moving from a two-ship allocation to the Nuyina coming in. You would understand that, obviously, in terms of the budget process, we had some concerns about what we would do if the Nuyina didn't get back into service around that time, and so we had to have contingency planning around that. Those discussions were on multiple levels, on both the status of the organisation and what our forward projections looked like in terms of pressures primarily driven by moving from a two-ship to a one-ship model.[3]

3.10The committee was keen to understand the reduction in AAD funding between 2022–23 and 2023–24, and what planning was taking place within the Division to meet these budgetary challenges, and when the relevant minister was advised of the AAD budget risks.

3.11Mr Sullivan told the committee that the AAD worked with the Minister in the usual way, with a DCCEEW executive group meeting with the Minister 'on a very regular basis'. Mr Sullivan continued:

As for briefing Minister Plibersek on budget pressures in terms of the appropriation drop that was forecast in the forward estimates from 2022-23 to 2023-24, that from memory would have come up originally with briefing her on Leigh Russell's report and what our response was going to be to that because that was also going to have an impact on resourcing as well as on the structure for the organisation, moving forward. So we would have raised that a number of times with the minister in terms of updating where the Leigh Russell report was up to and then what we were up to in terms of a broader departmental response. That was around the same time as MsCampbell's appointment to the head of division, as well as season planning on making the transition—because I recall the Nuyina came back into service around the end of March or early April, at the same time.[4]

Overspends, governance and risk

3.12The AAD had a significant overspend in 2022–23, of $42 million. Mr Sullivan himself acknowledged that the Division 'overspent extraordinarily'—but he advised this was due to needing two ships, 'which wasn't ideal, and increased aviation. It was way beyond what the budget was actually provided for'.[5]

3.13The committee was told that an overspend was first projected for the AAD 'around March or April' of 2023, with initial projections for the overspend 'in the order of 10 to 12 per cent … largely due to shipping costs'. However, the final result by the end of the financial year was closer to 20 per cent.

3.14The DCCEEW Chief Financial Officer, Mr Robert Hanlon, advised that the budget is managed internally; 'we rarely discuss it with a minister because it's for us as a department to manage'. To that end, the finance committee was advised in March 2023 that there was forecast $22 million overspend in the AAD. This overspend was then downgraded to $17 million later in the financial year. In July 2023, the AAD 'recognised there was a greater overspend that we had anticipated'. It was also July 2023 when the AAD advised the Minister's office of this overspend, which was then $41.4 million.[6]

3.15In responding to questions on notice, the Division advised of several new groups now operating within the AAD, including the Program Management Board (PMB) and the Division Management Committee. The PMB is tasked with 'tracking budget, identification and management of risk', and providing oversight when there was a high risk an initiative would be of 'reputational and strategic importance'.[7]

3.16The committee asked whether either of these bodies had met to discuss the overspend issue. Ms Emma Campbell, Head of the AAD, noted the PMB was a relatively new body, but it 'certainly looked at the overspend and gets regular budget reporting'. Once the PMB became aware of the overspend, 'that's where we started actively managing a budget'.[8] To this end, Mr Sullivan explained what steps had been taken to help ensure such significant budgetary impacts would not be experienced in future:

Part of Leigh Russell's findings was improving the level of support from the enabling divisions of the department across both people and finance. I think this [overspend] was a perfect example of the lack of both certainty from within the divisional finances and in terms of exposure and transparency for that from the centre. We've put a lot of effort into both better support within the division and support for Emma Campbell in making what our budget is and how we're tracking month on month much more transparent.

The level of support both from Mr Hanlon's division and from across the Antarctic Division's executive has seen a much greater level of confidence. The Antarctic Division has been within plus or minus two per cent of its budget month on month for the whole year. That's well within the range of an organisation that has lumpy funding at times, particularly with fuel costs et cetera. I think there's been an enormous improvement in those business practices, and also the confidence inside the department around that.[9]

Historical funding issues and the undervaluing of science

3.17Chapter 2 outlined the findings of a number of reviews into the AAD, including that the funding and importance of the Antarctic Science Program component within the AAD has long been a matter of dispute. These reviews found that:

the lack of a discrete line of funding for Antarctic science has meant that funding could be varied by external factors over the budget period;[10] and

the AAD should adopt as its core value that science is at the centre of all its activities.[11]

3.18Many inquiry participants similarly noted the depth of concerns and negative reactions to the 2023–24 AAD budget allocation reflected a long-held view that the AAD, and in particular the science programs, were undervalued and underfunded.

3.19The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) submitted the views of its members working in the AAD that the AAD has experienced 'almost a decade of budget cuts, efficiency dividends and arbitrary staffing caps that have already come at a cost to science'.[12]

3.20The CPSU noted that the impact of the budget allocation to the science budget was impacting staff morale deeply, as they had been feeling undervalued for a long period of time: 'these budget cuts are in some cases the "last straw" for staff who've been overworked and under-resourced for the last decade'.[13]

3.21Professor Rufus Black, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Tasmania (UTAS) noted the current budget challenges are longstanding:

The current state of the Australian science program is at risk. There is a crisis in the funding of Antarctic science right now, a crisis long in the making, which sees the need and the opportunity for a significant reform of the way science is funded and logistics supported to enable Australia to play its role, increase the diplomatic strength it needs in this part of the world and, in the end, serve our national and global interests far better than we are able to do today.[14]

3.22Dr Anthony Press agreed the funding challenges were longstanding, telling the committee:

Funding for Antarctic science has been problematic for quite some time, and this funding is wider than the Australian Antarctic Division. It involves multiple departments, it involves rules for eligibility, it involves different funding periods and agreements, and it involves different rules for expenditure.[15]

3.23Dr Simon Wright and Dr Andrew Davidson also argued that the problem was not merely a matter of money, but pointed to longstanding and deep-set structural issues:

The underlying issues faced by the Antarctic science program are:

1. Confusion at the highest level regarding the purpose and goals of Australia's role in Antarctica – in particular, the relative priorities of the commitment to science versus infrastructure in support of sovereignty.

2. Long-term structural problems within the AAD and DCCEEW brought about by the lack of clear strategy for Australia's Antarctic presence. These have allowed different goals for the science and operations arms of the AAD, and construction of cripplingly expensive high-maintenance infrastructure with massive overheads.

3. Appointment of administrative staff in permanent positions for fixed term projects (most recently the so-called Modernisation Project) while science projects only receive fixed-term contract positions, even for core roles, in the name of flexibility. Permanent positions (including our own) lost through attrition are not refilled – or are replaced by temporary positions, which are subsequently lost in funding cuts.

These problems leave the science program particularly vulnerable to the even the smallest funding cuts – for although science is the justification for Antarctic presence, operational costs are seen as immutable while science is seen as discretionary when resources are tight.[16]

3.24Doctors Wright and Davidson further submitted that these expenses have extended beyond the period that AAD received funding and raised concerns that the discretionary spending on science staff and projects will bear the brunt of cuts.[17] They went on to state that this is a symptom of a wider problem within the AAD:

The AAD has created an operational monster that they can't sustain. Without clear directions to support science, the Operations Branch has become a self-serving Empire, flourishing while science withers. While most staff in the operations branch are undoubtedly well-intentioned, the Branch has apparently set its own goals, unencumbered by budgets, producing enormous high maintenance stations that can't be winterised, an air link of questionable value to science, and overseeing construction of the RSVNuyina, whose massive size is itself a problem, while those in the science branch were advocating two smaller ships to provide the flexibility we once had from the 1980s till 2000s.[18]

3.25It appears that communications to AAD staff about the 2023–24 budget process were not clear, perpetuating the idea the AAD's budget had been cut. A seniorexecutive email advised staff of the need to 'make reductions in the order of $25 million … We need to trim our planned activities to meet our budget'. However, the AAD argued 'it wasn't about achieving cost savings. Itwas about living within our budget', within the forecast operating budget.[19]

3.26The budget arrangements appear also to have contributed to misunderstandings, with 'no clear budgets at a branch level and there were no clear checks and balances from a governance perspective on the interrelationships between projects'. Furthermore, the committee heard that the AAD's bottom-up iterative budget process meant that business areas started by looking at the previous year's expenditure, and looking at what could be trimmed.[20]

3.27Ms Campbell from the AAD, acknowledged that some science planning projects in draft stages were not approved and people were disappointed. However, she pointed out that 'I approved a final plan, and that is fully delivered'. Work on helping staff understand budgets is ongoing[21] (discussed later in this chapter).

The risks of short-term funding

3.28Evidence to the committee suggests that the non-ongoing nature of this Antarctic science funding makes scientific work difficult to progress. As was summarised by the UTAS, Australia's ability to deliver world-class science remains 'at serious risk while it relies on disconnected and disjointed funding and governance models, and particularly short-term funding cycles'.[22]

3.29There are several funding initiatives supporting Antarctic science, including university sector funding. For example, the Special Research Initiative (SRI) in Excellence in Antarctic Science for which funding commenced in 2020. Under the Australian Research Council's (ARC) SRI program, two programs were awarded funding:

Securing Antarctica's Environmental Future – $36 million to MonashUniversity; and

The Australian Centre for Excellence in Antarctic Science (ACEAS) - $20million to UTAS.[23]

3.30A further program, the Australian Antarctic Program Partnership (AAPP) was established in 2019, with $50million funding provided over 10 years, as a terminating measure.[24]The AAPP was funded by the Department of Industry, Science and Resources (DISR) and its Antarctic Science Collaboration Initiative (ASCI), but that funding has now been transferred to DCCEEW for management by the AAD.[25]

3.31UTAS provided an example of these short-term funding risks on science programs:

ACEAS provides an excellent example of the risks associated with current short term funding allocation. Funded as one of two programs under the Special Research [Initiative] in Excellence (SRI) in Antarctic Science, it received $6.67m per year for three years, and whilst supposed to end in 2022, smoothing out its funding over a longer timeframe will enable its work to continue until 2025. ACEAS is now facing a funding cliff, meaning staff can only play a limited role in field planning beyond 2025, with planning underway to end of the decade. This will inhibit good planning in priority areas of science such as sea ice and sea level. With alignment to the top three provisional decadal plan priority areas, failure to address the funding challenge will substantially reduce our nation's capability to address these priorities.[26]

3.32As part of its 2023 funding review, the AASC recommended that the SRIs and the AAPP be made ongoing at current annual levels and subject to indexation. The AASC added that 'any future additional funding for Australian Antarctic science should be either ongoing or tied to specific program outcomes'.[27] The full findings and recommendations of the AASC are discussed later in this chapter.

AAD structure and competing priorities for funding

3.33The structure of the AAD and how the Antarctic Science Program is delivered was observed by many inquiry participants to create problems for the selection and delivery of appropriate Antarctic Science projects.

3.34The operating model for the Antarctic Program requires AAD to provide nearly all logistical support required, while science programs are delivered through many separate entities with diverse funding arrangements.To this end, the Science Council noted that:

The key Clarke recommendation that was not implemented was the establishment of an Australian National Antarctic Research Institute to integrate the work of the multiple science bodies into a more coherent Australian Antarctic Science Program.The 2017 Review also found that uncertainty over future funding, caused by terminating measures, has impeded the science program.That arrangement was however continued.[28]

3.35Witnesses observed that the structure of the AAD itself compounded those concerns. Professor Black told the committee that, while the AAD manages the logistics and some of the science elements, 'we have nothing that sits across the top to say how to coordinate the large science investment that happens from government with the logistics coordination'. Professor Black pointed out that this could result in:

… the Australian government deciding on the one hand that they'll provide funding for Antarctic research—an approved program—and, on the other hand, the other part of the Australian government saying, 'We can't fit you on the ship.' So that's a very wasteful model when you're not able to coordinate the funding. If this crisis has a good outcome, it would be that some of these deeper structural causes can be resolved.[29]

3.36Professor Black went on to recommend a coordinating entity to 'ensure we have a coordinated long-term decadal science plan with science programs that are supporting it married up with logistics that go with it'.[30]

3.37Professor Mary-Anne Lea from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies also noted the complex current climate and need for structural change:

We're in a period of transition, for a variety of reasons, but there's no denying that clear structural underpinnings to do with funding and the capacity to link logistics with long-term scientific plans and outcomes are critical going forward. I think we need to understand the different factors that have led us to this point, but an integrated approach, going forward, is really needed.[31]

3.38As well as noting the longstanding nature of the funding concerns driven from the structure of the AAD, many witnesses pointed to the competing funding priorities of science projects versus the funding of infrastructure, capital works and logistics.

3.39The feeling from many in the science community was that science projects were often cut in the face of infrastructure budget overspends—or did not even receive funding in the first place.

3.40Dr Ian Allison of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (AMOS) told the committee that while 'science is a major rationale for Australia's Antarctic involvement, it's the only area for discretionary budget saving'. Dr Allison contended that maintaining and operating the four Antarctic and sub-Antarctic Stations appeared to be a 'priority compared to the science program'.[32]

3.41Dr Allison noted that these competing priorities are not new and pointed to his similar experiences over forty years ago:

In the early eighties, we went through a station rebuilding program, and, again, because logistics were required to get all the materials in for rebuilding the stations, the science had to slip a bit. I think organisations need to maintain a commitment to their science. Obviously there are things that have to be done to make sure people living on the bases are maintained and things like that, but there has to be a balance in trying to state what the objectives of the program are and how they're going to be supported. It'll always be difficult; I concede that.[33]

3.42DCCEEW submitted that 'Science is at the heart of the Antarctic Treaty system and Australian Antarctic Program', but also noted the importance of the infrastructure and logistics network that:

… underpins Australian activities in Antarctica and provides Australia with a strong presence in the region, which places us at the forefront of international engagement in Antarctica.[34]

3.43DCCEEW further noted that delivery of the Antarctic program should 'provide for safe operations and presence', and that its 'investment in logistics and infrastructure supports science and other strategically important activities in Antarctica'.[35]

3.44DCCEEW described how it plans for a budgetary balance between Antarctic science programs, and the logistical support necessary to run those programs:

Each season there is a finite limit on what can be achieved in Antarctica. This limit is influenced by constraints including availability of suitable transport (particularly shipping), station accommodation, water and fuel supply, the availability of skilled personnel, supply chain impacts and budget. A range of projects and programs that are not able to be done in Antarctica will continue work in Australia, including analysis of data, collation of data from alternative sources (such as utilisation of station-based staff with additional capacity) or planning for future campaigns …

Season planning is an iterative process, and due to a myriad of reasons – from changes to personnel availability, to changed cargo requirements, to weather and environmental factors – the supportability of projects is adjusted over the season.[36]

3.45DCCEEW advised that each year it develops a season plan for what activities can be supported within the available logistics and infrastructure, but that operational plans can change in response to environmental factors and unforeseen events.[37]

Staffing and culture

3.46The O'Kane Review was instrumental in highlighting the need to develop and implement a clear and comprehensive Decadal Plan, making science the focus of the AAD and Australia's presence in Antarctica. Following that review, the findings of Professor Nash in 2022—which led to 2023's Russell Review[38]—demonstrated that along with science program issues, staff at the AAD were subject to harm in the workplace through sexual harassment, bullying and the unequal distribution of power.

3.47Staffing levels, workplace culture and morale are long-standing themes that have been raised through a number of reviews and in discussions about the AAD and the Antarctic Science Program, and were also themes presented to the committee in evidence.

Staffing levels

3.48In providing advice about staffing levels in the AAD (discussed in Chapter 1), the Department observed that the AAD's staffing levels were subject to seasonal fluctuation, with the Division utilising fixedterm contracts.

3.49It was put to the committee that underresourcing within the AAD was having a direct and detrimental impact on its staff.

3.50Changing staffing levels is something that has long occurred at AAD. DrAllison noted that shortly after he retired in 2010 there was a significant cut in staff numbers. Dr Allison noted there were proposals to build staff numbers up again in 2022, which (as discussed below) did not take place.[39]

3.51Beyond reductions to available positions, Mr Richard Fader of the Tasmanian Polar Network (TPN) pointed to difficulties recruiting for Antarctica-related jobs caused by broader, long-standing issues:

The challenge of recruiting staff, and quality staff, for the Antarctic is becoming greater; that's going all the way from the top scientists and logistics people to tradesmen and apprentices and things like that. The Antarctic is having a challenge like every industry, and it will only grow, especially when we're talking about station rebuilds and things like that, where we're competing with every other industry for the availability of labour. The mystique has gone out of the Antarctic a little bit. I think COVID changed a lot of people's way of work and way of being. People like staying home, and the Antarctic is a long way from home. There is a challenge in recruiting.[40]

3.52The CPSU submitted concerns that the under-resourcing of personnel over many years had led to 'excessive hours of work, increased stress, loss of experienced workers, and an environment where people's jobs are at risk' and that this raises concerns for workplace safety.[41] The CPSU further advised in relation to the perceived funding cuts that:

Insufficient funding will exacerbate existing work health and safety risks. Itwill place additional pressure on expeditioner recruitment and workloads across the Division. It is also likely to further delay the implementation of risk controls for identified mental and physical safety concerns in high-risk workplaces in Antarctica and Macquarie Island.[42]

Staffing and the Sustainable Funding Review

3.53The CPSU submitted that a portion of the $804.4 million SFR was earmarked for new positions in the AAD's Science Branch:

In 2022, the Government committed $804.4 million over 10 years via the Sustainable Funding Review, which was explicitly identified as an "additional investment" to the AAD's core budget. This investment was allocated to key scientific programs and employment of new staff to strengthen Australia's strategic and scientific capabilities in the region, directly supporting local jobs and procurement.[43]

3.54It was made clear in submissions to the committee that there was a lack of clarity around the funding for these additional roles and how they might be filled. For example, the CPSU noted that while DCCEEW stated there would be no direct job losses, it understood (at the time of making its submission) that 70nonongoing employees would not have their contracts renewed due to the budget cuts and that future recruitment would be 'highly cautious':

In addition to this, many ongoing positions are stalled at different stages of recruitment due to budget constraints. There was a much-needed upsurge in recruitment following the 2022 funding announcement - some positions were filled just before the budget problems were announced, but AAD employees advise that more than 40 scientific positions at an advanced stage of recruitment have now been put on hold indefinitely. The arbitrary nature of this and the apparent role of 'luck' in deciding which positions were filled in time, brings into question the AAD's budget process, and at what point management became aware of the division's financial problems. AAD employees advise that this is not just affecting new jobs, but existing jobs are often not filled when positions become vacant and this attrition is already impacting AAD operations.[44]

3.55While the funding announcement did include 40 additional positions, the committee was told that most of those positions have not eventuated. MsCampbell from the AAD, outlined the situation as of October 2023, advising that of the 40 positions, 20had been advertised, four had been filled and the remainder were on hold 'pending resolution of the bigger budget picture to see about affordability'.[45]

3.56Professor Nicole Webster, then-Chief Scientist of the Science Branch, further acknowledged that all four staff who filled the roles were already staff within AAD. Two positions were filled by promotion into a new role, while the other two roles were non-ongoing.[46]

3.57DCCEEW acknowledged that there was some confusion around the announcements for the 40 positions, many of which were not actually new. MrSullivan from DCCEEW, told the committee about how some of this confusion may have come about:

I think part of this is how the SFR was communicated to staff and how it was costed. I wasn't around for that, but I assume that the 40 figure came from the costings process, which is normal in any budget process. What wasn't probably well communicated to staff is that a lot of that was basically replacing lapsing funding. So not all of those positions would have been new; it was how it was costed in terms of moving from lapsing programs to a new budget bid. That predates me. But, from memory, that was the basis of that budget proposal. That was not well communicated to staff at the time—the costing process, which is normal in any budget process—and the expectation then was that they would all be new staff. But a lot of those positions were actually replacing lapsing funding from previous measures.[47]

3.58DCCEEW also agreed that there had been recent fluctuations in staffing numbers and the hiring process. For example, Mr Sullivan advised the committee that as of March 2023, all recruitment decisions had to go through him, due to the period of transition from COVID back to 'business as usual'.[48]

3.59The CPSU expressed concerns that funding fluctuations would result in job losses. The CPSU noted that it was advised by DCCEEW 'that funding is being redirected from all operational divisions to cover corporate functions and IT [information technology] shortfalls'. The CPSU argued that these funding changes would impact the AAD differently to other divisions, which would likely only experience a slowing of growth with no impact to programs or jobs. In contrast, the CPSU took the view that 'the AAD is an outlier in that the proposed cuts will directly impact staffing levels and the AAD's capacity to undertake vital projects, programs and research activities'.[49]

Spending on consultants

3.60DCCEEW advised that the following amounts had been spent on consultants in recent years:[50]

2019–20: $7 776 609

2020–21: $20 622 637

2021–22: $3 158 678

2022–23: $707 041

3.61The AAD advised that the consultancy spend in 2020–21 of over $20 million was 'related to approved critical project work of which additional funding was received'. This included over $14million for AECOM Australia for, among other things, the 'provision of services to progress preparation of environmental documentation and approvals' and 'geotechnical investigation services'.[51]

3.62Ms Campbell advised the committee that in relation to the consultancy spend in 2020–21 that:

… a large amount of money was spent on the work the government asked us to do about scoping the permanent runway at Davis aerodrome. Inbetween 2016-17 and 2022-23, the government had provided $91.6 million to develop that scoping of options. Work in Antarctica is expensive, and this was a very significant project with significant environment and geotechnical feasibility. So that work was done to really understand what those impacts would be and to plan for a runway, as the government had asked us to do. That work eventually informed the decision of the former government to not proceed with that project.

… The government made a decision, which was announced in November2021, not to proceed with the runway due to the complexity of the construction at the remote site, the estimated 20-year time frame, the potential environmental impacts and the cost. I will say that a lot of the work that was done was detailed ecological or environmental work that has increased our understanding of east Antarctica.[52]


3.63There have been longstanding and publicly discussed concerns with low morale and poor workplace culture within AAD. This was the focus of the 2022 Review of workplace culture and change at the AAD (Russell Review). This Review, as discussed in Chapter 2, found deep-seated and longstanding concerns with the workplace culture of AAD, including an 'us versus them' culture, bullying and sexual harassment, a psychologically unsafe workplace culture and a lack of faith in leadership.[53]

3.64The CPSU submitted that its members had observed low levels of morale within the staff at the AAD:

There are serious cultural issues within the ADD, including lack of trust in current systems, discrimination, bullying and harassment and 'an alarming number' of employees reporting experiencing mental and physical harm because of workplace stress. The most recent APS [Australian Public Service] census results painted a picture of AAD employees who are purpose-driven and committed to public service but increasingly disillusioned with how things are run.[54]

3.65These census results are highlighted below in Figure 3.1:

Figure 3.1APS Census results for AAD

Source: Community and Public Sector Union, Submission 21, p. 7.

3.66Dr Allison of AMOS also noted the low levels of morale, but expressed the view that staff concerns were broader and more longstanding than those recently voiced in relation to budgetary changes:

… the staff I talk to from Antarctic Division who have been around for a long time are very unhappy and very disillusioned, and that's only speaking to individuals. I've spoken to about half a dozen people and people that were there in the time I was there that worked under me. They used to be quite happy with their lot, but they complain a lot now … I think the disillusionment is more with the larger picture rather than just this $25million budget cut … One person did say to me that this $25 million is small, compared to most of the other problems. But that's just one individual.[55]

Pulse Survey

3.67In response to recommendations of the Russell Review, the AAD commissioned an external supplier to create and conduct a quarterly survey (the Pulse Survey) to gather 'regular feedback from the team on their perception of AAD as a place to work, and also to track progress in taking action to improve the AAD workplace culture over time'. The survey is intended to assist the AAD in 'establishing performance expectations which focus on culture reform' and further, 'that allow people leaders to gauge how effectively they contribute to cultural reform, and the areas in which we can improve'.[56] The first Pulse Survey results are detailed below:

The employee Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a simple metric, used across many industries, that measures employee loyalty and advocacy, and supports tracking of these over time.

It is based on a single question: On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend AAD/AAP to a friend or family member as a place to work?

The Pulse Survey responses generated an NPS of -46, which is a very poor score, with 277 (59%) detractors compared to only 60 (13%) promoters. In comparison, the APS reported an employee Net Promoter Score of 58 in the 2020 Census.

This result typically indicates low employee morale, and is frequently correlated with a lack of communication, unhealthy work environments or poor management practices.

The Net Promoter Score acts as a reliable barometer for these issues, and a warning system for their associated impacts, which often include decreased productivity, damage to the organisation's reputation, high turnover and recruitment issues.[57]

3.68The results of the Pulse Survey were not intended to be made public. However, the results were leaked and discussed in an ABC article, with the media reporting indicating that the survey:

… showed almost a third of female respondents had experienced or seen harmful behaviours — including bullying, harassment and exclusion — in the past three months, but had chosen not to formally report it.

Almost 45 per cent of those respondents said they had no confidence in the AAD's reporting systems, while 42 per cent were concerned about career repercussions.

A further 30 per cent added that "it was easier to keep quiet".[58]

3.69Mr Sullivan advised that the AAD saw the cultural shifts as being a two-year process. The Pulse Survey, while not being 'a bed of roses' did provide 'a baseline which is now repeatable'. Mr Sullivan noted that a key theme from the survey was barriers to harmful reporting. He listed a range of actions being taken to address this, including:

better-tailored communications for staff and managers;

improved accessibility of information on what to do and how to do it;

staff training on identifying and reporting poor behaviours;

establishing a dedicated People Division including a Professional and Ethical Standards Branch.[59]

3.70Mr Sullivan noted these changes apply across all DCCEEW, not just the AAD, and would result in improved conditions for all DCCEEW remote staff, such as those at Norfolk Island and Uluru. Mr Sullivan confirmed that the quarterly Pulse Surveys would form a valuable tool to measure progress in the AAD on addressing concerns raised in the Russell Review.[60]

3.71Ms Campbell advised the committee that there are over 63 actions that AAD was working through in response to the Russell Review, and the Pulse Survey 'is really about helping us test whether we're on track and how we're going'. MsCampbell acknowledged that:

… some of the barriers that were identified, or some of the issues, were that cultural safety continues to be a concern. Bullying and harassment continue to be at levels that are higher than anyone would like. The response talked about SES [senior executive service] visibility and teamwork. [61]

3.72Ms Campbell described the changes being made to improve staff perceptions of the AAD and resolve issues identified in the Russell Review:

The key thing is accountability and confidence, so our complaints handling system has shifted significantly. There are more resources in that and there's been a move to what I'd call a more victim centred approach—even though I'm sure that's not the language we use formally—to be more sensitive to complainants who are making reports. There have been actions under that element.

We also talk a lot about governance and uplift in transparency. For example, my email to staff, which triggered this inquiry, was part of that. Last week we had an open forum with all SES staff to answer all of the staff's questions, so it's continuing to build trust in the staff. We heard evidence last time about staff feeling afraid to talk in this inquiry. Again, we continue to take steps to provide that assurance, but trust takes a long time to rebuild. We don't hide from that.

We're also very focused on positive stories and ensuring that staff see the results of their good work, and we continue to monitor progress. The reform council and the pulse surveys are the empirical ways we can test how we're tracking on this, to make sure that we don't rest on laurels and think everything's rosy.[62]

Progress on the Decadal Plan

3.73The O'KaneReview investigated the 'quality, relevance and impact of the science conducted by the AAD's Science Branch',[63] and made 11recommendations with the two key recommendations being that:

the Division adopt as its core value that science is at the centre of all its activities; and

that a Decadal Plan for Australian Antarctic and Southern Ocean science be developed to ensure a comprehensive approach to identifying, prioritising, conducting and applying research.

3.74Since the O'Kane Review was handed down the AAD has 'formally asserted that "Science is the central driver of all its activities"'.[64] Furthermore, the Australian Antarctic Science Council is progressing the collaborative development and implementation of a Decadal Plan for Australian Antarctic science with all major research partners including the AAD.[65]

3.75The Decadal Plan was due to be handed to the Minister by 31 December 2023, however owing to the resignation of the Chief Scientist and the absence of key personnel, that work was delayed. DCCEEW advised the committee in January2024, that the Decadal Plan was expected to be provided to the Minister 'shortly, in the coming weeks, if not days'.[66]

3.76However, during a public hearing in April 2024, Ms Campbell provided a further update and advised that the AAD was now working with the incoming Chair of the Australian Antarctic Science Council (AASC), Dr Nicholas Gales, to finalise the Plan. Ms Campbell said that finalising the Plan would:

… include deep policy engagement across the Commonwealth with other agencies to make sure that the information we've collected from the science community also reflects the policy priorities of the government and achieves Australia's national interest in Antarctica.[67]

3.77When asked about when the Decadal Plan would be functional and operational, Ms Campbell was cautious and said it was likely 'months away' and would continue to be prioritised before progressing for Ministerial and government endorsement.[68]

3.78The AAD stressed that the Decadal Plan was a government document, subject to whole-of-government inputs—a process to be driven by DCCEEW, the executive of the AAD, and the Minister.[69]

Draft science outcome statements

3.79The committee was told that the AASC had written to the Minister and provided six draft science outcome statements, which are considered 'core' to the Decadal Plan and which the science community has identified as needing focus over the next ten years—but there was no confirmed date on providing the draft Decadal Plan to the Minister. Ms Campbell advised that delays in appointing a new ChiefScientist to the AAD would not impact the Plan's progress, but acknowledged the key role the Chief Scientist will have to play in its implementation.[70]

3.80The AAD advised the committee that the six outcome statements reflect what the broader Antarctic scientific community saw as the 'biggest challenges … in terms of the environment and managing Antarctica', while also representing broader government and policy needs. Dr David Souter, then-Acting Chief Scientist, said that the next steps for the statements was 'working out exactly what the specific actions and research programs are that are needed to deliver those outcomes in the next 10 years'.[71]

3.81The committee was told the six statements include the following:

integrated monitoring of East Antarctica;

protecting biodiversity, particularly from climate change;

minimising the human footprint in Antarctica;

understanding the vulnerability to sea level rise; and

understanding vulnerability to changes in the coupled ocean-atmosphere-cryosphere system.[72]

3.82The AAD has provided initial advice on the outcomes to the Minister a part of Ministerial meetings with the Science Council, but the AAD has not 'provided considered whole-of-government advice or whole-of-department advice on that at this stage'.[73]

Report: Australian Antarctic Science Funding Model

3.83In April 2023, the AASC released a report titled Australian Antarctic Science Funding Model (Funding Model Review report). The Minister for the Environment and Water, TheHonTanyaPlibersek MP, asked the AASC to conduct a review of the Australian Antarctic science funding model, in the context of the challenging operational environment, the Decadal Plan and terminating funding arrangements.[74]

3.84As with submitters to this inquiry, the Minister noted that some of the structural recommendations of the Clarke Review had not been implemented; this latest review would 'provide an opportunity to consider the most appropriate [funding] model in the current context'.[75]

3.85As part of the review the AASC developed a framework of overarching principles of coherence, certainty, excellence and impact against which it assessed the current funding model and two proposed options which it developed.[76]

3.86The AASC consulted with stakeholders through an options paper which explored the current and proposed funding models assessing them against the principles. The AASC also reviewed international models, received written responses and had discussions with stakeholders.[77]

Key findings

3.87The Funding Model Review observed that the recent external reviews into the AAD focussed on improving governance, but did not address the funding model. The current funding model was assessed as providing low certainty and 'poor coherence, with disparate funding streams pursuing multiple objectives that do not necessarily alight with either the national interest or AAD operational capabilities'. It was also seen to be inefficient, complex, and containing duplication, with all stakeholders seeing 'the current model as having major problems' and 'none supporting its continuation'.[78]

3.88The Funding Review pointed out that two streams of funding, the ARC SRI and DISRASCI funding, were set to terminate during the term of the Antarctic Science Program Decadal Plan, 'resulting in a step-change reduction in science funding'.[79] The Review went on to advise the funding lapse would limit the development of long-term strategic science programs and noted that:

Future funding to support the Decadal Plan would remain contingent on Portfolio budget allocations, impacting the development of long-term strategic science and enduring research capabilities including the science workforce.[80]

3.89The AASC found that funding uncertainty was exacerbated by funding measures being administered by multiple agencies, with a lack of focus on national science priorities. The AASC wrote that it is imperative that to ensure Commonwealth funding for Antarctic Science is focused on the national interest as defined by the Decadal Plan. Consolidating funding would facilitate this long-term strategic approach and would minimise disruption during the transition phase.[81]

3.90The Science Council noted the need for the consolidate funding 'to be administered in a way that maintains a focus on excellence and manages conflicts of interest - separating the source of funding from the decision on who does the science'.[82]

3.91The AASC argued that measures were also needed to address current delays to science projects arising from problems with logistics support, which had caused significant damage to the science programs and to early career researchers. The Council noted that funding uncertainty had 'bedevilled the Australian Antarctic science program for decades and should be permanently ended'.[83]

3.92In light of this, the AASC outlined two options for future models of funding and administering Australia's Antarctic program:

Option 1—pool core funding streams into a single stream administered by the AAD Chief Scientist, which was recognised as an improvement over the current model and was broadly preferred by government entities given the alignment of funding with national interests.[84]

Option 2—integrate disparate scientific research funding into a new, single Antarctic science agency which would exist alongside the AAD, which was viewed as the superior model 'against all principles, but the separation of science from logistics would introduce significant risks'.[85] This model was generally favoured by the research community, although significant implementation risks were recognised.[86]

3.93The AASC considered that Option 1 offered improvements over the current funding model and that it would 'facilitate a long-term strategic approach to addressing Australian science priorities and developing the science workforce'.[87]

3.94The AASC noted that implementation of Option 1 would 'require significant administrative change at AAD', including the revision of funding contracts, formalisation of relationships and arrangements with other bodies, and processes to support funding decisionmaking. The AASC also noted that the AAD's Science Branch was not funded to undertake these tasks alongside its existing programs and this would need to be addressed by the Department.[88]

3.95Some stakeholders suggested the establishment of a separate agency comprising policy, science and logistics functions was the best future model. Such an approach was described as 'a significant and visible move to demonstrate Australia's Antarctic posture'.[89]

3.96The Review panel did not recommend the immediate establishment of a new Antarctic science institution, given the risks of separating the science and logistics functions, the policy and science responsibilities of the AAD, and the costs and distractions of setting up a new agency while other key changes were underway. However, it recommended that consideration be given to establishing the AAD as a separate agency, over the next three years.[90] Granting the AAD agency status would:

… bring the AAD into line with other comparable Australian government entities which have an ongoing mandate requiring specialist scientific capabilities, and bring Australia into alignment with most other national Antarctic programs.[91]

Review recommendations

3.97The AASC made three recommendations to 'set up the Decadal Plan for success and align Australia with its peers: (1) Funding certainty; (2) Funding consolidation; and (3) creation of an institutional model'.[92] Importantly, Recommendation 1 stated that:

The current terminating measures (ARC Antarctic SRIs and DISR AAPP) [Australian Antarctic Program Partnership] be made ongoing at their current annual levels (indexed). Any future additional funding for Australian Antarctic science should be either ongoing or tied to specific program outcomes.[93]

3.98Recommendations 2 and 3 then provided that:

Recommendation 2: The annual appropriation for Antarctic science be consolidated into DCCEEW at the current level, with an explicit reference in the Budget Papers.The AAD Chief Scientist should be the designated manager of these funds within the Department.The AASC should approve the allocation of funds between AAD Science Branch and universities, with the ARC administering the selection of universities to deliver designated programs.Transition arrangements should be managed by the ChiefScientist, with Council oversight.[94]

Recommendation 3: Consideration be given over the next three years to establishing the AAD as a Commonwealth agency (corporate or noncorporate entity), in parallel with implementing the new science funding arrangements (Recommendations 1 and 2), implementation of the recent O'Kane and Russell review recommendations, and consolidation of the new logistics capabilities.

3.99The recommendations were concentrated around providing funding certainty, particularly to aid long-term research and strategic science initiatives, as well as funding consolidation and simplification, and AASC oversight of Antarctic research, and explicit science funding within the Departmental budget.[95]

3.100AASC support for the recommendations was unanimous, although the AAD, which also sits on the Council, indicated that it saw matters relating to the division and allocation of funding as 'a matter for government' and that it 'would not want the responsibility of becoming a grants-handling agency'.[96]

Government response and actions

3.101At the time of writing, the Government had not formally responded to the Funding Model Review. Although no timeframe for response was given, DCCEEW indicated that the Minister intended to consider the Funding Model Review report in the context of the Decadal Plan and the budget.[97]

3.102At a public hearing on 16 November 2023, Ms Campbell of the AAD reported that the final Review report had been provided to the Minister, and the Department had provided some initial advice:

Minister [Tanya] Plibersek has noted the [final report] advice and indicated her support for long-term planning and governance for strategic and integrated Antarctic science. So that's the key funding parameter. Since the review, the funding that used to be administered by the Department of Industry, which supports the Australian Antarctic Program Partnership—that is $5 million a year—has been transferred to the department, into the AAD, to manage. So one of the funding streams has been consolidated into the department, so that's a good start. The minister and the government will consider the future funding arrangements for the special research initiatives, which are under the purview of the Minister for Education …[98]

3.103Then-Chair of the Australian Antarctic Science Council, Mr Philip Clark AO, also indicated the Minister would be 'discussing arrangements for ARC grants with her colleague the Hon Jason Clare MP. That funding relates to the two education department funding tranches that have been made available to the SRIs through the ARC process'.[99]

3.104A further update in April 2024 noted that the AAD was in active conversation with the ARC about the SRIs, and the AAD was continuing to work with the ARC and government on a response to the Funding Model Review.[100]

3.105The AAD further noted it was a matter for government as to whether it endorsed the second recommendation of the Review, being explicit reference in the Budget papers to identify the Antarctic science appropriation and forward estimates. Mr Hanlon observed there would be difficulties in doing so, saying:

It's departmental funding. Departmental funding is reported as one figure. It's not split out, and to do so would go against how the actual budget papers are set out. I've not had a discussion with the Department of Finance about doing it. But I'd be leaning towards not splitting it out, to be honest—because then where do you draw the line?[101]

Views on revised AAD structures and funding

3.106Noting the many and varied reviews into the AAD in recent years, it was not surprising that the committee received several considered views on the proposed amendments to AAD's structure and funding models.

Comments on funding models

3.107UTAS indicated their support for a single coordinated funding stream model, and highlighted the importance of a decision-making framework and body that is focussed on the science rather than politics.[102]

3.108Dr Anthony Press, who completed the 2014 Press Review—the 20 Year Australian Antarctic Strategic Plan—supported a model in which funding is consolidated and administered by a single department, as a single collaboration in which government and universities deliver science programs together. DrPress told the committee that:

… one of the things that I think should be looked at is how the budget inside the Antarctic Division for delivering logistics and delivering science can be ring-fenced in such a way as you know in advance approximately what resources are going to be available to plan into the future in three-year, fiveyear and 10-year blocks. That's where everybody would like to go, and I think there are ways of doing that inside the funding arrangements.[103]

3.109Mr Fader of the TPN agreed with many in the Antarctic science community that science 'probably doesn't get a fair deal, because science programs are the ones that are the easiest to cut'. However, he noted that suggestions to quarantine the science budget would be quite difficult without a mechanism to pick up shortfalls for the infrastructure side, because '[i]f you quarantine a budget for science and then you don't have the budget to operate the ship, you can't do the science anyway'.[104]

3.110DCCEEW indicated 'the Council oversight was really about if we have a consolidated funding model and we have enduring funding commensurate with the current value for all of those different organisations sitting in one bucket', and noted the Australian Government has yet to make a decision on the best way to achieve strategic and enduring science investment.[105]

Comments on structural changes

3.111The committee received mixed evidence on the topic of maintaining the current structure of the AAD, or whether the existing model should be changed.

3.112For example, UTAS supported the establishment of an Australian Antarctic research institute—recommended by the Clarke Review—to coordinate science, funding and logistics programs.[106]

3.113Dr Press advised that splitting the Science Branch from the AAD would 'be a retrograde step' which would 'diminish the ability to delivery Australia's Antarctic interests, and it would be seen by others … as being some sort of downgrading of our national interests'.[107]

3.114Other witnesses argued that the current model is 'fundamentally right'. Professor Dana Bergstrom further argued that the model of:

… the AAD and the AAD Science Branch being the lead Antarctic science agency was a good model, as it focussed on policy, the international realm, and operational needs, while still allowing for fundamental and cuttingedge science to be met by universities in conjunction with the AAD.[108]

3.115However, Professor Bergstrom, Dr Andrew Davidson and DrSimonWright suggested fixing the current model rather than imposing a new one, saying they felt 'strongly that the last thing required is yet another organisation with its own management costs while the AAD is still responsible for the delivery of science, national policy and logistic support'.[109]

3.116Bolstering the scientific role and capacity to ensure AAD operates as a science organisation, with a dedicated science budget and 'direct line to the minister' was seen as better solution by some.[110] For example, Professor Black agreed with this view and called for a 'better planned and joined-up way in which we are coordinating logistics and science' to avoid future disruptions. He went on to note that concerns were more than a simplistic matter of the dollar value of the science budget:

… it's a structural issue. There are a number of components to it. The first of the structural issues is that the Antarctic funding is not coordinated. We have different funding streams that in fact come from different departments. They used to come from three; now they come from two. There isn't a coordinated program. Clearly, if you need science to be supported by very substantial logistics, the better integrated the research program is, the easier it is to integrate with the logistics program. At present, we don't have an integrated funding program. It operates on different time horizons. So we have some funding about to hit a cliff in a couple of years and other funding that goes on for a bit longer.[111]

3.117Professor Lea observed that the pandemic and the new icebreaker, discussed in Chapter 3, contributed to the current funding constraints with the AAD, and that this should be taken into account in planning upcoming science projects. Professor Lea went on to say:

We're in a period of transition, for a variety of reasons, but there's no denying that clear structural underpinnings to do with funding and the capacity to link logistics with long-term scientific plans and outcomes are critical going forward. I think we need to understand the different factors that have led us to this point, but an integrated approach, going forward, is really needed.[112]

Quarantining the science budget

3.118The 2021 Review of AAD Science Branch (O'Kane Review) noted that only around seven per cent (around $15 million per annum) of the AAD's operational budget (excluding capital costs) was spent on 'actually doing science in the ScienceBranch'.[113] The O'Kane Review recommended that 'the AAD adopt science as its core value and science be at the centre of all its activities' and was a strong proponent of embedding a scientific focus within the Decadal Plan.[114]

3.119Notwithstanding the explanations provided by the AAD, for many years the 'operational fluctuations' in the AAD budget have been seen as not only changing the delivery timeframes of science programs, but as subsuming the actual budgets of those science programs, with these programs then required to seek new funding.

3.120In response to this there have been repeated calls to quarantine the ScienceProgram portion of the AAD budget, in order to provide increased certainty for Antarctic scientists and their projects.

3.121As outlined in Chapter 2, past reviews of the AAD have made this recommendation. The 2017 Review of Australian Antarctic Science Program governance arrangements (Clarke Review) noted a 'lack of a discrete line of funding for Antarctic science' within DCCEEW. The review recommended the development of a strategic plan for science projects with a funding profile separately identified by the AAD.[115]

3.122Mr Fader of TPN argued a better balance was needed between spending on infrastructure, and on science programs. He noted that the AAD had put in some well needed infrastructure and logistics, but also noted the cost of that infrastructure without additional funding could mean 'we had a fantastic platform upon which to do science and no scientists to do it'.[116]

3.123Professor Black expressed a similar view, arguing that science was not receiving a fair proportion of the AAD budget:

If we look at that funding, though, the proportion going to that relative to the portion going to science is somewhat ill-matched. We are investing very heavily and, I think, appropriately in ensuring that we have bases that are more contemporary, more environmentally sound, secure et cetera but we don't have a matched funding to go with it, so you end up having a presence without impact.[117]

3.124Mr Clark of the AASC said of the AAD budget:

The funds are not quarantined to science. We saw that in August or July [of 2023] … that the decision was made to (a) introduce some efficiency dividends and (b) divert some funds to establish a new policy unit. I think $29.4 million went that way. That doesn't give me great comfort that the money's there just for science. I'm not being critical of the decision, which possibly had to be made, but it certainly doesn't suggest to me that the science money is there for science and science alone.[118]

ANAO proposed audit

3.125The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) proposed workplan for 2023–24 outlines a potential audit of the effectiveness of DCCEEW's 'management of Australia's Antarctic presence, including arrangements to support Australia fulfilling its environmental responsibilities'. The proposal states:

The Madrid Protocol, adopted in 1991, establishes Australia's environmental responsibilities in Antarctica. Recent developments in the Australian Antarctic Program include the Australian Antarctic Strategy and 20–year action plan, and the launch of the new icebreaking ship in October 2021. The latest update to the action plan was released in 2022, and approximately $800 million was invested in Australia's Antarctic presence in the March2022–23 Budget.[119]

3.126The committee was told that the AAD has had preliminary discussions with the ANAO, but the audit has not yet started—that was a matter for the AuditorGeneral. A possible commencement date of October 2024 was suggested.[120]


[1]Mr Sean Sullivan, Deputy Secretary, Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW), Committee Hansard, 24 April 2024, p. 4.

[2]Mr Sean Sullivan, DCCEEW, Committee Hansard, 5 October 2023, p. 15.

[3]Mr Sean Sullivan, DCCEEW, Committee Hansard, 24 April 2024, p. 9.

[4]Mr Sean Sullivan, DCCEEW, Committee Hansard, 24 April 2024, p. 9. See also DCCEEW, answer to question on notice, IQ23-000265, 5 October 2023 (received 6 November 2023).

[5]Mr Sean Sullivan, DCCEEW, Committee Hansard, 5 October 2023, p. 16.

[6]Mr Robert Hanlon, Chief Finance Officer, Finance Division, DCCEEW, Committee Hansard, 24April2024, p. 10.

[7]DCCEEW, answers to questions on notice, 6 February 2024, IQ22-000019 (received 19February2024).

[8]Ms Emma Campbell, Head of Division, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 24April2024, p. 11.

[9]Mr Sean Sullivan, DCCEEW, Committee Hansard, 24 April 2024, pp. 11–12.

[10]Drew Clarke AO PSM FTSE, Australian Antarctic Science Program Governance Review(ClarkeReview), December 2017, pp. 12–14.

[11]Professor Mary O'Kane AC, Leading Australian Antarctic Science: review of the Australian Antarctic Division Science Branch(The O'Kane Review), November 2021, pp. 7–11.

[12]Community and Public Sector Union, Submission 21, p. 2.

[13]Emphasis added. Community and Public Sector Union, Submission 21, p. 3.

[14]Professor Rufus Black, Vice-Chancellor, University of Tasmania, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 15.

[15]Dr Anthony Press, Private capacity, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 29.

[16]Dr Simon Wright and Dr Andrew Davidson, Submission 9, [p. 2].

[17]Dr Simon Wright and Dr Andrew Davidson, Submission 9, [p. 3].

[18]Dr Simon Wright and Dr Andrew Davidson, Submission 9, [pp. 7–8].

[19]Ms Emma Campbell, Australian Antarctic Division and Mr Sean Sullivan, DCCEEW, CommitteeHansard, 5 October 2023, pp. 15–16.

[20]Mr Robert Hanlon, Acting Deputy Secretary, DCCEEW, Committee Hansard, 5October 2023, pp.16–17.

[21]Ms Emma Campbell, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 5 October 2023, pp. 18–19.

[22]University of Tasmania, Submission 5, p. 5.

[23]Australian Research Council, 'Selection Report: Special Research Initiative in Excellence in Antarctic Science 2020', (accessed 2May 2024).

[24]Australian Antarctic Program, Australian Antarctic Science Council, 9 November 2023; Australian Antarctic Science Council, Australian Antarctic Science Funding Model: a review by the Australian Antarctic Science Council(Funding Model Review), April 2023, p. 6; Australian Antarctic Program Partnership, About Us, (accessed 2 May 2024).

[25]Ms Emma Campbell, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 16 November 2023, p. 2.

[26]University of Tasmania, Submission 5, pp. 5-6.

[27]Australian Antarctic Program, Australian Antarctic Science Council, 9 November 2023; Funding Model Review, p. 14.

[28]Funding Model Review, p. 7.

[29]Professor Rufus Black, University of Tasmania, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 17.

[30]Professor Rufus Black, University of Tasmania, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 20.

[31]Professor Mary-Anne Lea, Professor in Marine/Polar Predator Ecology, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 19.

[32]Dr Ian Allison AO, Fellow, Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, CommitteeHansard, 4 October 2023, pp. 1–2.

[33]Dr Ian Allison, Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, Committee Hansard, 4October2023, p. 5.

[34]DCCEEW, Submission 12, pp. 7 and 8.

[35]DCCEEW, Submission 12, p. 16.

[36]DCCEEW, Submission 12, p. 16.

[37]DCCEEW, Submission 12, p. 16.

[38]See Chapter 2.

[39]Dr Ian Allison ,Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, Committee Hansard, 4October2023, p. 2.

[40]Mr Richard Fader, Chairman, Tasmanian Polar Network, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 11.

[41]Community and Public Sector Union, Submission 21, p. 6.

[42]Community and Public Sector Union, Submission 21, p. 12.

[43]Community and Public Sector Union, Submission 21, p. 3.

[44]Community and Public Sector Union, Submission 21, p. 5.

[45]Ms Emma Campbell, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 5 October 2023, p. 23.

[46]Professor Nicole Webster, Chief Scientist, Science Branch, Australian Antarctic Division, CommitteeHansard, 5October2023, p. 23.

[47]Mr Sean Sullivan, DCCEEW, Committee Hansard, 5 October 2023, pp. 23–24.

[48]Mr Sean Sullivan, DCCEEW, Committee Hansard, 5 October 2023, p. 22.

[49]Russell Performance Co, An Independent Review of Workplace Culture and Change at the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), 2023, p. 10.

[50]DCCEEW, answers to questions on notice, 20 October 2023 (received 7 November 2023).

[51]DCCEEW, answers to questions on notice, 16 November 2023 (received 19 December 2023).

[52]Ms Emma Campbell, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 29 January 2024, p. 27.

[53]Russell Performance Co, An Independent Review of Workplace Culture and Change at the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), 2023, p. 10.

[54]Community and Public Sector Union, Submission 21, p. 3.

[55]Dr Ian Allison, Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, Committee Hansard, 4October2023, p. 7.

[56]DCCEEW, AAD Quarterly Pulse Survey, October 2023, p. 2.

[57]AAD Quarterly Pulse Survey, p. 2.

[59]Mr Sean Sullivan, DCCEEW, Committee Hansard, 29 January 2024, p. 11.

[60]Mr Sean Sullivan, DCCEEW, Committee Hansard, 29 January 2024, p. 12.

[61]Ms Emma Campbell, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 29 January 2024, pp. 10–11.

[62]Ms Emma Campbell, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 29 January 2024, p. 11.

[63]The O'Kane Review, p. 28.

[64]Australian Antarctic Program, 2022 Changes to the Australian Antarctic Science Program (AASP), 31May 2022 (accessed 7 February 2024).

[65]Chapter 2 provides further detail on the intent of the Decadal Plan.

[66]Ms Emma Campbell, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 29 January 2024, p. 10.

[67]Ms Emma Campbell, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 24 April 2024, p. 2.

[68]Ms Emma Campbell, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 24 April 2024, p. 3.

[69]Mr Sean Sullivan, DCCEEW and Ms Emma Campbell, Australian Antarctic Division; CommitteeHansard, 24 April 2024, pp. 4–5.

[70]Ms Emma Campbell, Australian Antarctic Division; Dr David Souter, Acting Chief Scientist, Australian Antarctic Division Committee Hansard, 24 April 2024, pp. 3 and 4.

[71]Dr David Souter, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 24 April 2024, p. 4.

[72]Dr David Souter, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 24 April 2024, pp. 4 and 5.

[73]Ms Emma Campbell, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 24 April 2024, p. 4.

[74]Australian Antarctic Program, Australian Antarctic Science Council, 9 November 2023; Funding Model Review, pp. 3 and 18.

[75]Funding Model Review, p. 18.

[76]Funding Model Review, pp. 3 and 12.

[77]Funding Model Review, pp. 8, 11–12 and 20–21.

[78]Funding Model Review, pp. 11–13.

[79]Funding Model Review, pp. 9–10.

[80]Funding Model Review, p. 10.

[81]Funding Model Review, p. 14–15.

[82]Funding Model Review, p. 15.

[83]Funding Model Review, p. 14.

[84]Funding Model Review, pp. 20–21.

[85]Funding Model Review, pp. 2–3.

[86]Funding Model Review, pp. 11–12 and 20–21.

[87]Funding Model Review, p. 15.

[88]Funding Model Review, p. 17.

[89]Funding Model Review, pp. 12 and 20–21.

[90]Funding Model Review, p. 16; Mr Sean Sullivan, DCCEEW, Committee Hansard, 29January 2024, p.23.

[91]Funding Model Review, p. 16.

[92]Funding Model Review, p. 3.

[93]Funding Model Review, p. 14.

[94]Funding Model Review, p. 16.

[95]Funding Model Review, pp. 14–17.

[96]Ms Emma Campbell, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 16 November 2023, p. 3.

[97]Ms Emma Campbell, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 16 November 2023, p. 4; MsEmma Campbell, Australian Antarctic Division, CommitteeHansard, 29 January 2024, p. 22; MrPhilipMarcus Clark AO, Chair, and Professor O'Kane, Member, Australian Antarctic Science Council, Committee Hansard, 29 January 2024, p. 34.

[98]Ms Emma Campbell, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 16 November 2023, p. 2.

[99]Mr Philip Marcus Clark Australian Antarctic Science Council, Committee Hansard, 29January 2024, p. 33.

[100]Ms Emma Campbell, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 24 April 2024, p. 17.

[101]Mr Robert Hanlon, Chief Financial Officer, DCCEEW, Committee Hansard, 24 April 2024, p. 17.

[102]Professor Rufus Black, University of Tasmania, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, pp. 20 and 26; Dr Anthony Press, Private capacity Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 30–31; University of Tasmania, Submission 5, p. 6.

[103]Dr Anthony Press, Private capacity, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, pp. 30–31.

[104]Mr Richard Fader, Tasmanian Polar Network, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 12.

[105]Professor Nicole Webster, Chief Scientist, Science Branch, and Ms Emma Campbell, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 16 November 2023, pp. 3–4.

[106]Professor Rufus Black, University of Tasmania, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 20.

[107]Australian Antarctic Program, The Press Report: 20 Year Australian Antarctic Strategic Plan, 2014(accessed 29 February 2024); Dr Anthony Press, Private capacity Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 31.

[108]Professor Dana Bergstrom, Private capacity, Committee Hansard, 5 October 2023, pp. 1–2; ProfessorDana Bergstrom, Additional information received 26 October 2023, [p. 1].

[109]Professor Dana Bergstrom, Private capacity, Committee Hansard, 5 October 2023, pp. 1–2.

[110]Professor Dana Bergstrom, Private capacity, Committee Hansard, 5 October 2023, pp. 3 and 9.

[111]Professor Rufus Black, University of Tasmania, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 17.

[112]Professor Mary-Anne Lea, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Committee Hansard, 4October2023, p. 19.

[113]The O'Kane Review, p. 32.

[114]The O'Kane Review, p. 35.

[115]The Clarke Review, pp. 5 and 12–14.

[116]Mr Richard Fader, Chairman, Tasmanian Polar Network, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 9.

[117]Professor Rufus Black, University of Tasmania, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 19.

[118]Mr Philip Marcus Clark, AO, Chair, Australian Antarctic Science Council, Committee Hansard, 29January 2024, p. 34.

[119]Australian National Audit Office, Work, Performance audit, Australian Antarctic program, available at (accessed 19 March 2024).

[120]Ms Emma Campbell, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 24 April 2024, p. 26.