Chapter 4 - The case for a strong and effective AAD

Chapter 4The case for a strong and effective AAD

4.1Despite numerous reviews into Antarctic science, and the operations and funding of the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), the inquiry heard from many sources that Australian Antarctic Science Program projects, and scientists themselves, are experiencing detrimental impacts from funding changes and uncertainty, and long-term structural problems with planning and logistics.

4.2These recurrent issues suggest that recommendations arising from these reviews have not been implemented, or not enough time has passed for implemented changes to have sufficient impact, particularly on science programs, or the impact of the changes has not been sufficient to adjust peoples' experiences and views of Antarctic science.

4.3While much of the concerns put to the committee were centred around the perceived funding cuts to the AAD for the coming fiscal years, it is clear that pressures have existed for some time among the Antarctic science community.

4.4This chapter will outline some of the issues being experienced, particularly in relation to the science programs and projects, and careers. Also discussed is the commissioning of the RSV (Research Survey Vessel) Nuyina, sea ice monitoring projects, and the impact of these issues on Antarctic science and Australia's geopolitical and international interests.

The impact of AAD funding on science

4.5Many inquiry participants expressed concerns that the changes to AAD funding would have broader consequences for Antarctic scientific programs and research.

4.6According to the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW), its internal planning processes give an indication of projects that may or may not be supported in Antarctica for the 2023–24 Antarctic season and these assessments were based on strategic prioritisation and assessment of deliverability.

4.7DCCEEW stated that this process is normal and occurs every year. It also noted that many of the projects not currently supported have not been cut or terminated; rather, they may be sequenced for support in later years in line with Australia's Antarctic priorities.[1]

4.8Regardless of the reason for the cancellation or delays of projects, any delay can cause significant negative flow-on impacts to science projects and the scientists themselves.

4.9For example, conservation and animal welfare organisations noted that scientific research is 'vital in understanding the impact of threats on Australia's natural environment, and informing the development of evidence-based policy to ensure its protection'.[2]

4.10These organisations noted that the Antarctic Science Program is renowned for world class research on the impact of the changing climate on 'habitats and species such as globally important cetaceans, albatross, and other marine biodiversity' and that as the world faces a 'climate and extinction crisis', the Australian Government should provide financial security to the Antarctic Science Program to continue investing in such research with confidence.[3]

4.11Professor Edward Doddridge, a scientist researching the Southern Ocean, noted that cuts to Antarctic fieldwork at this time would be devastating, due to the record low levels of Antarctic sea ice. Professor Doddridge submitted that these ice levels indicate that that 'something has fundamentally changed in the Southern Ocean and raises the possibility that new factors are affecting Antarctic Sea ice' and that 'to understand these fundamental shifts in the Southern Ocean, we desperately need dedicated field campaigns'.[4]

4.12Professor Alexander Babanin and Dr Joey Voermans of the University of Melbourne broadly noted that:

It is our view that cuts in research support will have detrimental effects on Australia's leading expertise in Antarctic and Southern Ocean sciences and will cause gaps in critical observational datasets that function as baselines in climate studies for the next few decades. These gaps are irreversible.[5]

The impact of ongoing funding uncertainty

4.13Inquiry participants raised significant concerns about ongoing funding uncertainty—including the recent funding changes—and its impact on the delivery of research activities. The funding uncertainty has not been limited to the recent perceived funding cuts but is something experienced over a long period of time.

4.14For example, Dr Simon Wright and Dr Andrew Davison described the recent cuts as devastating and stated that the Antarctic science program is expected to bear the brunt of recent budget cuts, which come on top of an accelerating decline in science capability over the past two decades, submitting that '…Science has been allowed to deteriorate to a program precariously dependent on short-term contractual staff and external collaborators to provide core research capabilities while exposed to ephemeral funding'.[6]

4.15The University of Tasmania (UTAS) noted that Australia's capacity to deliver on the world class Antarctic science and research that underpins the Australian Antarctic Science Strategic Plan and the Australian Antarctic Strategy, is 'at serious risk while it relies on disconnected and disjointed funding and governance models, and particularly short-term funding cycles'.[7]

4.16The Australian Academy of Science similarly noted that:

Research in Antarctica requires planning and financial mechanisms that allow for planning over decadal horizons. Effective operations and logistics capacities, and robust policy and financial support mechanisms, are necessary, as Antarctic research takes place in an environment with limited access and rapidly varying conditions.[8]

4.17Professor Richard Coleman also submitted that the current funding models are a barrier to scientific research, rather than being a model that supports such projects:

As an example of the current inefficient use of resources for Antarctic research, University researchers typically have to apply for funding/logistical support for their research to ARC [Australian Research Council] (research grants), the Marine National Facility (ship time) and the AAD (ship time, logistical support, grants?). Each of these three funding options have their own peer review system, different success rates and funding me frames from application to funding announcements.

Such a complex system between key Government agencies providing Antarctic funding can [lead] to perverse outcomes – as has happened in the past, ARC research grants are funded but AAD logistics were not provided or cancelled within the ARC grant period; cruises approved but research grants were not successful in providing the needed research support. It has also been the case in the past under AAD AAS [Australian Antarctic science] grants, that high science ranking does not beat the internal AAD decided logistical support criteria, so logistics beats science ranking is the normal outcome.[9]

4.18Mr Richard Fader of the Tasmanian Polar Network (TPN) noted:

The whole funding of science across every science discipline is the most bizarre arrangement ever, where you have to go and bid for money to do your incredibly important science … And it's continual. As soon as you finish one bid you've got to start on the next one, because you're funding will run out. Unfortunately, I think it is part of the business of science. It's an unfortunate model, and I don't know how it's ever fixed.[10]

4.19Professor Coleman recommended the approach in the United States and UnitedKingdom, where grants are peer reviewed, and if successful are subsequently allocated the required logistics.[11]

The impact of project cancellations

4.20A recurring theme in evidence was the uncertain nature of science projects, which could be cancelled for many reasons beyond the control of the scientists. Given the length of time taken for planning these projects, this 'represents significant losses in time and opportunities, and research outcomes which are largely not directly costed'. UTAS provided an example of the impact of project cancellations:

The cancellation of the Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ) voyage to study sea ice processes, the first scheduled science voyage on the RSV Nuyina, provides an example of the indirect impacts of these funding cuts. Staff from the AAD and many universities (including ours) invested significant amounts of time to plan the voyage, source appropriate scientific equipment, build collaborations, recruit junior staff and students who would participate amongst a range of activities required for research programs. Ten months prior to its scheduled departure, the voyage was cancelled with no plan to reschedule in the future.

For such a large, important voyage, thousands of hours of staff time had already been invested, staff and student recruiting completed, and decisions around what other funding to apply for (or not) had been made. At the very minimum, the cancellation has impacted two PhD programs and other student projects, as well as milestones that feed into the Australian Antarctic Program Partnership (AAPP) for the next 3-4 years.[12]

4.21Geoscience Australia emphasised the vital role the AAD plays more broadly in supporting their geodetic and geophysical programs, including to meet international obligations. These programs play key roles in Australian and international navigation, mapping, geomagnetic and seismic monitoring, and nuclear explosion and tsunami detection, as well as other scientific monitoring and data collection programs.[13]

4.22Geoscience Australia noted, however, that for the 2023–24 season their request for two berths to Antarctica was not supported, and Geoscience Australia were seeking prioritised support for next season.[14]

4.23Mr Fader of the TPN noted that many of the programs have been delayed, as opposed to cancelled.[15] Submitters from the scientific community noted the many impacts to scientific research and projects that have occurred as a result of both voyage delays and cancellations. Key projects include:

30-year Continuous Plankton Recorder dataset represents the longest biological time series for the Southern Ocean. The project has been significantly compromised by multiple delays and voyage cancellations.

Krill and Krill Ecosystems program was designed to monitor the critical status of krill populations in fishery regions. It has been wound back before it began.[16]

Antarctic Marginal Ice Zone observations.[17]

4.24The Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (AMOS) noted impacts to the science program caused by the transportation problems:

There will be no dedicated marine science projects undertaken in the 202324 season. There was a large-scale investigation of the marginal ice zone—that's the outer edge of the pack that's affected mostly by interaction with the open ocean—that had been under planning for several years but was cancelled in late 2022. That was a result of the ship problems, not the present funding cuts.[18]

4.25Professor Doddridge, a scientist who researches the Southern Ocean, noted that:

The emergent funding constraints at the Antarctic Division and continued uncertainty regarding scientific voyages aboard Australia's icebreaker, the RSV Nuyina, undermine our ability to conduct this vital research, potentially jeopardising Australia's role as a leader in Antarctic science.[19]

4.26Dr Stuart Corney, of the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at UTAS noted that:

This year has seen the most significant change in sea ice conditions ever observed in the Antarctic. We could and should have had a science voyage in the Southern Ocean right now studying why this unprecedented event (which was entirely unpredicted) has happened, but instead we are left to speculate with limited observations from satellites and relying on data collected by other nations (which rarely go to the regions of Australia's geopolitical interest).[20]

4.27However, Dr Corney did advise the committee that the 'cancellation of the marginal ice zone voyage in November or December last year was not for financial reasons; it was for operational reasons'.[21]

4.28Multiple other submitters noted the cancellation of the RSV Nuyina voyage scheduled to depart Hobart in late 2023.[22] Planning for the marginal ice voyage had been underway for nearly three years and 'was developed based on observations over several years that the sea ice extent in the Southern Ocean was becoming more variable'. During the three-year planning phase, 'considerable time and money had been consumed scoping the research program, sourcing equipment and employing staff to participate'.[23]

4.29Professor Nicole Webster, then Chief Scientist at the AAD, told the committee of the difficulty making the decision to halt the project, noting:

It was obviously prioritised very highly because it was a very integrated, coordinated, multidisciplinary campaign into the marginal sea ice zone … we were unable to deliver it because the Nuyina was unavailable and there was no other replacement vessel that would have the sophisticated science capability to enable it.[24]

4.30The AAD again flagged that the RSV Nuyina would be 'transformational', given it can potentially be 'able to be used beyond 200 days', thus extending the research season. The Department advised it was exploring options to use the Investigator—an ice-rated ship—to also help free up the RSV Nuyina.[25]

Career impacts

4.31Many submitters from the scientific community observed that funding shortfalls and voyage cancellations within the Antarctic Program would impact on the ability of younger scientists to build their careers. Mr Fader from the TPN noted his concerns for early-career scientists, noting that:

Over the last few years, with COVID and with the unavailability of Nuyina and a platform for oceanographic research, they're coming to the stage of completing their degrees without having been able to get that fieldwork, and that's a disappointment to us, for sure.[26]

4.32However, the TPN noted that many younger researchers experienced career impacts due to COVID:

In the short term, yes, the science community and early career scientists are in a difficult period, but it's probably not a lot more difficult than what students went through at traditional universities, where they didn't go to university and didn't do practical work and didn't do lab work, because of the constraints of COVID. Unfortunately, the two have come together with the delivery of Nuyina and COVID.[27]

4.33Dr Wright and Dr Davidson also spoke to the issues of contract arrangements and concerns for early-career scientists:

Much of the science in the AAD and in universities is done by contract staff (predominantly postdoctoral researchers, often on a treadmill of short-term contracts) and postgraduate students. These early-career scientists are very vulnerable. To have a future in science, they must maintain a constant stream of research papers, and their expertise is very specialised and often not readily transferrable. Students may have their projects cancelled or lose their supervisors. If their programs are cut, it will be devastating to them and may curtail their careers.[28]

4.34The personal impacts are not limited to career development of early career scientists, with staff morale also affected. AMOS noted that AAD staff were 'among the world's best', but:

… cuts to field operations and the cancellation of up to 40 new science positions has already had detrimental impacts on staff morale, which will further impact on the Antarctic Division's capabilities both with respect to productivity and staff turnover.[29]

4.35The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) noted that scientific career loss not only impacted individuals, but also the effectiveness of the Antarctic Science Program itself. In its submission, the CPSU quoted a member as saying:

Being effective in Antarctic affairs takes many years to develop and does come at huge opportunity cost to those involved - there really is no other employer in Australia for many of the skills and experience held at the AAD, and losing that through short term funding cuts will take many years to rebuild.[30]

Global warming: sea ice monitoring

4.36For many inquiry participants, the changes to funding of the Antarctic Science Program were the most recent set-back in a long and ongoing set of barriers to Antarctic Sea ice monitoring projects. Many Antarctic scientists informed the committee of the importance of Antarctic scientific research on understanding the issue of global warming and how it is impacting changes to climates, and biodiversity.[31]

4.37Further, it was noted that the reduction in monitoring of Antarctic ice has been compounding for some time: it was put to the committee that 'boots on ice' monitoring has been delayed for nearly ten years, which has limited the quality of the existing data to monitor shrinking winter ice formation.[32]

4.38AMOS submitted that AAD funding concerns were coming at a time when Antarctic winter sea ice was at its lowest extent ever measured and 'was not predicted and it remains poorly understood'. AMOS went on to advise:

Now is a critical time to be observing changes in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean climate system. A reduction of science capability in the Australian Antarctic region could be catastrophic for early detection and warning of key climate indicators, such as ice sheet stability and sea ice extent. This has implications for the understanding and prediction of climate risk for Australia …[33]

4.39Dr Corney noted that the 'Antarctic and Southern Ocean is a chronically under-observed region', made worse by these recent changes to science project planning. DrCorney quoted the closing statement from the recent international symposium for the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS):

The chronic lack of observations for the Southern Ocean challenges our ability to detect and assess the consequences of change. As such, it is more pressing than ever to have a sustained and coordinated Southern Ocean observing system to provide an understanding of current conditions, inform predictions of future states, and support policies and regulations for the benefit of society.[34]

4.40UTAS submitted that the SOOS has been hosted in Hobart since 2011, currently at UTAS, and:

… has grown from a locally focused concept into a globally acclaimed program, highlighting the importance placed on sustained observations from the Southern Ocean and international demand for access to data that supports solving key societal issues such as sea level rise, heat, freshwater and nutrient transport, and ecosystem responses to changes in the system.[35]

4.41UTAS further noted:

At the expiration of the recent hosting agreement in January this year [2023], the University approached several agencies including AAD, CSIRO [Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation] and DFAT [Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade] for funding and while this was ultimately secured for 2024, Australia continues to be at risk of losing this key asset to other nations for want of a coherent funding approach over the long term. This risks both reputational loss, as a globally renowned leader in the region, and creates potentially significant challenges around data management and curation should we not secure long term funding.[36]

4.42Professor Black, Vice-Chancellor of the UTAS advised:

Our scientists now believe there has been a regime shift in the Southern Ocean since 2016, and we've entered a new age of permanently low sea ice coverage. Full attribution to global heating has not yet been completed, but warmer subsurface ocean waters are a prime suspect.

Spaceborne observations are critical in monitoring this vast remote environment. But to understand how this key part of the Earth's system works you need a lot more than satellites. You need boots on the ice, measuring how thick it is, the snow on top, the atmospheric conditions, the ocean underneath.

The last time we had scientists on the sea ice in East Antarctica was 10 years ago. This was a time when it appeared that Antarctica was more resilient to climate change than expected and the sea ice was actually increasing. As this trend has slammed into reverse, this year we needed to be back on the ice to observe these drastic changes that were occurring. Indeed, that was the plan until the availability of the RSV Nuyina to conduct a 60-day science voyage was withdrawn.[37]

4.43All of the concerns discussed above, centre on fears that the AAD 'funding cuts' would negatively impact plans to expand the winter ice observation program.

4.44However, DFAT noted that finding for the SOOS has also come from CSIRO, not just the AAD. DFAT further noted it has convened a meeting in late 2023 to discuss its strong support for funding of the project, and while noting it was not able to fund the project itself DFAT advised that the project had received funding for this coming year.[38]

RSV Nuyina: a microcosm of issues

4.45The perceived funding cuts that drove the unrest and the establishment of this inquiry were partly caused by the commissioning and launch delays of the RSVNuyina. Additionally, the events surrounding that commissioning and launching serve as a useful illustration of several issues experienced by the AAD and its impacts, including on Antarctic science.

4.46The committee received varying evidence about the events and timings of the design, testing and decisions around the RSV Nuyina, as outlined in the following section.

Commissioning of RSV Nuyina

4.47Australia's Antarctic Program is supported by both shipping and aviation logistics. In 2011, the then government agreed to replace the existing, ageing Aurora Australis with a new icebreaker. In 2015, following procurement processes and the development of technical specifications, DCCEEW commissioned a new combined research platform, icebreaker and resupply ship, the RSV Nuyina. Mr Robert Hanlon from the department hailed the ship as 'ourmain lifeline to Australia's Antarctic and subantarctic stations and the central platform of our research. This combination of speed, size, strength and endurance is unparalleled in Antarctic shipping. In short, it is transformational'.[39]

4.48The RSV Nuyina was designed with a 30-year lifespan to 'provide world-leading scientific capability and is the central platform of our Antarctic and SouthernOcean research'. The ship cost $1.9 billion and was launched in 2021, with its science commissioning completed in early 2024 and its first full season of scientific operations underway in the 2023–24 season.[40]

4.49The RSV Nuyina is the biggest polar ship internationally, at 25 500 tonnes, with a 'very substantial' ice capacity which will potentially enable it to work a longer season.[41] Key features include:

four permanent scientific laboratories, with an additional 24 'containerised laboratories for specialised research projects';

a 'moon pool' which provides direct access to the ocean through the ship's hull, enabling equipment to be deployed even when ice-bound;

a watertight 'wet well' system to process seawater and capture biological samples; and

modern scientific equipment, including hull and keel acoustic instruments, and other instruments to measure atmosphere, wave heights and ice conditions.[42]

4.50While the science commissioning was underway, the RSV Nuyina was initially expected to undertake resupply journeys to Antarctic bases. However, due to mechanical problems the Nuyina was unable to be used during the 2022–23 Antarctic season. After repairs in Singapore, the ship resumed service in May2023. A temporary increase in funding, which then lapsed in the 2023–24 budget, was to pay for the hire of alternative ships to conduct re-supply trips in the 2022–23 season.[43]

4.51As of April 2024, the Nuyinahad completed eight voyages, 'including resupply and a medevac'. Ms Emma Campbell, Head of the AAD, gave the committee an update on the Nuyina's recent activities:

The Nuyina undertook southern research monitoring and research, recently mapping an area more than twice the size of Tasmania and discovering a previously unknown 2,000-plus metre deep glacial canyon. We looked at previously unchartered areas around Casey and Mawson. We collected water samples for environmental DNA and plankton, including using the Nuyina's dedicated wet well system to enable sampling and return of about 5,000 live krill back to our krill aquarium in Kingston. For the first time, we were able to recover and bring back jellyfish and ctenophores. My people tell me they think this is the first time these animals have ever been brought north beyond the Antarctic Circle alive. Nuyina's deployment and operation of specialised sea-ice research instrumentation on Antarctic voyages, deployment and retrieval of a number of moorings, including acoustic recorders, krill recorders and looking at epipelagic echo-sounding of krill.[44]

The one-ship model

4.52In commissioning the RSV Nuyina, the government of the day made the decision to invest in a single ship, rather than commissioning two or more ships, as some nations do. Several witnesses expressed concerns about the one-ship model, pointing out a range of risks and especially the impact on the science program, as explained below.[45]

4.53The CPSU expressed concerns that the one ship model presented work health and safety risks as it means there is no back up for staff safety in an emergency.[46]

4.54While UTAS submitted that the oneship model brings research and supply logistics into tension with each other. Because there are four Antarctic stations which must be re-supplied in the summer period—the period during which most field science must occur—this 'effectively splinters the 60 days of potential science on Nuyina each year, noting that this period also includes up to 20 days transit time'. UTAS argued that this creates a dependency that compromises science as station resupplies and operational logistics have to take priority. This was evident when the RSV Nuyina voyage was cancelled, as replacement ships were sourced to meet those logistical needs, but not for the continuation of the science program. UTAS further argued that:

Even if research funding were to be increased, the one ship model will continue to see science sacrificed to meet pressing logistics needs. Australia urgently needs to lease or build a dedicated, ice capable, supply vessel to overcome this.

4.55The TPN noted that during COVID, three ships were used—the Aiviq, HappyDragon and Happy Diamond—which operated quite successfully in resupply. It suggested a similar model 'may work efficiently and would probably be of benefit to science'.[47] The TPN, however, also noted the benefits to the Tasmanian economy presented by the investment in the RSV Nuyina:

We recognise the unprecedented investment in Antarctic infrastructure with regard to Nuyina and the traverse capability and the Antarctic infrastructure renewal projects. That is something that is of huge benefit for Tasmania and probably far outweighs the cuts that we're currently discussing.[48]

4.56Professor Black of UTAS, advocated for a 'more than one-vessel' strategy, advising the committee that:

… on the logistics front, we have relied too much on a single vessel that we try to have do everything—and understandably. If bases need to be resupplied or there are emergency tasks to be done, you can understand why human wellbeing down there comes before science. But do that over long enough and we end up where we are today. Other nations have more than one vessel. They will have a simpler vessel for managing Antarctic logistics and a vessel that enables them to manage Antarctic science. Australia would be much better served, given the scale and significance of our mission, by actually being more than a onevessel nation. Other nations use white ships—coastguard vessels, which can play multiple roles and can be used in other parts of the world during the summer time, which is the winter time down there. So we really do need a rethink.[49]

4.57Professor Black further advised on the benefits of a two-ship model, suggesting it would:

… enable you to plan scientific voyages for the entire open season. That provides our scientists—the community of Australian Antarctic scientists; it's a sizeable community—with much greater flexibility to plan science campaigns based on having the ship in the right place at the right time doing large integrated programs. That's a much better way, in a window of time. Remember our region is vast, and it takes time to get across that full scope of it and to be putting people on and off the ice in all of the places we'd like to be able to do that. It would create a much more significant and powerful platform for Australian science if we had two ships …[50]

4.58Noting these views, the committee asked the AAD in April 2024 about whether flexibility could be introduced into the one-ship model, so that a second vessel could be made available for logistics, leaving the Nuyina to focus on science. The AAD advised that the 'next step is to finish commissioning the science systems for Nuyina, and we're looking to do that as soon as we finish the Macquarie Island voyage'. Ms Campbell further said that:

Part of the option about exploring an alternative ship for a Macquarie resupply is about getting that critical commissioning done so that we can support the Denman marine, and we're certainly doing the planning we can to achieve that.[51]

4.59Mr Sullivan also confirmed that Macquarie Island did not need an icebreaker, or even an ice-rated boat.[52]

4.60However, the AAD also confirmed that the Nuyina, under contract to Serco, is budgeted to have 200 shipping days but there is no specific budgetary allocation for shipping—rather, that spending comes from Outcome 3 appropriations.

4.61For the number of shipping days to increase would require a new measure in the budget, which would then be absorbed into the forward estimates. The committee was told that the Nuyina could exceed 200 shipping days, especially as it can travel south a lot earlier in the season than anticipated. Mr Sullivan observed that 'there is potential for the number of shipping days to be extended'.[53]

Funding RSV Nuyina

4.62The inquiry heard there were many concerns with the funding of the RSVNuyina. The temporary increase and then lapsing of additional funding to cover increased costs while the Nuyina was unable to conduct supply journeys in the 2022–23 season caused great consternation among Antarctic scientists.

4.63Dr Wright and Dr Davidson submitted that 'massive overheads [to the AAD] have been incurred with the commissioning of the new icebreaker, RSV Nuyina, and sourcing replacement shipping when the Nuyina was unavailable'.[54]

4.64This was confirmed by the AAD which admitted that it 'overspent extraordinarily' to the tune of $42 million, given it 'had to plan on the basis of potentially having to use two ships again, which obviously comes at a much higher cost. Those two ships didn't carry enough people, so we also needed additional aviation funding'.[55]

4.65Discussions about the AAD's funding situation highlighted what some have referred to as a reduction in funding for the 2023–24 financial year totalling nearly $23million. However, DCCEEW told the committee that it knew ahead about the funding reduction, as it was 'due to the lapsing of a temporary budget supplement provided in 2022–23 for the commissioning of the RSV Nuyina' and a 'moving back to a one-ship model of support for the Australian Antarctic Program'. This amounted to around $13.920 million less funding in 2023–24. To a lesser extent, 'two core department-wide budget funding demands' and internal savings to support enabling services (including in relation to RussellReview recommendations) also contributed to the reduction in funding of around $9.054million.[56]

4.66Mr Fader from the TPN noted that the changes in budget could be reasonably expected from the investment into the RSV Nuyina. On the budget changes he told the committee:

The delivery of a ship with the capabilities of Nuyina never goes smoothly. If this were a Defence project it would have been hundreds of millions over budget and decades late. Whilst it has been challenging for the AAD, they've done an amazing job with the delivery of a vessel with the capabilities Nuyina's got. Unfortunately, there is a cost to that, and that cost was last season and the season before when they had to charter some other ships to cover that shortfall.

We would hope that the reduction in budget is only very temporary and that it will sort itself out over the coming seasons. Given that, oceanographic science has been severely impacted. To mitigate that impact is not only about money. It's about the availability of science berths on ships.[57]

4.67Mr Fader acknowledged that it was 'unfortunate that the funding compromise was made in the science area' but emphasised that 'the delivery of the capability and logistics through the ship, through the traverse, is unprecedented, and it will really set the Australian Antarctic Program up for a great future, and … this reduction is, hopefully, a short-term thing'.[58]

Ongoing bridge transit issues

4.68The matter of the RSV Nuyina being granted permission to pass under the Tasman Bridge in Hobart has been much discussed both throughout this inquiry and elsewhere.

4.69The AAD indicated that it had engaged with TasPorts from the design phase—around 2015. While there were changes to the length and width of the vessel in March 2017, 'the parameters for transiting under the bridge were known at that design phase'. The AAD acknowledged that changes to the design 'increased the risk profile' but did not make transit under the bridge impossible.[59]

4.70At a hearing in Hobart in January 2024, Mr Sean Sullivan, Deputy Secretary at DCCEEW, advised that the Department began consultation on the Nuyina with the then-Harbourmaster in 2013–14, with the AAD 'meeting the Harbourmaster monthly during the construction build, and more often than that in 2018'. MrSullivan continued that:

While there remained a residual risk with respect to going under the bridge, there was an agreed position that this was a low risk, so much so that we had conditional approval from the former harbourmaster. The criticism that's been levelled towards the Nuyina has had a significant impact on the team that worked on the ship build and for that I think it's unfair and not justified.[60]

4.71However, TasPorts later refuted this account, saying that its records 'do not support suggestions that there was a regular monthly meeting with the AAD going back to 2013–2014'.TasPorts continued that 'the safe transit of any large vessel under the Tasman Bridge is a highly complex operation subjected to its own legislation designed to protect the State's asset'.[61]

4.72Evidence to the committee from TasPorts was that it had provided design requirements for transit to the AAD in 2018, with numerous interactions with the AAD and their partners over 18 months to two years 'during which [time] modifications to the beam were clearly undertaken'. Mr Anthony Donald, CEO of TasPorts, outlined the challenges of transiting the bridge, including the requirement for all vessels to turn a corner, and the impacts of a nearby reef, the tide and the wind. He went on:

The vessel is a large flat structure. It's got a number of areas that catch the wind. The combination of those factors and its flat bottom makes it incredibly difficult to control when manoeuvring around corners. The bridge piers are immovable.[62]

4.73Notwithstanding the above, the AAD advised that TasPorts was engaged in assessment of the vessel, with conditional approval for the vessel to transit was given by TasPorts in January2022. This conditional approval required further risk assessment of the vessel.[63]

4.74Tasports advised that there were multiple design changes to the vessel up to the point it was delivered, and although it worked with the AAD and its partners:

… fundamentally, the end outcome was that the performance of the vessel as observed in the sea trials by all parties and then further tested in the simulator was observed to be inconsistent and at risk in terms of the bridge infrastructure.[64]

4.75TasPorts further advised, on notice, that:

On her return to Tasmania in late April 2023, the RSV Nuyina underwent onwater trials as part of the safety case assessment being undertaken by the Office of the Harbour Master.

The Non-Standard Vessel Assessment was complete [in August 2023] and found that the RSV Nuyina does not meet the minimum safe criteria to transit the Tasman Bridge.

The Nuyina has the greatest sail area (windage) of any vessel considered for a bridge transit.

The Nuyina has a hull form of which has never been seen on a vessel considered for a bridge transit.

The vessel handling characteristics as observed during normal operations to and from Macquarie Point berths in the Port of Hobart have shown the vessel carries significant drift.

In terms of the Nuyina, regardless of the increasing beam and physical size of the ship, it was the unfavourable handling characteristics for the south bound transit which led to the decision not to let it pass through the Tasman Bridge.[65]

4.76Despite continuing engagement between the AAD and TasPorts, that decision has not changed. Instead, there has been a proposal to redevelop the ageing Macquarie Wharf into a 'year-round dedicated and bespoke berth for the RSVNuyina'.[66]

Berthing the RSV Nuyina

4.77There has been ongoing discussion about the berthing of the RSV Nuyina in Hobart, and the need for redevelopment of the Macquarie Wharf. According to Macquarie Wharf Redevelopment project documents, the preferred design option of the redevelopment would see:

… a continual quay line being constructed from Macquarie Wharf 4 through to Macquarie Wharf 6, allowing for berthing flexibility. Staging of works will see Macquarie Wharf 6 commence construction, allowing for berthing of Antarctic research vessels followed by Macquarie Wharfs 5 and 4.[67]

4.78Speaking to the issue of berthing the Nuyina at the Macquarie Wharf, TasPorts submitted that redevelopment of that area was vital to TasPort's relationship with the AAD, and the 'strengthening of the Port of Hobart's position' as a Southern Ocean gateway. TasPorts suggested that:

The Macquarie Wharf Redevelopment Project is instrumental to the achievement of both through the development of a year-round dedicated and bespoke berth for the RSV Nuyina, alongside more capacity and better facilities for other Antarctic and Southern Ocean supply and research vessels.[68]

4.79However, the CEO of TasPorts noted that it was 'a high risk proposition' for the AAD to have such a significant vessel 'tie up in a lay-up berth arrangement with the inability to load and unload, with understanding from our perspective that at a moment's notice we may deem that berth or that wharf to be unserviceable'.[69]

4.80Mr Donald confirmed that a commercial proposal to upgrade Wharf 6 was originally provided to the AAD in October 2022, updated around 12 months later, and is yet to be signed due to funding issues.[70]

4.81There are no clear indications that the Macquarie Wharf Redevelopment project has progressed, including any upgrades to Wharf 6.

4.82At the public hearing in October 2023 the AAD indicated the Tasmanian Government was still looking at feasibility options to enable the ship to be refuelled, including by barge.[71]

4.83The wharf redevelopment is also being considered as part of the broader redevelopment of Macquarie Point. As of October 2023, Stage 1 of the redevelopment included wharf upgrades, 'with the immediate priority being the upgrade of Wharf 6 to berth Australia's Antarctic icebreaker, RSV Nuyina'.[72]

Antarctica and risks to geopolitical and international interests

4.84The Antarctic Science Program is critical to meeting certain international treaty requirements and obligations, including under the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS).

4.85Many inquiry participants noted that 'science is the currency of the Antarctic treaty system' and the basis for Australia's claim to the Australian Antarctic Territory, which comprises over 40 per cent of Antarctica.

4.86DCCEEW highlighted importance of cooperative scientific research to the operation of the ATS, submitting that it provides:

… a strong international governance framework and establishes Antarctica as a natural reserve devoted to peace and science. Key principles include freedom of scientific investigation, free exchange of scientific information, protection of the positions of Antarctic Treaty Parties on the issue of sovereignty, and the non-militarisation of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.[73]

4.87DCCEEW explained the critical role of the Antarctic Science Program, for 'strong international engagement, and 'practical collaboration with other nations' to meeting international treaty requirements and obligations 'including under the Antarctic Treaty system (including the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources), the Agreement for the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, the International Whaling Commission, and Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty'.[74]

The role of DFAT

4.88The committee heard of the important role that DFAT plays in the 'stewardship' of Australia's Antarctic region and in co-ordinating the wholeofgovernment approach to Antarctic matters. Mr Paul Schofield, Assistant Secretary with DFAT, explained that its primary role is:

… protecting the aims of the Antarctic Treaty system and working to maintain its stability and durability as part of Australia's active support for the global rules-based order. We are fully committed to upholding the rules and norms of the Antarctic Treaty system, including nonmilitarisation, environmental protection, freedom of scientific investigation and international cooperation. We are increasing DFAT's diplomatic efforts in this regard.

DFAT works closely with whole-of-government partners at federal and state government levels across our overseas diplomatic network and in multilateral fora to promote and uphold the Antarctic Treaty system in support of Australia's geopolitical and strategic international interests in Antarctica. We lead advice to government on foreign policy and legal policy as they relate to the Antarctic, and we support the Australian Antarctic Division in its management of the Australian Antarctic Program.[75]

4.89Along with its involvement in the ATS, as detailed in Chapter 1, DFAT also leads Australia's engagement in the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, and supports AAD through the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office.

4.90Despite these key leadership and coordination efforts, the committee heard it was difficult for scientists and researchers to gain ongoing funding and support for their work and to support Australia's strategic presence in Antarctica.

4.91Professor Rufus Black told the committee, for example, that the Southern Ocean observation system was a vital and internationally available tool for science maintained by Australia, but when it comes to re-funding there was no direct Australian champion arguing for it to continue. Professor Black advised that UTAS had to 'reach out to the United States to seek their support for finding ways to fund' the observation system and to keep it within Australia's purview. Professor Black argued that such situations endanger the national interest.[76]

4.92DFAT was asked about whether it could play more of a role in advocating for Antarctic science, funding and coordination. DFAT told the committee that following a 2022 budget announcement, a dedicated Antarctic section had been established in September 2022 within the Department, which was 'striving to coordinate across government' and use its 'convening power to try and get government to focus' on matters of strategic significance to Australia—like the Southern Ocean observation system.[77]

4.93However, DFAT also confirmed that as of January 2024, its Antarctic section only had four staff, some of whom were part-time.[78]

The interaction of science and geopolitics

4.94UTAS acknowledged the vital role of science in the ATS:

Science, along with peaceful use and environmental protection, are key norms and principles of the Antarctic Treaty System. Under this system, Antarctica is designated as "a natural reserve devoted to peace and science" (Madrid Protocol Article 2). Science is also acknowledged as the currency of national credibility (i.e. influence) in the Antarctic Treaty System. It is one of the foundations of the Antarctic Treaty.[79]

4.95Other submitters, including Professor Donald Rothwell, an international law expert, went further and noted the significant intersections between the funding of scientific research and Australia's claims to Antarctic influence and territory. Professor Rothwell argued that 'to maintain influence and leadership in the Antarctic Treaty System it is important for any Treaty party, including a claimant state such as Australia to maintain a comprehensive and robust Antarctic science program', as well as the physical presence of Australians, including scientists.[80]

4.96For these reasons, Professor Rothwell considered that:

Any diminution, disruption or reduction of Australia's Antarctic science program conducted by the AAD has the potential to create further uncertainty as to the commitment and engagement of Australia to Antarctica. This in turn has implications for Australian sovereignty over the AAT.[81]

4.97UTAS argued that Australia's geopolitical and strategic international interests and relationships were being impacted by diminished Antarctic funding, citing examples where scientific cruises were conducted without Australia's involvement, and fieldwork that many would have expected Australia to lead was being undertaken by other nations.[82] UTAS stated:

The Australian Government's ability to maintain sovereignty over the last 40 years has been built on both our scientific leadership and capacity to use science to underpin the Antarctic treaty system. Our research has provided the basis for our broad presence in the Antarctic that remains critical for sovereignty in the long term. A reduction in this capability potentially diminishes our achievement of these objectives as other nations dramatically increase their scientific endeavours. Our strategic interests also include understanding (and showing we are taking seriously) future climate impacts on regional neighbours, such as the Pacific Island nations.[83]

4.98Professor Richard Coleman similarly submitted that a lack of AAD support has led a number of Australian researchers to work with other international groups in order to gain access to Antarctic field programs, and also that:

… other countries are now conducting research cruises and field programs within the Australian East Antarctic sector – some examples are: Japan with planned Totten ice shelf programs, Germany have approved cruises across the East Antarctic sector in the coming season (EAIS-2, EAIS-3), China has regular field work in the Prydz Bay/Amery region.[84]

4.99Professor Black at UTAS, was blunt in his assessment of the impacts of declining 'science diplomacy' in Antarctica:

So it's not any one year that causes you the trouble; it's what happens over the long run when you're not able to have the level of science in what is an increasingly contested region … This is one of those areas where, because it's a demilitarised zone, power is science. Power is the capacity to put the best evidence on the table.[85]

4.100Similarly, Doctors Wright and Davidson (and others) argued that Australia's decreasing investment in scientific research in Antarctica was jeopardising its claims to sovereignty and territory, potentially via damage to Australia's international reputation. They advised:

Science remains the primary justification for Australia's presence in Antarctica … But Australia's influence over the frozen continent has become a pale shadow of the past because our investment in science has deteriorated. In the past Australia did good science to justify our national claim to 42% of Antarctica.[86]

4.101Dr Wright suggested that, in reality, scientific operations and infrastructure were supported in Antarctica because they bolster sovereignty claims:

There has always been the feeling that science is supposedly the reason for being in Antarctica. The real reason is claiming sovereignty. To a certain extent—I'll choose my words carefully here—the feeling at the coalface has been that operations are supported in Antarctica because they add to our claims of sovereignty, such as building huge stations and now building a gigantic icebreaker, and that decisions to make these things are based more on flag waving and claims to sovereignty rather than on what are the most appropriate logistics structures to support the science in Antarctica.[87]

4.102Dr Wright and Dr Davidson argued that 'confusion at the highest level regarding the purpose and goals of Australia's role in Antarctica' and 'lack of a clear strategy for Australia's Antarctic presence' was weakening Australia's sovereign claim to Antarctica and called the Australian Government to 'make an explicit declaration that the purpose of the AAD is to sustain Australia's sovereign claim to Antarctica primarily by implementing the Australian Antarctic Science Strategic Plan', along with appropriate resources and structures.[88]

Impact of the changing geopolitical environment

4.103Dr Anthony Press drew attention to the importance of the ATS to Australia, the United States, and to wider global security:

… the maintenance of the Antarctic Treaty system is of strategic importance to the United States and Australia … Having the ability to conduct science, be influential and be a part of maintaining the integrity of the Antarctic Treaty system is common to both the US and Australia and, of course, almost every other Antarctic Treaty party.[89]

4.104Ongoing Antarctic sovereignty tensions already exist between several nations due to competing claims, offshore claims, and whaling in Antarctic waters.[90] Several witnesses thought that tensions could be exacerbated and impact Australia's territorial claim due to Antarctica's wealth of water, hydrocarbons, fish stocks and access to space, as well as by changing geopolitics regarding 'respect for rules based international order' and possible future Antarctic sovereignty claims.[91]

4.105Professor Elizabeth Buchanan suggested that Australia's over-reliance on a strained ATS and the changing geopolitical environment challenges the basis of the Treaty, writing:

Current geopolitical events, stemming from Russia's war in Ukraine, are no doubt cause for revisiting the assumptions around 'good order' and blanket commitments to 'peaceful intentions' as per the 'spirit' of the Antarctic Treaty. These are no longer shared, international values.[92]

4.106Professor Rothwell reflected on the potential threat to Australia's position in Antarctica:

When you look at the fact that Russia is a founding party of the Antarctic Treaty, that China is now a consultative party of the Antarctic Treaty and that both Russia and China have a significant scientific presence within the Australian Antarctic Territory, it's inevitable that scholars like myself, and others in related fields, begin to become concerned about how Australia's position in Antarctica could be under threat, given the presence and actions of other significant state actors at a global level but also in Antarctica.[93]

4.107Many inquiry participants expressed concerns about Australia's standing in Antarctic matters because of reduced funding for Antarctic scientific projects. AMOS noted that 'Australia's international standing as leader in Antarctic science will be negatively impacted if its Antarctica and Southern Ocean science capabilities are reduced'.[94]

4.108UTAS similarly noted that the 'Australian Antarctic Science Program Governance Review (the Clarke Review) noted in 2017 that continued uncertainty of funding on the science program risks institutionalised long-term collaboration at the international level'.[95]

4.109UTAS further noted that:

The ongoing funding uncertainty is significantly impacting the standing of AAD in the world's scientific community and has already resulted in a loss of reputation due to undelivered commitments. In the East Antarctic sector, India, Japan and China now regularly conduct scientific cruises without Australia's involvement, some including repeat transects that have led or contributed significantly to our ability to monitor the Southern Ocean. Already large-scale fieldwork that many would have expected Australia to lead given proximity to our stations is being undertaken by Japan or China and other nations.[96]

4.110AMOS also observed:

The only gateway to Antarctica for Australian and many international scientists is through the Antarctic Division. Reducing field work capabilities over the near term will mean a shift away from Australia for these logistical capabilities. This is likely to limit future opportunities for collaboration and innovation.[97]

4.111Dr Ian Allison of AMOS further noted that as most scientific projects require international collaboration, it is not just reputation that is damaged, it is the capacity for future science projects that is being chipped away:

I think they'll make it harder to get collaborations with groups you need to collaborate with because they have techniques and instrumentation that Australia doesn't have. As I said before, these problems are too big for one country alone to tackle, so we need to share our knowledge; we need to share our expertise. I think people will still want to collaborate, but they'll probably be a little bit more reticent than jumping in, because there's a lot of effort in preparing, even in your own country.[98]

4.112DFAT advised the committee that no treaty partner had raised any concerns around perceived or other reductions in funding or support for Antarctic science.[99]

Australia's Antarctic territory

4.113The committee notes that Australia has sovereignty over 42 per cent of the Antarctic continent, or nearly 5.9million square kilometres. The Australian Antarctic Territory was transferred to Australia by the British Government, and is described in the Australian Antarctic Territory Acceptance Act 1933.

4.114Several witnesses drew attention to the importance of Antarctica to Australia's national security, with the CPSU suggesting that:

Ensuring that the region 'remains free from military competition is essential to Australia and New Zealand's national security', with other nations eager to expand their military activities.[100]

4.115DFAT submitted that 'the ATS is a strong and flexible framework for the peaceful governance of Antarctica, and it continues to serve our national interests at a time when international interest and activities in the Antarctic region are increasing'.[101]

4.116However, Professor Rothwell argued that Australia's position regarding its Antarctic territory is weak:

Australia's claim to the AAT is not widely recognised under international law by the international community … As a result of Australian sovereignty over the AAT not having widespread recognition, Australian sovereignty over the AAT has not been perfected and remains unresolved in international law. That remains the position under the Antarctic Treaty.[102]

4.117While Professor Rothwell noted that territorial claims over Antarctica—including by nations other than Australia—are 'neutralised' for as long as the treaty is in force, he contended that 'Australian Antarctic policy cannot rest on the assumption that the Treaty will remain operative ad infinitum'.[103]


[1]Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW), Submission 12, p.4.

[2]Australian Marine Conservation Society and Humane Society International Australia, Submission3, p. 1.

[3]Australian Marine Conservation Society and Humane Society International Australia, Submission 3, pp. 1–2.

[4]Professor Edward Doddridge, Submission 13, p. 1.

[5]Professor Alexander Babanin and Dr Joey Voermans, Submission 6, p. 1.

[6]Dr Simon Wright and Dr Andrew Davidson, Submission 9, [p. 1].

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

[8]Australian Academy of Science, Submission 19, p. 2.

[9]Professor Richard Coleman, Submission 18, pp. 1–2.

[10]Mr Richard Fader, Chairman, Tasmanian Polar Network, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 13.

[11]Professor Richard Coleman, Submission 18, p. 2.

[12]University of Tasmania, Submission 5, pp. 4– 5.

[13]Geoscience Australia, Submission 8, pp. 5–6.

[14]Geoscience Australia, Submission 8, pp. 6–7.

[15]Mr Richard Fader, Tasmanian Polar Network, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 13.

[16]University of Tasmania, Submission 5, pp. 4–5.

[17]Dr Stuart Corney, Senior Lecturer in Oceans and Cryosphere, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, pp. 16–18 and 21; Dr Anthony Press, Private capacity, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 30; Dr Ian Allison, Fellow, Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 1.

[18]Dr Ian Allison, Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 1.

[19]Professor Edward Doddridge, Submission 13, p. 1.

[20]Dr Stuart Corney, Submission 2, p. 2.

[21]Dr Stuart Corney, Senior Lecturer in Oceans and Cryosphere, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 16.

[22]Issues around the RSV Nuyina are discussed later in this chapter.

[23]Dr Stuart Corney, Submission 2, p. 2.

[24]Professor Nicole Webster, Chief Scientist, Science Branch, Australian Antarctic Division, CommitteeHansard, 5 October 2023, p. 29.

[25]Mr Sean Sullivan, Deputy Secretary, DDCCEEW, Committee Hansard, 5October 2023, p. 29.

[26]Mr Richard Fader, Tasmanian Polar Network, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 10.

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

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

[29]Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, Submission 7, p. 2.

[30]Community and Public Sector Union, Submission 21, p. 7.

[31]See, for example: Dr Stuart Corney, Submission 2, p. 2; Australian Academy of Science, Submission19, p. 1; Community and Public Sector Union, Submission 21, pp. 2 and 10–11; DrIanAllison, Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, Committee Hansard, 4October 2023, pp. 1 and 4; University of Tasmania, Submission 5, pp. 4–5; Professor Rufus Black, Vice-Chancellor, University of Tasmania, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 15.

[32]Professor Rufus Black, University of Tasmania, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 15.

[33]Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, Submission 7, p. 1.

[34]Southern Ocean Observing System Symposium 2023 Closing Statement, quoted in Dr Stuart Corney, Submission 2, p. 2.

[35]University of Tasmania, Submission 5, p. 4.

[36]University of Tasmania, Submission 5, p. 4.

[37]Professor Rufus Black, University of Tasmania, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 15.

[38]Mr Paul Schofield, Assistant Secretary, International Law Branch II, Legal Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Committee Hansard, 29 January 2024, p. 3.

[39]Mr Robert Hanlon, Acting Deputy Secretary, DCCEEW, Committee Hansard, 5October 2023, p. 14; Australian Antarctic Program, RSV Nuyina: Procurement, 13 October 2021 (accessed 7 March 2024).

[40]Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, Submission 12, [pp. 7, 9–10 and 17]; The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment, House of Representatives Hansard, 19 October 2021, p. 9599.

[41]Professor Dana Bergstrom, Private capacity, Committee Hansard, 5 October 2023, p. 9; MrSeanSullivan, DCCEEW, Committee Hansard, 5October 2023, p. 22; Australian Antarctic Program, RSV Nuyina: About Nuyina, 22 January 2022 (accessed 7March 2024).

[42]Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, Submission 12, [pp. 9–10].

[43]Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, Submission 12, p. 14; MrRobert Hanlon, and Mr Sean Sullivan, DCCEEW, Committee Hansard, 5 October 2023, pp. 14 and 16.

[44]Ms Emma Campbell, Head of Division, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 24April2024, pp. 1–2.

[45]Mr Sean Sullivan, DCCEEW, Committee Hansard, 5October 2023, p. 30.

[46]Community and Public Sector Union, Submission 21, p. 11.

[47]Mr Richard Fader, Tasmanian Polar Network, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 10.

[48]Mr Richard Fader, Tasmanian Polar Network, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 8.

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

[50]Professor Rufus Black, University of Tasmania, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 18.

[51]Ms Emma Campbell, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 24 April 2024, p. 22.

[52]Mr Sean Sullivan, DCCEEW, Committee Hansard, 24 April 2024, pp. 22–23.

[53]Mr Sean Sullivan, DCCEEW, Committee Hansard, 24 April 2024, p. 23.

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

[55]Mr Robert Hanlon, and Mr Sean Sullivan, DCCEEW, Committee Hansard, 5 October 2023, pp. 14 and 16.

[56]Discussed further in Chapter 1. DCCEEW, Submission 12, [pp. 3–4 and 15]; Mr Robert Hanlon, DCCEEW, Committee Hansard, 5 October 2023, pp. 13 and 17; MsEmma Campbell, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 5October2023, pp. 13 and 17.

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

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

[59]Mr Charlton Clark, Branch Head, Operations and Logistics Branch, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 5 October 2023, pp. 32–33.

[60]Mr Sean Sullivan, DCCEEW, Committee Hansard, 29January 2024, p. 9.

[61]TasPorts, answers to questions taken on notice, 2 February 2024 (received 16 February 2024), p. 1.

[62]Mr Anthony Donald, Chief Executive Officer, TasPorts, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 57

[63]Mr Charlton Clark, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 5 October 2023, pp. 32–33.

[64]Mr Anthony Donald, TasPorts, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 58.

[65]TasPorts, answers to questions taken on notice, 2 February 2024 (received 16 February 2024), p. 2.

[66]Mr Charlton Clark, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 5 October 2023, p. 32; MrAnthony Donald, TasPorts, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, pp. 52–53.

[67]TasPorts, Macquarie Wharf Redevelopment, March 2021, p. 3.

[68]TasPorts, Submission 23, p. 1.

[69]Mr Anthony Donald, TasPorts, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, pp.5859.

[70]TasPorts, Submission 23, p. 1; Mr Anthony Donald, TasPorts, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, pp.53–54.

[71]Ms Emma Campbell, Australian Antarctic Division, Committee Hansard, 5October2023, p. 34; MrAnthony Donald, TasPorts, Committee Hansard, 4October 2023, p. 59.

[72]Macquarie Point Development Corporation, Mac Point Draft Precinct Plan, October 2023, pp. 29–30.

[73]DCCEEW, Submission 12, [p. 6].

[74]DCCEEW, Submission 12, [pp. 8 and 10].

[75]Mr Paul Schofield, Assistant Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, CommitteeHansard, 29 January 2024, p. 1.

[76]Professor Rufus Black, University of Tasmania, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, pp. 27–28.

[77]Mr Paul Schofield, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Committee Hansard, 29 January 2024, p. 3.

[78]Mr Paul Schofield, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Committee Hansard, 29 January 2024, p. 6.

[79]University of Tasmania, Submission 5, p. 3. See also: Dr Anthony Press, Private capacity, CommitteeHansard, 4 October 2023, p. 34.

[80]See, for example: University of Tasmania, Submission 5, p. 3; Professor Donald Rothwell, Submission4, [pp. 3–4]; Community and Public Sector Union, Submission 21, pp. 12–13; ProfessorDonald Rothwell, Private capacity, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 35.

[81]Professor Donald Rothwell, Submission 4, [p. 5].

[82]University of Tasmania, Submission 5, p. 4.

[83]University of Tasmania, Submission 5, p. 3.

[84]Professor Richard Coleman, Submission 18, p. 2.

[85]Professor Rufus Black, University of Tasmania, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 23.

[86]Dr Simon Wright and Dr Andrew Davidson, Submission 9, [p. 5]. See also: Community and Public Sector Union, Submission 21, p. 13; Professor Dana Bergstrom, Submission 11, p. 2.

[87]Dr Simon Wright, Private capacity, Committee Hansard, 5 October 2023, p. 4; Dr Simon Wright and Dr Andrew Davidson, Submission 9, [p. 7]. See also: University of Tasmania, Submission 5, p. 7.

[88]Dr Simon Wright and Dr Andrew Davidson, Submission 9, [pp. 5–6].

[89]Dr Anthony Press, Private capacity, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 34.

[90]Professor Donald Rothwell, Submission 4, [pp. 4–5].

[91]Professor Donald Rothwell, Submission 4, [pp. 4–5]; Professor Donald Rothwell, Private capacity, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 35; Professor Elizabeth Buchanan, Submission 10, [pp. 2–3].

[92]Professor Elizabeth Buchanan, Submission 10, [pp. 1–2].

[93]Professor Donald Rothwell, Private capacity, Committee Hansard, 4 October 2023, p. 34.

[94]Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, Submission 7, p. 2.

[95]University of Tasmania, Submission 5, p. 3.

[96]University of Tasmania, Submission 5, pp. 3–4.

[97]Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, Submission 7, p. 2.

[98]Dr Ian Allison, Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, Committee Hansard, 4October2023, pp. 6–7.

[99]Mr Paul Schofield, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Committee Hansard, 29 January 2024, p. 4.

[100]Community and Public Sector Union, Submission 21, p. 13.

[101]Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Submission 17, p. 1.

[102]Professor Donald Rothwell, Submission 4, [pp. 2–3].

[103]Professor Donald Rothwell, Submission 4, [pp. 2–3].