Terms of Reference

The current management of the funding of the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), with particular reference to:

(a) revelations that the AAD is pursuing cuts worth roughly 16% of its operating budget;

(b) the direct and indirect impacts of cuts to public funding of Australia’s Antarctic activities, including on full-time, part-time and contract AAD jobs;

(c) the ramifications for Australia’s international commitments and obligations;

(d) the internal compilation of a list of at least 56 existing projects, programs and research activities that could be cut and/or terminated;

(e) the extent of the Albanese Government’s involvement in, and response to, these cost-cutting plans;

(f) the consequences of funding cuts to Australia’s Antarctic program for our country’s geopolitical and strategic international interests;

(g) complications that the proposed $25 million worth of cuts will cause for the full delivery of the Australian Antarctic Science Strategic Plan, the Australian Antarctic Strategy, the 20-year Action Plan, and the extra $804.4 million Antarctic funding package delivered by the Morrison Government in early 2022;

(h) the widespread view, including among numerous Antarctic science experts, that funding cuts of this scale and nature are catastrophic for Australia; and

(i) any other related matters.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3526