The Albanese Government must set the record straight and address rising fears about what science programs will be axed as a result of a $25 million cut from the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD).
Concerns continue to be raised from within the AAD about the future of Australia’s Antarctic science programs, following an email sent to staff revealing the division is set to cut approximately 16% of its operating budget.
Quotes attributable to Greens spokesperson for healthy oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson:
“Science is the currency of the Antarctic Treaty and if the Albanese Government wants to secure Australia’s leadership role in the region it must properly fund our scientific efforts.
“It’s shocking that we are not hearing more from the Australian Government on this, given we claim 40% of Antarctica as Australian Territory.
“AAD staff are languishing in uncertainty right now. It’s time for the Albanese Government to put its money where its mouth is: prioritise science and fund all Antarctic projects as originally planned.
“Science programs have suffered a death by a thousand cuts in Antarctica. The Morrison Government had a penchant for big announcements and cutting ribbons on Antarctic projects, but not for investing in people and critical science programs. Whether or not Labor reverses these latest cuts will show us if it is any different.
“Instead of funding fossil fuels, the Albanese Government should be funding science - especially at this juncture in history when scientists are warning of a reduction in Antarctic sea ice equivalent to a once every 7.5 million year event.
“More than ever our planet depends on us understanding the Antarctic region, and that means we need to fund the necessary science to achieve that.”