Senate inquiry into AAD mismanagement established


A Senate inquiry into the current funding mismanagement of the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) has been established. It comes following the Albanese Government’s failure to acknowledge rising fears within the AAD about what science programs will be axed as a result of the division having to cut its operating budget by $25 million.

Quotes attributable to Greens spokesperson for healthy oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson:

“It’s time to put politics aside and get to the bottom of why the AAD is short $25 million and has to cut scheduled science programs this summer.

“Now isn’t the time for splitting hairs over the semantics of what went wrong - Antarctic science is too important and too time critical for that.

“What needs to be thoroughly scrutinised is why the AAD is set to lose $25 million from its operating budget and what decision-making process is being employed to determine which science programs are being deemed “critical” and which programs are being cancelled.

“This is a highly distressing time for some of Australia’s best scientists and a government seemingly unconcerned about cutting Antarctic science programs is not acceptable, especially not for those now facing job insecurity as a result.

“The fact the Minister is still spinning that there are no budget cuts is incredibly unhelpful and shows the government is more focused on shifting blame than tackling the matter head-on. 

“We have internal documents identifying Antarctic science projects that can't be supported ‘due to budget constraints’ and a leaked email from the Head of the AAD revealing it will lose 16% of its operating budget - the situation speaks for itself. 

Hopefully the Senate can assist the Albanese Government to clear up this troubling situation, and make sure science programs are prioritised and fully funded as originally planned.”