3 August 2023

The Labor Government has again failed to deny that the Australia’s Antarctic Division (AAD)’s operating budget will be cut by $25 million, or 16 per cent, for the next financial year, throwing further uncertainty on its programs and workers in the lead up to the summer season.

Following questions in the Senate from Shadow Environment Minister Jonno Duniam today, the Minister representing the Environment Minister, Penny Wong, stated that no cost cuts had been decided by government, despite an internal email from the Head of the AAD stating the exact opposite.

Senator Duniam said:

“Labor cannot deny that they are cutting funding to essential Antarctic science. Jobs are on the line and the fact that Labor Ministers fail to admit that is just galling.”

“The lack of clarity from Minister Wong is cold comfort to all workers considering their positions at the AAD.”

Senator Duniam called on Tasmanian Labor MPs to ensure that no jobs would be affected:

“Julie Collins, Carol Brown, Brian Mitchell and Catryna Bilyk all need to do the right thing by Tasmanians and stand up to Prime Minister Albanese to tell him not to cut these jobs and Antarctic science programs, projects and research activities.”