Senate debates

Wednesday, 15 August 2018


Australian Antarctic Division

3:45 pm

Photo of Anne UrquhartAnne Urquhart (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

At the request of Senators Bilyk and Brown, I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Australian Antarctic Division’s (AAD) headquarters is based in Kingston, Tasmania,

(ii) the AAD currently employs approximately 300 staff at the Kingston headquarters,

(iii) the AAD has a proud history of world-leading scientific research that has been led by a dedicated workforce based in the Kingborough municipality, and

(iv) as a small suburban population centre, Kingston’s retail businesses are heavily reliant on the 300 jobs that the AAD headquarters provides;

(b) expresses concern that the Minister for the Environment and Energy, and the Turnbull Government, are yet to publicly commit to maintaining the AAD’s headquarters in Kingston; and

(c) calls on the Turnbull Government to:

(i) commit to the long-term future of the AAD in Kingston, and rule out moving the location of the current headquarters, and

(ii) further commit to not making any decisions that would result in a net loss of AAD staff from Kingston.

3:46 pm

Photo of Eric AbetzEric Abetz (Tasmania, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I seek leave to make a short statement.

Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

Leave is granted for one minute.

Photo of Eric AbetzEric Abetz (Tasmania, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The move of the Australian Antarctic Division to Kingston was a great visionary move by the then Liberal government. I recently confirmed to the local mayor, Steve Wass, that the division's situation in Kingston was secure as far as the government was concerned. Those assurances were reported. The Tasmanian and Australian governments along with key organisations are working closely on the development of an Antarctic and science precinct at Macquarie Point as part of the Hobart City Deal. The government's very clear position is that Kingston remains the home of the Australian Antarctic Division. I, therefore, invite Labor to stop their faux concern which they know is causing unnecessary concern. In short, we moved the AAD to Kingston, we remain committed to the division remaining there and we are committed to growing the Antarctic presence in Tasmania with the exciting development at Mac Point.

Question agreed to.