Greens spokesperson for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, is calling on the Government to reverse its decision not to re-establish an Antarctic research institute upon the closure of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre (ACE CRC), a decision that puts in jeopardy Hobart’s position as a global research centre.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “The Liberal Government has delivered a body-blow to the vision of Hobart as the global centre for Antarctic research. It has completely ignored a key recommendation of its own review to re-establish a new Antarctic research institute to replace the ACE CRC that the very same government is closing down.
“All the Liberal Government has done is allocated a bucket of money to be generally available for Antarctic research right around the world, but has failed to set up any Hobart-based institution to lead and carry out this work.
“This quantum of funding, that once used to provide the ballast for Hobart researchers to leverage further research dollars into Hobart, will now be scattered far and wide and reduce Hobart’s centre of gravity that pulls in researchers and funding from right around the world.
“Without a CRC-style structure, that has been proven to work over many years, the co-ordination of research priorities and processes will be much more complicated and difficult to administer and control.
“Hobart will still remain the logistics and administrative hub for Antarctic support, but its ability to be a research hub is now at risk.
“I am calling on the Environment Minister to reconsider this decision immediately. Tasmanian Liberal Senators need to get on the phone to him immediately to help change his mind,” he concluded.