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Media Release
The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray

14 May 2002

$102M to Protect Australian Antarctic Territory


The Commonwealth Government will spend $102.3 million in 2002-03 to deepen understanding of Australia's Antarctic Territory and to protect Southern Ocean fisheries, among other activities.

Parliamentary Secretary for Antarctica, Dr Sharman Stone, said the Antarctic program would include further efforts to combat illegal fishing, installation of wind turbines to power Antarctic stations, research into whale distribution and abundance, and large-scale studies of the way Antarctic ice affects the world's oceans.

"The $102.3 million program for 2002-03 demonstrates the Howard Government's strong commitment to protecting the Antarctic environment and gaining knowledge about the region's role in global climate processes," Dr Stone said.

"The program will continue state-of-the-art research into the remediation of past waste sites in Antarctica and revise Australia's waste management plan for Antarctica. It will also pursue measures to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing for Patagonian and Antarctic toothfish.

"The Government will support renewable energy initiatives with the installation of wind turbines at Mawson station, which will reduce reliance on fossil fuels for power generation by 75 per cent. Three turbines will be operating in March 2003, weather permitting.

"The Government will also pursue certification of Australia's environmental management system to meet globally-recognised International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) standards and establish a baseline for continuous improvement of environmental protection practices."

(The ISO standards are guidelines for streamlining environmental management and ensuring that adequate environmental management is integrated into an organisation's activities.)

This year the Government will also:

Contact:
Simon Frost 0419 495 468

Commonwealth of Australia