Scrapping Antarctic runway a huge disappointment
The decision to not proceed with the Antarctic runway is a huge disappointment, according to Tasmanian Liberal Senator Eric Abetz.
As it appears this is a final decision – and a retrograde decision at that, the task is to ensure that the funding predicated for the runway is made fully available for other Antarctic capabilities.
Tasmania’s world-renowned reputation as the gateway to the Antarctic will be questioned, as will our commitment, unless there is a strong unequivocal announcement of the preservation of the funding and the new focus of investment.
The overwhelming strategic and capability support the runway would have provided has been regrettably lost. So, we now need to invest in other strategic and capability support infrastructure to ensure the international community cannot doubt our commitment to Antarctica.
At a time when China and Russia are rapidly expanding their footprints on the ice continent it is absolutely essential that we don’t loosen our foothold.
Hobart has been a highly regarded partner in Antarctic capacity building and we cannot let this reputation slip.