Antarctic sector significant driver for Tasmanian economy

Roger Jaensch,Minister for State Growth

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is excited by the potential that the Tasmanian Antarctic Gateway offers after confirmation it is delivering enormous opportunities for research, education, and economic growth.

A new report released by Antarctic Tasmania shows that the Antarctic and Southern Ocean sector is contributing approximately $159 million a year to our local economy which is $38.4 million more than two years ago.

Its overall economic value is an impressive $229 million per year, which constitutes an increase of 23 per cent increase since 2017-18, well ahead of the $167.4 million value a decade ago.

The sector, which provides research, training, and support services to the Australian Antarctic program, as well as those from around the world, employs nearly 950 people locally, up by over 90 full-time equivalent positions on the last time the analysis was done for the 2017-18 financial year.

While being impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions in the second half of 2019-20, Australian and international expeditioners still racked up an estimated 7,000 bed-night’s stay in Hobart and more than 4,100 bed-nights were spent in Tasmania by delegates of Antarctic and Southern Ocean conferences.

Cementing our reputation as the world’s best Antarctic Gateway, planned investment and development within the Antarctic sector will deliver further growth in the economic contribution this sector makes to our local economy.

This sector is extremely broad and covers areas like international engagement, polar innovation, Antarctic Gateway infrastructure, in addition to growing the collaboration between Tasmania’s Antarctic science and business communities.

The imminent arrival of the icebreaker RSV Nuyina, along with the proposed Macquarie Point Antarctic and Science Precinct, the proposed upgrades to Tasport’s Macquarie 5 and 6 berths and the Hobart Airport runway, as well as investments in facilities at both Macquarie Island and Davis Station, are all primed to bolster our place as the preferred host of Antarctic missions from around the world.

The report analysed information from Australian and Tasmanian government agencies including the Australian Antarctic Division, Antarctic Tasmania, the Bureau of Meteorology, the CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere and National Collections and Marine Infrastructure divisions, as well as UTas, and UTas arms IMAS and AMC.

It also includes national and international government-supported groups, organisations, commissions and research and monitoring services.

A summary of the Contribution of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Sector to the Tasmanian Economy 2019-20 report is available

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