Tasmania: France’s Antarctic Gateway

Will Hodgman,Premier

The future of Tasmania’s role as France’s Antarctic Gateway has been secured with the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding between the Tasmanian Government and the French Polar Research Institute.

The agreement, which was signed in Brest France as part of the Government’s five-day trade visit to the UK and Europe, formalises a framework of commitments on Antarctic gateway cooperation and confirms regular visits to Hobart by the French icebreaker L’Astrolabe for resupply and expeditioner departure for the next 5 years.

Tasmania will greatly benefit from France’s decision to continue to use Tasmania as its Antarctic Gateway through opportunities for procurement and science collaboration.

The direct value of France’s decision to continue to use Tasmania as its Antarctic Gateway to the local economy is estimated to be up to $7 million per year.

The Antarctic sector is a valuable industry sector contributing more than $180 million each year to our economy and supporting around 1,200 jobs.

With an investigation into a potential Science and Antarctic Precinct at Macquarie Point currently underway as part of the Hobart City Deal, and the Australian Government looking to invest more than $460 million to upgrade Australia’s research station network, we are focused on continuing to strengthen Hobart’s reputation as the gateway to Antarctica.

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