The Australian Federal Government has shortlisted two European yards to build a replacement for the Australian Antarctic Division’s icebreaker Aurora Australis.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt, who visited Hobart to spruik the project, says Australian companies did not tender. “We looked for, and called for, Australian proposals, that was done by the previous government,” he said. “But there wasn’t an Australian build proposal which was put forward despite the opportunities.”
The Chair of the Polar Network, John Brennan, says another research ship is crucial for Australia’s Antarctic program. “This is really good news for Tasmania, it’s a capital injection into the sector that’s needed because the Aurora Australis is at the end of life,” he said.
“Without a new icebreaker Australia would not have the capacity to meet the needs in the future for logistics and science in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica.”
The Aurora Australis is owned, managed and crewed by P&O Maritime on behalf of the Australian Antarctic Division. P&O secured a long term contract for the provision of shipping services to the Australian Antarctic Division in 1990.