Peter Costello

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Boost To Restore Historic Mawsons Huts In Antarctica

NO.030

BOOST TO RESTORE HISTORIC MAWSON’S HUTS IN ANTARCTICA

The historic site where renowned Antarctic explorer Sir Douglas Mawson set up camp in 1912 will receive a funding boost of $320,000 for important conservation work.

The grant will be provided in 2005-06 to further the work of the Mawson’s Huts Foundation. The Foundation was established in 1995 with the aim of raising funds to preserve, restore and repair the huts at Cape Denison in the far eastern part of the Australian Antarctic Territory. The grant to the Mawson’s Huts Foundation will allow important on-going conservation work to continue at Cape Denison in the coming summer.

Mawson’s Huts are of national and international heritage significance, listed as a National Heritage and Commonwealth Heritage site. They are also recognised internationally as an Historic Site and an Antarctic Specially Protected Area under the Antarctic Treaty.
This is the only site representing Australian accomplishments during the ‘heroic era’ in Antarctica, the first two decades of the 20th Century, when great advances were made in geographic and scientific knowledge. The huts were built and occupied by the Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 1911-14 led by Sir Douglas Mawson.

The Australian Antarctic Division manages the Mawson’s Huts site. It works closely with the Mawson’s Huts Foundation which has received two previous Australian Government grants for conservation work and raising awareness of the site.

CANBERRA
9 May 2006

Contact: David Alexander, Treasurer’s Office 02 6277 7340
Marianne McCabe, Senator Campbell’s Office 02 6277 7640


Supporting information

Why is this important?

Mawson’s Huts are of national and international heritage significance – they are listed as a National Heritage and Commonwealth Heritage site. They are also listed internationally as a Historic Site under the provisions of the Madrid Protocol, which provides for comprehensive protection of Antarctica – the last great wilderness on earth.

It is the only site representing Australian accomplishments during the ‘heroic era’ in Antarctica with the huts built and occupied by the Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 1911-14 led by Sir Douglas Mawson.

Who will benefit?

Conservation of Mawson’s Huts will benefit the entire community, as well as future generations.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

The Australian Government is committing $320,000 to be provided in 2005-06.

What have we done in the past?

The Australian Antarctic Division is responsible for managing the Mawson’s Huts site and works closely with the Mawson’s Huts Foundation on its conservation. The AAD develops and implements conservation works plans and provides assistance to the Foundation in cash and kind, such as loans of materials and equipment and logistical support.

The Australian Government made two direct grants of $250,000 to the Mawson’s Huts Foundation, in 1997 and 1998, a total of $500,000.

The Australian Government’s Australian Antarctic Division provided $60,000 from its own appropriation in 2001-2002. The AAD mounted an expedition in 2002 supported by approximately $460,000 in cash. In addition, the AAD estimates that since 1997, $1 million has been spent on activities directly related to the conservation of the site.

When will the initiative conclude?

While the Australian Antarctic Division will continue to work closely with the Mawson’s Huts Foundation, the current grant will cover the cost of the upcoming conservation work in the 2006-07 season and some work over subsequent seasons.

9 May 2006

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