The Australian Government, through the Department of Environment and Energy’s Australian Antarctic Division, own and operate the research station on Macquarie Island, in a cooperative arrangement with the Tasmanian Government.
The Australian Government’s Australian Antarctic Strategy and 20 Year Action Plan highlighted the need to urgently deal with the ageing infrastructure at Macquarie Island. In 2016 the Commonwealth Environment Minister committed up to $50 million to build a new research station on Macquarie Island.
The Macquarie Island Research Station currently operates on a year-round basis and can accommodate up to 40 personnel at peak times. Critical scientific and long-term monitoring is conducted at the station by agencies including the Australian Antarctic Division, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), Geoscience Australia (GA) and the Tasmanian Government.
The existing research station was built in 1948, and has been operating continually ever since. The primary focus of the new construction will be to minimise the station’s physical size, simplify and reduce long-term station maintenance and, where feasible, incorporate new technologies that allow for system improvements, including automation.