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Transcript 19359

Gillard Government Support for Conservation of Mawson's Huts

Photo of Gillard, Julia

Gillard, Julia

Period of Service: 24/06/2010 to 27/06/2013

More information about Gillard, Julia on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 17/05/2013

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 19359


Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Heritage Minister Tony Burke today announced funding for the conservation of the birthplace of Australia's modern Antarctic program, Mawson's Huts at Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay, Antarctica.

The Gillard Government is providing $472,725 for conservation work to ensure this remarkable part of Australia's history is preserved for future generations and continues to serve as a reminder of the leadership, bravery and determination of the Mawson expedition more than 100 years ago.

Funding is being provided for the project under the Government's Your Community Heritage grants program, through the Protection National Heritage Sites sub-program.

Mawson's expedition was the first large-scale Australian-led scientific expedition to the frozen continent.

Mawson's Huts are Australia's first base in Antarctica and the foundation for Australia's sovereign claim of 42 per cent of Antarctica.

Located 3,000 kilometres south of Tasmania, Mawson's Huts are on the National Heritage List and the Antarctic Treaty list of historic monuments.

Because of the site's extreme remoteness and the limited window of time for operating in Antarctica the conservation work will take place on a year by year basis.

Mawson's Huts are located in the windiest place on earth at sea level and this is compounded by the other extreme weather conditions at Commonwealth Bay.

The main priorities for the conservation work are the stabilisation of the main hut and associated structures, removal of interior ice and the prevention of snow getting inside the structures.

Mawson's Huts are a critical part of Australia's enduring connection with the continent to our south.

The Mawson expedition left Hobart in December 1911 and reached Commonwealth Bay in January 1912.

The ongoing preservation of Mawson's Huts will mean the story and inspiration of Mawson's epic adventure, the tragedy of the expedition and his survival under extraordinary circumstances will continue to amaze Australians for generations to come.

In addition to the conservation work the Australian Government is providing $350,000 for stage one of the Mawson's Hut Replica venture between the Mawson's Huts Foundation and the Australian Geographic Society.

Assistance for this project will result in a full scale replica of Mawson's Hut being built in Hobart, just 200 metres from the site that Mawson and his men departed.

Stage one of the project involves the construction of the Mawson's Hut replica.

Construction of the hut will be as close as possible to the original.

This proposal has been developed by the Mawson's Huts Foundation, who also worked to save the original huts.

It will be built using the same materials, in Launceston, and be located on the Hobart waterfront where it will be a major tourist attraction.

The Gillard Government is providing support for Antarctic research and exploration activities, including through $25 million for the Antarctic Cooperative Research Centre announced in the Budget.

It is also investing in the remediation of the Hobart rail yards, helping the long term redevelopment of the Hobart waterfront.

For information on the project go to and for information on the Your Community Heritage grants program go to

Transcript 19359