M8 8 February 1995


The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Gareth Evans, today announced the appointment of Mr James Playsted to the Board of the Australian Antarctic Foundation. Mr Playsted, Regional Manager (Tasmania) of William Adams Pty Ltd, is to represent the Tasmanian Government on the Board.

Senator Evans said the appointment of Mr Playsted to the Board took into account Mr Playsted's involvement in Antarctic matters. He is a major participant in the development of the Tasmanian Polar Network, an informal association formed by commercial companies, research and education institutions, the port authority (the Marine Board of Hobart) and the Tasmanian Government.

The Network aims to enhance Hobart's role as the resupply and departure point for Antarctic and Southern Ocean expeditions.

The Federal Government set up the Hobart-based Antarctic Foundation in 1991 under the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio. Its aim is to promote informed debate on international Antarctic issues, with particular attention to the significance for Australia of developments in that region.

Major activities so far undertaken by the Foundation include:

* the development of a conservation strategy for Australia's 6.1 million sq. km Antarctic Territory;

* studies in Antarctic Management techniques involving scientists and officials from Antarctic Treaty nations;

* a program to promote participation of scientists, journalists and photographers from other Treaty nations in the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE);

* support for a number of major Antarctic conferences and exhibitions such as the Living in Antarctica conference and the Secrets of the Frozen World exhibition which is currently touring Australia;

* the development of educational resources on Antarctica including supporting the establishment of Antarctic Environment Learning Unit at the Tasmanian Marine Studies Centre;

* and the establishment of a postgraduate scholarship to investigate the use of clean renewable energy systems at Antarctic stations.

The addition of Mr Playsted brings the number of members of the Board to four. The others are the Chairman, Sir Ninian Stephen, and representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Antarctic Division of the Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories.