After a vigorous campaign by Bob Brown Foundation, Antarctica will be saved from the Morrison government’s proposed 2.7km long concrete airport at Davis station, Antarctica.
“It’s a huge backdown by the government and a win for the bulk of Antarctic scientists who opposed 115,000 tonnes of concrete being transported south to build the biggest human intrusion ever on the wilderness continent,” Bob Brown Foundation Antarctic campaigner Alistair Allan said today in Hobart.
The Australian Antarctic Division/Australian Government announced that it will not be proceeding with plans to build a giant concrete airport in Antarctica. This unprecedented project would have increased the human disturbance footprint on the continent by a staggering 40%. The decision is the correct one, given that Antarctica is one of the worlds last great wildernesses that deserves protection not industrial destruction.
“Today’s announcement is brilliant news for Antarctica,” said Alistair Allan, Bob Brown Foundation Antarctic Campaigner.
“This concrete airport was going to encase the homes of penguins, seals and petrels in 115,000 tonnes of concrete. Now, these animals can carry on living in this precious ecosystem undisturbed.”
“We have been campaigning against the airport since the Foundation started focusing on the protection of Antarctica,” said Bob Brown.
“To all the Antarctic scientists and expeditioners, and to the community at large, we thank you for your amazing efforts to make your voice heard and expose just how destructive this concrete airport would have been.”
Antarctica is facing unprecedented threats due to climate change, fishing pressures and tourism. This airport was, up until today, one of those threats. There is still lots to do to protect Antarctica and the animals that live there, but abandoning this destructive project is certainly a step in the right direction.
“There has been a concerted push by academics and strategists that geopolitical posturing and competition meant that the Antarctic environment was the unfortunate but necessary loser in this proposal. The Australian government has done the right thing by putting the Antarctic environment first. This proposal should be permanently relegated to the history books and the idea of laying hundreds of thousands of tonnes of concrete in such an incredible ecosystem chalked up as a bad idea, with catastrophe avoided,” said Alistair Allan
“We will take some Tasmanian Champagne off the ice to celebrate. This is an environmental win of global significance. We laud the scientists who were in rebellion against the airport. It was a $100,000 legacy to our foundation from former Australian Antarctic base leader, Louise Crossley which enabled our campaign,” said Bob Brown.