Australian Federal Govt spends about equal amounts ~$180million on both Antarctic programs and all Geoscience Australia onshore “mineral and oil & gas resources” programs

For one lot of $180mill we improve scientific knowledge of Antarctica, get invites to Antarctic and climate change conferences, all of which means close to a net zero to the Australian economy.
For the other tranche of ~$180mill (download pdf) we improve the prospects for mineral discoveries that will extend our resources industries that prop up a huge slice of our standard of living. So difficult to decide how to balance these competing priorities.
There is also about $30million spent on the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority.
Oh to be dictator for a day.

7 thoughts on “Australian Federal Govt spends about equal amounts ~$180million on both Antarctic programs and all Geoscience Australia onshore “mineral and oil & gas resources” programs”

  1. According to the CSIRO the average recent cost to discover an ounce of gold in Australia is close to $60. A government investment of only one third of this $180m allocation could finance discovery of a deposit of around a million ounces of gold. At $1,200/ounce this could be an excellent investment for Australia’s future….. Or we could finance more ‘tourist’ visits to Antartica.

  2. This is part of a much broader problem – the waste in our society from the greenhouse “religion”. I don’t use that word lightly. I know there is a solid scientific case for increased greenhouse gases raising temperatures – although the direct radiative effect, which is the only well-established part of the theory, would lead to only a mild warming of a degree or less by 2100. But the waste arises not from this scientific understanding but from the vulgarized and distorted reflection of it in popular superstition. Teachers, politicians, academics, bureaucrats, journalists, 99% of whom have no scientific grasp of the issue at all, are injecting their faith-based understanding of “climate change”, and the virtuous behaviour they think it requires, into broad swathes of our lives, and especially broad swathes of government budgets.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if half of all government research funding in Australia was being blown on proposals citing “climate change” – producing negligible or negative policy outcomes. Meanwhile basic research relevant to real problems and bottlenecks affecting minerals, agriculture, industry, transport, infrastructure and so on goes begging.

  3. While the Antarctic bases are ostensibly there for scientific purposes, they are also there to reinforce territorial claims. Australia’s claim is the largest. Both China and Russia have bases within the Australian claim.

  4. I agree there are Australian national interests in the Antarctic although I can not recall them being debated.
    I commented yesterday on that subject at the NZ Whaleoil blog –
    where in part I said – IMHO AAD science tends to be warmist. AAD costs Australia ~$180million PA and has near 400 people – the budget was trimmed by the previous GreenLabor Govt. Much of the rational for AAD to be so big is justifying the large Australian footprint down there – and this happens to be at a time when China is expanding its operations on the far side of their Southern Quarry. So there are all sorts of diplomatic and power play nuances at the back of what happens.

  5. The $180 million is to maintain our claim on the Australian Antarctic Territory. Not that that claim is recognised by the US or China. Sending boats down there is keeping up appearances. If we didn’t have that one boat rented from P&O we wouldn’t be able to operate in Antarctic waters.

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