Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting a Great Success Fri 22 June 2012 Lara Giddings Premier David O'Byrne Minister for Economic Development Hobart's position as the gateway to the Antarctic has been successfully showcased to more than 350 international, national and local delegates for the 35th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM). The Premier, Lara Giddings, and the Minister for Economic Development, David O'Byrne, today congratulated organisers for hosting the international event. "The ATCM was an excellent opportunity to promote Hobart's status as home to the Australian Antarctic program and a world-leading hub of Antarctic and Southern Ocean science," Ms Giddings said. "We have demonstrated Tasmania's competitive advantage in Antarctic research and logistics to the world. "This meeting has given us the opportunity to engage in discussions about attracting new countries to base their operations in Tasmania. "My trade mission to Asia later this year will have a strong focus on promoting Tasmania as a base for Antarctic research and exploration. The Australian Government, through the Australian Antarctic Program, signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with China, Russia and France around science and logistics during the ATCM. Mr O'Byrne said the MOUs provide a framework to pursue new Antarctic advantages for Tasmania, and reinforce our position as the premier gateway to the Antarctic. "We've held conversations with many countries including China and Korea about servicing their expanding Antarctic needs," Mr O'Byrne said. "The Government will work hard to see these MOUs brought to fruition. "The Government has also been working closely with the Tasmania Polar Network (TPN) to promote the state's cold climate goods and services to delegates. "That included the launch of the TPN Business Directory to an audience of delegates as well as the Tasmanian business and Antarctic community," he said. The ATCM capped off a successful 13 months of activities, as part of the Antarctic Centennial Year (ACY) celebrations. "It has been a fantastic year for the Antarctic sector, which has again shown its potential for significant growth," Mr O'Byrne said. "Our Antarctic sector employs about 850 people, and generates more than $182 million each year. We also have the highest concentration of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic researchers in the nation. "It's a key priority of the State Government's Economic Development Plan, which looks to grow the markets and jobs of tomorrow by playing to Tasmania's natural strengths. "Events like the ATCM are important for growing Tasmania's polar capabilities - including the Antarctic air link, and efforts to attract East Antarctic nations to adopt Hobart as their Antarctic gateway," he said. The next ATCM will be held in Belgium, in May 2013.