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Australia’s most southern shores: the strategic geography of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean


Press, AJ, Australia's most southern shores: the strategic geography of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, Advances in Military Geosciences, Springer, Cham, S Pearson, JL Holloway and R Thackway (ed), Switzerland, pp. 129-141. ISBN 9783319734071 (2018) [Research Book Chapter]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 Springer International Publishing AG

DOI: doi:10.1007/978-3-319-73408-8_9


Politically, Antarctica is a safe place for Australian politicians. Aside from the occasional fracas about potential mineral exploration, difficulties in establishing marine protected areas, poaching of toothfish, and evidence for climate change, most Australian political angst is focussed on the so-called scientific whaling program of the Japanese government. Why is this so?

The 1961 Antarctic Treaty, and the subsequent instruments and bodies of law that have developed from it, provide the framework for peace and stability in that huge, virtually unoccupied, region to the south of Australia, and proximal to, the Australian continent. The Treaty establishes that all the area south of 60 degrees South shall be used for peaceful purposes only; prohibits the establishment of military bases; the conduct of military manoeuvres and the testing of weapons; and bans nuclear explosions and the disposal of radioactive material. The Antarctic Treaty System has provided geopolitical stability to this region for over 55 years – a stability that has shaped the way Australia sees its own security, and the way Australia sets its defence posture.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:Antarctica, Southern Ocean, Australia
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Human geography
Research Field:Political geography
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:International relations
Objective Field:Defence and security policy
UTAS Author:Press, AJ (Dr Tony Press)
ID Code:147562
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Australian Antarctic Program Partnership
Deposited On:2021-11-08
Last Modified:2021-12-06

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