Macquarie Island research station to close

The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) announced on September 13 plans to close its permanent research station on the sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island, which has been operating since 1948, and instead use a network of field huts to be used by seasonal staff.

The AAD said an independent engineering investigation had concluded there were increasing occupational health and safety risks, environmental contamination and risks from ocean inundation at the ageing base unless it underwent a major upgrade.

The island, which lies halfway between New Zealand and Antarctica, is home to large colonies of elephant seals, penguins and other sea birds.

The base will be dismantled and removed early next year. Australia will maintain its Antarctic base operations at Mawson, Davis and Casey.

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