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

Press, AJ 2018 , 'Australia’s most southern shores: the strategic geography of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean', in S Pearson and JL Holloway and R Thackway (eds.), Advances in Military Geosciences , Springer, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 129-141.

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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 Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Press, AJ
Keywords: Antarctica, Southern Ocean, Australia
Publisher: Springer, Cham
DOI / ID Number: 10.1007/978-3-319-73408-8_9
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 Springer International Publishing AG

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