Sydney - Despite the current global appetite for minerals, which has underpinned two decades of economic growth in Australia, the country currently has no plans to allow any mining in Antarctica, a lawmaker said on Friday.
“One of the great achievements for the Labor government was to be able to preserve the Antarctic for future generations,” member of Parliament Tony Burke told reporters after an award ceremony in Sydney.
“Anyone that wanted to challenge there being a pristine environment in the Antarctic would find a very strong opponent in Australia,” he added.
Australia has a claim to 42 percent of Antarctica.
In 1989, Bob Hawke, then Prime Minister of Australia, led the international push to reject mining in Antarctica in favour of keeping the fragile continent as a natural reserve.