A new state-of-the-art Australian Antarctic Division cargo and quarantine hub opened on Hobart’s waterfront in April, with the aim of banishing bugs, rats and other ‘alien’ hitch-hikers from boarding ships travelling south.
The federally funded $2.5 million facility is located at the eastern end of the re-developed Macquarie Wharf 2 shed. It has vermin traps, impenetrable walls and automatic shutter doors to reduce the risk of introduced species reaching the fragile Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments. It also has a cold and cool store, fumigation area, briefing rooms, and warehousing space.
In addition to the facility, Tasports spent $7 million redeveloping the Macquarie Wharf 2 building into an Antarctic and cruise ship precinct.
The cruise terminal will provide a spacious and comfortable area for expeditioners and their families to farewell or welcome home their loved ones, as well as providing easier access to Antarctic ships.
The development further cements Tasmania’s status as a dedicated gateway to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.