A FIVE-year agreement between TasPorts and the Australian Antarctic Division is set to guarantee closer ties between the two entities and also ensure Hobart is ready to welcome the ship RSV Nuyina in mid-2021.

TasPorts CEO Anthony Donald said he was pleased both parties had reached this milestone.

“Whilst the Port of Hobart is currently equipped to facilitate the arrival of RSV Nuyina, a joint TasPorts/AAD investment of $3m will see the delivery of minor infrastructure upgrades, including fenders and bollards, to ensure the berth’s suitability for the 160metre vessel,” Mr Donald said.

“During the five-year term, both companies are committed to working together to confirm longer-term arrangements to ensure fit-for-purpose operational and infrastructure requirements are met,” he said.

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Mr Donald said the agreement was an important step in “future proofing” the port of Hobart.

“TasPorts is committed to ensuring the port and its infrastructure actively supports the Tasmanian Antarctic Gateway Strategy, to build Tasmania’s reputation as the gateway to east Antarctica and the Southern Ocean,” he said.

RSV Nuyina is a $1.9bn investment by the Australian government that forms the centrepiece of the Australian Antarctic Strategy.

The RSV Nuyina will link Tasmania with Australian Antarctic settlements. Credit: TasPorts

AAD general Manager, assets and infrastructure, Rob Bryson, said the ship would be the main lifeline to Australia’s Antarctic and sub-Antarctic research stations and the central platform of Antarctic and Southern Ocean scientific research.

“Nuyina has unparalleled scientific, cargo and icebreaking capability to explore one of the last frontiers on Earth,” Mr Bryson said.

“These capabilities will enable and support international scientific collaboration with other Antarctic Treaty nations working in the region.”

Mr Bryson said a berth in the Port of Hobart would provide significant economic opportunities for Tasmanian businesses during the ship’s 30-year life span.

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