Further to my discovery and blog post earlier today that DoC is in fact not supporting the Australian Antarctic Expedition ("AAE") - despite being listed as such on the AAE website, the Australian blog "Watts Up With That" reports that the Australasian Antarctic Devision (i.e. a division of the Australian Department of the Environment) has also been caught on the hop as an unknown 'supporter' of the AAE trip to the ice. The Ministry has made an effort to disassociate itself on Australian radio ABC.
Australian Antarctic Division head Tony Fleming says they’ll make efforts to recover the cost of #spiritofmawson rescue
From radio 666 ABC in Canberra, Australia, full audio follows.
Tony Fleming, director of the Australian Antarctic Division tells Louise Maher the AAD wasn’t linked to the Australasian Antarctic Expedition despite an implication by the expedition head that he had an “official stamp of approval”.
The expedition was brought to a halt when its ship became trapped in ice, stranding the 52 tourists and scientists on board.
A Chinese ice-breaker which went to its rescue of the Russian ship also became stuck in the ice. The ship’s passengers were airlifted to an Australian ice breaker Aurora Australis – which is due to reach Hobart in about a fortnight.
Tony Fleming says the AAD will make efforts to recover the cost of the rescue which set back their own missions.
Listen to the audio:
Also, since this morning's post one of our volunteers has pointed out the following on the AAE website:
That would appear inconsistent with what DoC told us yesterday, i.e. that no support was being provided.
So what's going on? Are the Australian scientists or DoC fibbing? Or it is a case of the right hand of DoC not being aware of the left is up to? Is it just a coincidence that the Australian equivalent of the Ministry for the Environment was mistakenly included as a 'supporter' with our own DoC?
I guess we'll have to wait and see.