The federal government must reveal whether a $50 million commitment to redevelop a scientific research base on Macquarie Island will not result in cuts elsewhere, Tasmanian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson says.
The federal government’s scientific funding announcement has been welcomed by all sides of government.
The injection is a reversal of last month’s decision to cut funding to the base next year.
Senator Whish-Wilson said the reversal had been a result of a long campaign to protect the science sector.
He said it was a relief amid cuts to CSIRO and IMAS.
“This has been one episode in a series of shocks to the scientific community,” Senator Whish-Wilson said.
“We need to know if these funds are new or if they were pinched from somewhere else.”
Senator Whish-Wilson said he would question the funding allocation during Senate estimates next week.
Premier Will Hodgman said the decision reversal was demonstration the federal government had listened to his calls to stop further cuts to science.
“We made really strong representations to the Federal Government about it's impact and there's a new minister who's come in and has sat and listened and recognised our case is valid,” Mr Hodgman said.
“We have wonderful Tasmanian businesses that leverage off our work in the Antarctic and the Southern Oceans and with respect to Macquarie Island this will consolidate that.”
Federal Environment minister Josh Frydenberg said the funding would be provided in addition $2.2 billion the Coalition has already committed to an Australian Antarctic Action Plan.
He said the research base would be redeveloped to become one of the most advanced facilities in the Southern Ocean.
“The continued year-round presence on Macquarie Island means integral international weather data will be maintained and that our ongoing global contribution to monitoring radioactive and nuclear activity will continue,” Mr Frydenberg said.
“The new modern station will be significantly more efficient than the existing station and be designed to have minimal environmental impact, lower operating and maintenance costs.”
Tasmanian Labor spokeswoman Rebecca White said she had concerns about the sudden decision reversal.
“It is very strange that the government's gone from a position where they were looking to shut it down for half of the year, to now investing $50 million,” Ms White said.
“While we welcome the announcement, we wonder what they're going to say tomorrow sometimes.”