"Head of State will visit Antarctica.."
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 20 January 2008

.... Head of State will visit Antarctica...

Image

For the first time "the Head of State will visit Antarctica," according to AAP,  The Age and the Daily Telegraph of 17 January, 2008.

 The Governor-General, Major General Michael Jeffery, will make vice-regal history next week when he visits Antarctica.

According to AAP, Major-General Jeffery will use the new intercontinental air service between Hobart and the Antarctic to open the new Wilkins Runway near Casey Station. His Excellency is also expected to thank Australian scientists and other personnel for their contribution to the nation's heritage and scientific research.

...British transferred territories to Australia...

The visit next Tuesday precedes the 75th anniversary - on 7 February 2008 - of the declaration of the Australian Antarctic Territory, which accounts for 42 per cent of the continent.

A portion of the Territory, Victoria Land  was first  claimed by Great  Britain on 9 January 1841.  The  greater part of the territory was discovered and mapped by Sir Douglas Mawson, the Australian explorer, ( pictured) during his 1911-14 and 1929-31 expeditions.

Image

In 1933, a British imperial order transferred all of the British territory south of 60° S and between meridians 160 E and 45 E to Australia.  In 1947, the UK also transferred Heard Island and McDonald Islands to the Australian Antarctic Territory. On 13 February 1954 , Mawson Station was established as the first Australian station on the continent itself.

...Australian sovereignty...

The United Kingdom, New Zealand, France and Norway recognize Australian sovereignty, which Australia believes is only exercised in ways consistent with good relations under the Antarctic Treaty, 1959.  

Accordingly, Australia issues postage stamps for the Australian Antarctic Territory, which  is assigned the country telephonic calling code +672, with area codes for the different bases, Davis, 10-6,  Mawson, 11-7 ,  Casey 12-8 and  Macquarie Island, 13-9.