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Mawson's return: the second BANZARE voyage
Title : Mawson's return: the second BANZARE voyage Mawson's return: the second BANZARE voyage
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Source : Advertiser, 28 March 1931, p. 8, col. d,e
Date of creation : 1931
Format : Newspaper
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
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Description :

The article briefly summarises the second British Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition voyage, which was shorter than anticipated because of coal shortages. However more coastline had been charted and valuable studies of marine and bird life made. The question of territoriality is discussed, and the possible value of minerals reported by previous expeditions.

Mawson had agitated for Australia to claim the Antarctic quadrant to its south since returning from his Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911-1914, in part to protect its fauna from unregulated harvesting and in part to be ready to lay claim to any mineral finds. He was instrumental in establishing Macquarie Island as a wildlife sanctuary in 1933.

By 1927 the Australian government was ready to consider a claim on Antarctic territory and finally in 1929 the British Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition (BANZARE) was formed with Mawson as commander and JK Davis as master of Discovery, Robert Falcon Scott's ship and lent by the British government. Landings to claim territory for Australia were seen as the priority of this expedition, The secondary aim was economic, involving investigations into the whaling and sealing potential of the region. The third aim was scientific, including coastal and hydrographic surveys, meteorology and other science as and when possible. The expedition was ship-based with no intention for other than brief landings where and when possible.

Despite relatively poor results in the first summer the Australian government sent BANZARE south again for a second summer, stirred by the activities of the Norwegians who were engaged in the area whaling but also making territorial claims. Important oceanographical work was done again, and this time Discovery was able to land a party at Commonwealth Bay - Mawson claimed possession of King George V Land, between 142° and 160°E. Coastal charting was done; the expedition's plane enabled valuable sightings of land including Banzare Land, but pack conditions prevented close examination of this and other coastal stretches. Other proclamations of territoriality were made.

In 1933 the Australian Antarctic Acceptance Act was enacted, becoming law in 1936. This established the Australian Antarctic Territory from 45°E around to 160°E with a narrow slice of French territory excepted. Another outcome of BANZARE's oceanographical programme was the demonstration of an undersea land-platform which clearly indicated that Antarctica was a continent rather than composed of a series of islands.

Related names :

British, Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition, (1929-1931)

Coverage year : 1931
Place : Antarctica
Further reading :

Ayres, Philip J Mawson: a life Carlton South, Vic.: Miegunyah Press, 1999

Suzimov, E. M. A life given to the Antarctic: Douglas Mawson--Antarctic explorer Adelaide: Libraries Board of South Australia, 1968

British, Australian, and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition (1929-1931) The winning of Australian Antarctica; Mawson's B.A.N.Z.A.R.E. voyages, 1929-31, based on the Mawson papers. By A. Grenfell Price [Sydney]: Angus and Robertson 1962

Swan, Robert A. Australia in the Antarctic: interest, activity and endeavour Parkville, Vic.: Melbourne University Press, 1961

Bowden, Tim, The silence calling: Australians in Antarctica 1947-97 St. Leonards, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin, 1997

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