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Hunt warns public will pay cost of Antarctic rescue

The dramatic rescue of scientists, tourists and British journalists from an icebound Russian research ship in Antarctica has cost taxpayers $30,000 a day, the Australian government says.

Environment minister Greg Hunt has also questioned the rescue mission’s impact on the Australian Antarctic Division’s budget and summer research schedule.

Hunt told national media that airlifting the 52 passengers from the stranded Akademik Shokalskiy to the government-chartered icebreaker, Aurora Australis, would cost taxpayers around $400,000, but could go higher.

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