There are several excellent reasons for studying the Magellanic Clouds at millimetre wavelengths with a telescope such as the AT Mopra antenna:
• The Magellanic Clouds are the nearest young, gas-rich galaxies to the Galaxy. They are therefore ideal places to study the processes which lead to star formation, and for comparing these processes with Galactic processes.
• The distances of the Clouds are well established at close to 50 kpc for the LMC and 60 kpc for the SMC.
• The Mopra beam at 2·6 mm (CO) corresponds to ~10 pc, which is comparable with the size of molecular clouds and complexes in the LMC and SMC (e.g. Rubio et al. 1993). The Mopra beam is also complementary to that obtainable at low frequencies with the AT Compact Array for continuum and HI studies (e.g. the 750 m configuration at 21 cm will give a resolution of ~12pc).