A government review of Geoscience Australia released today has confirmed the value of the agency’s work to the ongoing exploration of Australia’s natural resources.
Geoscience Australia is Australia's national geological surveyor, offering valuable pre-competitive data for explorers. Its products and services inform the government on a wide range of policy challenges in managing Australia’s natural environment.
The Department of Finance and Deregulation looked at the future direction of Geoscience Australia.
The Review recognised the significant value of Geoscience Australia to the nation’s economy. This includes vital functions relating to Earth monitoring, remote satellite sensing, spatial data, ground water and natural disaster warnings and assessments.
Major resources companies operate globally – capital is highly mobile and the work undertaken by Geoscience Australia helps attract that investment to Australia's shores, boosting jobs and exports.
Geoscience Australia is a world leader in its field. The Review found that much of its work amounts to a national prospectus for some of Australia's most lucrative natural resources.
The Review is an important mechanism to ensure that, as with all government funding, value for our public money is achieved..
The Review found Geoscience Australia's activities complement those of other government agencies. It called for more structured policy oversight of some activities, in particular the spatial data functions.
Recent calculations show that Geoscience Australia's work under the Offshore Energy Security Program for the period June 2006 to June 2011 delivered a return on the Government's investment of $75 million of $625 million in committed frontier exploration expenditure in acreage awarded to date, with an additional $1 billion for secondary work programs.
The full report of the Review of Geoscience Australia is available at http://finance.gov.au/publications/strategic-reviews/geoscience.html.