Enabling an Informed Australia

Environment

Geoscientific data and physical collections have enduring value. It is essential that these data and collections are collected correctly, and can be easily understood and accessed by everyone. Data are acquired from platforms including satellites, observatories and laboratory instruments. Data and samples can be integrated to build models of our continent, our Antarctic and island territories and surrounding oceans.

Our Role

Geoscience Australia delivers world-class, trusted data, platforms and expertise to support high-impact geoscience, transparent evidence-based decisions and social licence to operate.

10 Year Target

  • We will build and operate infrastructure to measure and monitor our environment
  • We will be the authoritative custodian of geoscientific data and physical collections for the benefit of all Australians
  • We will work to ensure all teachers are equipped with knowledge and resources to increase the participation of future generations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
  • We will provide national and international leadership in geoscientific and open source data, resulting in consistent, accessible and useable data across all areas of geoscience
  • We will achieve a ten-fold increase in engagement with stakeholders across Geoscience Australia’s digital platforms.

Work Activities and Capability

Geoscience Promotion, Education and Awareness

The Geoscience Knowledge, Education and Awareness Program works to increase interest, enthusiasm and knowledge about geoscience and its applications. A greater understanding of geoscience and its application to issues of national importance helps ensure geoscience can continue to underpin evidence-based policies and decision-making. A scientifically literate community is critical in advancing science-based government policies and initiatives.

This program brings together Australia’s National Geoscience Library, the National Mineral and Fossil Collection, the Geoscience Education Facility and the organisation’s Client Services function to deliver science education and outreach programs to help build a community that values science and understands its importance to individual and national wellbeing and prosperity.

The Geoscience Knowledge, Education and Awareness Program aims to engage with and educate the Australian community through: access to and use of Geoscience Australia’s Earth science collections; products and services; development and delivery of teaching resources; and development of, and support for STEM initiatives.

Observatories

The Observatories program operates and maintains networks of observatories to acquire and deliver data about the Earth. This information is used to monitor land use, develop agriculture, help discover new mineral and energy resources, ensure our water security and respond to natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunami and bushfires. It also provides essential information about global positioning and navigation systems.

Australia is totally reliant on internationally operated satellites for remote sensing data used by government, industry, research and academic institutions to monitor and understand how our environment is changing over time.

Essential to the program is the ongoing operation of Australia’s primary satellite ground station in Alice Springs. The Alice Springs ground station is critical to the timely acquisition of remote sensing data for Australia, and providing mission support to the Landsat satellite mission, operated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Petroleum Data Repository

The Petroleum Data Repository program is responsible for the stewardship and management of offshore petroleum data and samples for the Australian Government under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (OPGGSA). Through this program, Geoscience Australia is the authoritative custodian of offshore petroleum data and samples for the benefit of all Australians.

It is a requirement under the OPGGSA that petroleum exploration and production companies submit offshore data and petroleum samples to the Australian Government. With over 60 years’ worth of publicly available data and samples available, access to the collection maximises the efficiency and effectiveness of offshore exploration activities by eliminating duplication and de-risking exploration investment. Australia’s system of universally accessible data and information provides us with a competitive advantage in a globally competitive resources sector.

As well as petroleum samples, the Petroleum Data Repository also makes available core, rock, soil and fossil samples of national significance collected from locations across Australia and the Australian Antarctic Territory.

Science Support

The Science Support program provides analytical, technical, engineering and logistics services that underpin Geoscience Australia’s science and work program.

The program provides: geophysical and geochemical datasets demonstrating hydrocarbon prospectivity in offshore acreage release areas; geochemistry and geochronology (rock aging) supporting baseline geological mapping by state and territory geological surveys; maintenance of geophysical observatory networks that support the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning System and Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation, including the maintenance of the Alice Springs ground station satellite antennas.

Enabling Digital Geoscience

The Enabling Digital Geoscience program supports: the curation of trusted, national-scale geoscience datasets that support evidence-based decisions; provides leadership and support to empower geoscientific communities to employ the best methods to maximise the usability and value of their data; and assists in the development of decision-support tools and applications that make our data more accessible and useable by the wider community.

This program oversees the collection, storage, maintenance, useability and accessibility of data from field observations, modelling and instrument platforms including satellites, observatories and laboratories. These geoscientific data and physical collections are of national geological and geographic importance. They have enduring value helping answer geoscientific questions, and providing baseline information to integrate into models of Australia’s territory.

Strategic Priorities and Performance Criteria

Geoscience Australia’s work program impacts six key areas of society. For each area, the environmental context, the role of the organisation, the long-term targets, and the work program activities and capabilities are described.

Geoscience Australia’s performance will be assessed using a number of qualitative and quantitative measures to communicate a comprehensive view of performance that will be presented in the organisation’s annual performance statement. Performance measures will include assessment against key work deliverables, key performance indicators and case studies.

Performance Measures 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022 2022-2023
Geoscience Promotion, Education and Awareness        
Program deliverables        
Undertake activities to promote, educate and create awareness of geoscience and its benefits
Observatories        
Program deliverables        
Deliver an updated version of the Australian / International Geomagnetic Reference Field model      
Deliver Macquarie Island Geomagnetic and Seismic modernisation project      
Achieve Landsat 9 Landsat Ground Network operational readiness      
Deliver geomagnetic and seismic data delivery systems upgrade project    
Operate national network of observatories
Operate Alice Springs satellite ground station
Program key performance indicators        
Data availability from the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty network 98% 98% 98% 98%
Data availability from the seismic network 90% 90% 90% 90%
Data availability from the geomagnetic networks 98% 98% 98% 98%
Alice Springs Observatory scheduled satellite passes acquired 98% 98% 98% 98%
Petroleum Data Repository        
Program deliverables        
Operate the National Offshore Petroleum Information Management System for the discovery and delivery of petroleum data and samples
Program key performance indicators        
Respond to, and initiate workflows for, Repository Client Services requests within seven business days 92% 94% 96% 96%
Initiate workflows for cataloguing and data storage of new Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 submissions within five business days 92% 94% 96% 96%
Science Support        
Program deliverables        
Deliver analytical data to support Geoscience Australia's science activities    
Complete laboratory modernisation project      
Enabling digital geoscience– turning data into decisions        
Program deliverables        
Deliver digital system enhancements to promote national-scale geoscience datasets that are findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR)
Case Study
Geophysical Archive Data Delivery System
The modernisation of fundamental national geophysical data will improve the delivery of evidence-based products and services to our stakeholders.
This case study will demonstrate how the development of the Geophysical Archive Data Delivery System (GADDS) platform within the new Geoscience Australia portal will provide users with a single interface to access our suite of high-quality geophysical data sets with the functionality stakeholders require, with additional data types never delivered in this way before.