June 2006

16 June 2006

Explore Australia’s marine environment without getting your feet wet

An innovative spatial mapping program that explores Australia's vast marine environment and resources is now easily accessed online.

Launching the Australian Marine Spatial Information System (AMSIS), the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Resources, the Hon Bob Baldwin MP, said the new web-based mapping tool would assist in the understanding, management and exploration of Australia's marine world.

Screen image of Cape York Penninsula showing marine data from AMSIS.

"This innovative spatial mapping tool integrates Australia's marine interests and knowledge into one resource that is easily accessible. The program has a number of specialised features which you can use to map and explore Australia's marine environment without leaving your home or office," said Mr Baldwin.

AMSIS is an easy to use interactive management tool, encompassing Australia’s marine interests, environment and uses. The online program delivers over 80 layers of interactive information which the user can choose from to create personalised maps to either answer specific questions or to gain a holistic understanding of Australia's marine attributes.

Geoscience Australia and numerous Australian Government and private agencies contributed to AMSIS, creating a diverse and comprehensive resource tool. Through AMSIS, users can access a wealth of marine data including jurisdictional boundaries, petroleum leases, shipping tracks, known offshore minerals, Commonwealth fisheries, World heritage listed areas and offshore infrastructure.

AMSIS is one of many projects contributing to the Federal Government initiatives of providing long term sustainability of Australia's marine environment and resources.

16 June 2006

Little known mining treasures now part of nation's heritage

Part of Geoscience Australia’s unique National Mineral Collection and other memorabilia are now the centrepiece of a new exhibition at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.

The ‘Rocks to Riches’ display is a collaborative project between Geoscience Australia and the National Museum to showcase the practical and symbolic significance of mining in the 20th century.

Image showing mineral display at launch of Rocks to Riches, National Museum of Australia in Canberra.

Opening the display, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, the Hon Bob Baldwin MP, said visitors would be able to see rare mineral specimens gathered by geologists or bequeathed by amateur collectors from such famous locations as Broken Hill, Rum Jungle, Kalgoorlie and Harts Range.

"The display is a tribute to the partnership between Geoscience Australia and the National Museum and will pave the way for many more collaborative ventures between both organisations and others to showcase the National Mineral Collection, which until now has been one of Australia's little known treasures," said Mr Baldwin.

The display also includes the more practical side of mining such as an Oertling gradiometer used for the Imperial Geophysical Experimental Survey of 1928-29, a microscope used by the office of the Commonwealth palaeontologist in the 1920s and 1930s, an airleg drill used underground at Mt Isa and a giant tyre from a water truck at Queensland's Oakey Creek coal mine.

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