Geoscience Australia needs you to spot Australia's Landslides

21 May 2001

Scientists at the Geoscience Australia want Australians to embrace the spirit of the International Year of Volunteers and become 'landslide spotters.'

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Mr Warren Entsch today announced the establishment of Geoscience Australia's Landslide Spotters Program.

"This is a great opportunity for ordinary Australians to become involved in the work of our national geoscience agency and to learn how geoscience impacts on our everyday lives," Mr Entsch said.

Geoscience Australia's landslide expert, Dr Marion Leiba, has been working on a national landslide database since 1996 and is currently recruiting landslide spotters to help make the database even more comprehensive.

"Because many landslides occur on private property or in remote areas, very few people are aware of them so they are rarely recorded," Mr Entsch said.

"This is where landslide spotters can get involved. Anyone can ring Dr Leiba with the information or send her details such as where the landslide occurred and what damage was caused.

"You don't have to know anything about geohazards or geology to become a landslide spotter—even I could be one," Mr Entsch said.

"We're seeking landslide spotters from all over Australia, be they people living in remote areas or in cities; school kids or adults; holiday-makers or business people and farmers. You can all get involved."

All participants in the landslide spotters program who send in information will receive a certificate as well as regular newsletters about landslides and other geoscience information. Spotters can also see details of the landslide they reported by visiting the Geoscience Australia web site.

Noting that landslides are very difficult to predict, Mr Entsch said that the database would help Geoscience Australia scientists assess the areas where landslides occur and provide risk assessments to local councils.

Topic contact: Last updated: October 4, 2013