Service Charter

Message from the CEO

This Service Charter is a commitment about the service Geoscience Australia will provide when you deal with us. It tells you what we do, the standards we set for service and how you can give us feedback.

The standards in this Charter are consistent with the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct and form the basis of evaluating and reporting on our service. Our performance against these standards and your feedback is reported in the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism Annual Report.

We look forward to your support and encouragement to continuously improve our service.

Dr Chris Pigram
Chief Executive Officer

Who we are

We are Australia's national geoscience research and geospatial information agency. Located within the Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio, Geoscience Australia is directly accountable for its performance to the Minister for Resources and Energy, the Australian Government and, through them, to the Australian community.

What we do

Geoscience Australia produces geoscientific and geospatial information and knowledge to enable the government and the community to make informed decisions about the exploitation of resources, the management of the environment, the safety of critical infrastructure and the resultant well-being of all Australians.

Our agency works in partnership with other Commonwealth agencies and State and Territory governments through coordinating bodies including the Chief Government Geologists Committee and ANZLIC - the Spatial Information Council. It also encompasses the Office of Spatial Data Management (OSDM) which coordinates the implementation of the Australian Government's policy on spatial data access and pricing.

Our activities cover onshore, offshore and spatial information.

  • Onshore activities focus on enhancing mineral exploration and environmental land-use planning. We do this through producing geoscience maps, databases and information systems and by conducting regional geological and mineral systems research. Our activities also contribute to safer communities and critical infrastructure and the maintenance of fundamental gravity, geomagnetic and seismic networks.
  • Offshore activities focus on identifying potential hydrocarbon areas and new prospective basins in Australia's offshore territories. Activities undertaken also include mapping the outer limits of Australia's jurisdiction under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. It also importantly includes studies of the marine environment and estuarine health.
  • Spatial information activities focus on providing key spatial information of Australia with an emphasis on response to rapid and slow onset hazards, the detection of change, the requirements for emergency management, natural risk assessment and marine zone management. Activities undertaken also include coordination of the implementation of the Australian Government's policy on spatial data access and pricing.

Whom we serve

Geoscience Australia's customers and clients include:

How to contact us

Geoscience Australia is open for business on all normal business days from 9am to 5pm Eastern Standard/Summer time except between Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

Contact Us

Hearing or speech impaired

If you use a TTY or a computer with a modem for telephone conversation and want to talk to someone in Geoscience Australia, call the National Relay Service (NRS) on 13 36 77 and quote the number you wish to call. If you are phoning a toll free number (a 1800 number) then the NRS number is 1800 555 677. If you are phoning from outside Australia call +61 3 9963 6948 and quote the number you wish to call. These services are available during normal Geoscience Australia business hours.

Interpreter assistance

If you need an interpreter to assist when you contact us from within Australia, phone the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 13 14 50 for the cost of a local call. TIS is available during normal business hours.

Our standard for products and services

Geoscience Australia provides high quality products and services. The standards for our products and services are on these web pages:

We improve these standards in response to customer needs and feedback.

If you believe a product does not meet our standards, you should advise us and return it within 30 days. If we agree that the product is defective, we will replace it free of charge or provide a full refund or credit note. We will send a replacement to you within two working days of receipt, or contact you to tell you of delivery arrangements.

General correspondence

If you request printed information, reference material, brochures or publications, we will respond within five working days of receiving your request. If the request is more complex we will respond within 14 working days. If we cannot respond within these periods, we inform you of progress. We will provide contact names and phone numbers in all correspondence.

Our customer relationships

Geoscience Australia is bound by the Australian Public Service Values, the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct, the Public Service Act 1999 and the Charter of Public Service in a Culturally Diverse Society.

Our staff will:

  • be honest, ethical and professional
  • be helpful, courteous and considerate
  • act with care and diligence
  • provide consistent, accurate and impartial advice
  • use language that is clear to you
  • respect and protect the confidentiality of your information
  • act promptly and fairly on all complaints or suggestions
  • meet our product and service standards
  • publish our work program
  • explain clearly your rights and responsibilities, and
  • enable you to help us design and improve our products and services by:
    • maintaining user forums
    • conducting market research, and
    • encouraging constructive feedback about our products and services.

Your rights and responsibilities

Under the Geoscience Australia Charter, you have a right to:

  • access our services and information in a manner that meets your needs
  • expect us to meet the standards in this Service Charter
  • lodge complaints
  • seek review and appeal
  • request information under the Freedom of Information Act 1982, and
  • privacy and confidentiality under the Privacy Act 1988.

We expect you to

  • treat us with courtesy
  • be honest and ethical in your dealings with us
  • provide us with clear feedback about our products and services within reasonable timeframes
  • return products that you believe are defective within 30 days
  • abide by any legal requirements
  • advise us of problems when they arise and of changes in your needs, and
  • comply with licence agreements and conditions.

Privacy

If you consider that we have breached your privacy, you can contact the Privacy Contact OfficerRET-FOI@ret.gov.au. You also have the right to contact the Privacy Commissioner.

Freedom of Information (FOI)

Applications for access to Geoscience Australia's documents under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act are required to be in writing and state that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act. Your request should include enough information about the document(s) you wish to access so that we can process your request, and an address or other suitable contact details for reply.

Enquiries about FOI should be directed to RET-FOI@ret.gov.au.

If you have a complaint

If you have a complaint about the services or products that you have received from us, we would like to know about it. We view effective resolution of complaints as a very important part of our commitment to ongoing customer care. We believe that the most effective and quickest way to resolve a complaint and achieve customer satisfaction is to deal with the issue at the point where the service was provided, and so we recommend that you first contact our customer service staff.

To assist us with your complaint we need you to:

  • describe the exact nature of the problem
  • discuss the matter with the person you have been dealing with, and
  • if you make a complaint in person or by phone, follow it up with a signed letter providing as much information as possible.

We will:

  • record your complaint
  • investigate your complaint
  • if we cannot respond within 14 days, acknowledge your complaint in writing as soon as practicable, preferably within 28 days, and
  • attempt to resolve your complaint in consultation with you.

If you are not satisfied with our response you can contact the Geoscience Australia Chief Information Officer.

If you are still not satisfied, you can contact Geoscience Australia's Chief Executive Officer. We will respond to your enquiry within seven working days.

If you do not believe that Geoscience Australia has adequately addressed your concerns you may refer the matter to the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

What we cannot do

The following three areas are not covered by our Service Charter.

1. Government policy

If you wish to comment on Government policy you may contact:

2. Complaints about other agencies or organisations

If Geoscience Australia receives a complaint or compliment more relevant to another agency, it will be referred if the complainant agrees. We will record the correspondence.

3. Allegations of criminal conduct against Geoscience Australia officers

Allegations of criminal conduct against a Geoscience Australia officer in the conduct of his or her duties should be referred to the General Manager, Corporate Branch, Geoscience Australia, or the police.

Monitoring and reporting

We welcome your comments on our success in achieving the standards in this Charter, please email feedback@ga.gov.au.

Geoscience Australia publishes performance against this Charter in the Department's Annual Report which is tabled in Parliament.

Review of our performance

Geoscience Australia will:

  • evaluate our products and services against the standards in this Charter
  • informally review the standards in this Charter at least once a year
  • formally review them every two years
  • include in the Departmental Annual Report, the outcomes of formal and informal review and any adjustments made to the Charter, and
  • publish our forward Work Program on on our website.

Other important contacts

FOI Coordinator
Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism
GPO Box 1564
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6243 7026
Facsimile: +61 2 6243 7037

Commonwealth Ombudsman
GPO Box 442     
Canberra ACT 2601     
Freecall: 1300 362 072     
Ombudsman Website

Privacy Contact Officer
Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism
GPO Box 1564
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6243 7026
Facsimile: +61 2 6243 7037

Federal Privacy Commissioner
Federal Privacy Commissioner
GPO Box 5218
Sydney NSW 2001
Telephone: 1300 363 992
Facsimile: +61 2 9284 9666
Email: privacy@privacy.gov.au