AusGeo News March 2010 Issue No. 97
The Minister for Resources and Energy and Minister for Tourism, The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP, launched Geoscience Australia’s Geological TimeWalk on 24 November 2009 to commemorate the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his book, On the Origin of Species.
The TimeWalk, established in the grounds of Geoscience Australia’s headquarters in the Canberra suburb of Symonston, has been designed to convey the vast period of time spanning Earth’s 4600 million year history. Information plaques, marking each geological time interval have been spaced along the one kilometre walk, emphasising key events in the formation of Earth including five major mass extinctions.
‘The Geological TimeWalk takes visitors on a unique journey where they can explore the geological, climatic and biological events that have shaped the Earth as we know it today’, the Minister said during the official opening. ‘It provides a physical dimension to help us appreciate the length of time and the complexity of the evolution of planet Earth’.
The TimeWalk has a uniquely Australian perspective and refers to the formation of some of Australia’s iconic landscapes. These include the Warrumbungles in northern New South Wales, the Flinders Ranges in South Australia, and the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland which were all formed during the geologically recent Neogene Period, between 2.5 and 23 million years ago.
The TimeWalk also highlights the extraordinary age of some of our mineral resources. For example, the Hammersley Basin Banded Iron Formations in Western Australia, an important economic source of iron ore, were deposited in the Paleoproterozoic Era approximately 2500 million years ago.
Geoscience Australia plans to complement the TimeWalk with appropriate, significant rock, fossil and plant specimens sourced from around Australia to illustrate the geological history as well as the complexity and diversity of the continent.
A guidebook to be used in conjunction with the Geoscience Australia TimeWalk has also been developed. The guide provides a more detailed account of Australia's geological history and is available on request for TimeWalk visitors or as a free download through the Geoscience Australia website. A downloadable version of the information plaques are also available from the website as well as instructions for creating a TimeWalk.
The TimeWalk will be a focus for promoting awareness of geoscience as part of Geoscience Australia’s education activities and public events programs and a popular drawcard for visitors to the national capital.
For more information phone Fiona Slater on +61 2 6249 9859 (email email@example.com)
The 33rd Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) Annual Meeting and Tradeshow was held at the Peppermill Hotel in Reno, Nevada from 5 to 8 October 2009. This is the largest annual geothermal industry gathering in the world and the 2009 meeting was attended by a record-breaking 1300 registrants. An additional 1000 visitors passed through the tradeshow.
Australia’s high-profile promotion at the Tradeshow was designed to promote the developing industry in Australia and combined industry and government exhibitors using the ‘Team Australia Geothermal’ banner. The exhibitors included six geothermal exploration companies, three government agencies and two industry associations. Whilst this approach was something of a novelty to the American attendees, it proved highly successful with all the participating companies reporting significant responses.
The ‘Team Australia Geothermal’ booth concept and Australiana-themed branding for the displays resulted in the awarding of the ‘Best in Show’ award to ‘Team Australia Geothermal’ by the organisers. This award was particularly pleasing for the Geoscience Australia attendees as the display was designed and prepared by Geoscience Australia staff.
Following the success of the Geothermal Resources Council promotion, ‘Team Australia Geothermal’ will be attending the World Geothermal Congress in Bali, Indonesia in April 2010. This will also provide an opportunity to promote the next World Geothermal Conference to be held in Melbourne in 2015.
For more information phone Anthony Budd on +61 2 6249 9574 (email Anthony.Budd@ga.gov.au)