AusGeo News June 2011 Issue No. 102
Geoscience Australia has recently been reviewed by the Department of Finance and Deregulation and the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (DRET). The Review found the agency to be a valuable whole-of-government capability that provided relevant and timely geoscience information to service the government's needs, and that there was no overlap or duplication between Geoscience Australia's work and other providers of geoscience information and research. The Review recognised the need for a sustainable funding base for Geoscience Australia and has recommended that Geoscience Australia and DRET bring forward a funding proposal for consideration in the context of the 2012–13 Budget. The full review report can be found at: www.finance.gov.au/publications/strategic-reviews/geoscience.html
The 2011 release of Offshore Acreage exploration areas for petroleum exploration was announced by the Minister for Resources and Energy, the Hon. Martin Ferguson AM MP, on 11 April 2011. This release is the largest since 2000 and our article includes details of the 29 release areas located in Commonwealth waters off the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. Underexplored regions are represented by areas in the Money Shoal, outer Browse, Roebuck, Northern Carnarvon, Southern Carnarvon and North Perth basins. There are smaller gazettal blocks in the producing hydrocarbon provinces of the Northern Carnarvon, Otway and Gippsland basins. Areas in the Caswell Sub-basin and on the Ashmore Platform are also close to known oil and gas discoveries.
The Broken Hill Block and the Eastern Succession of the Mount Isa Inlier are two of the most highly mineralised provinces in Australia. They are also among the most highly mineralised Proterozoic provinces in the world. Similarities in their geological histories have led many researchers to infer that they were contiguous during much of the Proterozoic. An article in this issue discusses the relative position and orientation of the provinces during this period using potential field datasets, including gravity and aeromagnetic datasets.
This issue also includes a report on Geoscience Australia's contribution to the emergency response and relief and recovery efforts following the flood emergencies across eastern Australia between November 2010 and early February 2011. This contribution demonstrated the critical role remote sensing services have in emergency management and took the utilisation of satellite imagery to a new level for Australia.
There are also brief updates on the Onshore Energy Security Program which is now focussing on the delivery of data and project outcomes. Phase 1 data from the Frome airborne electromagnetic survey has now been released. The survey, which covers about 10 per cent of South Australia's total area, was flown between May and November 2010. Analysis of the survey data from the Georgina—Arunta seismic survey, in the Northern Territory, has revealed major new geological structures which will assist energy and mineral resource exploration in the region.
As always we welcome your feedback and encourage you to use the email address at the end of each article.
Dr Chris Pigram
CEO Geoscience Australia