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AusGeo News  December 2012  Issue No. 108

Welcome to AusGeo News 108

This issue of AusGeo News features an article on the Australian Government's recent commitment to future funding for Geoscience Australia. Geoscience Australia will receive a funding boost of $34 million in 2013–14 rising to $40 million per year from 2014–15 onwards. The money will enable Geoscience Australia to undertake new pre-competitive data acquisition to attract industry exploration investment and to consolidate its role as the national custodian of important geoscientific databases and information. The funding will also allow continuation of vital national interest activities such as natural hazards assessment, global positioning framework and groundwater assessment to underpin evidence based decision making by government.

Two important recent events for Geoscience Australia were the launch of results from Phase 1 of the National Flood Risk Information Project by the Minister for Resources and Energy, the Hon Martin Ferguson, AM MP and the Minister for Emergency Management, the Hon Nicola Roxon, MP; and the release of the National Earthquake Hazard Map of Australia.

Phase 1 of the National Flood Risk Information Project will see the development of a flood information portal which will provide communities and planners with a better understanding of their exposure to floods, and assist insurers in developing fair and reasonable policies.

Seismologists at Geoscience Australia have developed a series of maps that will provide new information on which areas of Australia are susceptible to earthquakes. Information contained in the National Earthquake Hazard Map of Australia is intended for incorporation into Australia's building code, and will allow engineers and planners to design and locate buildings and infrastructure so as to better protect our communities.

Details of the release of new pre-competitive data collected from the Petrel Sub-basin offshore from the Northern Territory are included in this issue. This data will contribute to Australia's efforts to accelerate the development of Carbon Capture and Storage technology and will enable industry to make more informed decisions regarding the suitability of sites for CO2 storage and encourage industry to potentially uptake this site.

I am pleased to report that a new edition of the national 1:1 million scale Surface Geology of Australia dataset is now available. The 2012 edition updates the previous 2010 data with new or revised mapping in the Northern Territory, northwest Queensland, and Western Australia.

Our article on Australia's coastal zone is an extract from the Geoscience Australia publication Shaping a Nation: A Geology of Australia (Chapter 6) – and takes the reader on a walk along the Australian shore to gain an understanding of coastal processes and how this unique and valuable edge has shaped Australian society.

Finally, I wish to thank all our readers for your continuing support and extend best wishes for the festive season and the New Year.

Dr Chris Pigram

CEO Geoscience Australia

Unless otherwise noted, all Geoscience Australia material on this website is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence.