Our Corporate Plan
2021-22 Corporate Plan
Chief Executive Officer's foreword
Geoscience Australia is the national public sector geoscience organisation. Our purpose is to be the trusted source of information on Australia’s geology and geography for government, industry and community decision making. Our work covers the Australian landmass, marine jurisdiction and territories in Antarctica.
Since 1910, geoscience has played an important role in Australia’s prosperity and safety. The nation’s first national topographic mapping program was driven by the need to defend Australia’s people and develop our regional areas. In later years, systematic mapping of the nation’s geology to understand our resource endowment and drive new discoveries has underpinned our successful economy.
We continue to deliver data of enduring value and advice that helps government, industry and the community to address challenges and enhance opportunities facing Australia now and into the future.
This 2021-22 Corporate Plan sets out the work program of the organisation over the next four years, identifying the areas we will impact and how we’ll measure our success. This Corporate Plan is designed to propel us to our ten-year targets outlined in our strategic plan, Strategy 2028. I encourage you to look at this strategy to see our vision for the future.
Statement of preparation
As the accountable authority of Geoscience Australia, I am pleased to present our 2021-22 Corporate Plan covering the four-year period to 2024-25, as required under section 35(1)(b) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.
Dr James Johnson
Chief Executive Officer
25 August 2021
Geoscience Australia is the national public sector geoscience organisation. Our purpose is to be the trusted source of information on Australia’s geology and geography for government, industry and community decision making, and contribute to a safer, more prosperous and well-informed Australia.
Geoscience Australia supports evidence-based decisions through information, advice and services for a strong economy, resilient society and sustainable environment.
Strategic Priorities and Objectives
Geoscience Australia’s work aligns with the Australian Government’s Science and Research Priorities and supports global and domestic initiatives. In achieving our purpose, our work impacts six key areas of national interest and is supported by a seventh impact area focused on the organisation’s support and enabling functions.
- Building Australia’s resource wealth—to maximise benefits from our mineral and energy resources, now and into the future
- Ensuring Australia’s community safety—to strengthen our resilience to the impact of hazards
- Securing Australia’s water resources—to optimise and sustain the use of our water resources
- Managing Australia’s marine jurisdictions—to support sustainable use of our marine environment
- Creating a location-enabled Australia—to use detailed and fundamental geographic location information to develop our nation
- Enabling an informed Australia—to equip government, industry and community with geoscience data and information to make informed decisions for our nation
- Trusted, sustainable and high performance—to support and share our work globally to ensure Geoscience Australia’s value is known, accessible and used.
Strategic Priorities and Performance Criteria
Geoscience Australia’s work program is delivered and supported through seven key impact areas. For each area, information is provided on the environmental context, 10-year targets and how we’ll measure success against our purpose. The impacts of our work are set out in our strategic plan, Strategy 2028.
Geoscience Australia’s performance will be assessed using a number of qualitative and quantitative measures to communicate a comprehensive view of performance that will be presented in the organisation’s annual performance statements.
Geoscience Australia Overview
Geoscience Australia is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity within the Industry, Science, Energy and Resources portfolio. We partner with governments, industry, publicly funded research organisations and academia to provide specialist expertise and information to support the delivery of Australian Government services.
Geoscience Australia has a highly educated and skilled workforce, spanning a number of specialist areas, including:
- Geoscientists such as geologists, geodesists, geophysicists, geochronologists and geochemists
- Spatial professionals such as cartographers, surveyors and remote sensing experts
- Data management professionals
- Educators and science communicators
- ICT specialists including experts in high performance data and computing, mathematics, engineers, graphic designers
- Corporate and management professionals including human resource, finance and communication specialists.
Geoscience Australia has an average staffing level cap of 600. Results of the last Australian Public Service Employee Census provided results of a highly satisfied, motivated, experienced and qualified workforce.
Information Communications Technology
Geoscience Australia’s digital investment will drive and enable high-impact science, leading to more accurate and robust insights, and better decisions about Australia’s resources, land and marine environments, spatial enablement and community safety.
Geoscience Australia’s Digital Strategy 2019 – 2022 is available at https://www.ga.gov.au/about/corporate-documents.
Budget and funding
Geoscience Australia is committed to meeting whole-of-government priorities and ensuring the effective provision of fit-for-purpose products and services. In this context, Geoscience Australia is continually improving operations to deliver improved efficiencies, reducing administrative overheads and providing services within a governance framework that supports organisational objectives.
In 2021–22 Geoscience Australia has a total revenue budget of $315.6 million, an increase of $99.0 million from the estimated actual revenue in 2020–21. This is largely due to an $88.8 million increase in appropriation revenue from Australian Government, comprised of:
- Satellite-Based Augmentation System – increase of $65.4 million
- Exploring for the Future (Phase two) – increase of $17.3 million
- Digital Atlas of Australia – increase of $11.6 million
Own source revenue is expected to increase by $10.2 million during the year. Total expenses for 2021–22 are budgeted at $330.6 million.
Stakeholders and Partnerships
As the key government provider of geoscience data, expertise and analysis, Geoscience Australia is partner to a large number of collaborative, cross-government programs and projects.
We work in partnership with a wide range of Australian Government entities to provide geoscience services and information. Our collaboration with Australian Government, public and international partner organisations is highly successful.
We support emergency managers during natural disasters by supplying satellite imagery and maps. This ensures disaster managers have the most up- to- date information to make essential decisions.
Geoscience Australia is also partnering with the Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO and the Australian Bureau of Statistics under the banner of the Australian Climate Service to reduce the impacts of disasters on our Australia’s community, economy and environment.
With our partners in the Australian Space Agency, the Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO and the Australian Earth observation community we are helping to shape the future of the Australian space sector through our contribution to the Australian Space Agency’s Satellite Earth Observation Technology Roadmap.
We play a significant role within the Asia Pacific region providing information, advice and alerts to the Australian Government, the public and our regional neighbours about earthquakes, tsunami and their associated hazard and risk.
Geoscience Australia does not ‘contract out’ our services or compete in tenders. This positions the organisation to support independent evidence-based policy development across government.
The management of risk within the organisation is in accordance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and the Commonwealth Risk Management Framework and is consistent with AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 Risk management – Principles and guidelines.
Geoscience Australia undertakes periodic risk workshops and reviews on risk management. The effective application of risk management improves decision making and facilitates better outcomes for the Australian Government.
Key entity risk identified through the risk workshops include:
- reputational damage – from inadequate or untimely advice, or lack of innovation to meet evolving stakeholder needs
- Program delivery disruption – from inadequate long term planning and management of resources and infrastructure
- Work health and safety – from an unsafe work environment and or practises.
These risks are being managed under the entity’s reporting and risk management framework that includes the regular monitoring and review of controls and identified mitigating actions.