Our Corporate Plan

2019-20 Corporate Plan

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Chief Executive Officer's foreword

Geoscience Australia is the national public sector geoscience organisation. Our mission 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 enduring data and advice that helps government, industry and the community to address challenges and enhance opportunities facing Australia now and into the future.

This 2019-20 Corporate Plan sets out the key work of the organisation over the next four years and how we’ll measure our success as we progress to realise our purpose.

Statement of preparation

As the accountable authority of Geoscience Australia, I am pleased to present Geoscience Australia's 2019-20 Corporate Plan covering the four-year period to 2022-23, as required under section 35(1)(b) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

Dr James Johnson
Chief Executive Officer
26 August 2019

Strategic Direction


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. It impacts six key areas:

  • Building Australia's resource wealth - to maximise benefits from our mineral and energy resources, now and into the future
  • Supporting 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.

Financial Management

Geoscience Australia is committed to meeting whole-of-government priorities and ensuring the provision of services is as efficient and well-targeted as possible. In this context, Geoscience Australia is improving operational efficiencies, reducing administrative overheads and delivering services within a governance framework that demonstrates the benefits and value of the organisation’s work.

Geoscience Australia’s revenue and expenses for the 2019-20 budget and forward estimates period to 2022-23 are detailed in table below.

GEOSCIENCE AUSTRALIA: Comprehensive income statement
(source: 2019-20 Portfolio Budget Statements)
Forward estimate
Forward estimate
Forward estimate
Employee benefits78,28977,99677,99677,996
Depreciation and amortisation9,33310,18910,87110,409
Other expenses49494949
Total expenses245,018239,091240,318232,529
Sale of goods and rendering of services40,08940,08940,05340,053
Total own-source revenue40,74340,74540,71140,713
Net (cost of)/contribution by services(204,275)(198,346)(199,607)(191,816)
Revenue from Government (Appropriation)192,322186,272187,610181,064
Total comprehensive income/(loss)(11,953)(12,074)(11,997)(10,752)

Geoscience Australia Overview

Geoscience Australia is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity within the Industry, Innovation and Science portfolio.

Stakeholders and Partnerships

Geoscience Australia works in partnership with governments, industry, publicly funded research agencies and academia to provide specialist expertise and information to support the delivery of Australian Government services.

Its collaboration with Australian Government, non-government, and international partner organisations is highly successful, with 91 per cent of stakeholders either satisfied or extremely satisfied with our overall performance.


Geoscience Australia has a highly educated and skilled workforce, spanning a number of specialist areas, including:

  • Geoscientists such as geologists, 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 as 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  http://www.ga.gov.au/about/corporate-documents.

Risk Management

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.