Dr James Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, Geoscience Australia
We support evidence-based decisions through information, advice and services for a strong economy, resilient society and sustainable environment.
Australia’s mineral and energy resources are a major contributor to the nation’s wealth, economically and socially; annual export earnings will exceed $270b in 2018–19. Understanding Australia’s available resources is a prerequisite for formulating sound policies on resources and land access.
Australia has a significant advantage in the production of resource commodities over other nations. This advantage stems from the rich and diverse mineral and energy endowment, the high quality regional-scale geoscience information that lowers the risks of exploration, advanced exploration, mining and processing technologies, a skilled workforce, generally favourable physical environments, relatively stable economic conditions, enabling and robust legislative framework and low sovereign risk.
Geoscience Australia supports the responsible development of a diverse resources sector in Australia’s low-carbon economy.
The impact of disasters on Australia’s economy, environment and society can be significant and includes loss of life, loss of property and infrastructure, disruption to business and disruption to our livelihoods. Our cities and regional centres, and their supporting infrastructure, are expanding as populations grow. This increases our exposure and vulnerability to hazards. The forecast cost of disasters is expected to increase with our growing population and valuable assets, expanding into areas vulnerable to hazards and a changing climate.
To be better prepared, and to make informed decisions to reduce disaster risk, Australia depends on availability of hazard, vulnerability and exposure information.
Geoscience Australia provides disaster risk information to help Australians understand the consequences of hazard events, which contributes to more resilient communities now and in the future.
Australia is the driest inhabited continent, which makes water use and management a key challenge. In many parts of Australia, groundwater underpins agriculture, the environment, minerals and energy resource development, and the wellbeing of regional communities.
We need to better understand groundwater in order to properly manage it. Understanding the connection between groundwater and surface water systems, and reducing the impact of development on groundwater supply and quality are critical to our water security and regional development.
Geoscience Australia supports the fair sharing of Australia’s water resources for a strong economy, resilient society and sustainable environment. We aspire to identify the location, quantity and quality of Australia’s groundwater resources to support sustainable water management.
Australia’s marine jurisdiction is about double the size of Australia’s land mass and 4 per cent of the world’s oceans. With increasing global demand for energy, food and security, activity within our marine jurisdiction is becoming increasingly important to our economy. Effective and efficient management of this precious environment relies on baseline mapping, understanding of marine resources and assets, and the ability to measure change over time.
Australia has a vast and rich landscape. Geographic data provides the nation with a complex view of the country’s landscape through time.
Geoscience data and information are a significant national resource with enduring value for the Australian community. Knowing when and where events and activities occur is essential for government, industry, researchers, and the community to make decisions and improve economic, environmental and social outcomes for Australia.
Geoscientific data and physical collections have enduring value. It is essential that these data and collections are collected correctly, and can be easily understood and accessed by everyone. Data are acquired from platforms including satellites, observatories and laboratory instruments. Data and samples can be integrated to build models of our continent, our Antarctic and island territories and surrounding oceans.
Geoscience Australia delivers world-class, trusted data and platforms and expertise to support high-impact geoscience, transparent evidence-based decisions and social licence to operate.
Our strategy aligns with and supports global and domestic initiatives.
We are committed to building an organisation that aligns to national science objectives and delivers better outcomes for government, industry and the community.
To achieve the targets we must focus on making Geoscience Australia the strongest, most resilient organisation it can be. We will do this through focusing on science excellence, making the most of our data, ensuring we have supportive stakeholders and by enhancing our inclusive and positive organisational culture.
1 Resources and Energy Quarterly, March 2019.
2 Based on historic production and current resources in known producing areas.
4 Ernst & Young (EY), SBAS Test-bed Demonstrator Trial, Economic Benefits Report, 2019.
5 ACIL Allen. The Value of Earth Observations from Space to Australia, 2015.