Geoscience Australia
Strategy 2028
Applying geoscience to Australia's most important challenges
Geoscience Australia
Strategy 2028


Dr James Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, Geoscience Australia

Our Impacts

We support evidence-based decisions through information, advice and services for a strong economy, resilient society and sustainable environment.

Building Australia’s resources wealth to maximise benefits from our mineral and energy resources, now and into the future.

Australia’s mineral and energy resources are a major contributor to the nation’s wealth, economically and socially; annual export earnings will exceed $270b[1] 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.

  1. We will map and understand Australia’s energy resources, reversing Australia’s increasing dependence on oil imports and increase domestic gas supplies.
  2. We will stimulate mineral exploration investment, including critical minerals, to open up new producing provinces with mineral endowment worth over $100b[2].
  3. We will support the establishment of commercial carbon capture and storage and hydrogen industries to ensure Australia meets its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.
  4. We will provide geoscience information to support new mineral and energy exploration technologies, and drive new discoveries.

Supporting Australia’s community safety to strengthen our resilience to the impact of hazards.

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.

  1. We will reduce the impact of disasters for all Australians.
  2. We will provide nationally consistent data, information and advice to enable informed decisions on preparedness and response to the impact of hazards.
  3. We will advance our understanding of Australia’s hazards and vulnerability of the built environment to support mitigation and reduce the cost of disasters.
  4. We will provide ongoing real-time monitoring, analysis and advice on significant earthquakes and potentially tsunamigenic earthquakes to help safeguard Australian and Indian Ocean communities.

Securing Australia’s water resources to optimise and sustain the use of our water resources.

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.

  1. We will deliver a complete map of Australia’s groundwater system with estimated resource volumes.
  2. We will collaborate to deliver a complete understanding of the national surface and groundwater resources.
  3. We will deliver regional assessments of groundwater resources in priority areas.
  4. We will provide data, information and advice on groundwater systems to inform the sustainable management of these resources by government, industry and communities.
  5. We will develop new technologies that support the discovery of new groundwater resources.

Managing Australia’s marine jurisdictions to support sustainable use of our marine environment.

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.

  1. We will map and understand Australia’s seabed to support sustainable management of our marine assets and support rapid growth of Australia’s Blue Economy to $100b[3] per year.
  2. We will deliver coastal landform data to inform management of the coastal zone and build resilience to the impacts of a changing climate.
  3. We will use geoscientific data to define Australia’s maritime boundaries and underpin the legal and regulatory authority for our marine jurisdiction.

Creating a location-enabled Australia to use detailed and fundamental geographic location information to develop the nation.

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.

  1. We will deliver positioning accuracy of 10 cm across Australia, and enable 3 cm accuracy in mobile phone range, adding at least $200m[4] annually to the Australian economy over the next 30 years.
  2. We will deliver a satellite data platform that supports best-practice Government environmental decisions, helps Australian businesses to use satellite data and underpins the contribution of over $5b[5] annually to the Australian economy by the rapidly growing geospatial sector.
  3. We will contribute to environmental forecasting capabilities that support better management of Australia’s natural resources.
  4. We will provide trusted information on Australian geography that is accurate and easy to use, for everyone, everywhere.
  5. We will underpin faster, cheaper and smarter approaches to decision-making and location-based activities through integrating digital mapping, satellite data, and real-time precise positioning.

Enabling an informed Australia to equip government, industry and community with geoscience data and information to make informed decisions for our nation.

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.

  1. We will build and operate infrastructure to measure and monitor our environment.
  2. We will be the authoritative custodian of geoscientific data and physical collections for the benefit of all Australians.
  3. We will work to ensure all teachers are equipped with knowledge and resources to increase the participation of future generations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  4. We will provide national and international leadership in geoscientific and open source data, resulting in consistent, accessible and useable data across all areas of geoscience.
  5. We will achieve a 10-fold increase in engagement with stakeholders across Geoscience Australia’s digital platforms.

Our Contributions

Our strategy aligns with and supports global and domestic initiatives.

Our Commitments

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.

Pursuing science excellence

  • We will maintain thorough knowledge of Earth systems and the science of Australia’s lands and waters.
  • We will collaborate internally and externally to improve the quality of our science.
  • We will provide national and international geoscience leadership.
  • We will provide authoritative and independent advice to government.

Making the most of our data

  • We will invest in developing data management systems and standards to ensure our substantial data and physical collections are available to address geoscience challenges.
  • We will use high performance computing and new digital techniques to solve geoscience problems.
  • We will establish well-documented, repeatable data processing techniques with new methods to help us clearly express uncertainty.
  • We will deliver quality data to a broader cross-section of society through modern data platforms.

Ensuring supportive stakeholders

  • We will maintain a focus on the needs of our stakeholders.
  • We will seek to engage with potential new stakeholders.
  • We will respectfully engage and collaborate with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
  • We will raise the profile of Geoscience Australia with a broader cross-section of society.
  • We will increase our reputation with all stakeholders as an essential and trusted source of geoscientific data and advice for the Australian Government.

Enhancing positive organisational culture

  • We will become a SAGE Silver accredited organisation, committed to advancing the careers of women, trans and gender diverse individuals, including achieving equity in decision-making forums.
  • We will be an employer of choice with a workforce that continues to embrace diversity, and is inclusive and supportive of all individuals.
  • We will encourage staff to be their most creative selves.
  • We will create a secure organisation, committed to protecting staff, property, information and reputation while enabling business.


1 Resources and Energy Quarterly, March 2019.

2 Based on historic production and current resources in known producing areas.

3 National Marine Science Plan 2015–2025 [PDF 4.7MB]. (pg 7).

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.