Government geoscience data and analysis supports $76b of added value to the economy: report

The work of Geoscience Australia and state and territory geological surveys is key to Australia’s drive to become a global renewable energy superpower, according to a new report by Deloitte Access Economics.

Based on surveys of industry use of precompetitive geoscience data, as well as analysis over the last three years, the report found this information had supported around $76 billion of added value to the Australian economy and around 80,000 full time equivalent jobs in 2021-22 alone.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King said that with up to 80 per cent of the country under explored, the Australian Government was in a unique position to help facilitate the discovery of materials essential for the global clean energy transition.

“Our government knows that the path to net zero runs through the resources industry. That is why providing the sector with the tools they need to make exploration and discovery as easy as possible is essential,” Minister King said.

“Locating the minerals the world needs right now to produce clean energy technologies such as wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicle batteries has never been more urgent.

"Given the odds of making a successful discovery during exploration are estimated to be around 1 in 1,000, providing better information through government funding for new data and analysis allows us to improve those odds and reduce ecological disturbances through better targeted exploration.

“Precompetitive geoscience data and analysis has supported projects that have generated close to $3.7 billion in royalty payments for the year 2021-22 and 3.5 per cent of Australia’s GDP.

“That economic impact has been felt right across the country.”

The added value to the Australian economy by state and territory (in 2021-22):

  • Western Australia: $40.2 billion 
  • Queensland: $19.3 billion
  • Northern Territory: $5.5 billion 
  • Victoria: $4.0 billion 
  • South Australia $3.6 billion 
  • New South Wales: $3.2 billion
  • Tasmania: $0.2 billion

Minister King said Geoscience Australia’s Exploring for the Future (EFTF) program was the Australian Government’s shining light of precompetitive geoscience data and analysis.

“The Exploring for the Future program is Australia’s largest investment in precompetitive geoscience data and analysis and uses a wide range of methods to map Australia's mineral, energy, and groundwater resource potential, revealing exciting opportunities to make new discoveries,” Minister King said.

“Since 2017, precompetitive geoscience has resulted in the uptake of 825 new tenements across Australia by 110 companies.” 

Minister King said this report was evidence that the Australian Government’s approach to investing in precompetitive geoscience and analysis was paying dividends.

“The numbers are in, and it is clear – the work of Geoscience Australia through Exploring for the Future and other similar initiatives by states and territories, is having a direct, positive impact,” Minister King said.

Download the full report here.