The Federal Government has announced that it will be investing a further $125 million in an exploration-stimulation program that will expand its reach to cover the whole of Australia.
The Government’s investment adds to the $100 million previously spent on Geoscience Australia’s Exploring for the Future (EFTF) program which uses a series of geoscientific techniques to map the geological structures. The retrieved data creates a better understanding of Australia’s mineral, energy and groundwater systems and helps to realise Australia’s economic potential.
Over the past four years, the EFTF has worked across northern Australia to deliver data about the region’s mineral, energy and water resource potential to industry, government and communities.
“We are confident of the long term impacts of the existing program, with independent analysis of the first half the program, indicating it could deliver just over $2.5 billion in economic benefits and jobs in northern Australia,” he said.
“The existing program has already demonstrated significant success unlocking Australia’s resource potential in the north that extending it just made sense. This will give industry, investors and the broader community a consistent, nation-wide picture of our natural resource potential.”
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, said that expanding the program will deliver immediate and long-term benefits to multiple sectors, including resources and agriculture.
“This program will help deliver the next round of investment and job creation,” he said.
Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Chief Executive, Andrew McConville, said the extension of the program would help exploration companies continue to play a critical role in the identification and development of new energy resources.
“Successful exploration can deliver revenue for governments, jobs for workers and long-term energy security for Australia,” Mr McConville said.
“The challenging conditions facing the industry, both globally and in Australia, mean it is more important than ever to ensure the policy and regulatory framework facing the oil and gas industry in Australia remains competitive and encourages further exploration and development activity.”
“Capturing future growth and investment opportunities, and leveraging investments to support future industry service sector growth, is rightly a key component in helping Australia recover from the economic impact of COVID-19,” he said.