The Australian Government has pledged an additional $125 million of funding as part of the Exploring for the Future (EFTF) fund, which is set to boost the oil and gas exploration sector.
The fund, which is led by Geoscience Australia, is dedicated to exploring Australia’s resource potential and enhancing investment.
Exploring for the Future was launched in 2016 with $100.5 million in funding, with the program initially focused on northern Australia.
The Minster for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt, said the funding will be over four years and is set to expand the program to cover exploration across the whole of Australia.
The EFTF program uses a series of cutting-edge geoscientific techniques to map the geological structures at unprecedented scale and detail.
This freely available information creates a better understanding of our mineral, energy and groundwater systems and allows explorers to realise Australia’s economic potential.
“The Australian Government is focused on creating new jobs to help Australia recover from impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Pitt said.
“Our resources sector has been the standout performer over the last few months, continuing to operate safely during these unprecedented times. This program will help deliver the next round of investment and job creation in our world-leading resources sector.
“Over the past four years, EFTF has worked across northern Australia to deliver world-leading data about the region’s mineral, energy and water resource potential to industry, government and communities.”
Pitt said the government was confident of the long-term impacts of the exisiting program, with independent analysis of the first half program finding it could deliver over $2.5 billion in economic benefits.
In addition, Geoscience Australia chief executive James Johnson said he looked forward to continuing fundamental support for the resources sector.
“As the nation’s pre-eminent Earth science organisation, Geoscience Australia integrates the most advanced geoscientific methods and data to build an ever-improving understanding of our mineral, energy and groundwater resources for the benefit of all Australians,” Johnson said.
“During the first phase of Exploring for the Future, we built on that understanding by releasing 200 datasets through a new online portal and developing innovative tools to help explorers assess the economic viability of a resource and make their next big investment decision. We can now develop this as a national resource.”