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06 Sep 2018

Warrnambool’s New Geoscience Centre Now Open

Staff in front of the new GSV centre.

Staff in front of the new GSV centre.

Victoria’s Lead Scientist, Dr Amanda Caples, today officially opened the Geological Survey of Victoria’s new South West Regional office.

Based at Deakin University’s Warrnambool campus, the new office is staffed by a growing team of twelve, eight of whom are geoscientists.

The office’s prime task is to complete geoscientific and environmental studies for the Victorian Gas Program, which is assessing the potential for new discoveries of onshore conventional gas and offshore gas.

The Victorian Gas Program is also evaluating the many depleted onshore gasfields around Port Campbell to understand if Victoria’s underground gas storage capacity could be expanded.

Through the program’s community engagement team, now based at the new office, around 200 meetings have taken place with a wide range of local groups to ensure the activities being delivered are understood. Representatives of these groups attended the office opening.

The new office includes a dedicated theatrette, where geoscientists can show 3D geological models of the Otway Basin. The 3D models are a great tool in helping communities and geoscientists understand more about the unique geological characteristics of the region.

An airborne gravity survey is currently flying over south west Victoria as part of the Victorian Gas Program’s geoscientific studies into the potential for new gas discoveries.

Depending on weather conditions, the planes are flying seven days a week during daylight hours mapping nearly 16,000 square kilometres over the council areas of Colac Otway, Corangamite, Moyne, Warrnambool, Southern Grampians and Glenelg and up to 18 kilometres offshore.

Extracting gas via fracking is banned in Victoria and there is a moratorium on new onshore conventional gas exploration and development until mid-2020. 

Quotes attributed to Victoria’s Lead Scientist, Dr Amanda Caples

“It is wonderful to see scientific employment opportunities being created in regional Victoria.”

“The main focus of the Victorian Gas Program is the Otway Basin and it makes sense to establish a team in Warrnambool to be part of the community.”

Quotes attributed to Deakin University Warrnambool Campus Director, Alistair McCosh

“We’re delighted to have the Geological Survey of Victoria on the Warrnambool campus, we’re looking at what collaborations and knowledge exchanges can be developed.”

“We welcome partnerships with industry and government to help broaden the use of this facility.”

Contact: Lewis Hill

Phone: 03 8392 6735