Australia’s geoheritage is a core and integral part of Australia’s natural heritage, which sustains and influences the nature and occurrence of important flora and fauna (e.g. Crofts et al. 2015). Geoheritage provides a long-term record of the evolution of Earth and its landscapes, as well as geological and Earth surface processes. Geoheritage comprises significant geological, geomorphological, pedogenic (soil-related), palaeontological and hydrological features, including objects (e.g. mineral or rock specimens), features, sites, landforms, serial sites, landscapes and systems.

Australia’s geoheritage is considered separately from natural heritage in this report because it has specific values that need to be recognised and protected, and often requires different management approaches to flora and fauna conservation.

The study of recent landforms and associated deposits can provide important knowledge to assist with predicting future climate and climate change impact (cited in Worboys 2012:3):

The only record of the history of our planet lies in the rocks beneath our feet: rocks and the landscape are the memory of the Earth. Here, and only here, is it possible to trace the processes, changes and upheavals which have formed our planet over thousands of millions of years: the more recent part of this record, of course, includes the evolution of life, including man. The record preserved in the rocks and landscape is unique, and much of it is surprisingly fragile.

Geoheritage helps define Australia, regions and local areas through its iconic landscapes, landforms and particular landscape features, which can be valued for their aesthetic quality. Australia’s geoheritage also has significance in its own right (i.e. existence value). Geoheritage can be of economic importance, especially through tourism.

Geoheritage also has cultural value where it provides an important sense of place and connection. The Australian landscape and many of its individual features are of great significance to Indigenous Australians, as part of creation stories and integral to interactions with Country. Songlines, aquifers, groundwater and several other systems that enact and retain multi-layered Indigenous scientific and cultural knowledge of Country, passed from ancestors to future generations, rely largely on the integrity of geoheritage features in the cultural landscape. These features act as markers and embodiments of dreamings and creator beings, and as physical embodiments of cultural knowledge, resources custodianship and law (see case study: ‘Marnpi story’, creation story of the bronzewing pigeon – an example of co-existing Indigenous–geoheritage values).

Unfortunately, the overall outlook for geoheritage is poor, and the current lack of protection for geoheritage nationally is unlikely to improve without a specific focus on, and resourcing for, this area of heritage.

There has also been insufficient investigation of the Indigenous perspectives of geoheritage to date. There are exceptions, including nationally recognised sites and landscapes of known geoheritage and Indigenous significance, such as Uluṟu, Chambers Pillar, Bungle Bungle Range and Wilpena Pound. The inclusion of Indigenous perspectives in geoheritage needs development because of the importance of geoheritage to Indigenous communities and their heritage. There is also significant potential to increase Indigenous participation in strengthening and supporting the management of geoheritage through respect and recognition of deep-time knowledge of Country held in Indigenous communities.

Case Study ‘Marnpi story’ (creation story) of the bronzewing pigeon – an example of co-existing Indigenous–geoheritage values

Barkandji Elder Uncle Badger Bates

Marnpi dreaming, bronzewing pigeon, 1994, a linocut artwork by Uncle Badger Bates, depicts the creation story (‘Marnpi story’) of the bronzewing pigeon (Phaps chalcoptera). The artwork shows the 3 hills known as the Pinnacles on Barkandji (Wilyakali dialect) Country near Broken Hill, New South Wales, where the pigeon is said to have landed (Figure 8). This is a major story that travels across Country, incorporating many different language groups to link them all together.

A flock of bronzewing pigeons flew across Adnyamathanha Country from Murnpeowie (pigeon water) to Barrata, in the Flinders Ranges. A man attempted to catch the pigeons with a net, but one escaped. He threw a boomerang at the pigeon and wounded it, but it flew towards Broken Hill. As it circled around, its blood, kuna (excrement) and feathers fell to the ground and formed the rocks and minerals; the blood formed the Broken Hill gossan or weathered ore body, the kuna formed the quartz outcrops, and the feathers the other rocks that correspond with the colours found in the feather of the bronzewing pigeon.

Finally, the pigeon flew north from Broken Hill and died at a place known today as Mount Brown near Milparinka, where gold was ‘discovered’ in the 1880s. Its spirit went on and up into Mount Isa, Queensland, also known for its minerals.

It is understood by Barkandji peoples that the wounded pigeon formed the distinctive rocks and minerals as it travelled. The ancient story of the bronzewing pigeon and its flight across the Country is mirrored in the western discovery of rich silver, lead, zinc and gold deposits. The Marnpi story attests Indigenous knowledge of Country and of these rocks and mineral deposits long before western science ‘discovered’ them and began mining.

Figure 08 Marnpi dreaming, bronzewing pigeon, 1994

Source: Uncle Badger Bates, Barkandji Elder

Types and condition of geoheritage

Well-known examples of Australia’s geoheritage are:

  • the distinctive and unique landforms at Uluu–Kata Tjuta
  • K’gari/Fraser Island, which is the world’s largest sand island
  • the globally important mammal fossil sites in Riversleigh and Naracoorte Caves National Park, both on the World Heritage List
  • Jenolan Caves in the Blue Mountains.

These are well known because they are distinctive landscapes, but other equally significant geoheritage includes:

  • meteor impact sites such as Kandimalal/Wolfe Creek crater in Western Australia
  • volcanic features such as the Glasshouse Mountains, Queensland, and the Tasmanian Seamounts
  • coastal and marine landforms and sediments such as the Shark Bay stromatolites and the 26-million-year-old Cape Range fossil coral reefs, part of the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area.

As an extremely old, relatively stable land mass, Australia has a wealth of very old geological and geomorphological features rarely preserved elsewhere. These include (Grey et al. 2010, Worboys 2012, AHC 2017):

  • the 4.4-billion-year-old Jack Hills (Erawondoo Hill) zircon deposit in Western Australia, included on the National Heritage List
  • Earth’s earliest visible traces of life in the form of 3.5-billion-year-old fossils in the Pilbara
  • the rare Devonian reef sequences of the west Kimberley region, recognised through National Heritage listing
  • the extensive, well-preserved pre-last glacial maximum glacial deposits in Tasmania
  • the World Heritage–listed Willandra Lakes paleo-lake system in New South Wales.

Geoheritage can reflect Australia’s particular geological nature, evolution and environment. For example:

  • Tasmania’s dolerite is a legacy of its former connection to Antarctica as part of Gondwana
  • Australia’s Permian glacial sediments provide evidence of continental drift
  • warm environment marine fossils in the Vestfold Hills, Antarctica, and rare polar dinosaur fossils in the Otway Ranges, Victoria, are evidence of past environmental change.

Geoheritage also occurs at local and smaller scales. It can include representative examples of local rock, landform or soil types; structural or compositional features; or specific Earth science processes. Geoheritage may also occur in the form of specimens held in private collections, public collecting institutions such as museums, or research institutions such as universities or government geoscience departments. These small-scale features and objects may be significant because they are rare or exemplary, or have historical importance.

Except for a small number of specific sites, the condition of Australia’s geoheritage is poorly known because condition monitoring or other evaluation is undertaken at very few places. Where evaluation does occur, it is not widely reported.

Case Study A-tents in Kosciuszko National Park – small-scale, rare and highly vulnerable geoheritage

Sources: Spate et al. (2018) and J Brush, pers. comm., 23 April 2021.

Cooleman Plain, Kosciuszko National Park (an important component of the Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves National Heritage place), has an extensive suite of small-scale karst landform features known as A-tents (Figure 9), which are regarded as significant national heritage.

A-tents are a relatively rare form of surface rock exfoliation feature that results from compression stress release when the compressing force is removed relatively quickly (in geological terms). For many overseas examples, the compression stress release is normally in the form of removing overlying rocks or ice.

Australian A-tents occur in slightly to relatively heavily metamorphosed – hence, coarse-grained – limestone, which is different to the normal context overseas. They have not formed due to deglaciation, but are thought to form once the limestones are exposed, allowing unloading to happen, possibly triggered by the sun’s heat. There are only 3 known localities of A-tents in Australia:

  • Cooleman Plain, with more than 30 identified features
  • Chillagoe, Queensland, with 3 A-tents
  • Wombeyan, New South Wales, with 1 A-tent.

At Cooleman Plain, 102 ‘pop-up’-type structures have been recorded, of which 33 are classic A-tent features, with the rest being blisters, raised arches, separated caps or slabs. The Cooleman Plain A-tents and blisters are small, varying in scale from tens of centimetres to about 2 metres. These karst microstructures are fragile and are at risk from natural weathering and impacts from humans and animals.

In recent years, feral horses have been damaging the A-tents at Cooleman Plain (Spate et al. 2018). There are an estimated 14,380 feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park, with few management controls in place. Kosciuszko National Park was created largely to prevent damage to the alpine environment from introduced animal grazing, and sheep and cattle have been removed from the park because of the damage they cause to the natural environment. The A-tents continue to be at risk, as are many other aspects of the karst such as the spring-fed bogs.

Figure 09 A-tents, Cooleman Plain, Kosciuszko National Park

Photo: Regina Roach

Recognition and protection of geoheritage

While most types of heritage are specifically protected by various legislation, policy and strategies, geoheritage is afforded very limited protection (Dixon 1996, Brocx & Semeniuk 2007, Worboys 2012, Cresswell 2018). Geoheritage conservation in Australia can be considered to be still in its development stage, with the statutory processes that incorporate the conservation of sites of geoheritage significance still in their infancy (Brocx & Semeniuk 2007:54).

The desirability of, and need for, protection of significant geological and geomorphological features and landscape-scale systems have been recognised since the 1970s (Cresswell 2018). Part of the issue appears to be that geoheritage has tended to be viewed as simply an integral part of the natural landscape and ecosystems. Although many of Australia’s iconic geoheritage places are recognised through their inclusion on the World Heritage or National Heritage lists (Brocx & Semeniuk 2007, AHC 2017), most geoheritage features and broader landscapes are unrecognised and unprotected.

Addressing this requires that geodiversity and geoheritage are ‘accorded a level of importance equivalent to biodiversity as part of an ecosystem approach that recognises the value and integrity of both abiotic and biotic processes in nature conservation’ (Crofts et al. 2015:3). Developing an effective framework for geoheritage protection will require new protective legislation, developing a classification scheme for the comprehensive recognition of geoheritage, and inventorying Australia’s geoheritage.

As of 2021, 15 of Australia’s 20 World Heritage sites include identified geoheritage values. There are 16 National Heritage places (14% of places) listed primarily for their geoheritage values. Several National Heritage places with geoheritage values are also protected areas, including the Tasmanian Seamounts, 2 reefs in the Timor Sea, and various islands. The Commonwealth Heritage List includes 33 places with identified natural heritage values, many of which are geoheritage sites or have geoheritage values.

Identification and classification of geoheritage

No consistent geoheritage statutory inventory or lists are maintained in any jurisdiction (Worboys 2012, Cresswell 2018, Brocx & Semeniuk 2019b, Brocx & Semeniuk 2019a). Significant work has been done in the past 30 years to provide a robust foundation on which to develop an effective geoheritage identification system leading to systematic geoheritage conservation in Australia. Further effort is required to gain consensus on classificatory systems to guide the identification of places and areas of geoheritage for listing on registers or inclusion in protected areas (e.g. Sharples 1993, Joyce 1995, Kiernan 1996, Dixon et al. 1997, Kiernan 1997, Sharples 2002, Brocx & Semeniuk 2009). Guidance could also be drawn from relevant international studies (e.g. Dingwall et al. (2005).

Whatever classification approach is used, it needs to be clear, logical, objective and systematic (Crofts et al. 2015), and apply nationally at all levels (i.e. from international assessments to local inventories). This is essential to ensure that geoheritage is identified, protected and assessed comprehensively (Sharples 2002, Crofts et al. 2015).

Overall, and compared with other countries, Australia has done a significant amount of nationwide geoheritage inventorying (Dixon 1996, Crofts et al. 2015), such as:

In some cases, state-based geoheritage inventories have been developed from this and other geoheritage data.

However, the data are not based on systematic surveying and inventorying, so there are geographic and thematic gaps (Dixon 1996, Brocx & Semeniuk 2007, Cresswell 2018). The work has also been strongly biased towards geological sites; few geomorphological or pedogenic sites are included (Dixon 1996). Marine geoheritage is also a key gap.

In addition, many assessments are volunteer generated (e.g. by members of the Geological Society of Australia and, to a lesser extent, the Australasian Cave and Karst Management Association and state-based groups such as the Tasmanian Geoconservation Database Reference Group). Private landowners have also played a role – for example, in the establishment of the geological province reserve in the Mount Painter area, Arkaroola region, South Australia (Brocx & Semeniuk 2007). This means that identification and assessment may not be consistent across areas or in methodology.

Geoheritage protection

There is no specific legislative protection for geoheritage at any level of government in Australia. Statutory protection for geoheritage is currently provided through recognition and protection within protected areas at the national and state and territory levels. Where geoheritage is afforded protection as part of a protected area, it may be the primary value – as is the case with Undara Volcanic National Park, Queensland, and Hallett Cove, South Australia (Brocx & Semeniuk 2007) – or may be a small or non-key aspect of the protected area.

Some protections are offered through statutory lists and local government planning schemes, although this is rare apart from the World Heritage, National Heritage or Commonwealth Heritage lists (where geoscience is considered as part of natural heritage). Geoheritage can be included on the Australian Capital Territory, South Australian and New South Wales state heritage registers, also largely as natural heritage. In the Australian Capital Territory, geoheritage can only be recognised as ‘natural heritage’. In New South Wales, geoheritage can only be included where it is at risk and other protective mechanisms have failed (Dixon 1996). Other state heritage registers focus on historic heritage; geoheritage is not a priority for inclusion and has not been systematically identified. Some states have a separate geoheritage database, but these do not provide statutory protection (e.g. the Geological Survey of Western Australia’s geological heritage database and the Tasmanian Geoconservation Database managed by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment).

Tasmania is regarded as leading the way in geoheritage conservation in Australia (Brocx & Semeniuk 2007, Worboys 2012, Cresswell 2018). Although it does not have direct, explicit, general legislative protections for geoheritage, the Natural Heritage Strategy for Tasmania (2013–2030) explicitly recognises the need to integrate geoheritage values into resource management and planning systems. Tasmania is also the only jurisdiction in Australia with a conservation agency with a dedicated Earth science section concerned with geoheritage conservation, and it maintains a statewide geoconservation database, which provides some protective status in relation to planning and development (McConnell, A, pers obsv, and Sharples et al. (2018) cited by Cresswell 2018). Furthermore, the forest industry in Tasmania has included geoheritage protection in industry standards and other statutory guidance since the late 1980s. The industry has supported research to systematically identify and assess geoheritage in wood production forests, including assessing impacts from forest harvesting.

Geoheritage can also be recognised by its designation as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Global Geopark. These are geographical areas that have international geoheritage significance. However, geoheritage protection is only one of the management objectives, and Global Geopark status alone does not provide statutory protection. Australia currently has no Global Geoparks (UNESCO 2021) (see case study: Geoparks).

Case Study Geoparks

As well as site-based interpretation and appreciation of geoheritage, larger, landscape-scale opportunities exist. One globally recognised mechanism for this is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Global Geoparks. These are single geographical areas (usually small regions) with international geological significance, which are managed holistically for geoheritage protection, education and sustainable development. They may be based on community-led, voluntary initiatives or on top-down designation (Crofts et al. 2015, UNESCO 2021).

Crofts et al. (2015) regarded geoparks as providing ‘an international framework to conserve and enhance the value of the Earth’s heritage, its landscapes and geological formation’, but noted that they have limitations for geoconservation in that are not systematically identified and classified as a comprehensive global network.

There are 161 geoparks in 4 countries around the world, but there are currently none in Australia (UNESCO 2021). Australia’s previous geopark – Kanawinka Geopark, South Australia and Western Victoria – was deregistered in 2012 (Joyce 2010).

There has, however, been recent interest in proposing the Murchison region in Western Australia (Hayes 2018) and the economic mineral zone of western Tasmania as geoparks (A. McConnell, pers obsv).

Raising awareness of geoheritage

Raising awareness and involvement of geoheritage and geoconservation through geoheritage promotion, education and interpretation is a key part of geoconservation (Crofts et al. 2015, Brocx & Semeniuk 2019b). Creating a wider appreciation of geoheritage and geoconservation is particularly important given the lack of understanding of geoheritage compared with natural heritage and biodiversity conservation.

Interest in geodiversity and geo-based tourism is not new, as is evident in the longstanding tourism interest in caves, mountains and spectacular landscape features. What appears to be needed is a more educational approach that conveys the stories and values of geoheritage sites or areas.

The Brachina Gorge Geological Trail – promoted as a ‘corridor through time’ – in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia, is a good example of an educational approach to communication (developed by the South Australian Department of Mines and Energy, and the National Parks and Wildlife Service). Another good example is the series of regional geological publications by the Geological Society of Australia’s Queensland branch.

Pressures on, and management of, geoheritage

Geoheritage experiences many of the same pressures as natural heritage, but the lack of specific protection for geoheritage in Australian legislation compounds the effects of these pressures.

Pressures on geoheritage

The main threats to geoheritage are resource extraction, land and infrastructure development, unsustainable land management, climate change impacts including bushfires, and inadequate management and protections. Pressures and threats to geoheritage also occur in the marine environment. These include bottom fishing, aggregate extraction, oil and gas installations, renewable energy installations, cables and pipelines, navigational dredging, waste disposal and military activity (Crofts et al. 2015). The inadequate recognition of geoheritage as valuable heritage is an additional significant pressure.

The increasing intensity and frequency of specific and cumulative pressures will increase the risk to geoheritage. Little is being done to assess these impacts, or mitigate them, including through risk preparedness. This is particularly problematic given that geoheritage is nonrenewable and much is unique. In general, impacts cannot be repaired or remediated, although there are exceptions, such as small-scale active process features (e.g. river gravel bars Crofts et al. 2015) and some drowned or buried geoheritage (e.g. see case study: Lake Pedder – opportunities for restoration).

Significant damage to, and losses of, key sites have occurred in the past and are ongoing (Gray 2013, cited in Crofts et al. 2015). Relict landscapes are generally the most vulnerable. Karst (soluble rock such as limestone) landscapes are also highly vulnerable (Gillieson 2021). Larger-scale geoheritage features are generally less vulnerable to a particular threat than smaller-scale geoheritage (Crofts et al. 2015).

The main impacts on geoheritage observed in the past 5 years include (see also Pressures):

  • climate change
    • - changed cave hydrodynamics due to changed rainfall in the Margaret River area in Western Australia (A Spate, pers. comm., 14 September 2020)
    • - increased frequency and intensity of bushfire, which in 2019–20 in the Blue Mountains burned the Jenolan Caves area, a highly significant karst area (Yencken 2019), resulting in changed karst system conditions (see case study: Managing extreme event impacts on the Jenolan Caves)
    • - sea temperature warming and marine heatwaves – for example, the massive coral bleaching and reef decay of the Great Barrier Reef, and stromatolite damage at Shark Bay, both World Heritage properties
  • collecting
    • zircon collecting at National Heritage–listed Erawandoo Hill in Jack Hills
    • souveniring and sampling at the Ediacaran Golden Spike site, part of the Brachina Gorge Geological Trail in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges (Lewis 2020), which was included on the World Heritage Tentative List in 2021.
  • invasive species

Because impacts on geoheritage are rarely monitored or assessed, it is difficult to assess the extent to which various pressures are currently affecting geoheritage. Expert opinion (McConnell 2021a) suggests that the key pressures are governance related – in particular, a lack of statutory protection and resources for protection and management – and multiple industry pressures (Figure 10).

Figure 10 Pressures that are are considered to have the greatest impact on geoheritage
Case Study Managing extreme event impacts on the Jenolan Caves

Based on information provided by Dr Kevin Kiernan, formerly University of Tasmania

The Jenolan Caves are part of the Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve, which comprises more than 40 kilometres of surveyed underground passages. The Jenolan Caves have been developed into one of Australia’s most celebrated tourism attractions. The reserve also protects important biological, Indigenous and historic heritage; and research, educational, recreational and water catchment values. First reserved in 1866, pre-dating the declaration of the world’s first national park at Yellowstone in 1872, Jenolan is now on the National Heritage List and the New South Wales State Heritage Register. It is one of 8 areas included in the Greater Blue Mountains Area World Heritage Site. The caves hold significant meaning for the Gundungurra people, who call them binoomea, meaning ‘dark places’.

Managing karst areas can pose particular challenges. The dissolution of limestone that produces karst caves, and re-deposition of the carbonate within them to form stalactites and other speleothems, depend heavily on natural geochemical processes within the overlying soil. Safeguarding soils from degradation is therefore of particular concern when managing karst areas. This is especially true given that only small volumes of eroded sediment may be enough to block underground drainage channels. This can degrade caves, as well as displace water onto the surface above the caves and cause further erosion.

Potential large and intense fires and erosion were identified as significant risks in the late 1980s. This led to recommendations for careful, localised hazard reduction burning of key areas (Dunkley et al. 1988, Kiernan 1989, Stanton et al. 1992). Fire hazard mapping in 1989 estimated that 70% of the reserve had a high fire hazard, but a fire management plan was not developed until 2009.

In 2009, new research (ANU 2009) highlighted the potential for more variable and extreme rainfall events and wildfire due to climate change to cause significant detriment to the karst and caves. This required reconsideration of fire management planning for the reserve. Although general guidelines for managing fire on karst were developed in 2012 (OEH 2012), it was not until 2019 that a new management plan for the Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve accorded high priority to updating and implementing the reserve fire management strategy (OEH 2019).

However, no risk management plan has been developed for the area, meaning that firefighters had no advice on key issues and protective approaches when south-eastern Australia experienced major bushfires in January 2020. These fires razed most of the Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve, although the historic Caves House was saved. This event was followed almost immediately by torrential rain in February 2020 (see Figure 11), which triggered massive flooding, soil erosion landslips and sedimentation that closed the access roads to the reserve and caused sedimentation in the cave system. The implications of this sedimentation, together with the ongoing instability set in train by the extreme events of 2020, are yet to be assessed.

This highlights the importance of reserve risk management planning where there are significant identified risks to the natural environment. Without such planning, the environmental and heritage costs that can accrue cannot be overestimated.

Figure 11 Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve after the extreme events of 2020

Photo: Ian Brown, New South Wales

Management of geoheritage

It is difficult to assess the adequacy of management of geoheritage in Australia because of the variable way it is recognised, protected and managed. Expert opinion has identified the limited recognition of, and protection for, geoheritage at all levels as the key management issue (see Geoheritage protection). Inadequate geoheritage identification, inadequate resourcing and leadership, and inadequate promotion of geoheritage (education and presentation) have been identified as other key geoheritage issues (Figure 12).

In Australia, heritage management plans for geoheritage places are limited and – although most protected areas have management plans – geoheritage values are often not well understood or clearly identified, except where geoheritage is the core value. Crofts et al. (2015) noted that ‘for local planning purposes, including management of large protected areas such as national parks, recognition of geoheritage values will be important even if they do not appear on national lists or meet normal criteria as standalone protected areas’.

A strategic approach to geoheritage management has also been advocated. Worboys (2012) argued for a National Geoheritage Conservation Strategy to be developed as a parallel to the National Biodiversity Strategy 2010–2030 to ‘provide guidance for priority geoheritage management and for funding investments’, and also to inform Australia’s Strategy for the National Reserve System. Cresswell (2018) and Crofts et al. (2015) also promoted the need for integrated, strategic approaches to geoheritage protection.

A key element of any heritage management is monitoring and evaluation. ‘The national geoheritage list should include an assessment of the condition of the geoheritage at the time of listing; it should have the capacity to assess any trend in condition from time to time and should account for its vulnerability to disturbance’ (Worboys 2012:6). However, there appears to be very little monitoring and evaluation of geoheritage being undertaken at present (or historically), possibly except for karst sites.

Figure 12 Priority management actions identified to improve the protection of Australia’s geoheritage


Resourcing for heritage, including geoheritage, is regarded as inadequate for routine heritage management. Geoheritage requires additional resourcing to provide an equivalent level of management to other types of heritage.

Other resourcing issues identified for geoheritage are:

  • The slowness in translating important existing geoheritage research data and recommendations into geoheritage protection by listing or including sites in protected areas of appropriate status – for example, assessment of the World Heritage significance of geoheritage of the Nullarbor (Davey 1992) and the Australian arid zone geoheritage review (Wakelin-King & White 2011). This may be a national heritage management resourcing issue, rather than a specific issue for geoheritage.
  • A lack of expert staff to undertake geoheritage management and protection. Few experts are employed in geoconservation, except in Tasmania, where the government employs a small number of geoscientists in conservation and forestry. Although site managers are employed at geoheritage cave sites, they are generally not geoscientists (Worboys 2012). It is important to use specialist expertise for geoheritage management, particularly in the identification and assessment of geoheritage (Crofts et al. 2015), but opportunities for acquiring this expertise in Australia are limited to a single unit of conservation geomorphology at the University of Tasmania.