Australia nationals: Scientific Officer (Hydrogeology)

Government of Australia

Adelaide SA, Australia 🇦🇺

Brisbane QLD, Australia 🇦🇺

Canberra ACT, Australia 🇦🇺

Darwin NT, Australia 🇦🇺

Hobart TAS, Australia 🇦🇺

Melbourne VIC, Australia 🇦🇺

Perth WA, Australia 🇦🇺

Sydney NSW, Australia 🇦🇺

  • Support scientific advice re: potential impacts to water resources
  • Implementing the government’s environmental and water reform agendas
  • Work with a highly professional, multidisciplinary team 

Who we are 
The Office of Water Science sits within the Environmental Water and Aquatic Ecosystems Division which supports the delivery of the government’s statutory and policy functions regarding the management of environmental water, wetlands of international importance, and the assessment of impacts on water resources. The division also provides technical and scientific advice and support to the department, the Executive and the Minister to develop water-related policy and engagement. It includes the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH), the Office of Water Science, and the Wetlands Section which supports the Australian Government in its international engagement on the Convention of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention). 

The Division works to deliver environmental outcomes under the framework of the Water Act 2007, the Basin Plan 2012 and EPBC Act, working closely with other government agencies, non-government organisations, First Nations, community and industry groups, local landholders and scientists. We undertake roles ranging from water planning, portfolio management, science, policy development, statutory reporting, communication, engagement, technical advice and secretariat support.

The Office of Water Science provides scientific and secretariat support to enable the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) to meet its obligations’ under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999) (EPBC Act); to assist with implementing the governments Nature Positive Plan; and to provide scientific support for other water policy, reform or management agendas. The Office of Water Science comprises scientists, policy, engagement and secretariat experts. 

We have several functions including: 

  • Providing scientific, secretariat and engagement support to the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on coal seam gas and large coal mining (IESC).
  • Providing scientific advice on the potential impacts to water resources from a wide range of proposed developments being assessed under the EPBC Act.
  • Providing scientific and policy advice to support key initiatives, such as Nature Positive and Water reform agendas.

The Job
The Office of Water Science is currently looking for people with a scientific background in hydrogeology to join our IESC Scientific Support Team. You will get to apply your scientific knowledge to help improve environmental outcomes. We are looking for skilled individuals who are motivated by scientific integrity and the role of science in sustainably managing water resources and water-dependent environmental assets. You will be working in a diverse group, actively engaging with a range of stakeholders within and outside the Department. 

As a scientist in the IESC Scientific Support Team you will: 

  • Provide scientific support to the IESC, leading experts in their fields, enabling then to provide robust scientific advice on potential impacts to water resources from a range of important projects. 
  • Analyse and interpret scientific data, and provide summaries to audiences with a range of backgrounds that will enable robust decision-making. 
  • Engage with regulators and project proponents, specialised consultants and other government agencies on scientific and technical matters. 
  • Provide support in procuring and project management for projects aimed at improving industry practice, or scientific knowledge for assessing, monitoring and managing impacts to water resources. 
  • When required, undertake scientific review of impact assessments for projects proposed under the EPBC Act to support regulatory decision-making. The type of projects being assessed is diverse and not limited to a specific sector or development type. Examples include mines, windfarms, airports, aquaculture, irrigation or environmental water works and residential or industrial developments.

What we are looking for
Knowledge and experience

  • A degree and experience in a relevant science discipline, preferably relating to hydrogeology, but mining engineering, geochemistry, and groundwater ecology candidates will also be considered. 
  • At least 3 years’ experience working in a role(s) relevant to the position. 
  • Experience in analysing and synthesising scientific material such as environmental impact assessment documentation, technical reports and scientific data. 
  • Experience in either environmental impact assessment, water resource planning and management, or mining/oil and gas sector is desirable but not essential. 
  • Knowledge of scientific best practice standards and guidelines as they relate to hydrogeology and/or hydrology are an advantage. 
  • Knowledge of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and/or familiarity with relevant state legislation would be beneficial but not essential.

Skills and capabilities

  • Demonstrated scientific expertise in one or more of the following, as it relates to water resource or catchment management, environmental impact assessment, management of mining, water resource schemes or plans or other natural resource operations or developments:
    • Conceptual and/or field hydrogeology 
    • Hydrogeological assessments and characterisation
    • Groundwater modelling 
    • Surface-groundwater connectivity 
    • Groundwater-dependent ecosystems. 
  • Strong investigative and analytical skills, and the ability to draw on available evidence to identify issues, develop practical solutions and initiate change when required. 
  • Well-developed communication skills, including the ability to listen and adapt to various audiences; and persuasively convey ideas and concepts in a simple, understandable manner. 
  • Well-developed interpersonal skills, including the ability to collaborate effectively and form positive, productive working relationships with team members and stakeholders. 
  • Demonstrated organisational skills, including being able to work in a dynamic environment, prioritise multiple activities and deliver against short timeframes. 
  • Take personal responsibility for accurate completion of work, and understand and comply with legislative, policy and regulatory frameworks. 
  • Ability to work collaboratively within multi-disciplinary teams and with external partnerships with such as Commonwealth and State regulators, other commonwealth agencies or scientific research organisations.

Desirable qualifications

  • A degree and experience in a relevant science discipline preferably relating to hydrogeology, but mining engineering, geochemistry, and groundwater ecology candidates will also be considered.

Eligibility and other requirements
Citizenship – To be eligible for employment with the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water you must be an Australian citizen.

Security Clearance – This position requires a Baseline Vetting security clearance. You will be required to obtain and maintain a clearance at this level. 

For additional information, please read the Job Description below.

Candidate Information Pack (PDF)

Candidate Information Pack (Docx)

Job Description

How to apply:





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