11 Waymouth Street, Adelaide
GPO Box 320, Adelaide SA 5000

Contact phone number: 08 8463 3000
Contact email:

ISSN: 2652 7553
Date presented to Minister: 30 September 2021

The Department for Energy and Mining acknowledges Aboriginal people as the First Nations People of South Australia. We recognise and respect the cultural connections as the traditional owners and occupants of the land and waters of South Australia, and that they continue to make a unique and irreplaceable contribution to the state.

Honourable Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP
Minister for Energy and Mining

This annual report will be presented to Parliament to meet the statutory reporting requirements of Public Sector Act 2009 (Part 3, s 12) and the Public Sector Regulations 2010 (Part 2, reg 7) and the requirements of Premier and Cabinet Circular PC013 Annual Reporting requirements.

This report is verified to be accurate for the purposes of annual reporting to the Parliament of South Australia.

Submitted on behalf of the Department for Energy and Mining by:

Dr Paul Heithersay PSM FTSE
Chief Executive

30 September 2021

From the Chief Executive

Paul HeithersayThe Department for Energy and Mining responded with agility to the immense challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic throughout 2020-21 to deliver important projects for the people of South Australia. The department’s work enabled our essential energy and mining sectors to operate safely and seamlessly to perform strongly and deliver essential services.

With the effective COVID-19 pandemic response settings in place, copper miners achieved a record of $3.3 billion in gross sales, new benchmarks were set for renewable energy generation in the state’s electricity mix, and electricity prices fell for households and industry.

The department ensured that both our staff and our stakeholders received regular communications to enable them to effectively respond to changing circumstances to operate safely and engage on policy development

To lower energy costs, the agency adopted energy market reforms and supported early works to enable the timely environmental assessment of Project EnergyConnect to link the South Australian and New South Wales electricity markets. The agency led the delivery of dynamic projects to support a modern energy system including the Home Battery Scheme, Grid Scale Storage Fund to stabilise the National Electricity Market and Australia’s Virtual Power Plant.

The Mineral Resources division transformed consultation on the draft Mining Regulations to a virtual engagement process to successfully introduce the reforms to support the amended Mining Act 1971. The Energy Resources division initiated consultations on amendments to the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000.

Regulators were still able to carry out their important compliance work, and initiated projects to streamline internal assessment processes and migrate processes to online platforms to deliver more effective, efficient and transparent regulation of resources, the energy market sector, and the electrical plumbing and gas-fitting professions.

The agency produced South Australia’s Energy and Mining Strategy, identifying existing and future opportunities to contribute to economic growth to emerge strongly from the pandemic and contribute to the government’s Growth State objectives.

The former Economic and Business Growth Fund has supported programs in areas that will help industry achieve the objectives set out in the Energy and Mining Strategy. Examples include the Accelerated Discovery Initiative, ExploreSA: The Gawler Challenge open-source data competition, CORE Innovation Hub at Lot Fourteen, Hydrogen Export Modelling Tool, Hydrogen Action Plan, and Water and Infrastructure Corridor alignment study to help unlock the mineral potential of the state’s Far North.

The agency is leading the Demand Management Trials Program to provide greater control to consumers over the power they use. The Electric Vehicle Action Plan is accelerating the uptake of electric and hydrogen fuel vehicles and implementation of public charging infrastructure across the state.

Emerging opportunities include the potential for hydrogen production and utilisation at a commercial scale and the transition to 100 per cent net renewable energy by 2030 with greater interconnection with the National Electricity Market. Also significant is the expanding inventory of known commercial mineral systems including critical minerals, especially within the highly prospective Gawler Craton.

In 2020-21 the department adjusted its internal structure and adopted new policies and procedures to deliver the specific priorities set out in the 2018-2021 Strategic Direction statement guided by a high-performance framework that emphasises a diverse and inclusive culture, engagement, collaboration and delivery. Our performance in implementing this framework was reflected in the department’s success in the Premier’s Awards for Excellence. Project Manager Vicki Beard was awarded the Premier’s Award in the public sector values category for her outstanding collaboration on the complex Mintabie Transformation and the Leigh Creek Future Township projects. Director Martin Reid was a finalist in the excellence in service delivery (emergency response) category for his critical role in supporting the energy and mining industries in their COVID-19 responses to business continuity planning to minimise disruptions while keeping people safe. Our pandemic response was carried out from within existing departmental resources while staff members were also mobilised to work within other agencies.

Despite the pandemic’s challenges, the new Carrapateena copper-mine was launched, record copper production was achieved at Olympic Dam and historically high iron ore and zircon prices supported strong export performances. Petroleum producers in the Cooper and Otway basins continued to perform strongly in a difficult global market.

The state’s pandemic-induced challenges are far from over, but the department’s 2020-21 performance has created a solid foundation on which to build a post-COVID-19 future.

Dr Paul Heithersay PSM FTSE
Chief Executive
Department for Energy and Mining


Overview: about the agency

The agency’s performance

Financial performance

Risk management

Reporting required under any other Act or regulation

Public complaints

Appendix: Audited financial statements 2020-21 - refer to page 40 onwards in the PDF version of the Annual Report (PDF, 2.2 MB)

Overview: about the agency

Our strategic focus

Department for Energy and Mining Strategic Directions

Our purpose We exist to deliver affordable, reliable and secure energy supplies in a transitioning national energy market, and to unlock responsibly the value and opportunities offered by South Australia’s mineral and energy resources.
Our vision Our vision is to be the best government agency in Australia.
Our values Our culture is diverse, professional, accountable, respectful and committed to safety. We demonstrate personal and professional leadership and value recognition as leaders in our field. We engage meaningfully so our work builds a successful, sustainable future for all South Australians. We deliver the best outcomes for all South Australians.
Our functions, objectives and deliverables
  • Effective, efficient and transparent regulation
  • Lower energy prices
  • Growth of future industries and jobs
  • Increased resource exports

Our organisational structure

Department for Energy and Mining organisational structure

Changes to the agency

During 2020-21, the agency undertook a targeted restructuring in response to a thorough review of the department’s capacity to deliver against the objectives of its 2018-2021 Strategic Direction. Following extensive consultation with agency staff, the department integrated the former Clean Energy Transition team and the Resources Investment and Infrastructure Task Force to create a new Growth and Low Carbon division. The new division delivers the government’s major energy and industrial projects and low carbon initiatives. It also provides coherent, meaningful, and timely advice in relation to issues of strategic priority for the state. It implements advice through efficient and effective industry and project development by providing a central strategy, policy, projects and communications function.

Our Minister

Minister Dan van Holst PellekaanThe Honourable Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP is the South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining.

Minister van Holst Pellekaan was elected to Parliament as the Member for Stuart in 2010. He was promoted to the Shadow
Cabinet in 2011 and has held the Energy and Mining portfolio since June 2014.
After his re-election at the 2018 State Election, he was sworn in as Minister for Energy and Mining in the Marshall Liberal government.

Minister van Holst Pellekaan was educated at the Maret School in Washington DC and the University of Toronto in Canada. He began his working life as a labourer and construction worker before playing four seasons in the National Basketball League and at the same time gaining a Bachelor of Economics. He then spent 10 years with BP Australia before becoming a shareholder and operator of Outback roadhouses in South Australia for seven years. Immediately before entering Parliament, he spent three years developing cycle tourism in the southern Flinders Ranges.

Minister van Holst Pellekaan’s electorate of Stuart extends from Kapunda at its southern end, north to the Northern Territory border and east to the Queensland and New South Wales borders. It encompasses the Mid North agricultural region, all of the Flinders Ranges, the vast pastoral region of the Far North and the Cooper Basin oil and gas fields.

As Minister for Energy and Mining, he has focused on the government’s commitments to lower energy prices, grow jobs and improve services. South Australia’s Energy and Mining Strategy launched in 2020-21 will enable South Australia to continue to be a global leader in energy storage while lowering electricity prices and further encouraging the sustainable development of the wealth offered by the state’s mineral, energy and extractive resources.

Our Executive team

Dr Paul Heithersay, Chief Executive of the Department for Energy and Mining, joined the South Australian public service in 2002 where he has held several senior executive roles. He was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2012 for his outstanding public service to the growth and development of the mineral resources sector. Before joining the public service, Paul spent more than 20 years in the resources industry in Australia, Southeast Asia and China. In 2013 Paul was awarded the prestigious Legend in Mining award for his role in guiding South Australia’s transformation into a major destination for investment in mineral resources and energy.

Alexandra Blood, Executive Director, Mineral Resources, is responsible for the provision of geoscientific data and information to support investment in mineral exploration, and for the administration and regulation of mining and mineral exploration. Alex's team develops policies to build on the state’s reputation for innovation in exploration, epitomised by the Accelerated Discovery Initiative, the South Australian Resources Information Gateway (SARIG), the South Australia Drill Core Reference Library, Stronger Partners Stronger Futures, ExploreSA: The Gawler Challenge and Core Innovation Hub. In 2012 Alex became the first woman named Environmental Practitioner of the Year by the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand. She is a member of the National Board for environmental professional certification.

Julianne Cirson, Director Corporate Services, leads a multi-disciplinary team that provides high quality advice and delivers business services to support the department achieve its strategic and operational objectives. With a focus on modernising service delivery systems, driving cultural change, building organisational capability, managing resources and corporate governance, the team works in partnership across the department to provide responsive and customer focused services. Julianne has a degree in accounting and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has worked in various South Australian government corporate services leadership roles.

Vince Duffy, Executive Director, Energy and Technical Regulation, heads a team at the forefront of leading and developing responses to the many challenges faced by the state during the ongoing transition in the national energy market. Vince's team is also home to the Office of the Technical Regulator, which plays an essential role in maintaining safety in the electrical, plumbing and gas industries. Vince holds a Bachelor of Economics and has vast experience in energy market programs.

Barry Goldstein, Executive Director, Energy Resources, is focused on the development of leading practice regulation, the direction of research and investment attraction for petroleum and geothermal energy, and greenhouse gas storage. Before joining the public service, Barry had more than 30 years international experience in the energy business. He is a recipient of an Order of Australia Public Service Medal, a Lewis G Weeks medal for outstanding contribution to petroleum exploration and is a Hall of Fame inductee of the Australian Institute of Energy – South Australia.

Nick Smith, Executive Director, Growth and Low Carbon, is responsible for major project development and delivery and the development of low carbon industries, providing opportunities to new and existing suppliers and supporting the creation of new and sustainable jobs in the state. The division also provides communication, marketing and government relations capability across the department. Key initiatives include the Steel Task Force, transformations of Port Pirie, Mintabie and Leigh Creek, Home Battery Scheme, Grid Scale Storage Fund, South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant, Renewable Technology Fund and development of the Hydrogen and Electric Vehicle Action Plans. Nick is the Vice President of the International Association for Hydrogen Safety and a member of the Future Fuels Cooperative Research Centre’s Research Advisory Committee. Before joining government in 2014, Nick held senior commercial and operational roles predominantly across the LPG and construction materials industries. Nick holds a master’s degree in Business Administration, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Energy.

Legislation administered by the agency

Australian Energy Market Commission Establishment Act 2004

Broken Hill Proprietary Company’s Indenture Act 1937

Cooper Basin (Ratification) Act 1975

Electricity Act 1996

Electricity Trust of South Australia (Torrens Island Power Station) Act 1962

Energy Products (Safety and Efficiency) Act 2000

Gas Act 1997

Mines and Works Inspection Act 1920

Mining Act 1971

National Electricity (South Australia) Act 1996

National Energy Retail Law (South Australia) Act 2011

National Gas (South Australia) Act 2008

Natural Gas Authority Act 1967

Offshore Minerals Act 2000

Opal Mining Act 1995

Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982

Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000

Port Pirie Smelting Facility (Lead-In-Air Concentrations) Act 2013

Roxby Downs Indenture Ratification Act 1982

Stony Point (Liquids Project) Ratification Act 1981

Whyalla Steelworks Act 1958

The agency's performance

Performance at a glance

The Department for Energy and Mining completed South Australia’s Energy and Mining Strategy to set out the objectives and priorities for the sectors in supporting the South Australian Government’s Growth State – Our Plan for Prosperity. Growth State identified energy and mining as one of nine priority economic sectors that would need to expand to enable the economy to accelerate its annual growth rate to three per cent. The strategy highlighted existing initiatives such as the Accelerated Discovery Initiative, Explore SA: The Gawler Challenge, Roundtable for Oil and Gas Projects, Home Battery Scheme, Grid Scale Storage Fund and greater interconnection with the National Electricity Market. It also identified further opportunities for growth through trade and investment, infrastructure, land, water and the environment, and skills and innovation. The Energy and Mining Strategy targets nationally competitive energy supplies before 2025 and internationally competitive energy supplies by 2030. The strategy also targets annual exploration expenditure of $300 million by 2025 and annual growth in exports by the energy and mining sectors from $8 billion by 2025 and $13 billion by 2030. Achieving these objectives are forecast to deliver an additional 39 per cent to annual state exports of goods and an additional 0.55 percentage points to the broader Growth State goal of achieving a sustainable three per cent state economic growth rate by 2030. To ensure transparency against these targets, an online dashboard and reporting system is being designed to show progress towards implementing the strategic objectives. The department has also undertaken a strategic restructuring to reflect its commitment to achieving the targets set out in the strategy and the 2022-2025 Strategic Directions will also align with the strategy and Growth State priorities.

Agency response to COVID-19

The Department for Energy and Mining was well prepared to manage the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, relying on the SA Health pandemic response strategy that was specifically prepared well in advance of the COVID-19 outbreak. The department’s infection containment response was continuously reviewed to remain consistent with updated government advice and policy and directions published by the state coordinator. The energy and mining sectors were identified as key industries whose continued operation was essential for the ongoing economic activity of the state. The department supported businesses across the energy and mining supply chain to continue operations as far as practical in the current circumstances. Mineral exploration licence fees and annual petroleum and geothermal licence fees were deferred for six months until 31 December 2020. In recognition of the restricted access to tenements during the initial statewide lockdown, a 12-month waiver of committed expenditure was provided for all mineral exploration licence holders as well as an expansion of allowable expenditures towards minimum petroleum retention licence requirements. The department liaised directly with its energy and mining stakeholders to understand their business continuity plans to avoid and minimise any disruption to the delivery of essential infrastructure and services to the South Australian community. In keeping with public health advice about social distancing and restrictions on public gatherings, the department moved swiftly to initiate electronic means of engagement within the agency and with our external stakeholders, and channels of communication have been kept open through direct email updates and regularly updated web content. Members of the agency were mobilised as part of the public sector’s pandemic response, receiving training to allow them to support SA Health, SAPOL and the Department of Treasury and Finance in providing contact tracing, State Emergency Call Centre service, and border and grant application processing.

Agency contribution to whole of government objectives

Key objective Agency's contribution
More jobs Developed an Energy and Mining Strategy to identify existing and future opportunities to grow jobs and business activity in the energy and mining sectors in line with Growth State – Our Plan for Prosperity.
Lower costs Adopted energy market reforms to support greater grid interconnection through Project EnergyConnect and implemented storage projects such as the Home Battery Scheme, South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant and Grid Scale Storage Fund to facilitate a cleaner, safer, more secure, reliable and competitive energy network.
Better services Initiated projects to streamline internal assessment processes and migrate applications to online platforms to deliver more effective, efficient and transparent regulation of the mineral resources, extractive materials, energy resources, energy market sector, and the electrical, plumbing and gas-fitting professions.

Agency-specific objectives and performance

Agency objective:
Deliver more effective, efficient and transparent regulation of the mineral resources, energy resources, energy market sectors and the electrical, plumbing and gas-fitting professions.
Indicators Performance
Continue to transition to digital online regulation and compliance to support business through streamlined government processes. Successful introduction from 1 January 2021 of updated Mining Regulations to support the amended Mining Act.

Began next delivery phase of improvements through implementation of lean processes to reduce red tape across the agency including recommendations from the Mineral Tenements Review process.

Initiated consultation on proposed amendments to the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act and transitioned energy resources online information to a new web platform. Initiated a Digital Restart

Program to progress modernisation of the department’s IT infrastructure and performance.
Oversee effective regulation and compliance of the electrical, plumbing and gas-fitting professions. Expanded the Office of the Technical Regulator (OTR) electronic certificate of compliance system to integrate audit activities, creating an integrated system to assist with targeting audits to high risk areas. Developed a dashboard to help visualise data across the state to enable trends to be identified. These online systems will be further enhanced to improve effectiveness and efficiency of regulatory activity.
Provide proactive, responsive and leading resources and energy policy. Continued as lead legislator to implement national reforms of the energy market as a contributor to the National Cabinet process.

Developed an Energy and Mining Strategy to identify initiatives to support industry to accelerate economic activity.

Assisted in the development of a $1.08 billion Energy and Emissions Reduction Agreement between South Australia and the Australian Government to support the pursuit of initiatives that create additional dispatchable generation to help deliver affordable and reliable power, unlock gas supplies to help prevent shortfalls in the market, kick-start works on a new interconnector between South Australia and New South Wales, and invest in key emissions reduction projects.
Ensure effective royalty collection to support the Royalties for Regions program. Collected $323 million in royalty revenues across the mineral, petroleum and extractive industries, with 30 per cent directed toward the Royalties for Regions program to support infrastructure construction and maintenance in regional and remote areas of South Australia.
Provide one window to government co-regulation. Maintained effective working relationships with co-regulators including the Australian Government (Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment; Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources) and state government (Environment Protection Authority SA; Department for Environment and Water; SafeWork SA).
Agency objective:
Enable access to lower energy costs for businesses and households by facilitating a clean, secure, reliable, safe and more competitive energy network.
Continue to support the early delivery of projects to enable high voltage interconnection between South Australia and New South Wales as part of the National Electricity Market. Continued to support South Australia’s ElectraNet and New South Wales’ TransGrid to progress early works for the delivery of Project EnergyConnect.
Empower consumers through expanded demand management options and better integration of distributed energy resources. Funded 11 private sector projects aimed at advancing the use of demand response and distributed energy resources through the Demand Management Trials Program.
Support National Electricity Market reforms to aid in an orderly and cost-effective transition to a low emissions economy.

Developed South Australia’s Energy Solution to secure the state’s transition to affordable renewable energy in response to power system modelling commissioned from the Australian Energy Market Operator into emerging trends in the grid.

Demand Response Mechanism Rule change, initiated by South Australia, implemented by Australian Energy Market Commission.

Develop and implement initiatives to accelerate the uptake of grid-scale and residential energy storage technologies.

Continued to implement the Home Battery Scheme, supporting the installation of home battery systems on thousands of South Australian households through state government subsidies and Clean Energy Finance Corporation low interest loans.

Allocated $10 million from the Grid Scale Storage Fund to support South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant through installation of home energy systems – each comprising a solar photovoltaic, Tesla Powerwall battery and a smart meter.

Provided $15 million from the Grid Scale Storage Fund to expand the Hornsdale Power Reserve by 50 megawatts (65 megawatt-hours) for the provision of additional system security benefits to the grid.

Facilitate the development across the supply chain of the emerging hydrogen energy industry in South Australia.

Published a hydrogen export study and developed an online modelling tool and prospectus to inform the establishment of an international-scale clean hydrogen export value chain. The export study examined locations for hydrogen production and export, volume of supply, the needs of potential hydrogen supply chain infrastructure and the costs associated with developing a commercial-scale hydrogen export industry within South Australia. Findings are outlined in the prospectus and underpin the design of the tool.

The tool has given South Australia an advantageous market position, with South Australia being the only Australian jurisdiction, and sub-national government in the world, to have a memorandum of understanding with the Port of Rotterdam Authority to study the feasibility of exporting green hydrogen made in South Australia to Europe’s largest port.

The Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Regulations 2013 were amended to declare hydrogen, hydrogen compounds and by-products from hydrogen production regulated substances under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act. Companies are now able to apply to explore for natural hydrogen, and the transmission of hydrogen or compounds of hydrogen are now permissible under the pipeline licencing provisions of the Act.

Guide the transition toward clean energy efficient transport fleets.

Developed an Electric Vehicle Action Plan to bring forward the adoption of electric vehicles to replace polluting fuels with local, clean power to provide future generations with cleaner air, an improved urban environment and further comprehensive action on climate change while reducing electricity costs for all consumers.

Facilitate a stable and reliable transformation of the energy market. Participated in the development of the post 2025 advice on a long-term, fit-for-purpose market framework to support reliability.

Continued to implement the Remote Area Energy Supply scheme’s future sustainability project. Included the construction of the 3 megawatts renewable plant addition at Umuwa powerhouse despite constraints on access to Aboriginal communities due to COVID-19.
Agency objective:
Responsibly increase South Australian exports by growing mineral, energy and renewable resources production.
Deliver and promote exploration and precompetitive geoscience initiatives to attract investment in new mineral and energy resources discovery.

Continued to implement the Accelerated Discovery Initiative to award a second round of grants to applicants in the second of three years of funding. Continued the second phase of the ExploreSA: The Gawler Challenge, to harness the information retrieved through the global open data competition. Continued to support the MinEx Cooperative Research Centre and the National Drilling Initiative through the Geological Survey of South Australia to support greenfield discoveries of minerals, especially in the Delamerian region of South Australia.

Develop and market acreage releases in the Cooper-Eromanga and Otway basins to attract new investment in petroleum exploration. Oversaw the implementation of five-year work programs guaranteed through the competitive allocations of petroleum tenements in the Cooper and Otway basins.
Support the continued development of South Australia’s copper, magnetite, and critical minerals resources.

Continued cross-agency management of mining and processing operations at the Olympic Dam, Prominent Hill and Carrapateena copper-gold projects and worked with GFG and its South Australian business units toward the efficient operation of iron ore and steel production in Whyalla and the Middleback Range.

Continued to work with the Australian Government Critical Minerals Facilitation Office to align the state’s efforts to develop resources such as copper, graphite, cobalt and zinc.

Agency objective:
Grow future industries and jobs by fostering the expansion of value chain industries and professions that support the mineral, energy and renewable resources sectors. 
Support state significant economic transformations.

Oversaw the establishment of an independent review of the Targeted Lead Abatement Program to reduce lead exposure in Port Pirie following the commissioning of the redeveloped smelter facility.
Continued to work with the Australian Government to liaise with GFG on its site-wide continuous improvement program of the Whyalla Steelworks to improve performance through increased efficiency and value realisation and to transform the operations into a state-of-the-art green steel manufacturing facility.

Achieved the transition of the former Mintabie township in South Australia’s Far North from government control to the landowners, the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara.

Commenced implementation of the Leigh Creek Future Town Plan to transform the former coal mining town into a thriving regional service centre and tourist hub through a four-year, $43.6 million investment.

Connect South Australian innovators with the resources and energy sector to support the growth of the mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector and small businesses. Partnered with CORE Innovation Hub to set up offices at Lot Fourteen and Tonsley Innovation Precinct to bring together innovators, METS companies, start-ups, scale-ups and researchers to support innovation and new data and technology skills acquisition with the energy and resources industries.
Attract South Australia’s most talented minds towards careers in mining and petroleum through support for skills development.

Partnered with the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy to offer 20 annual scholarships to the value of $10,000 a year for two years to the Playford Memorial Trust for students enrolling in mining and petroleum engineering degrees at the University of Adelaide.

Enhance opportunities for local and Aboriginal participants within industry and engagement activities.

Began implementation of the Reconciliation Action Plan, a framework for delivering practical support for social change and economic opportunities for Aboriginal people in South Australia.

The Yalari Foundation was gifted more than 6,000 hours of Aboriginal employment and a $20,000 donation from Cowell Electric (Sue Chase Foundation) to support Aboriginal scholarships provided through the Remote Area Energy Scheme and its projects.

Partnered with peak Aboriginal representative bodies, native title groups and the mineral and energy sector to develop mutually respectful relationships between Aboriginal and non-Indigenous Australians through the Stronger Partners Strong Futures initiative.

Designed the Leigh Creek Transformation works to maximise opportunities for locally based businesses and people including the Aboriginal workforce, apprentices and trainees.

Corporate performance summary

The vision of the Department for Energy and Mining is to become the best government department in Australia. Our strategic execution and operational outcomes are enabled by the collective skills, abilities and expertise of our people. These are underpinned by our high performing behaviours and governance frameworks that provide the foundations for engagement, transparency and decision-making.

COVID-19 again impacted our working environment and staff continued to demonstrate adaptiveness, flexibility and resilience. Recognising that the future of the workplace continues to evolve we transitioned to a hybrid work model, enabling staff to work flexibly between home and office.

Organisational culture and staff wellbeing were a focus during the year. Key initiatives included the introduction of a Reward and Recognition framework and recruitment of a Diversity and Inclusion Officer. We partnered with the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute to gain baseline data on staff wellbeing measures and give staff access to a range of personal wellbeing strategies.

Business improvements saw the establishment of a Project Management Office, delivery of a lean training initiative and the progression of our Digital Restart Program. These support both strategic and day-to-day activities.

Employment opportunity programs

Program namePerformance
University placements and undergraduate students The agency hosts students (school and university) for the placement component of their course – primarily in the fields of engineering, geology and economics.

The agency hosts intern students in support of their field of study. These placements are either paid or unpaid depending on the institution and agency arrangements.

Agency performance management and development systems

Performance development and management systemPerformance
A performance management and development framework exists within the agency to support employees and leaders to create performance development plans (PDP) and have regular performance conversations. All PDP discussions are recorded in this system and at appropriate periods reporting is undertaken on completion rates.

Staff participate in two formal performance management and development plan conversations each year.

An online system has been in place since 2018 to facilitate the PDP process and the department has adopted a continued focus on education and communication to support improved completions of PDP conversations.

PDP completion rates of 70 percent or above were sustained across the year, with the department achieving 77 per cent completion rate for the period 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020 and 70 per cent completion for 1 January 2021 to 20 June 2021.

Work health, safety and return to work programs

Program namePerformance
Work Health and Safety (WHS) Strategic Plan 2020-2023

In September 2020 we launched our WHS Strategic Plan supporting a department-wide commitment to growing a safety culture. The three-year plan outlines the focus of our WHS activities across four key areas – safety leadership, wellbeing and engagement, risk management and performance measurement. The WHS Coordinating Committee monitors the implementation of the plan.

Mental Health First Aid Supporting the aim of a mentally healthy workplace, nine staff participated in mental health first aid refresher training and a further seven participated in mental health awareness training.
Flu Vaccination Program Flu vaccination, part of the agency's Wellbeing Program, was offered through onsite and offsite sessions. Uptake decreased slightly this year with 166 staff participating compared to 185 last year..
Employee Wellbeing Framework Staff were offered the opportunity to participate in a number of activities and access to resources from the Wellbeing Program which covers physical, emotional, mental and social dimensions. These include Corporate Cup, wellbeing webinars, onsite counselling, White Ribbon information, the Social Club and Coffee Roulette.
Workplace injury claims2020–212019–2020 % change (+/−)
Total new workplace injury claims 1 1 0%
Fatalities 0 0 0%
Seriously injured workers* 0 0 0%
Significant injuries (where lost time exceeds a working week, expressed as frequency rate per 1,000 FTE) 0 3.30 −100%

* Number of claimants assessed during the reporting period as having a whole person impairment of 30% or more under the Return to Work Act 2014 (Part 2, Division 5)

Work health and safety regulations2020–212019–20 % change (+/−)
Number of notifiable incidents (Work Health and Safety Act 2012, Part 3) 0 0 0%
Number of provisional improvement, improvement and prohibition notices (Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (ss 90, 191 and
1 0 +100%
Return to work costs*2020–212019–20 % change (+/−)
Total gross workers compensation expenditure ($) $57,332 $68,430 −16%
Income support payments – gross ($) $48,250 $58,240 −17%
* Before third party recovery

Data for previous years is available at:

Executive employment in the agency

Executive classification Number of executives
SAES1 14

Data for previous years is available at: statistics

The Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment has a Workforce Information page that provides further information on the breakdown of executive gender, salary and tenure by agency.

Financial performance

Financial performance at a glance

The following is a brief summary of the overall financial position of the agency. The information is unaudited. Full audited financial statements for 2020-21 are available in the Appendix (page 41 onwards) in the PDF version of the Annual Report (PDF, 2.2 MB).

Statement of
comprehensive income
Total Income 242,836 289,060 46,224 179,611
Total Expenses (242,078) (175,211) 66,867 (182,497)
Net Result(758)(113,849)113,091(2,886)
Total Comprehensive Result(758)(113,849)113,091(340)

The agency reported a $113 million favourable result when compared with the 2020 21 original budget. This is primarily due to lower than budgeted expenditure against Project EnergyConnect, and reprofile of expenditure for the Renewable Technology Fund and Demand Management Trials. In addition, higher than budgeted income was recognised for recoveries from Project EnergyConnect in 2020-21.

The major expenditure items for 2020-21 primarily relate to Project EnergyConnect, the Home Battery Scheme, the state’s temporary generators and the Remote Area Energy Supplies scheme. Further details on agency expenditure are disclosed in the full audited financial statements that are attached to the PDF version of the Annual Report (PDF, 2.2 MB).

Statement of
financial position
Current assets 35,019 137,462 102,443 37,266
Non-current assets 56,387 69,624 13,237 48,993
Total assets91,406207,086(115,680)86,259
Current liabilities (36,636) (43,040) (6,404) (35,749)
Non-current liabilities (18,054) (14,239) 3,815 (14,552)
Total liabilities(54,690)(57,279)(2,589)(50,301)
Net assets36,716149,807113,09135,958

Consultants disclosure

The following is a summary of external consultants that have been engaged by the agency, the nature of work undertaken, and the actual payments made for the work undertaken during the financial year.

Consultancies with a contract value below $10,000 each

ConsultanciesPurpose Actual payment ($)
All consultancies below $10,000 each – combined Various 8,138

Consultancies with a contract value above $10,000 each

ConsultanciesPurpose Actual payment ($)
ACIL Allen Consulting Preparation of Home Battery Scheme model and associated advice 30,000
Aurecon Australasia Pty Ltd Provision of specialist technical advisory services for the Electric Vehicle Charging Integration Study 144,000
BDO Econsearch Provision of probity services for the Electric Vehicle Action Plan


BDO Econsearch        

High-level risk assessment of the current applications environment (applications and ICT infrastructure)


Brubrior Investments Pty Ltd Provision of strategic advice and services provided as Chair of the Steel Task Force


Clifford William Mallett

Specialist expertise in the field of underground coal gasification to review licensing, environmental and activity applications to advise the department on its approval decision-making process


CQ Partners Pty Ltd Energy market advisory panel to provide modelling and market analysis services across the agency


Energy Efficient Strategies Review of South Australian water heater requirements


Energy Efficient Strategies          Development of activity specifications and metrics for delivery under the proposed Retailer Energy Productivity Scheme


Environmental Risk Sciences Review of risk-based screening levels to be applied in assessing risk posed by legacy contamination in the South Australian Cooper Basin 12,320
Evenergi Pty Ltd Delivery of the proposed statewide Electric Vehicle Charging Network - Site Owners and Hosts Prospectus 27,475
Fenix Performance Solutions

Technical, commercial and financial advice and due diligence services for the Whyalla Steel Works Transformation


GPA Engineering Pty Ltd Specialist technical services for projects including the SA Refuelling for Mobility Hydrogen Heavy Vehicles study and electrical engineering advice for the Across Government Electricity Supply


GUS Commercial Consulting (SA) Commercial consultancy services including strategic advice, drafting of commercial documents and probity and procurement advice


Ian Dixon Pty Ltd

Strategic and expert advice to assist in project planning for proposed Indigenous Land Use Agreement negotiations

John Southalan Review of relevant international and interstate standards and native title schemes for mineral resources exploration and mining



Cost benefit impact assessment of the Australian Energy Market Commission's recommendations in relation to the embedded networks regulatory framework in the National Electricity Market


Paul Case

Advisory services related to the future of the Leigh Creek Township and Mintabie review, act as chair of committees


Paul Rocks

Specialised review of petroleum plays (targets) in the state's prospective basins and consolidation into a standard industry format



Expert financial, due diligence and risk assessment advice, business case development and project and program assessment for the Steel Task Force


Resolution88 Pty Ltd Provision of services for proposed Indigenous Land Use Agreement negotiations


Robert I Thomas

Expert strategic advice for projects including the Targeted Lead Abatement Program and the Dry Creek Redevelopment Project


RST Solutions Pty Ltd

Provision of services for proposed Indigenous Land Use Agreement negotiations


Square Holes Market research of SARIG customer insights and engagement plan 22,000
University of Adelaide Advisory services relating to the Dry Creek Salt Field


  Total 1,648,216

Data for previous years is available at: statistics

See also the Consolidated Financial Report of the Department of Treasury and Finance for total value of consultancy contracts across the South Australian Public Sector.

Contractors disclosure

The following is a summary of external contractors that have been engaged by the agency, the nature of work undertaken, and the actual payments made for work undertaken during the financial year.

Contractors with a contract value below $10,000

ContractorsPurpose Actual payment ($)
All contractors below $10,000 each – combined Various


Data for previous years is available at: statistics

Contractors with a contract value above $10,000 each

ContractorsPurpose Actual payment ($)
Artis Group Pty Ltd   Maintenance and enhancements to the Petroleum Exploration and Production System 149,224
BDO Econsearch Project management services for departmental information technology 14,490
BDO Econsearch Provision of a report with options for the integration of geological spatial datasets into the primary geoscientific database 39,727
BDO Econsearch Provide interim support to ensure business continuity while recruitment for a Director Information Strategy and Delivery is undertaken 102,900
Bench Directional Drilling & Civil Replacement of the rising main for the Brukunga water treatment plant 52,100
Clear Decisions Trust Project management for minor accommodation works at 11 Waymouth Street and coordination of relocation from 25 Grenfell Street to 11 Waymouth Street


Consilium Technology Pty Ltd Technical review and report on the leading submissions to ExploreSA: The Gawler Challenge 34,300
Converge International Pty Ltd Onsite employee counselling services 64,540
Cowell Electric Supply Remote Area Energy Supplies scheme – provision of electricity generation, distribution and retail services 4,877,153
Ennovative Pty Ltd Configuration and implementation of the Virtual Power Plant Customer Relationship Management system 13,563
Gething Pty Ltd Strategic advice and site host/tenant engagement for South Australia's Electric Vehicle Charging Network 25,225
Golder Associates Pty Ltd Assessment of potential failure modes for the seepage ponds and tailings storage facility at Brukunga mine 18,505
Hannan Duck & Partners Pty Ltd Implementation of the Cyber Security Framework and preparation for the SA Cyber Security Framework attestation exercise 20,227
HyLogging Systems Pty Ltd Maintenance services for HyLoggerTM 3 machin 44,880
KPMG Delivery of structural change workshops and options development for the agency 44,202
KPMG Provision of a detailed study report and a prospectus for the development of renewable hydrogen projects, and an online modelling tool for use by potential hydrogen industry investors and infrastructure developers


Metric Marketing Pty Ltd Delivery of strategic focus group series regarding the electric vehicles charging network 28,900
Money Mob Talkabout Limited Provision of an energy education program and community engagement around the introduction of smart meters in remote towns and Aboriginal communities under the Remote Area Energy Supplies scheme 950,029
OPM Consulting Pty Ltd Assist in the servicing of 38 previously deployed broadband seismometers as part of the Gawler Craton broadband seismic survey 34,391
Orewin Pty Ltd Provide an independent review of the Kanmantoo copper-gold project 12,584
Recap Consultants Pty Ltd Delivery of the regulatory transition and capability support program to assist in regulatory practice and delivery within the changed regulatory environment 18,303
Republic of Everyone Pty Ltd Development of program design for the Fleet Pledge Program 26,430
Richard Dennis Provision of legislative drafting services for Mining Regulations 2020 13,350
Rob Kirk Consultants Pty Ltd Sequence stratigraphy seismic work for Penola Trough and onshore Otway Basin 59,400
Secure Meters (Australia) Pty Ltd Smart meter services for the Remote Area Energy Supplies scheme 26,508
Solve Geosolutions Technical review and report on the leading submissions to the ExploreSA: The Gawler Challenge 22,500
Sonnen Australia Pty Limited        Storage, packing and shipping of batteries for the Batteries for Bushfire Rebuilding initiative and deployment on government assets 66,240
Squiz Australia Pty Ltd Migrate the Petroleum website to the Department of the Premier and Cabinet website platform project 39,720
SRA Information Technology Pty Ltd Business analysis for the National Data Submission Portal requirements phase 22,302
Terrace Minerals Pty Ltd Research and summary of significant mineral exploration results reported for mineral exploration projects and a brief summary of major mines over the past 3.5 years 24,000
University of South Australia UniSA STEM - 2021 Mathematics Clinic - developing calibration models for low-cost air quality monitors 30,000
WSP Australia Pty Limited Provision of services relating to hosting, support and maintenance of the hydrogen online modelling tool 27,000
 Total 7,981,486

Data for previous years is available at: statistics

The details of South Australian Government-awarded contracts for goods, services, and works are displayed on the SA Tenders and Contracts website.  View the agency list of contracts

The website also provides details of across government contracts

Risk management

Risk and audit at a glance

The agency’s Risk and Performance Committee (joint with the Department for Innovation and Skills, and the Department for Trade and Investment) has oversight of strategic risks. Membership consists of both internal and external members and the committee is independently chaired.

As part of good governance, we assessed our governance structure and practices to identify opportunities to improve our governance maturity. We also reviewed our Risk Management Framework and instituted a deep dive of key strategic risks.

Fraud detected in the agency

Category/nature of fraud Number of instances
Nil Nil

Note: Fraud reported includes actual and reasonably suspected incidents of fraud.

Strategies implemented to control and prevent fraud

The agency continues to take a risk-based approach to control and prevent instances of fraud. The control framework includes a policy, procedure and Fraud Control Plan to assist with the prevention and detection of fraud, corruption, misconduct and maladministration.

Strategies and activities undertaken include regular reviews of financial and human resource delegation instruments and access controls to operating systems, segregation of duties for approvals and payments in the e-procurement and purchase card systems, and regular reconciliations and reporting.

Communication and training for employees is an essential strategy to ensure staff understand their legal obligations on fraud and corruption. Mandatory training in both the Code of Ethics and Independent Commission Against Corruption Induction for Public Officers is a requirement for all staff.

Staff continued to work flexibly between home and office due to COVID-19. A review of risks and controls was undertaken to reduce the potential of increased risk associated with working remotely from the office.

Data for previous years is available at: statistics

Public interest disclosure

Number of occasions on which public interest information has been disclosed to a responsible officer of the agency under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018: 0

Data for previous years is available at: statistics

Note: Disclosure of public interest information was previously reported under the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993 and repealed by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018 on 1/7/2019.

Reporting required under any other Act or regulation

Energy Products (Safety and Efficiency) Act 2000 Section 25—Annual report
(1) The Technical Regulator must, within three months after the end of each financial year, deliver to the Minister a report on the Technical Regulator's administration of this Act during that financial year. 
Department for Energy and Mining Annual Reports 
Electricity Act 1996 Section 14—Annual report
(1) The Technical Regulator must, within three months after the end of each financial year, deliver to the Minister a report on the Technical Regulator's operations under this Act during that financial year.
Department for Energy and Mining Annual Reports
Gas Act 1997

Section 14—Annual report
(1) The Technical Regulator must, within three months after the end of each financial year, deliver to the Minister a report on the Technical Regulator's operations during that financial year.
Department for Energy and Mining Annual Reports

The Water Industry Act 2012 Section 13—Annual report
(1) The Technical Regulator, within three months after the end of each financial year, must deliver to the Minister, a report on the Technical Regulator's operations during that financial year.
Department for Energy and Mining Annual Reports
Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000

Section 123—Annual compliance report
(3) Information on the authorised investigations carried out during the course of a year must be included in a report published by the agency on an annual basis. To this effect, this information is included annually in the agency’s annual compliance report tabled in Parliament by the Minister each year.

Public complaints

Number of public complaints reported

Complaint categoriesSubcategoriesExample Number of complaints 2020–21
Professional behaviour Staff attitude Failure to demonstrate values such as empathy, respect, fairness, courtesy, extra mile; cultural competency 0
Professional behaviour Staff competency Failure to action service request; poorly informed decisions; incorrect or incomplete service provided 0
Professional behaviour Staff knowledge Lack of service specific knowledge; incomplete or out-of-date knowledge 0
Communication Communication quality Inadequate, delayed or absent communication with customer 0
Communication Confidentiality Customer’s confidentiality or privacy not respected; information shared incorrectly 0
Service delivery Systems/ technology System offline; inaccessible to customer; incorrect result/information provided; poor system design 1
Service delivery Access to services Service difficult to find; location poor; facilities/environment poor standard; not accessible to customers with disabilities 2
Service delivery Process Processing error; incorrect process used; delay in processing application; process not customer responsive 1
Policy Policy application Incorrect policy interpretation; incorrect policy applied; conflicting policy advice given 0
Policy Policy content Policy content difficult to understand; policy unreasonable or disadvantages customer 0
Service quality Information Incorrect, incomplete, outdated or inadequate information; not fit for purpose 2
Service quality Access to information Information difficult to understand, hard to find or difficult to use; not plain English 10
Service quality Timeliness Lack of staff punctuality; excessive waiting times (outside of service standard); timelines not met 1
Service quality Safety Maintenance; personal or family safety; duty of care not shown; poor security service/premises; poor cleanliness 0
Service quality Service responsiveness Service design doesn’t meet customer needs; poor service fit with customer expectations 0
No case to answer No case to answer Third party; customer misunderstanding; redirected to another agency; insufficient information to investigate 3
  Total 20

Additional metrics

Additional metricsTotal
Number of positive feedback comments 5
Number of negative feedback comments 15
Total number of feedback comments 53
% complaints resolved within policy timeframes 85%

Data for previous years is available at: statistics

Service improvements

The agency values complaints and feedback from members of the public as an important feedback mechanism that contributes to improving services, systems and processes.

The focus for improvement of our Complaints Management System during the year was on the internal complaints handling process. Staff new to the process were trained on the system and assessment process to streamline the allocation and resolution timeframe.

In recognising the importance of access to information we commenced a project to develop a new consolidated and easy to use website. When completed, this will improve service delivery through improved systems and technology and access to services and information. Issues of this nature have been identified through analysis of complaints and customer feedback from 2018 to 2021.

Compliance statement

Department for Energy and Mining is compliant with Premier and Cabinet Circular 039 – complaint management in the South Australian public sector. Y
Department for Energy and Mining has communicated the content of PC 039 and the agency’s related complaints policies and procedures to employees. Y

Appendix: Audited financial statements 2020-21

For the Audited financial statements 2019-20 refer to page 41 onwards in the PDF version of the Annual Report (PDF, 1.9 MB)