Geo Message (June 2011)

Inside SSSI


Message from our Chair


Welcome to the June Vic Geo Message...


In May  I attended the FIG working week in Marrakech, Morocco. Apart from being an exotic location I wanted to go because I had volunteered to take on the role of Vice Chair of Commission 1. My colleague Leonie Newnham also from the DSE in  Melbourne, is the Chair of Commission 1. On the morning of the General assembly I suddenly had the pleasure of presenting the Commission 1 workplan for the next four years as Leonie was feeling unwell and I had to fill in for her at short notice. Attending an international conference such as this provides an education into the issues that face the spatial industry around the world. I hope we in Australia can contribute to the work of the Commission and other commissions of FIG  with which we plan to overlap. For more information about FIG and the commissions please visit this link...


On the weekend of the 18th and 19th June SSSI Victoria  participated in the  Reinvent Your Career event  at the Melbourne Exhibition centre where we promoted Destination Spatial and the pathways to our industry.  We were lucky enough to have our stand sponsored by CPSISC.


This event is aimed at adults rather than students so the visitors to the stand were from many different backgrounds and age groups. We had a very good location next to the Career Advisor Consultant  stand and  we had lots of interest and handed out plenty of our Destination Spatial material.  The stand was monitored by volunteers from SSSI, SIBA and RMIT TAFE . It was a very successful weekend.


Thank you  to all our volunteers at the event and special thanks to Thierry Demathieu  from RMIT TAFE who spent most of his weekend there! Thanks again to CPSISC  for making the space available to us to share.


There will be more opportunities to attend careers events during the coming year and we welcome anyone else who would like to volunteer to help.



Robyn McCutcheon


Victorian Chair



 Destination Spatial Exhibit



The Destination Spatial Exhibit at the Reinvent Your Career Expo 2011








Thierry Demathieu, Robyn McCutcheon, Zaffar Sadiq Mohamed-Ghouse


Thierry Demathieu (RMIT Tafe), Robyn McCutcheon (SSSI Chair) and Zaffar Sadiq Mohamed-Ghouse (SSSI Committee Member) at the Destination Spatial Exhibit 










2011 Victorian Spatial Summit



Gold Sponsor





Silver Sponsors





Lockheed Martin





Bronze Sponsors


Spatial Vision






Sponsorship and Exhibition packages of this exciting Spatial event are selling fast, there are now only two Bronze Sponsorship opportunities available for the Summit and a limited number of exhibition space.   To enjoy the full marketing benefits of sponsoring this event click here and download the Sponsorship Booking Form and return it to  Don't forget there are other marketing opportunities available including exhibitor, pack insert, brochure drop on delegate seats and USB e-marketing.  To read about these opportunities click here to download the Sponsorship Information Brochure.  Discounts apply for combined VSEA and Vic Spatial Summit Sponsorship/Exhibits.


Click here to purchase a ticket to attend the Summit, GIS Workshop or to attend the VSEA Gala Dinner.


If you are interested in running a workshop please contact Kellee Ireland (  The program is currently being developed.


VSEA Gala Dinner



7th Annual


2011 Victorian Spatial Excellence Awards


Recognising Victorian excellence, innovation and contribution


Gala Dinner & Awards Presentation
Wednesday 14th September 2011
Plaza Ballroom Regent Theatre


The Victorian Spatial Excellence Awards celebrate the achievements of top spatial information individuals and enterprises and showcases the finest projects that the Victorian Spatial Industry has to offer. Individuals and Projects attaining recognition at this premier event are deemed to be truly outstanding achievers and pre-eminent in their field. 


Click here to download the Individual Nomination Form


Click here to download the Industry Project Application Form


Click here to download the Award Information Brochure







SSSI New Members


Welcome to all our new members. Student Membership is now free and most Victorian SSSI events are free if you are a student member.  Download the application form here.



Seyed Miri

Georgina Race (SSSI Committee Member), Robyn McCutcheon (SSSI Chair) presenting Seyed Miri with his SSSI Victoria Membership certificate.











Destination Spatial


The Education Sub-Committee has been renamed ‘Destination Spatial’ in the April meeting in order to line up with the work already done by QLD Destination Spatial.  Our local material has been updated onto the Destination Spatial website.


On the 5th, 10th & 12th May RapidMap promoted Destination Spatial at their road show and surveyed attendees afterward and found that there is an interest in further education in the industry.


Some workshops were run in Ringwood under the banner of “Girls Make it Go” workshop.  There were around 70 girls who had attended, and we ran two workshops of around 8 girls each showcasing the Neatstreets smartphone application.  Neil Kuruppo, Lyn Terrett, George Havakis, Kellee Ireland and Rex Banks attended this day.  The event was hosted by MESAB.








Land Surveying Commission Sub-Committee


The Land Surveying Commission subcommittee met at the beginning of June to further develop the CPD program and discuss current reviews. Recent representations have been made to the Review of the proposed Subdivision Procedures Regulations and the Users Guide to Subdivision. 


The Subdivision Procedures Regulations are proposed to be divided up with a section on Planning requirements and another section on Land Registry requirements. The Planning requirements are basically procedural and the Land Registry requirements will be clarifying boundary description and other procedural changes as per previous Land Registry presentations to Industry.


It is anticipated the Regulations will go to the Governor in Council in late September for implementation in early October, when the current Regulations expire.


An exposure draft of The Users Guide to Subdivision was released on 7th June at a meeting of stakeholders. As a result, some minor amendments and points of clarification will be made to the draft guide and it is anticipated it will be released, possibly in conjunction with the Subdivision Procedures Regulations to ensure consistency between the two documents.


The Law Reform Commission has submitted its recommendations to Parliament relating to its Review of Easements and Covenants. Whether there will be any further action on it during the life of this Parliament is a matter for conjecture.


A meeting of the RMIT TAFE Advisory Committee was held on 25th May. Most of the industry attendees were SSSI members and this was recognised and appreciated by the Head of the School.


The National Land Surveying Commission held a face to face meeting in Melbourne on 19-20th May where amongst other business, detailed planning for the National Land Surveying Conference to be held in Melbourne in April 2012 was discussed. Presentations were also made to the meeting by the Surveying Taskforce and FIG Commission Representatives.


The next Regional Land Surveying Commission sub-committee meeting will be held on 13th July. Members are always welcome to participate or observe proceedings. Contact  for more information.


Congratulations to Dr Tony Sprent, Commodore Rod Nairn and Ian Marshall who all received recognition for their contribution to surveying and the spatial sciences in the recent Queens Birthday Honours.


Changes to Land Victoria lodgement fees on 1st July, 2011


The Money Units Act 2004 allows Government to increase their statutory fees each year. Land Victoria has given notice that their lodging fees will increase by approximately 2.25% from 1st July. It is anticipated that Planning Application fees will also increase by this amount.


Planning Matters


Victorian Planning System Ministerial Advisory Committee


The Minister for Planning has established an Advisory Committee to be known as the ‘Victorian Planning System Ministerial Advisory Committee’  to help overhaul the planning system in Victoria.


The purpose of the Committee is to provide advice on ways of improving the planning system including the legislative base, the structure of planning schemes including the structure of state and local policy provisions, as well as regulations under the Planning and Environment Act 1987.


Public submissions


The Advisory Committee will be seeking submissions from all interested people and groups about the issues they have with planning controls and how they think they can be improved. These issues will be analysed and prioritized and an interim report will be forwarded to The Minister by 30th November, 2011.


Advisory Committee Appointment and Terms of Reference


The Advisory Committee's tasks and the process to be followed are set out in the Terms of Reference.  Victorian Planning System - Ministerial Advisory Committee - Terms of Reference


Advisory Committee Membership


The following people have been appointed to the Committee:

• Geoff Underwood - Chair
• Catherine Heggen
• David Keenan
• Terry Montebello
• Jane Nathan
• Leigh Phillips


Information about the public submission process will be provided shortly


Benchmarking Report on Planning, Zoning and Development Assessments


The Productivity Commission has released the research report, Performance Benchmarking of Australian Business Regulation: Planning, Zoning and Development Assessments, divided into Volumes One and Two. The research report is the culmination of a benchmarking study by the Commission into planning, zoning and development assessments, part of a series of reviews benchmarking Australian business regulatory burdens.


While acknowledging that the planning task is complicated, the Commission has identified a number of "leading practices" which could be implemented to improve outcomes including:-


• measures to prevent 'gaming' of appeals processes
• processes in place to maintain adequate supplies of land suitable for a range of activities
• ways to eliminate any unnecessary or unjustifiable protections for existing businesses from new and innovative competitors.

Click here for Further information from the Productivity Commission
(Source: Productivity Commission)


National Urban Policy released On behalf of the Australian Government, the Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese released the long-awaited national urban policy on 18th May last.  The National Urban Policy sets out the federal government's objectives and directions for Australian cities over the next few decades, including delivering better infrastructure connections and public transport, reducing the carbon footprints of cities and improving urban planning and design.


The policy states that there are a number of reasons why an Australian National Urban Policy is critical to the future of the country, as cities are where the majority of Australians live and are integral to the nation's economy and future prosperity. However, the policy states that cities are facing significant challenges that need to be urgently addressed, which include Australia's ageing population, global warming and climate change and globalisation. Mr Albanese emphasised that the national urban policy does not seek to weaken the role of state, territory and local governments, but instead aims to provide leadership and support.


According to Mr Albanese, the 2011-12 Commonwealth Budget provides for investment in practical measures to support the National Urban Policy, including:



The urban policy, 'National Urban Policy - Our Cities, Our Future: a national urban policy for a productive, sustainable and liveable future', is available from the Infrastructure Australia website at or click here.


New independent process to assess expansion of Melbourne's UGB


Planning Minister Matthew Guy last month announced the establishment of an independent assessment process to determine possible urban growth boundary (UGB) inclusions following a review of the 2009 boundary changes. The independent process, involves the Growth Areas Authority (GAA) and an independent advisory committee, to examine 'logical inclusions' within Melbourne's UGB. The process will also be overseen by a probity auditor.

Mr Guy said the GAA will review and assess the merits of land submissions already submitted to the 2009 Urban Growth Boundary review. Following this process, the authority will refer submissions to a new Logical Inclusions Advisory Committee for final determination.

For land to be considered as a logical inclusion, the government said it will be required to meet strict criteria and standards, such as being located within a growth area municipality and generally adjacent to, or on, the existing UGB.

The process will apply to the Wyndham, Melton, Hume, Whittlesea, Mitchell, Casey and Cardinia growth area councils. Following the review of submissions, the advisory committee will have four weeks in which to submit its advice and recommendations to the Minister for him to then determine the number of logical inclusion of properties within the UGB.

To be considered as a 'logical inclusion', land proposed for inclusion must at minimum meet the following standards:

For proposals that meet these standards, assessment will require consistency with the State Planning Policy Framework and any relevant Ministerial Directions. 

Victorian Government to reform the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) Planning Minister Matthew Guy recently announced the introduction of The Planning and Environment (Growth Areas Infrastructure Charge) Bill 2011 to Parliament that will reform the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) with the aim to improve housing affordability and reduce red tape.


The would allow for 100 per cent deferral of the GAIC to the end of the subdivision process and provide for in-kind work agreements to form part or full payment of the GAIC, which applies to land brought into the urban growth boundary in 2005-06 and 2010 that is zoned for urban development.


It is expected to contribute approximately 15 per cent or $2 billion towards the cost of infrastructure and services with half of the GAIC revenue collected to be spent on building and improving public transport infrastructure.


Under the existing scheme, GAIC payments are generally required upfront, at the point of transfer when a person buys land or when a person makes a significant acquisition. Under the changes contained in the Bill, GAIC payments will not be required until statement of compliance time. Mr Guy said the government's GAIC reforms are part of a planning reform agenda that includes urban renewal, streamlining planning processes and bringing forward land supply.


The legislation will also require notice to purchasers of land to include information about any work-in-kind agreement affecting the land, by amending S32 of the Sale of Land Act 1962.


First steps announced for reform of local development contributions in Victoria 


On 30th May, Planning Minister Matthew Guy announced the establishment of a stakeholder reference group (SRG) to provide advice on reforming the development contributions system in Victoria, in light of council and developer concerns. The stakeholder reference group will provide advice on the framework for the new system and include industry groups such as the Urban Development Institute of Australia, the Property Council and the Master Builders Association. as well as state and local government representatives from the Growth Areas Authority, Department of Treasury and Finance and Department of Premier and Cabinet.


According to the Minister, the new development contributions system will:-

The reformed developer contribution system is expected to be ready for implementation in early 2012


Bill to establish Victoria's Urban Renewal Authority introduced The Victorian Government has introduced a Bill to establish the new Urban Renewal Authority (URA) which is the centrepiece of the Victorian Coalition Government's planning reform agenda.


Planning Minister Matthew Guy said the Coalition Government is delivering on its election commitments to advance urban renewal, with the URA to have a clear mandate to deliver urban change in strategic locations.


The government has identified potential renewal areas including land at Fisherman's Bend, the remainder of the Docklands precinct and other sites such as Richmond railway station. Mr Guy said the URA will also focus on regional cities, reflecting the Coalition Government's focus on regionalisation.


"The URA will be a self-funding authority with a requirement to manage the strategic planning for urban renewal sites across Melbourne and regional Victoria, and have an initial focus on the transition between current VicUrban projects and the URA's future activities. The Victorian Urban Development Authority Amendment (Urban Renewal Authority Victoria) Bill 2011 will see the URA formed from the existing VicUrban staffing structure, but after proclamation it will be governed by a new board.


Former PM Calls for Reversal of Proof of Native Title


In delivering the 2011 Lowitja O'Donoghue Oration, former Prime Minister Paul Keating has called for the reversal of the onus of proof in the Native Title Act 1993, such that native title objectors will be required "to prove that a continuous attachment no longer exists". Mr Keating argued that the current burden of proof "had placed an unjust pressure on those native title claimants who had suffered the most severe dispossession and social disruption". The former Prime Minister opined that his call for reform was consistent with the views previously expressed by High Court Chief Justice Robert French in 2008. "Justice French suggested that some change in the [A]ct as it relates to onus of proof could facilitate a presumption of continuity of connection by claimants and continuity since sovereignty", Mr Keating explained.  Mr Keating further contended that the Native Title (Amendment) Act 1998  had undermined the spirit of the Act by purporting to 'confirm' the permanent extinguishment of native title by freehold and leasehold grants, thereby denying native title holders' right to negotiate over vast expanses of land amounting "to probably half the mainland".


Release of Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences Guidelines for land use mapping in Australia: principles, procedures and definitions.


This is a technical handbook supporting the Australian Collaborative Land Use and Management Program, 4th Edition, 2011 Publication date: 28 Apr 2011.


The report promotes the development of nationally consistent data on land use, land cover and land management practices, as well as information products, standards, analyses and assessments. It is produced by the Australian Collaborative Land Use and Management Program (ACLUMP) as a technical reference to support land use mapping in Australia at national, state and regional levels.


This handbook is the primary reference for version 7 of the Australian Land Use and Management (ALUM) Classification. It also outlines updated nationally agreed principles and procedures adopted by ACLUMP as the basis for mapping at both the catchment scale and the national scale. Click here to download.


Geological information available at click of a button


Mining industry explorers, earthquake and climate change scientists and members of the public can now access a 'stack' of information about Australia's geology at the click of a button.


Developed by CSIRO and AuScope in collaboration with other research organisations around the country, a new open-access network of geospatial data, and its supporting infrastructure – the Spatial Information Services Stack (SISS) – will enable users to explore Australia's geology on a national scale.
More information click here


Lightsquared could be worse than previously thought


Light Squared a U.S communications company, is proposing to transmit high powered wireless broadband signals as a supplement to the Broadband roll out in the USA. Their frequency band adjoins a portion of the spectrum that GPS uses and the extremely high-powered ground-based transmissions could potentially cause severe interference to hundreds of millions of GPS receivers.


This has caused serious concern within the US GPS industry and user community. Initial technical analyses show that the distant, low-powered GPS signals would receive substantial interference from high-powered, close-proximity transmissions from LightSquared's planned network of 40,000 ground stations.


It is feared that medium and high-precision GPS users may end up being collateral damage. The military is going to be accommodated in the name of national security. The aviation industry is going to be accommodated in the name of safety-of-life. The auto navigation industry is going to be accommodated because they are high profile. The high-precision user is not going to have the same consideration because it is the most difficult to accommodate (technically) and doesn’t have a high profile or perceived as significant enough to accommodate the large-scale GPS jamming that these towers could cause. Huge urban areas would be essentially blocked from using medium- and high-precision GPS receivers, sub-meter as well as centimeter-level accurate GPS equipment.


In the past couple of weeks, testing has been taking place in the Las Vegas area to determine the magnitude of effect the LightSquared transmitters would have on GPS receivers.


Wide-bandwidth, high-precision GPS receivers started feeling the effects of the LightSquared transmission about 1,800 meters from the tower. Medium-bandwidth high-precision GPS receivers started feeling the effects of the LightSquared transmission at about 1,200 meters from the tower. In each case, there was about a 200 meter buffer from when the GPS receivers started to feel the effects of the LightSquared transmission to the GPS receivers being jammed, at 1,600 meters and 1,000 meters respectively. The typical behavior is that when a test signal was broadcast the receivers would lose total lock on the satellites and not track until the signal was turned off.


The consequences of disruption to GPS signals are far reaching.  It is inconceivable that the economic benefits of internet connectivity could over shadow those of GPS.  Nevertheless a degree of vigilance should be maintained locally if the Broadband roll out is ever supplemented by wireless technology in Australia.


The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has required the establishment of a working group to bring together LightSquared and the GPS community. The FCC has already said, resolution of interference has to be the obligation of LightSquared, not the extensive GPS user community. LightSquared must bear the costs of preventing interference created by their network and devices, and if there is no way to prevent interference, it should not be permitted to operate.
This working group is required to identify measures to prevent interference and produce a report for FCC review no later than June 15, 2011.


Forthcoming Events


Friday 22nd July Land Surveying Commission Seminar - Laser Scanning Road Show- Bendigo.


Due to popular request, this seminar is being held in Bendigo in lieu of the one proposed in Melbourne on 7th July. This is to provide an opportunity for country members to gain an understanding of the myths and realities surrounding Terrestrial Laser Scanning, a technology which is becoming increasingly affordable for businesses.


Wednesday 3rd August-Planning and Engineering Surveying issues


GIS Workshop - 13 September 2011

Venue: The Sebel Albert Park

From: 9:00am to 4:30pm

Victorian Spatial Summit - 14 September 2011

A full program of current and emerging surveying topics is being developed as part of this summit.

Venue: The Sebel Albert Park

From: 9:00am to 4:30pm


Expanding on Tradition  National Land Surveying Conference Melbourne, 19-21st April, 2012


This National Conference is being run by surveyors for surveyors and will provide the latest information on the many national issues which are having increasing implications on our day to day practice.


The XXII Congress of the International Society for the Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS)


When: 25th to the 1st September 2012

Where: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre  Go to ISPRS website


Past Events



7th June 2011 - Emerging Technologies


The SSSI YPs in Victoria organised a half day Emerging Technologies Seminar which was held at Graduate House Melbourne University, on Tuesday 7th June. The morning included presentations from Yvonne Thompson (ESTA) on Social Media, Christian Stock (SKM) on Engaging Communities with Immersive Visualisation and many more  presentations on new technologies. The event was well attended and provided members, who attended,  with 3 CPD points


19th May 2011 - Laser Scanning


A successful seminar around Laser Scanning was held at The Manningham during May and it is proposed to take this roadshow to Bendigo on 22nd July for the benefit of country members.  Over 115 industry professionals attending this very imformative half day seminar.



SSSI Exhibit at the Laser Scanning Seminar 19th May 2011














Some of the delegates watching a presentation that is being streamed live on the Internet by Thierry Demathieu to RMIT Tafe students.








Click here to download the SRBV Board Meeting Minutes









Click here to download the Surveying Taskforce  Update


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