Geo Message (October 2011)

Inside SSSI

Hello to everyone,


I thought October was going to be a quiet month but there has still been plenty of spatial activity happening.


I caught up with the new president of the ISV. Congratulations to Rob Steel and best of luck in this position. On 30th September Rob and I met over a coffee before he rushed off back to his home town of Wangaratta. We agreed to work together on coordinating our events calendar to avoid clashes of events next year. SSSI is also planning to coordinate events with SIBA and the ACSV well before next year’s event are finalised.


On the 5-7th October I attended the UN sponsored  4th Land Administration Forum for the Asia and Pacific Region – Beyond Spatial Enablement at Melbourne University. Coordinated by the PCGIAP Working Group 3 and the Centre for SDI’s and Land Administration the co- chairs were Working Group chair Greg Scott and Abbas Rajabifard ,President, GSDI Association. Many international guests including the President of FIG Teo CheeHai and the past president of FIG Professor Stig Eenemark attended. The event included an update on research projects in Spatial data infrastructure and a day and a half of presentations on the topic - Beyond Spatial enablement. There were plenty of interesting and robust discussions on these topics. Afterwards a lunch was held to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the centre. Congratulations to Abbas who is now a full Professor at the University of Melbourne.


Two other events that were held in October were the Land Surveying Commission seminar at Bendigo and the tour of the State Control centre hosted by the SI & C Commission. There is more about these events in this geomessage.


Keep up the good work everyone!


Robyn Mccutcheon
Victorian Regional Chair



October Spatial Professional

We would like to introduce a new feature article to the Victorian GEO Message.  Our first feature Professional this month is Dr Gary Hunter.  Gary was recently awarded the Thornton-Smith Medal at the Victorian Spatial Excellence Awards.  The Thornton-Smith Medal is an annual award for a person in the Geomatics profession who has achieved outstanding results for the industry. Below is a copy of Gary's citation from the awards.


Dr Gary Hunter has been nominated for the Thornton-Smith Medal 2011 by the staff of the discipline group of Geomatics, a nomination supported by the Dean of Engineering, Iven Mareels, and the Past President of ISV, Scott Jukes.


Gary Hunter was a long-serving staff member of the Department of Geomatics, and has educated generations of students studying for the Geomatics profession. He is still an honorary principal fellow of what is now the Department of Infrastructure Engineering. For his research he was inducted into the URISA “GIS Hall of Fame” in 2006, a distinction for advancement of the industry given to only 12 people so far.


But beyond that Gary is engaged with the surveying industry in Victoria and with ongoing international consulting work. He was the academic appointee to the Surveyors Registration Board of Victoria for the periods 1997-2001 and 2005-2007. In recent years he was concentrating on private consultancy, such as for Sinclair Knight Merz Pty Ltd on Victoria’s cadastre in2010, for AusAID on the Philippines in 2009, and for Haward Technology Middle East in Saudi Arabia (2009).


The Thornton-Smith Medal was presented in absentia at the 7th Victorian Spatial Excellence Awards Night, 14 September 2011. Gary has taking up a role as a cadastral and GIS technical advisor on the USAID-funded Afghanistan Land Reform Project and will be in Afghanistan for the next 3 years.
Congratulations to Gary.


Here is a photo of Gary waiting for a a flight at Jalalabad military airfield in Afghanistan this year.


Dr Gary Hunter











Land Surveying Commission Updates

New Subdivision Procedures Regulations

These Regulations commenced on 8th October, advice was circulated to Land Surveying Commission Members on 7th October and the SRBV provided further advice to Licensed Surveyors on 14th October.


The Subdivision (Procedures) Regulations 2011 No. 112 (Vic) have been made under the authority of the Subdivision Act 1988 and revoke the Subdivision (Procedures) Regulations 2000 No. 101 (Vic).


The objectives of the Regulations are to:-



Subdivision (Registrar Requirements)

The Subdivision (Registrar's Requirements) Regulations 2011 No. 111 (Vic) have been made under the authority of the Subdivision Act 1988 

According to r. 1 (Objectives), the Regulations prescribe: 



Electricity Authorities and Expressed and Implied Section 12(2) Easements

Yarra Ranges Shire have recently been taking a stand against the requirements of their local electricity Authority S-P Ausnet, by refusing to endorse the creation of quasi common property to provide electricity services over adjoining lots, when expressed or Section 12(2) easements will suffice.


Since the introduction of the Subdivision Act, Electricity Authorities have had a mixture of interpretations of requirements, different to other service authorities and a culture has developed over the years in requiring the creation of unnecessary quasi common property. This is seen as poor planning and Yarra Ranges Shire as a Responsible Authority are now requiring any applications that create quasi common property to be amended to use the provisions s of Section 12 of the Subdivision Act to provide electricity services.


Other Councils have indicated their support and surveyors lodging plans which require electricity supply to pass over adjoining lots may now need to be aware that the council they are dealing with may override the request of the electricity authority and allow easements to support the servicing of adjoining lots.
Watch this space for further developments!



Amendment VC77

Amendment VC77 Makes changes the Victoria Planning Provisions and all planning schemes by moving uses that do not need a planning permit from Section 1 of the Table of Use of all zones to Clause 62, streamlining and clarifying provisions related to mining and extractive industry, updating provisions to reflect changes to policies or processes and other minor administrative changes. The Ministerial Direction Form and Content of Planning Schemes has been amended to reflect changes to schedules resulting from Amendment VC77.



Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution Practitioner’s Guide

The State Revenue Office of Victoria (SRO) has released the updated version of the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) Practitioner's Guide. The Guide has been updated to reflect the recent changes to the GAIC introduced by the Planning and Environment Amendment (Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution) Act 2011 and provides a detailed summary of how the GAIC provisions are administered.


The Practitioner’s Guide can be accessed CLICK HERE


For further information or queries in relation to the GAIC, contact the SRO at (Source: SRO)



State Government to Invest in Flood Investigations

Water Minister Peter Walsh has announced that the state government will invest $146,800 in a $240,000 flood investigation for Burrumbeet Creek in order to increase resilience against future floods in the region. Mr Walsh has stated that "[b]est practice techniques will be used to accurately predict flood behaviour for the Burrumbeet Creek for all flood events", and "[t]he extent and depth of flooding expected during a range of floods, including a flood that may occur once in 200 years, will be simulated and understood".


CLICK HERE for a copy of the Water Minister's media release



Property Law Reform Alliance(PLRA)

At a recent meeting in Melbourne a draft of the Uniform Torrens Title Act (UTTA) was released for comment. The UTTA has been in the making for about 4 years and was prepared by Professor Peter Butt - a noted Torrens Title expert  suggested changes raised at the meeting are presently being collated. Although the concept of a UTTA is agreed to by all, there is still a fair way to go as regards to States agreeing on detail.


The Federal Attorney-General’s Department as part of its federal harmonisation mantra has provided funds to assist the PLRA prepare a cost benefit analysis of the UTTA.


One item of interest for Surveyors on the PLRA is the proposal to look at “an uniform approach to community and strata titling and simpler processes for managing such schemes”.  The National Chair of the Land Surveying Commission John Minehan serves on the PLRA sub Committee looking at this item.



(SUE Project) Australian Standard for the Mapping of Underground Utilities

This originated in February 2010 when BOSSI NSW and Cardno approach Standards Australia. A Stakeholders engagement forum was established and proposal submitted to Standards Australia. National Organisations were invited to participate on the development committee including the SSSI Land Surveying Commission. The Development Committee & Standards Drafting Committee have been meeting regularly and the Committee chair (Mark Gordon) is to present paper at SSSC 2011, which may be the start of getting NZ involved with the Standard to be called IT-036.

An extensive progress report will be presented at the National Land Surveying Conference in Melbourne April 2012. Target date for Publishing the Australian Standard is Feb/March 2013.


The expected outcomes are:


IT-036 won’t eliminate or replace utility owners’ & operators’ internal standards, but it will provide a technology-neutral language that will codify applicable best practices, processes and procedures and reduce inaccurate mapping. It is not intended to replace, reduce, or eliminate the “dial before you dig” requirements for acquiring exact field locates of underground utilities.



FIG News

2012 FIG Foundation Young Surveyor Conference Fellowships

The 2012 FIG Working Week to be held in Rome, Italy, will be the first FIG Working Week to host an additional Young Surveyors Conference immediately prior to the main Working Week events. The FIG Young Surveyors Conference will be held on the 4-5 May 2012, hosted by the National Council of Italian Surveyors, whist the full Working Week will run from 6 – 10 May. The aim of the additional young surveyor sessions will be to further the network of young surveyors internationally, to introduce young surveyors to the wider Working Week, and to learn more of the young surveyor vision for the future of the FIG.


FIG Foundation has decided to cover up to four (4) Fellowships, to cover the costs of travel, accommodation during the FIG Young Surveyors Conference and FIG Working Week and conference registration. Fellowships include attendance at the FIG Foundation Dinner, the FIG Gala Dinner and Commission dinner.


The 2012 FIG Foundation Young Surveyor Conference Fellowships will provide funding for individuals to cover the costs to attend and participate in the 2012 FIG Working Week in Rome, including attendance at the FIG Young Surveyor Conference. 



Deadline for applications: 1 November 2011


FIG Commission 7 (Cadastre and Land Management) Annual Meeting 2011

FIG Commission 7 held its annual meeting from Sept. 26th to 30th 2011 at Innsbruck, Austria with delegates from 30 countries. This event culminated with the high level International Symposium Cadastre 2.0. Without any doubt, issues related to land administration and cadastral perspectives are still of very high interest, namely in regard of citizens’ involvement, crowd sourcing and social medias.


Some of the issue raised were:-


Some quotes:



For more details, see the FIG Commission 7 website:



INTERGEO 2011: The World's Largest Geospatial Tradeshow September 27-29, 2011

INTERGEO is held in Germany every year and this year was held at Nuremberg. It is the best all-around geospatial conference that attracts vendors who offer a collection of technologies from GPS/GNSS to remote sensing, 3D scanners, and mapping software that would satisfy the curiosity and needs of any geospatial professional. With 17,000 + attendees, it is without doubt, the largest geospatial conference in the world, attracting vendors to showcase their latest technologies.


A conference which attracted 1500 participants and a SatNav Forum was also held in conjunction with INTERGEO. Every major GNSS receiver manufacturers was in attendance


As the cost of high-precision data becomes much cheaper to collect, the bottle-neck becomes data processing and management.  Lidar data processing and management software, such as Terrasolid's solution was common, as was 3D mobile mapping, and 3D scanning vehicles proliferated.  The 3D Laser Mapping vehicle which was used to help assess damage in Japan after the March 11, 2011 earthquake was also on display.


Topcon introduced Magnet, their Cloud-Based Precise Positioning Solution and there were a number of interesting displays, as the market for machine control products develops and expands.


UAV's (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) also continue to be a hot topic. The benefits of UAV for remote sensing geospatial activities are clear. What's not clear is the commercial adoption of UAVs for mapping. Europe and other countries have been much more progressive than the U.S., which still severely limits the use of UAVs for non-government and non-university activities.


BIM (Building Information Modeling) was another significant trend with vendors. The GIS world has just started to get a handle on mapping outdoors while indoor mapping is vastly untouched. OrthoGraph displayed their indoor mapping app for the iPad.  Also exhibiting was OpenSeaMap and OpenStreetMap.


The next INTERGEO will be held in Hanover 9-11 October 2012.



New Home Building Commencements Fall in June Quarter

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released Dwelling Unit Commencements, Australia, Preliminary, Jun[e] 2011 which indicates that there was a fall of 4.7% in the overall number of dwelling commencements in the June 2011 quarter. Both private sector housing and other residential commencements recorded falls of 2.1% and 7.1% respectively. (Source: ABS)





The number of dwelling commencements (Source ABS data).


However in Victoria there were 59,263 dwellings commenced during 2010, 29 per cent more than in 2009.Compared to other states, Victoria recorded the highest number of dwelling commencements.



Surveying Tasforce Newsletter

CLICK HERE to download













Surveyors Registration Board Victorian (SRBV) Newsletter

CLICK HERE to download






Upcoming Events

Thursday 27th October Twilight Seminar Postponed.


Unfortunately last week the Victorian Government withdrew their support to participate in the new National Work, Health & Safety Laws to be introduced on 1st January 2012 replacing existing OH&S Legislation. All states except Victoria and WA will still be operating under the national legislation.


VECCI and other bodies have ceased providing briefings on the proposed legislation and consequently we will be forced to postpone this planned seminar until further notice.


Wednesday 9th November 2011, Twilight Seminar

In conjunction with RMIT TAFE final year project presentations


Wednesday 1st February 2012, First Twilight Seminar for the year 

18-21st April, 2012 Expanding on Tradition  

Don’t forget the National Land Surveying Conference Melbourne,

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.  On the closing day as part of Australian Heritage Week there will also be a focus on heritage related topics and an ISA Reunion.

If you would like to sponsor this event or exhibit at this event please contact Kellee Ireland at



31 October to 5 November 2011 – Fremantle, WA

57th UNB- OMG /UNH-CCOM Multibeam Sonar Training Course


7-10 November 2011 – The Convention Centre , Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle, WA

Hydro 2011
The 2011 annual International Hydrographic Conference


20-24 February 2012 – Te Papa, Wellington NZ

Shallow Survey 2012

6th International Conference on High Resolution Surveys in Shallow Water



16-18 November 2011, Geography Awareness Week and GIS Day, Traralgon

This event organised by Latrobe Council is designed primarily to raise awareness of geography and the use of geographic information within the community. SSSI will be participating with a stand promoting Surveying and the Spatial Sciences as a career.


Other presentations are welcome from interested parties depending on the topics available. The organisers are happy to include anything that is closely or remotely related to geography and GIS and are looking for presentations and workshops to show the community how to use free web based GIS such as Google earth, Google maps and the like. Considering that many disciplines are related to geography, presentations related to cartography, the environment, agriculture, economy, history and archaeology are welcome.


Furthermore, the bulk of the event will be an exhibition of geography related artefacts, such as various thematic maps, posters, surveying and other measuring devices.   SSSI Member Nabil Salibi is organising the event and those requiring further information can contact him at


CLICK HERE for further information associated with the event.



25 August to 1 September 2012

The XXII Congress of the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing see



Past Events

18 October 2011, State Control Centre Tour

The State Control Centre (SCC) Tour held on Tuesday 18th October 2011 was a very successful event with places filling up very quickly.  The tour was hosted by Phil Holmes from DSE.   He gave a very informative presentation and showed the group around the centre.  We visited the whole centre including the map room, media room, the police commissioner's office, aeroplane control room and  the main control room.  The main control room is quite impressive and features large computer screens and an extra large map of Victoria showing the regional boarders with pinpoints on the map showing any known incidents currently occurring.  Phil talked about how the room can go from a skeleton staff of 10 - 20 to a 160 staff within an hour in the case of a state of emergency.  The centre has the capacity to grow to accommodate the different emergency services groups and their volunteers and caters for various events, such as fire, flood, locusts etc.  Due to the popularity of the event and the fact that available places to attend are limited, the SSSI is considering that the SCC visit should be regular part  of our events program . 

Below are some photos taken during the tour.

























7 October 2011, Bendigo All Seasons

Changes Before our Eyes - Terrestrial Laser Scanning: Myths and Realities

This turned out to be a great intimate event with around 20 attendees which is relevant given that it was in Bendigo.  Our next regional event will probably be held in Castelmaine.  It was thought to be great value for money for everyone who attended and we will look to holding another regional event within the next 6 months. 



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