GEO Message (December 2011)

Inside SSSI


Hi Everyone,


Having recently attended  the SSSC2011 conference in Wellington I can report that it was very successful and well attended . Wellington is a beautiful city and I had a little time to do some  sightseeing as did most people I spoke to.


   The cable car is the one of the required sightseeing activities.

Wellington has free wifi throughout the CBD and this included the conference venue.  It was a useful addition to the closing panel discussion as the  audience were encouraged  to send tweets  to the SSSC2011 hashtag during the  session. This opened up the conversation and I believe made the questions and the discussion more robust than usual. I hope that this feature will be implemented for future conference discussion sessions.  A lot more discussion has been going on in the Linkedin SSSI group as a result. If you do not have access to this discussion let me know and I will invite you to join.


The Victorian committee held a planning meeting on Tuesday 6th December before our end of year celebration. We will be publishing the list very soon to make sure everyone is aware of what is planned for the New Year. This will give us time to better prepare the topics and speakers for the events. Please send us suggestions if you have any ideas for your commission events.


One of our first events will be a family affair – we propose holding a lawn bowls night on the evening of Friday 10th February.


In early December I agreed to become the national chair of Women In Spatial. So lookout also for the notification of WIS events in Victoria next year.
Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year


Robyn McCutcheon

SSSI Vic Chair


Photos from the SSSI Xmas Drinks and Presentations


Robyn McCutcheon and Chris Pettit - GISP-AP Accreditation  
Robyn McCutcheon and Stephen Scott-Young - GISP-AP Accreditation Robyn McCutcheon and Chris Pettit - GISP-AP Accreditation SSSI Members enjoying Xmas Networking  


SSSI Members and Sustaing Partners enjoying Xmas Networking    




 Land Surveying Commission


Victorian Planning Provisions Amendment VC83


The Victorian Government on 18th November announced the introduction of new controls in the Victorian Planning Provisions contained in Amendment VC83, affecting all planning schemes in Victoria. A new Bushfire Management Overlay was introduced to replace the Wildfire Management Overlay and the introduction of new vegetation clearance controls for landowners in areas of high bushfire risk.


A new clause 52.47 Bushfire Protection, has been introduced, with planning requirements to be applied to applications to subdivide land, construct a building or carry out works including:



Subdivision (Registrar’s Fees) (Amendment) Regulations 2011


A Regulatory Impact Statement has been prepared for the above Regulations to recover the operating costs of the SPEAR system. Currently an additional $2.18 million per annum is needed to recover costs. It is proposed to increase subdivision lodgement fees by 18% to meet this shortfall. Written comments & submissions should be forwarded by 16th December to Land Victoria.


Specialist Planning Teams to Support Regional Planning


Planning Minister Matthew Guy and Local Government Minister Jeanette Powell have announced that a Council Planning Flying Squad (CPFS), consisting of specialist planners, will be established to assist local governments in regional areas with their planning needs. The CPFS will provide councils with short term assistance and will help decrease the backlog of planning matters needing to be processed. They will provide immediate assistance directly to councils when specialist expertise is needed or workloads become unmanageable. (Source: Planning Minister; Local Government Minister).


Draft Corridor Plans released for comment


The draft Growth Corridor Plans have been released for public comment. These plans set the strategic direction for future urban development of land brought into Melbourne's Urban Growth Boundary over the coming decades. These plans identify areas for housing, jobs, transport, town centres, open space and key infrastructure for Melbourne's newest suburbs.


The public is invited to comment on the draft corridor plans. Consultation closes at 5pm on Tuesday, 20 December, 2011. Submissions to the GAA can be emailed to or posted to Growth Corridor Plan Submissions, Growth Areas Authority, Level 29, 35 Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC, 3000. All submissions will be made publicly available at the end of the public consultation process.


Seven Draft Precinct Structure Plans Released by the Growth Areas Authority


The Growth Areas Authority (GAA) last week released seven draft Precinct Structure Plans (PSPs) for public consultation, as part of its master planning for the future suburbs of Melbourne.


The plans for Botanic Ridge, Diggers Rest, Lockerbie, Lockerbie North, Merrifield West, Rockbank North and Toolern Park will lead to the development of more than 37,000 housing lots.


The Authority said the release of the seven draft PSPs runs in parallel with the draft Growth Corridor Plans consultation process and will be subject to the final outcomes of those plans.


A short description of each PSP is below :



Further information is available from the Growth Areas Authority (GAA) website at  Public consultation will be open until Friday 23 December 2011.


Dwelling approvals fall in October 2011 for second consecutive month


A decline in dwelling approvals has been recorded for the second consecutive month, with new Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures revealing the number of dwellings approved in October 2011 fell by 10.7 per cent, following a revised fall of 14.2 per cent in September.


Dwelling approvals decreased for the month of October in Queensland (-19.5 per cent), Victoria (-18.0 per cent), Tasmania (-12.8 per cent), South Australia (-3.4 per cent) and New South Wales (-0.4 per cent) but rose in Western Australia (2.1 per cent) in seasonally adjusted terms.


In seasonally adjusted terms, approvals for private sector houses fell 7.5 per cent in October with falls in Victoria (-12.3 per cent), Queensland (-5.9 per cent), Western Australia (-5.9 per cent), New South Wales (-1.6 per cent) and South Australia (-0.3 per cent).


The Housing Industry Association (HIA) said building approvals in October 2011 slumped to their lowest level since March 2009, with total approvals falling to a level 30 per cent below that of the same month last year.


Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Fees) Amendment Regulations 2011


The Governor in Council has made the following Regulations dated: 29 November 2011


The objective of these Regulations is to provide for an increase in the fees payable for the commencement of certain proceedings entered in the Major Cases List within the Planning and Environment List and to provide for the payment of transfer fees and hearing fees where a proceeding is entered in the Planning and Environment List and is subsequently transferred to the Major Cases List within the Planning and Environment List.


Climate Change Regulations 2011, Dated 15 November 2011


The objectives of these Regulations are to prescribe :-

(a) the method for calculating the amount of Victoria's greenhouse gas emissions for the year 2000;

(b) the method for calculating any reduction in the amount of Victoria's greenhouse gas emissions;

(c) the information to be recorded in the Register of Carbon Sequestration Agreements.


The figure that represents the amount of Victoria's greenhouse gas emissions for the year 2000 is to be determined by adding the total carbon dioxide equivalent emission figures for Victoria for each of the following sectors:


 (a) energy;

 (b) industrial processes;

 (c) solvent and other product use;

 (d) agriculture;

 (e) land use, land use change and forestry;

 (f) waste;

 (g) other sectors:  National Greenhouse Gas Accounts: State and Territory Greenhouse Gas Inventories as published by the Commonwealth and issued or published from time to time.


"Groundbreaking" Groundwater Atlas


Member for Western Victoria David O'Brien launched Southern Rural Water's South West Atlas on 2 December 2011, which provides information about groundwater use and management in south-western Victoria. The atlas is intended to accessibly supply visual information about the State Observation Bore Network, where groundwater is fresh, and where it is too saline to be used.


Water Minister Peter Walsh announced that two more similar atlases will be developed in the Southern Victoria region. The scarcity of groundwater was often underestimated, and the atlas would allow better water management plans to be developed.


Southern Rural Water's media release
Water Minister's media release
Joint media release (Source: Southern Rural Water; Water Minister; Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water; Member for Ballarat)

Remnant Native Vegetation Investigation Final Report - Victorian Government Response


The Remnant Native Vegetation Investigation Final Report was released on 7 April, 2011. As required by the governing Act the government has made a response on the 20 recommendations. All are supported in principle except for initiating investigation of public land use in the Wimmera, Gippsland, Strzelecki and Central Victorian Uplands.
The report generally recommends that systems be developed to build up an inventory to identify and map significant vegetation in road reserves, unused rail reserves, wetland vegetation etc. and that a Statewide Advisory Body be appointed to oversee these tasks.


ATO Launches GST Calculator


The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has launched the Good and Services Tax (GST) property tool, which will help people dealing with property to understand their taxation obligations and entitlements.  Further information from the ATO  (Source: ATO)


Upcoming Events


Wed 1st February 2012 Twilight Seminar


Places Victoria – The new Urban Renewal Authority – Its proposed role, projects and activities
Law Reform and boundary variation- Proposal to remove the need for planning permission for boundary adjustment.
Electricity Authority Quasi Common Property v Easements v Council


National Land Surveying Conference Melbourne, 18-21st April, 2012 Expanding on Tradition  


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.


RMIT University and German Aerospace Center Remote Sensing Summer School


In conjunction with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), RMIT University will be hosting an international summer school in the area of remote sensing technologies. Leading experts from the DLR will deliver the course over four days from February 13-16th. Participants will have exclusive access to senior figures of the DLR and to the latest techniques and technologies being developed in house.


The German Aerospace Centre (DLR) is the largest funding body of the European Space Agency and has an annual budget of $2 billion AUD, 33 research and development institutes and 6,900 people.  They have built and launched numerous Earth Observation Satellites (EOS) and provided the world with a significant body of scientific literature, and products and services.


A specific theme this year will be related to disaster monitoring and detection using Low Earth Orbit and UAV platforms. In early 2012 the DLR will launch a satellite that will have infra-red capabilities to provide detailed information on bushfires including fire front profile, and intensity on a scale an resolution that is currently not available. Please refer to accompanying slide set for an example.


Positions are limited so please register for the summer school as soon as you can.  For further information please contact Dr. Peter Moar RMIT University via email at


Click here to download the flyer outline of the summer school
Click here to download the registration form for the summer school
Click here to download a slide set from the lecture series showcasing the monitoring of bushfires that is referenced in the summary below.


SRBV November Newsletter



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