Geo Message (January 2012)

Inside SSSI

Happy New Year to everyone.


January is a quiet time for some of us who have chosen not to go off to the beach or the bush. I find it is a good time to catch up on some of the information that has been piling up in my emails and follow some of the links in LinkedIn and other channels.


I believe it is very important that we in the spatial community are aware of what is important to the IT community.  Which is why I try to follow as many IT feeds as possible and why I believe social media is so important to this gathering of intelligence.  In future geomessages we will start to gather together some interesting links and articles in a  similar  way the MSIA does occasionally group together a number of Mapping related links. Sharing our information finds with our readers may be helpful when there are so many leads to follow. For example, this months ACS magazine has an article about the IoT  -  the Internet of Things.


As I mentioned last year one of our first events will be a family affair – we propose holding a lawn bowls night on the evening of Friday 10th February – this is still in planning mode.


Also the first event for Women In Spatial is an invitation to attend a breakfast organised by the Victorian  ICT fro women group  –


The draft calendar of events for 2012 is available click here to download.  The National Land Surveying Conference is now selling sponsorships and registration will be open soon.   You can download the Sponsorship Document here.




Significant trends for 2012

Smart phone Adoption and Computer Tablet Adoption for surveying and spatial applications.


The rapid adoption of smartphones around the world cannot be denied, consequently a huge number of geospatial apps are being built and deployed for smartphones. Additionally, given the tremendous consumer acceptance of the Apple iPad, a number of manufacturers are now paying attention to the tablet computing market thus reducing the price to more affordable levels.This is just one of the topics you can find out more about by attending the National Land Surveying Commission Conference in April.


The Major Cases List at VCAT commenced operation on 3 January 2012

The Major Cases List (MCL) has returned to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) following its suspension earlier this year when the funding for the program had become exhausted.


It was introduced as a pilot program by the previous Labor Government in 2010, with the aim of speeding up the decision-making of major projects worth more than $5 million.


The new List will operate on a user pays basis, with applicants to pay an initial fee of $3,000 and a daily hearing fee of $3,114.90. The threshold for residential developments has been increased from $5 million to $10 million. The threshold for industrial, commercial and other non-residential developments will remain at $5 million.


The self-funding arrangement of the MCL is expected to free up additional resources for other planning cases. According to VCAT, all of the MCL fees will be allocated to improve the performance of the Planning List.


Meanwhile it currently takes at least six months to get a relatively simple planning matter to a hearing, for more complicated planning matters, this increases to about nine to ten months.


Growth Area Authority (GAA) News

The GAA reports that the Ministers approval of the Officer PSP  on 23/12/2011 last, capped off a busy PSP program for the year at the GAA in which seven Precinct Structure Plans have been completed providing an additional 22,000 housing lots. The other six Precinct Structure Plans approved during 2011 weree Cranbourne North (Stage 2), Clyde North, Pound Road, Greenvale North (R1), Greenvale West (R3) and Truganina South.


The new Growth Area Model Planning Permit Conditions which cover subdivision matters; landscaping and tree protection; construction and management plans; site contamination issues; infrastructure development and guides for provision of public space; drainage, stormwater and utilities; permit expiries; referrals, and; biodiversity planning, will assist growth area municipalities in streamlining the issuing planning permits for residential subdivision in approved precinct structure plan locations.


Other key issues in the GAA are the current status of the Growth Corridor Plans, the roll out of the Small Lot Housing Code, our developing work on bushfire ratings in the Growth areas, and the results of the Government’s deliberations on the Logical Inclusions


Panel reports to Government on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government

Over the Christmas break, Federal Local Government Minister Simon Crean released a report by the independent Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government which was appointed by the Australian Government in August 2011 and tasked with consulting the community on whether Australia's Constitution should be changed to include local government.

Mr Crean said the government's commitment to recognition of local government in the Constitution was strong and long-held and that the Expert Panel's work would play an important role in informing the community on the issue and assisting the government on the best way forward.


A majority of the Panel members found that financial recognition is the only option with a reasonable chance to succeed at a referendum, provided steps are taken to secure the support of the States and achieve broader public awareness and engagement. Mr Crean said the government will now take time to consider the community's views and details of the report before providing comment in early 2012.

The Panel's report is available from the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government website at <>.


Latest on the Light Squared Saga

In a letter sent to the U.S National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NITA) by nine federal departments and agencies, they concluded that both the original and modified plans for LightSquared’s proposed broadband network would cause harmful interference to many GPS receivers. The letter also noted that the LightSquared proposals are not compatible with several GPS-dependent aircraft safety-of-flight systems. Based upon this testing and analysis, they concluded that there appears to be no practical solutions or mitigations that would permit the LightSquared broadband service, as proposed, to operate in the next few months or years without significantly interfering with GPS.


The January 2011 FCC decision to grant LightSquared a waiver, imposed an absolute condition that LightSquared would not be permitted to move forward unless it could demonstrate that its proposed operations would not interfere with GPS, LightSquared fully accepted this condition. Since then, every set of independent technical studies has confirmed that LightSquared’s proposed operations would create widespread interference to critical GPS uses, including the test results which were the subject of today’s government conclusion.


Light Squared have claimed that these conclusions are “dubious” and “based on a highly flawed testing and analytical process.”  They believe that the  tests conducted by an outside independent laboratory demonstrate that LightSquared’s proposed mitigation solution “works flawlessly” for high-precision devices and that it believes these test results are more than sufficient for the federal government to conclude that the LightSquared mitigation proposal will allow for the coexistence of GPS and the LightSquared network.


The dispute continues!



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



Wednesday April 18

Welcome Reception



Thursday April 19

Opening Ceremony

Plenary and Technical Sessions

Technical Exhibition

Friday April 20

Plenary Sessions

Technical Presentations

Technical  Exhibition

Saturday April 21 (AM)

Technical & Heritage Presentations

Closing Ceremony

Technical Exhibition


Draft Social Technical and Accompanying Persons Programs 

Wednesday April18



Welcome Reception

Thursday April 19

River tour to Williamstown

Melb Walking Tour

Exhibitors Reception

Friday April 20

Tour of MCG and National Sports Museum

State Library Map Room Tour

Conference Dinner

Saturday April 21



Farewell Bar B Q


This conference will also incorporate an ISA reunion.


Arrangements are well underway with a variety of papers covering many topics that are relevant to contemporary surveying practice. A detailed program and registration information will be released soon.


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