LSC News - October 2020

October 15, 2020

We would like to extend a warm welcome to new members to SSSI and the Land Surveying Commission.

Fupeng Yang NSW Ivan Kulaha VIC
Andrew Clark NSW Joanne Donelan VIC
Simon de Feyter NSW Ross Hehir VIC
Mandy Burns NSW Joel Mason-Shaw VIC
Jeffrey Yiu O/S Angela Tachie-Menson VIC
Ma (Matthew) Hip Man O/S Chih-Ju Peng VIC
Mohamed  Ahmed O/S Daniel Vodicar VIC
Abigail Brown QLD    
Stephen Steggall QLD    


regional land surveying news

Planning schemes online is closing

The old Planning Schemes Online website closed on 25 September 2020. All Victorian planning scheme information can now be found on the Planning website

All visitors to the old site will be redirected to the relevant scheme home page on the Planning website, however we recommend you update any links or bookmarks in readiness for this closure.
Please contact if you have enquiries.

Draft guidelines for precinct structure planning in Melbourne's Greenfields - Have your say

In response to Plan Melbourne 2017-2050, the Victorian Planning Authority and DELWP are updating the Guidelines for Precinct Structure Planning in Melbourne’s Greenfields to make planning for Melbourne’s new neighbourhoods more flexible, responsive and innovative. The VPA is seeking feedback to make sure the guidelines best suit your needs as planning and development professionals. Have your say by completing the online survey, making a submission on behalf of your organisation or registering for a virtual stakeholder interview at

The practice of planning for new communities has matured since the Guidelines for Precinct Structure Planning in Melbourne's Greenfields (the Guidelines) were first introduced in 2009, after 11 years, it’s time for an update.

The reform agenda has two parts:

  • Guidelines for Precinct Structure Planning in Melbourne's Greenfields, updating this tool to reflect contemporary best practice and embed innovation and change.
  • PSP 2.0 reforms to streamline the process of preparing PSPs and to ensure compact and effective PSP format and presentation.

The updated Guidelines are intended to provide the framework for preparing PSPs to guarantee quality outcomes by being less prescriptive but also being flexible, responsive and supportive of innovation.

The VPA believe the new Guidelines will deliver improved outcomes in the following ways:

  • Increased densities from 15 dwellings/ha to 20 dwellings/ha and to 30 dwellings/ha within 800m of an activity centre.
  • A minimum affordable housing target to be set based on the affordable housing practice note.
  • Climate resilience and adaptation, including urban greening to create 30% tree canopy coverage, integrated water management practices and bushfire management
  • Planning for local employment opportunities and the facilitation of regional, state and nationally significant employment areas
  • Improving accessibility to high quality public realm, jobs and services; aligning with hallmarks of 20-minute neighbourhoods
  • Integration of the movement and place frameworks for designing roads that meet the needs of people and businesses

With added emphasis on increased densities, more flexibility in open space provision and the need for improved connectivity will result in some significant changes to the traditional subdivision design often seen within growth areas and is intended to encourage fresh and innovative design.

Whilst the main focus of the Draft Guidelines is on preparing PSPs for greenfield areas in Melbourne, the VPA is seeking to engage with regional Councils to identify how the guidelines may be adapted for application in regional areas.

For more information contact John Casey, Strategic Planning Manager via


To deal quickly and efficiently with more straightforward cases, VCAT recently launched a revamped Short Cases List supported by a new fact sheet, to assist applicants to determine whether a matter is suitable to be listed and heard under this list. It will apply to cases typically being able to be heard within three hours such as VicSmart Refusals, limited parties or issues etc.

Most matters will be listed for a hearing within approximately 12 weeks of lodgement. Two hours will be allocated for the presentation of submissions and evidence. A further hour will be available to allow the Member to prepare and deliver a decision.

In line with the VCAT Covid-19 procedures, a Short Cases List initiating order will require:

  • Not less than 7 days before the hearing, all parties must provide VCAT and all other parties with written submissions addressing the key issues relevant to that party.
  • No further written submissions will be required at the hearing.
  • The responsible authority is required to include draft ‘without prejudice’ permit conditions as part of its submission.
  • The draft ‘without prejudice’ permit conditions will be discussed at the end of the hearing.

By requiring all parties to circulate written submissions not less than 7 days before the hearing, this will enable the relevant VCAT member to understand and consider the key issues of dispute prior to the hearing.


Recognises that flood risk can be managed and approves a building on flood affected land.

In Stock Corporation Pty Ltd v Yarra CC [2020] VCAT 958 (4 September 2020), the Tribunal set aside the refusal of Yarra City Council (Council) issued at the direction of Melbourne Water (MW), and directed that a permit be granted to allow the development of a five storey mixed use building within a Land Subject to Inundation Overlay (LSIO) at 42-50 Flockhart Street, Richmond.

The key points from the case are:-

  • This decision sets an important new bar for development in flood risk areas;
  • In applying its flood policies Melbourne Water needs to take a practical, flexible approach rather than simply rejecting all proposals; and
  • At the same time, applicants need well thought through strategies to properly manage the flood risks.

Council was supportive of the proposed development on planning and urban design grounds, however it was required to refuse the permit application as MW, the determining referral authority, objected to the development on the basis of extreme flood hazard, the potential risk to life and safety and that it was contrary to the purposes of the LSIO. The land has a potential 1in100 inundation depth of around 3 to 3.5 metres.

The Land is adjacent to the Yarra River, and the water catchment relevant to the Land is the entire upstream Yarra catchment, the nature of the flood hazard is a slow rising flood. This means that there is a longer lead time to the commencement of flooding (72 hours), a period of time when the flood is at its peak, a slow dissipation of the flood waters and a lower water velocity than in flash flooding.

The Tribunal agreed with the applicant's experts who disagreed with Melbourne Water's modelling and suggested that the depth of water in a 1/100 year event is now probably less than 1934 modelling because the characteristic of the catchment have significantly changed

The Tribunal agreed with the applicant that the LSIO is not a planning control that is designed to prohibit or discourage any particular form of development, rather, the control focuses upon minimising the flood damage and allowing development

The Tribunal concluded that:-"In terms of balancing this policy with the policies about flood risk, the outcome to be achieved in terms of net community benefit and sustainable development should focus on managing the flood risk as opposed to sterilising or substantially limiting development on this site."

This decision sets an important new bar for development in flood risk areas. In applying its flood policies, Melbourne Water needs to take a practical, flexible approach, rather than simply rejecting all proposals and applicants need to apply thorough strategies to properly manage the flood risks.


The Cadastral Endorsement Competency Framework (CECF) Series and Registered Surveyor Competency Framework (RSCF) Series of webinars continue in October and November. 

Cadastral Endorsement Competency Framework Series


Design Lots and Layouts for cadastral surveyors 

Tuesday 10 November

Presented by Bennett + Bennett – details to come


Registered Surveyor Competency Framework Series

Survey and calculate volumes and quantities

Tuesday 27 October                 

Presented by Land Solution Australia.

Click here to register

How to geodetic reference systems including GDA 2020 using GNSS           

Date to be confirmed

Presenter details to come


Recordings of past webinars can be found on our eCPD page.

  1. RSCF Series: How to use and maintain GNSS surveying instruments, Dale Atkinson – click here
  2. RSCF Series: How to establish, measure and adjust horizontal and vertical survey control using GNSS. Graham Jensen - click here
  3. CECF Series: Tips for Reinstating existing Boundaries and Marking, Ewen Sneddon – click here
  4. CECF Series: Searching for documentary evidence and search for physical evidence, Dale Atkinson – click here
  5. CECF Series: Understand and apply relevant Law for Cadastral Surveyors, Alistair Byrom - click here
  6. CECF Series: Prepare and manage basic development and basic state action applications, Brazier Motti - click here


Back to News List