SSSI VIC Industry News - March 2020

February 29, 2020



  • DELWP News

  • Forthcoming Legislation
  • Protection and Maintenance of Survey Control Marks
  • Whitehorse Planning Scheme Amendment C219
  • Draft Yarra Strategic Plan & Land Use Framework
  • VIC Land Surveying Commission Sub Committee
  • Crackdown on Cowboy Surveyors
  • FIG Working Week , 10-14 May Amsterdam The Netherlands
  • How will the Surveyor's Role Look in 10 Years Time?


Map It Out - Edition 3 

Click on the above link to view spatial news from across Victorian Public Service. 


The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), with guidance from the Victorian Marine and Coastal Council (VMCC), is developing a new statewide Marine and Coastal Policy which is proposed to be released this month. This policy will provide new directions for decision makers in the planning, management and sustainable use of our marine and coastal environment. Watch out for further details.

The Owners Corporation Amendment Bill has its second reading in September last year. There are a considerable number of changes proposed, based on a new structure  which provides for five tiers of owners corporations, to allow for different regulatory requirements based on the number of occupiable lots that form the owners corporation.  The 5 tiers are proposed as follows—

Tier                 Composition

Tier one           More than 100 occupiable lots, and not a services only owners  corporation

Tier two          51 to 100 occupiable lots, and not a services only owners corporation

Tier three        10 to 50 occupiable lots, and not a services only owners corporation

Tier four          3 to 9 occupiable lots, and not a services only owners corporation

Tier five          A 2-lot subdivision or a services only owners corporation

Further details will be provided as the Bill progresses through Parliament


The Geodesy section within Surveyor-General Victoria (SGV) has prepared a factsheet promoting the protection and maintenance of survey control marks in Victoria.

The factsheet highlights the importance of survey control marks and the role of councils and surveyors in ensuring the protection and maintenance of this valuable infrastructure.



This Amendment has been prepared by Whitehorse City Council and applies to all land in the municipality included in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ), General Residential Zone (GRZ), Residential Growth Zone (RGZ) and Low Density Residential Zone (LDRZ).

The Amendment applies Schedule 9 to the Significant Landscape Overlay (SLO) on a permanent basis to all residential land in the municipality that is not currently included in a permanent SLO.

It strengthens references to the importance of tree preservation and retention and clarifies the lot size in areas affected by the SLO as well as the application of the tall tree ratio.  It also introduces new exemptions providing for the removal, destruction or lopping of a tree without a permit.


The Victorian Government is seeking feedback on the draft Yarra Strategic Plan prepared under the Yarra River Protection (Wilip-gin Birrarung murron) Act 2017. The draft, prepared by state and local government agencies, includes a Land Use Framework providing broad directions for land use and development to protect the Yarra River corridor and its significant values. Following a panel process (to commence in April-May 2020) the Yarra Strategic Plan and Land Use Framework will be finalised and given effect in relevant state planning policy and local planning schemes. Click here to have your say and help shape this landmark 10-year plan for the Yarra River. The submission period has now been extended to 29 March 2020.


Met last week to chew the fat on current issues and plan future events including :-

A Twilight seminar on 1st April and a half day seminar on June 3 and a celebration of Robert Hoddles Birthday on 21st April.  Further details will be released soon.

The sub committee meets nominally every couple of months, the meetings are informal but informative and anyone interested in participating is welcome to attend. Contact Su Ling for more details. 


This headline appeared in The Age on Monday March 2nd. However the article was in regard to a proposed code of conduct for Building Surveyors.  This is not the first time the prefix has been left off when referring to Building Surveyors. It is misleading and unfairly implicates Land Surveyors. We have again approached The Age to inform them about the different categories of surveyors, but with the movement of journalists and editors, this information tends to get lost after a short period of time.

FIG Working Week 2020, 10-14 May 2020 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

The preparations for FIG Working Week 2020 are now entering into the final stages.

The organisers are following the COVID-19 Virus situation closely and also the recommendations of the health authorities; preparations are continuing as planned, and hope that this scenario will not change.

The detailed draft technical programme has been released which includes 80 technical sessions, forums and meetings, three plenary sessions and other meetings during the three busy conference days 11-13 May.

The technical programme offers a varied selection of sessions and presentations within all fields of surveying that are covered by the 10 FIG Commissions. UN-Habitat/GLTN, UNECE and FAO. Details are available at the following link:- Check the programme


In addition to the three conference days 11-13 May 2020, pre- and post-events are offered

  • Scaling Up – Fit For Purpose Land Administration (9-10 May)
  • Surveying and BIM Classroom (9 May)
  • Plastic Mapathon - hackaton focusing on finding innovative ways to map plastic & Plastic Survey (9-10 May)
  • Parcel Management Solution - by Esri (10 May)
  • 5th Young Surveyors Conference (9-10 May)


FIG MAPPING THE PLASTIC - Background and Mapathon

In 2019 at the FIG General Assembly in Hanoi, Vietnam FIG Commission 4 - Hydrography together with FIG Young Surveyors established a Working Group on Mapping the Plastic. The Working Group is chaired by Simon Ironside, New Zealand and focus is on the dumping of plastics (and other waste) into major rivers, river systems and deltas at strategic locations around the world. Waste measurement in these water bodies using remote sensing, bathymetyric, current measurement and topographical surveys of plastic waste along the banks of rivers will enable a greater understanding of the quantum of plastic waste being transported to the oceans and inform the control and regulation of land use practices with an ultimate goal of eradicating the dumping of plastics into river systems.

The Working Group has been busy and continues to be. In conjunction with the FIG Working Week in Amsterdam a Plastic Mapathon and Plastic Survey will be held Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 May 2020. The goal is to investigate the extent of existing information on plastic pollution of waterways in the Netherlands/Europe through formal survey datasets held by governments and academia and to develop techniques for collecting this information. For more information and to register, please visit 

Gordana Jakovljovic, a Young Surveyor and Ph.D. student will make a plenary presentation: Mapping plastic – the step forward for a cleaner environment during the FIG Working Week.

This plastics survey aims to:  

  1. Raise public awareness of the plastic waste problem;
  2. Raise the awareness of the Working Week, FIG, the UN SDG’s particularly SDG 14
  3. Develop surveying techniques for citizen surveying and WG4.3 volunteers to undertake plastic waste surveys at hotspots around the world
  4. Develop data processing and reporting techniques for future surveys
  5. Report the survey findings once the data is processed

How Will the Surveyor’s Role Look in 10 Years’ Time?

A view by Chris Trevillian marketing director of Trimble Inc.’s Geospatial GNSS division.

Over the next ten years, the surveyor’s workflow will become quicker, safer and easier because of new technologies like scanning, mobile mapping and UAS photogrammetry. Virtual layout, aided by the increasing use of augmented reality technologies, will require fewer physical stakes in the ground. Due to the transformation of the physical world into a digital one, digital twins will take centre stage, with surveyors called upon to convey meaningful information from the model back to the physical world.

Demand will increase for surveyors’ expertise in time-based analysis of changing site conditions, such as monitoring installations for volume-changing and deformation analysis. Surveyors and mappers should also take heed of capital flows into the autonomous vehicle revolution. The tremendous amount of money pouring into that space will continue to improve sensors, onboard processing and vehicle connectivity, essentially resulting in millions of mobile mapping units around the world. That data may provide an abundant resource for spatial information, yet also challenge surveyors to process it into something relevant to their applications. 

With geospatial-centric data finding its way into more realms of business, surveyors will be needed to ensure data accurately represents the physical world. The layperson will struggle to identify and separate good data from bad, increasing the demand for surveyors – who are legally bound to provide data accuracy and quality. Cutting-edge surveyors will have invested in proven technologies to provide quicker and safer means for data capture, with scanning top of mind. Those who learn to master the powerful software programs used to extract data and automate processes will be most competitive. At the same time, the office-based side of the business will increase and field crews will be expected to understand a wider variety of data capture methods. GNSS and total stations will still have a solid core in day-to-day workflows, yet the growth of the other methods will be important too.

A decade from now, we will hopefully have turned our biggest headwind – finding good help – into a tailwind. Land surveying requires a broad skillset touching on numerous disciplines, and through educational initiatives and more outreach to the younger generation I’m optimistic that our industry will generate professionals with mathematics skills, technology capabilities, historical awareness, legal responsibilities and good personalities to boot.


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