President’s Desk

Each month the President of ISNSW, Tony Proust, addresses the considerations and concerns of the Institution's members and the surveying industry alike. 

As I write this I can hear the roar of the V8 supercars in the inaugural Newcastle 500 as they speed up Watt St in central Newcastle in excess of 200kph. Who would have thought? It has split the community but on balance it will most likely produce more benefits than costs, depending on how you do the calculations. At the very least we now have a brand new Plan of Survey Information to recover all the survey marks destroyed in building the track.

It is a busy time of year.  In late November I joined a stakeholder meeting with the Register General at the first quarterly review of the newly privatised Land Titles Office now known as the Land Registry Services. LRS are developing a series of KPIs to help assess the performance of the new organisation. I urge members to pass on their comments and feedback on their experience with requisitions and the plan lodgement and checking process so we can report back at future meetings.

Some interesting facts emerged however : 80% of plans are requisitioned although many are likely to be for minor matters which can be frustrating for all concerned, 25% of surveyors create 65% of the requisitions and  6% of plans and 30% of lots are lodged with Land XML. Clearly our industry, our profession,  is changing dramatically.

E-conveyancing is growing and LRS aims to be fully digital by the end of 2019.

A few days later I attended, what may prove to be, the last JAM followed by the presentations to the newly registered surveyors. Chaired by the Surveyor General it was revealed that the JAMs are likely to be rolled into the SMIC meetings starting in early 2018. There was some discussion about the upcoming root and branch review of BOSSI which will involve extensive industry consultation with more details as they come to hand.

It was suggested that we need to get better at our communication within, and outside, the profession and between ourselves and all levels of government. The recent experience with the privatisation of the LPI suggests that we were on the back-foot when it came to getting our message across to government, the media and the community more generally. In an attempt to ensure we are better prepared in the future I hope that we will have a Communications Officer on board by early 2018.

ISNSW is a member of the Associations Forum and I recently attended a Forum lunch to hear the NSW Leader of the Opposition. Aside from meeting Luke Foley it was an excellent opportunity to meet with like minded ‘Not for Profit’ organisations such as the Career Advisors Association and Math Teachers Association who were both enthusiastic  - and were well aware of – the work of the Surveying Taskforce which we partly fund. Anecdotally it is clear that the work of the Taskforce is having the desired effect considering the increase in enrolments across surveying courses at TAFE and University and in the number of newly Registered Surveyors.

In early December I will be attending the Regional SSSI conference in Bathurst which I will report on in the next Azimuth.

Our newly installed President Elect attended the recent opening of the Mouat Tree in the ACT which will also be reported on soon.

There are significant changes to our CPD policy in the pipeline, not least of which, will see the minimum number of cadastral points increase from 3 to 5 starting in July 2018. I hope you will have the opportunity to tune in to a couple of ISNSW Cadastral webinars in the first half of 2018. Watch this space for further details.

Finally I would like to draw your attention to the implications of two recent NSW Land and Environment Court cases which impact on the work of Surveyors.  In both judgements the court held that any subdivision including individual lots in a strata or community title scheme must meet the minimum lot size development standard contained in clause 4.1 of the Standard LEP.

Consequently if an applicant wants to create lots under the standard it may be necessary to lodge a request to vary the minimum lot size standard under clause 4.6 of the LEP. I would appreciate feedback from members who are grappling with this issue with their local Council.

The ISNSW office will close on December 20th and will reopen on the 3rd January. Have a happy Christmas and a safe New Year. See you in 2018.

Tony Proust
Registered Surveyor
President ISNSW

December 2017/January 2018

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