Despite the recent rain the drought continues across rural New South Wales and Queensland particularly west of the Great Divide. All of NSW is officially drought declared. I understand that the BoM predicts that the drought may not break till March 2019. All our colleagues affected and impacted in one way or other are in our thoughts. It’s just been announced that some parts of Queensland have had their hottest October day in 100 years. Clearly the climate is changing.
I am delighted to take this opportunity to introduce Amy Lowe our new Executive Officer. I hope you will read more about Amy in coming issues of Azimuth and I hope you will get the chance to meet Amy over the next 6 to 12 months. Amy will work along-side Terina for a couple of months to ensure a seamless transfer of responsibility. Terina’s last day will be February 8th after the next Australia Day Seminar.
After a year in the role of President I can report that it has been an exciting year indeed. It started with a bang with ADS 2018 in January which was one of the best conferences ever. With 350 attendees and many regarding the event as the best surveying conference in the country, ADS just gets better and better and our thanks go to Terina Sawyer, our retiring Executive Officer and her loyal staff. They really do a fantastic job. ADS 2019 is now being planned so watch this space.
Mid-year we took time out to review our Strategic Plan which I hope will be finalised soon. The Strategic plan and the associated implementation plan will provide a road map for the Institution going forward. I have visited, I believe, each Regional Group in my first year and I will try to visit each group again during 2019. Each Regional committee might like to program me into an event and I will try to attend.
Our stakeholder meetings with the Office of the Registrar General and other relevant groups including the LRS CEO continue. At the most recent meeting the Registrar General confirmed that the move towards E conveyancing is well underway. All paper based Certificates of Title will be electronic before July 2019 and E conveyancing will be mandatory by July 2019. The LRS CEO confirmed that requisition rates remain stubbornly high. We as a profession and an Institution need to keep on top of this frustrating challenge.
LRS have advised that they will be moving out of their Queens Square office and into new permanent offices in the CBD by June 2019. But in accordance with the lease agreement their new office will be within 2kms of the CBD. It is understood that LRS are working on a new website to improve access to information and increase the ease of doing business.
Members should note that the Board is very keen for all attendees at CPD events, be it ADS or Regional Group meetings, to sign on to the event using the ISNSW QR card. The benefits are twofold. Firstly the member will earn the CPD points easily via the My CPD page on the ISNSW website. The attendee will receive an email to confirm receipt of the points. Secondly using the QR card is more efficient for the hard working office staff and saves time and effort. We are aware that some members have lost their cards so the Board has agreed to a ‘one off’ free replacement of lost QR cards. Members who need a new QR card should contact the office immediately.
As your President I have been making and re-affirming contacts with our sister organisations in other states. I have attended meetings in Victoria, South Australia and Queensland and had on-going discussions with surveyors in Perth including some of my old University colleagues. These discussions and meetings, including Locate 18 in Adelaide, the ISV Expo and dinner in Melbourne and the SSSI QLD conference in Brisbane, are part of the on-going National Surveyors Discussion Forum which includes SSSI and hopefully NZIS.
Next year the premier survey conference for us will be the South East Asia Survey Congress in Darwin in August bringing together surveyors from across the world, especially Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Put it in your calendar now as it will be an event not to be missed.
Another highlight of my first year included the hanging of a picture of our Surveyor General at the Surveyor General Inn at Berrima. It was a great, even historic, occasion even though I was delayed by traffic along Pennant Hills Road. If you are travelling along the highway in the vicinity of Berrima you should drop in.
Members may not be aware but a few years ago we joined the Associations Forum which is described as Australia’s premier network of associations or not-for-profits – which helps to provide associations like ISNSW with the essential tools, resources and solutions to enhance our association in a variety of ways. The Forum established in 2004, with a network of 500 associations and other not-for-profits, in Australia and overseas, and has provided a range of help and advice on corporate governance, constitutional and human resources and similar issues. On top of that, the Associations Forum organises lunch meetings where we can meet and network with representatives of other likeminded associations and not-for-profit organisations. I have found the Forum an invaluable help in my role as President.
Driving along the Hume Highway recently I listened to an interview with Sydney Kirkby, Australian surveyor and Antarctic explorer, who spent years surveying and exploring the Antarctic from the late nineteen fifties to the early nineteen eighties. From observing astrofixes to journeying hundreds of kilometres by dog sled across unknown lands of ice and snow, the 85 year old mapped more of the Australian Antarctic Territory than anyone else. Syd was recently awarded the Australian Geographic Lifetime of Adventure medal at the Australian Geographic Society Awards in Sydney. An amazing story.
Travelling through the UK recently I was reading the book The Map Addict by Mike Parker – a tale of Obsession, Fudge and the Ordnance Survey. NSW surveyors can well relate to the famous OS maps of the UK which are very similar to our 1:25000 topographic map series. Putting aside the overwhelming dominance of web based maps, as a surveyor of a certain age, I regard the Ordnance Survey as the map standard par excellence. Mike tells the amazing story of the town of Baarle-Nassau which is part of the extremely complex border between Belgium and the Netherlands. Check it out on your preferred search engine. It is hard to believe.
Finally I gather EISSI was a great success and my thanks to all who helped to organise the event particularly the office staff and our President-elect who assisted on the night.
President ISNSW, Surveyor & FIS