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 am reflecting on my recent trip to Bathurst where we held a Board meeting, in the hallowed Mt Panorama Pits, followed by a Central Western Group seminar, a dinner and the following day, the unveiling of the Evans memorial pillar and Surveyors Walk. It was a wonderful couple of days and I thank the Central Western Group for hosting us and I particularly thank the Seniors Group for organising the Evans pillar opening. The seminar included an excellent technical program of interesting presentations and Narelle Underwood gave a sobering talk at the dinner, in her private capacity, on the lack of gender diversity in our profession. We have some work to do in that regard. The Evans pillar opening was well attended by an enthusiastic group in the morning autumn chill and I urge you all to take the time and drop into Bathurst to view the Evans pillar and explore the adjoining surveyors walk. It will be time well spent.

It’s come to my notice that many members are not using their ISNSW QR cards when registering at ISNSW Regional Group events. By using your QR card to register for an event you not only secure and are promptly advised of, your CPD points, without any further dramas, you are also saving our staff time and effort – it’s a win/win for all concerned. Please use your QR card and if you need a replacement card please contact the office.

Last April the Office of the Registrar General held a Requisition Summit and we were invited to send representatives. Denny Linker and Stephen Smith attended on our behalf which coincidently was held about 2 weeks before the recent ISNSW Webinar – How to manage/or reduce your requisitions.

The ORG and the LRS both have concerns with the high rates of requisitions on plans lodged for registration, as does ISNSW.

The current rate of requisitions is too high and we need to work together to get them down to an acceptable level. Nearly 80% of deposited plans, more than 90% of community plans and nearly 95% of strata plans are subject to requisitions. Notwithstanding that some requisitions are minor and even frivolous, there are many that are important and significant and we need to work hard to reduce the rate of requisitions.

Setting aside for a moment the issue of lodging party requisitions, the three most common surveyor requisitions for DPs are:
• Status and origin of RM’s used are not shown
• Current adjoining information that must be shown are not shown
• Nature and position of RM’s used are not shown
The top three surveyor requisitions for SP’s are:
• By-laws panel to be completed are not completed
• Address for service of notice required on the plan are not shown
• Notations to be clear are not clear
The most common lodging party requisitions are:
• Titles not lodged or produced
• Lodgement fees not paid
• 88B plan and instrument disagree
• Registered proprietors have not signed plans
• Written consents required are not provided

Subsequent to the meeting the LRS has published three draft documents to help surveyors manage their requisitions: Draft Deposited Plan Reference Guide, Draft Strata Plan Reference Guide and a draft Deposited Plan checklist. The LRS is seeking feedback on these documents from surveyors.

I hope by the time you are reading this that these draft documents will have been circulated to all members by email. I urge you to provide feedback to the LRS and ISNSW as soon as possible.

The recent Cadastral webinar was well received although it is understood that some members had technical difficulties and consequently may have missed some of the audio content. I trust these difficulties will be resolved well before the next webinar which I hope will be later in the year. Watch this space. I should say that the content in the 90 minute webinar was excellent and my thanks to the three presenters – Tony Craig of LRS, Steve Bishop and Denny Linker.

Changing pace, it was fortunate that Sheila and I were able to attend the formal mounting of the photo of the Surveyor General Narelle Underwood at the Surveyor General Inn at Berrima recently. Despite our late arrival due to heavy traffic on Pennant Hills Road we joined a small but enthusiastic group at the Inn. It was a good night enjoyed by all.

Back in April I attended the HMG Cadastral seminar which began with the announcement of HMG stalwart and ISNSW Fellow Allan Cavanagh as the HMG Surveyor of the Year.

I recently attended the Surveying & Mapping Industry Council meeting. As mentioned in my previous report while there are approximately 200 candidate graduate surveyors registered with BOSSI yet around 20 new surveyors come on board each year. We need to increase this rate of newly registered surveyors and to do so we need to address the barriers to registration which include a shortage of mentors, a shortage of projects and the need for supervising surveyors to encourage these young surveyors to complete their registration assessments.

Recently I came across an amazing and little known story about the very early days of the colony. The late 18th century was a time of great rivalry between Britain and Spain and in 1793 two Spanish navy ships visited Port Jackson as the two nations had recently become allies of convenience. The Spanish ships anchored close to where the Opera House is today and the Spanish captains were regularly wined and dined by the British colonial officials. But it turns out the Spanish were on a secret spying mission and took detailed notes of the defences and installations and prepared naval charts and soundings of the harbour from Middle Harbour to Manly. As preposterous as it sounds today its now been revealed that the Spanish intended to return and attack and destroy the fledging settlement, kidnap the entire population and take them to one of their colonies in South America. However the plan was abandoned after the Spanish suffered a crushing naval defeat at the hands of the British off Cape St Vincent in Spain in 1797. Rumours of this story have been circulating for years but only recently indisputable evidence of the plot was found buried in Spanish Archives. Imagine how different our history may have been if the mission had proceeded let alone succeeded. It’s a great story and you can find details on the web easily enough.

By the time you read this Sheila and I will be away in the Kimberley for 10 days exploring Cape Leveque and the Gibb River Road and environs by 4WD. On our return the Board will meet to conduct a day long review of our Strategic Plan. I hope to report on this review in the July Azimuth.

Tony Proust
Registered Surveyor
President ISNSW

June 2018

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