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. 

I am pleased to report that the National Survey discussion Forum is now underway. In December last year representatives of SSSI, ISV and ISNSW met at our Surry Hills office to start a discussion on national and international matters as they relate to surveyors. Since then NZIS has joined in the discussion which includes topics such as the Surveying taskforce, Agenda 2026 and the likelihood of holding a Trans- Tasman survey conference in 2019. More details to follow.

I recently attended my first Seniors Group Parliamentary Luncheon early last month. This Seniors Group event has been held every year for the last 17 years. I have never been to this lunch before and was most impressed. The speaker, on this occasion, was Ian Lomas, a highly experienced UK architect who has relocated to Sydney to oversee the conversion of the Lands Building in Sydney into a luxury international hotel. Ian gave a detailed description of other projects he has worked on including the German Reichstag in Berlin and outlined the design process they are following with the Lands Building and I think I can honestly say that the proposed development is in good hands. I may not be able to afford to stay there but hopefully Sheila and I can afford a cup of coffee once the conversion is completed. This annual event being located at the centre of government is a demonstration of the importance of regular connections to the decision makers at the most senior level in our society and I urge the Seniors Group to continue with this flagship event.

Immediate Past President Michael Green and I attended the second stakeholders meeting with the Registrar General which included representatives from ACS, The Law Society, The Bankers Association and the Institute of Conveyances. We met the new acting CEO of the LRS Andrew Dutton who is the Chairman of the Board who gave us an informative rundown on the process that LRS is following to bed down their acquisition. I assume that everyone is aware that Des Mooney has moved on from the LRS. We were advised that a new CEO has been appointed and we anticipate meeting the new CEO at the next stakeholders meeting.

Andrew outlined the important near term projects for the LRS including:
• increased take up of e-conveyancing
• Dedicated effort to support the industry (including surveyors)
• plan efficiency improvements including reduction in requisitions and LandXML led digitisation

Andrew indicated that in the future we may see the introduction of new initiatives such as blockchain technology as is already occurring in other countries around the world. Watch this space.

I attended the SMIC meeting late last month which was chaired by the Surveyor General in the McKell Building adjacent to Central railway. I didn’t know that this was the 160th meeting of SMIC over 29 years. All the other state SMICs have passed on but ours is alive and well. With 14 attendees representing a wide variety of surveying and mapping industry groups it is a very worthwhile meeting.

I did not know that we have a shortage of TAFE surveying teachers and that SMIC offer a scholarship for surveyors to acquire the appropriate training to qualify as a TAFE teacher.

I am pleased to note that Life Without Limits will soon release a new promotion video featuring our new SG Narelle Underwood which will be a welcome development and will assist the profession in promoting surveying as part of the push for STEM.

Narelle flagged a couple of proposed legislative changes to allow BOSSI to more easily prosecute non-registered surveyors who do cadastral work and those people/organisations who destroy survey marks. Will keep you posted.

Early in February I was able to attend, briefly, the ISNSW cadastral candidates workshop held at HQ which included 22 candidates. These workshops, started in 2006 at the Pitt St office, were inspired and led by a dedicated team supported by an experienced group of surveyors from around the state who willingly give up their weekends to mentor the next generation of surveyors – a very worthy cause for which we are all grateful. I want to acknowledge the following members for their contribution to the latest workshop – Darren Booth, Dan Crawter, Greg Frith, Mark Gordon, Tom McDonald, Pat McNamara, Rob Monteath, Jim Ollis, Dave Armstrong, Adrian Barden, Bob Harrison and John Minehan. Job well done.

I understand that SSSI has accepted an offer from the ASEAN FLAG to host the 2019 South East Asian Survey Congress in Darwin. The Congress will be a Survey orientated event with multiple streams and it is intended to co-brand the event as a Trans-Tasman conference. More details as they come to hand.

Many will recall the mysterious Maree Man which was carved into the South Australian desert in 1998. Being 4kms long and 28kms in circumference those responsible have never been identified although clearly some had surveying skills. It is now a tourist attraction but it is starting to deteriorate so some locals engaged a surveyor to determine the coordinates of the geoglyph so it can be maintained and restored as required. Look for the story at Spatial Source, an upcoming issue of Position and at Locate 18 in Adelaide.

Finally I need to report that it has become necessary to arrange some conflict resolution and anti-bullying training for both the office staff and Board members to ensure that everyone understands what is, and what is not, bullying. We probably should have organised such training some years ago but it is appropriate we do this training now for the benefit of members and the Institution more generally.

Tony Proust
Registered Surveyor
President ISNSW

March 2018

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