Land and Property Information (LPINSW) was formed in July 2000 (1) as a major business unit of the Department of Information Technology and Management. The agency was a New South Wales State Government Business Enterprise providing land, property and valuation information and services that were previously provided by the Land Titles Office, the Surveyor General's Department, the Valuer General's Department and the Land Information Centre.
LPINSW's services included deeds and parcel-based land registration; land title consultancy; topographic and cadastral mapping; surveying; spatial information; cartography; aerial photography; international land information training and consultancy; remote sensing; and land valuations for rating and taxation.
Initially three major statutory officers were the nucleus of the agency. These were the Registrar General, Surveyor General and Valuer General.
The Registrar General was responsible for
(a) setting and auditing quality standards consistent with the requirements of the Real Property Act, 1900 and associated legislation;
(b) contributing to the development of the automated titling and survey systems operating within LPINSW; (c) approving the determination of boundaries under Part 14A Real Property Act 1900; and
(d) approving the settlement of claims against the Torrens Assurance Fund.
The Surveyor General was responsible for a business unit known as the Land Information Centre that dealt with matters relating to survey plans and surveying in New South Wales including:
(a) ensuring the establishment and maintenance of the State Control Survey and related Geodetic networks;
(b) establishing and maintaining standards including survey practice; the Geocentric Datum of Australian and the verification of length within NSW
(c) chairmanship of the Geographical Names Board and Board of Surveyors; and
(d) acting as a Commissioner for the redistribution of electorates.
The Valuer General was responsible for land valuation in NSW including
(a) entering into, managing and monitoring valuation service contracts;
(b) establishing and maintaining the valuation role and valuation databases;
(c) ensuring the provision of land valuations throughout the State of New South Wales including the determination of compensation when property is acquired by Government to its agencies; and
(d) handling land valuation objections and appeals.
The Registrar General, Surveyor General and Valuer General also
(a) provided advice to government on land related matters;
(b) were responsible for policy formulation;
(c) assisted in maintaining the necessary legislative framework for land titling, conveyancing, property development and land valuation; and
(d) liaising and consulting with professional industry groups. (1)
In its second year of operation the major strategy was to restructure the agency in order to fully integrate its functions and services. Following the restructure the senior officers were as follows:
Divisional Manager Information Sourcing;
Divisional Manager Information Systems;
Divisional Manager Production and Business Development; and
Divisional Manager Titling and Registration Services.
The Information Sourcing Division located and verified information for inclusion in LPINSW’s databases. The Division was staffed by valuers, surveyors, land officers and administrative staff situated in the agency’s two major offices in Sydney and a Bathurst and more than 20 regional officers throughout the State. The main responsibilities of the Division were providing valuation and survey services and maintaining topographic and cadastral data.
The valuation services conducted by the Division included
a planned program of re-valuing land in local government areas;
special valuation for the Office of State Revenue for land tax purposes;
making determinations for owners whose land was compulsorily acquired in accordance with the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991
The survey services carried out by the Division included:
Monitoring compliance with the Surveyors (Practice) Regulation 2001;
Maintaining the state control survey network;
Carrying out field investigations in relation to boundary determinations;
Setting and monitoring technical standards for boundaries defined by Mean High Water Mark
Special projects e.g. in 2001/2002 surveying oyster and aquaculture leases and relocating the original markings of the borders between NSW and Queensland
The agency maintained the Digital Topographic Database that contained digital data from the State topographical map series and the ongoing program of aerial photography. The database was arranged according to six major themes: transport; hydrography; Habitation; Utility; Landform; and Land Cover. The production of maps also continued.
A Digital Cadastral Database was also maintained. By June 2002 the database included data in relation to almost 3 million parcels of land representing the legal framework of land ownership in NSW. The data continued to be updated and improved and new plans prepared. Special projects were undertaken and training given to those undertaking cadastral data collection.
The Information Systems Division developed online service delivery for the benefit of other government agencies and external clients. Services available included searching title ownership and the valuation data. The Division managed an ongoing program of system development that by June 2002 included
an Integrated Property Warehouse that would centralise data regarding land management and usage of across the various agency responsibilities;
electronic lodgement of plans;
electronic lodgement and automatic registration of dealings;
a central register of restrictions and
a directory of cadastral records
The Production and Business Development Division was responsible for developing markets for the products of Land and Property Information NSW determining initiatives in service and systems improvement planning and delivery of projects and mass production.
The role of the Titling and Registry Services Division was to examine and register new plans of subdivision and create land titles of lots in new plans and to examine and record dealings in the Torrens title. (3)
On 2 April 2003 the Department of Information Technology and Management was abolished and LPINSW transferred to the Department of Lands [III] where it became known as the Land and Property Information Division while continuing to operate as a Government Trading Enterprise with essentially the same structure. (4)
1. From Land and Property Information NSW website http://www.lpi.nsw.gov.au/about/whatwedo.html. Accessed 26 February 2001
2. Department of Information Technology and Management annual report for the year ended 30 June 2002 p. 26
3. Ibid p. 22- 26
4. Department of Lands. Annual report for the year ended 30 June 2003 p. 20- 32