Digital survey plans project update

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November 2020 update

Over the last six months, the spread of COVID-19 has substantially changed the way we do business across industries. Those industries that had already been through some form of digital transformation have fared better. All industries are now looking to accelerate digital transformation during the recovery and beyond COVID-19.

This shared experience has consolidated the need to continue to facilitate digital reforms across the land title system. Central to this goal is NSW moving to 100% digital survey plans.

Over the last six months we have conducted an intensive phase of industry engagement, co-design and solution testing. We extend our thanks to the many of you who have contributed to this work. Based on your feedback and the Digital Survey Consultative Committee’s advice and input, we will shortly be announcing an updated approach to delivering digital plans in NSW.

Delivery plan to transition to 100% digital to be released soon

The delivery plan for the transition from paper to digital survey plans, will outline objectives, actions and an implementation timetable to get us to 100% digital. The delivery plan has been developed directly from the recent consultation with industry.

The delivery plan is organised around regular and extensive industry engagement. Your involvement will continue to be sought throughout the implementation phase, via industry reference groups, co-design workshops and user acceptance testing.

The delivery plan will also include outlining a ‘mandate’ to rolling out digital plans, with information on possible key mandated times for replacing current paper-based approach with digital survey plans. While no decision has been made on the scope and timing of any mandates, feedback from stakeholders and other jurisdictions has highlighted the importance of mandates to provide certainty for all stakeholders and ensure the reform is successful.

We hope to launch the delivery plan in the coming month.

What is happening with LandXML?

Many of you have asked whether LandXML will continue to be supported. The answer is yes. The current services will not only be maintained but improved to be of further benefit to industry. For example, enhanced pre-lodgment validation services will help identify errors early, reducing requisition rates and speeding up registration timeframes.

We also now have over 650,000 LandXML files, that correspond to registered Deposited Plans, accessible via NSW Land Registry Services (NSW LRS) Information Brokers. These files are available at no additional cost with the purchase of the corresponding plan image and can be used to save time for pre-field work calculations. The number of these files available continues to rise each day.

NSW LRS is also developing an alternative service to translate CAD files into intelligent digital data. Following stakeholder engagement, a CAD-LandXML translator has been successfully tested for feasibility. NSW LRS has commenced work on a prototype to demonstrate the functionality to industry. Industry will continue to be involved in establishing a NSW layering standard for CAD files, for both Strata and Deposited Plans and in testing this new service.

LandXML channel is online

It’s now easier to access digital survey plans as part of your plan search. NSW LRS and DCS Spatial Services have enhanced the LandXML channel to enable automatic search and retrieval through participating NSW LRS Information Brokers. Here’s some useful links to help you get started:

When using digital survey plans, make sure you are familiar with how your software package ingests the data.

6-month extension of provisions for electronic signatures on plans

We have received positive feedback about the electronic signature provisions announced back in April 2020. We have extended these provisions to 31 March 2021 to ensure customers can safely process documents electronically during COVID-19.

We are continuing to work on developing longer term arrangements. If you have any feedback on how the provisions could be improved to enhance security, efficiency and ease of use, please contact us.

Hybrid capture-on-demand to expand

We are pleased to advise that the proportion of plans examined electronically is set to expand, with the 40 plans per week cap now removed.

Since December 2019, a portion of Deposited Plans lodged for registration have been captured through a fast-track process established by NSW LRS and DCS Spatial Services. The digital data created is used to support a more efficient and comprehensive plan examination process. While this process was temporarily impacted by COVID-19 in March, around 20% of lodged Deposited Plans are now being captured.

Of the more than 1,200 plans captured to date, errors in plan dimensions have been detected in 12% of cases. The key benefit to industry is that these errors have been corrected through plan requisitions, rather than the plan amendment process post-registration. Of course, the additional benefit of surveyors preparing their own LandXML files is that they can identify and correct these errors prior to lodgment.

LandXML lodgments graph


Please direct any questions or feedback to the Digital Survey Plans Program. We are keen to hear your views on how we’re tracking and any concerns you may have.

Kind Regards,
Jeremy Cox, Registrar General, Narelle Underwood, Surveyor General, Adam Bennett, CEO, NSW Land Registry Services