Archive for the ‘Land Surveying’ Category.

Once upon a time as a cadastral Mastamak on Bougainville Island

Time before ~ years 1974 to 1975 ~ on a verdant high Pacific Island

Mastamak Robert leading a Bougainvillean land boundary field surveying party
North-east coast of Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea









Back Story

The above photographs, albeit some poor quality images, only tell a component of the procedures related to land boundary surveying.  The foundation of a Certificate of Title for land ownership is based upon a plan of survey, undertaken and signed off by an authorised Land Surveyor.

Precision measurement is undertaken on the ground to reinstate old established land boundaries, and for the creation of new land boundaries, either in an urban or rural land context.  Additionally, new land boundaries are required to be marked on the ground, and with respect to this Bougainville location, boundary markings were substantial concrete pegs, which would not rot in a tropical environment.

Attached to the field survey part of a job is investigation of old original plans of survey, land subdivision design, computations associated with plan of survey preparation, additional control survey and reference marking to comply with statutory requirements, with the final output being, the State authorised, approved and registered legal plan of survey.


Many thanks to Smith & Hard, Consulting Surveyors, Kieta, Bougainville, PNG, who employed me as a Registered Land Surveyor, during the period 1974 to 1975, on Bougainville Island.

My sincere gratitude to all participants, especially my Bougainvillean colleagues, involved with my survey work during my time on Bougainville Island.

My wife Gillian accompanied me onsite for the whole of my working period on Bougainville, living in whatever accommodations were available to us – she certainly made life easier for me.  Without Gillian’s eyesight, this posting could not have been created and developed.  For this crucial role, my extreme thanks go to my wife and amanuensis.

Where applicable, some photo negatives have been restored by Paul Full, Ace PhotoShop, Ballina, NSW.


Sinclair, James, Mastamak – The Land Surveyors of Papua New Guinea, Pub. 2001 – see page 327

Nelson, Hank, Taim Bilong Masta – The Australian Involvement with Papua New Guinea, Pub. 1982, based on the ABC Radio series produced by Tim Bowden

Bowden, Tim, Taim Bilbong Masta – The Australian Involvement with Papua New Guinea, ABC Audio Book

Oliver, Douglas, Black Islanders – A Personal Perspective of Bougainville 1937 – 1991, Pub. 1991

Linklater, Andro, Owning the Earth – The Transforming History of Land Ownership, Pub. 2013

Winchester, Simon, Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World, Pub. 2021

View the professional background of Robert Prikulis, Registered Surveyor


© Copyright to Robert and Gillian Prikulis, 2020


Byron Shire Land Surveyor Consultancy for Sale ~ whole or part

Components sale offer, my Land Surveyor Consultancy practice, located 10 minutes from Byron Bay

My Coorabell based sole practitioner Land Surveying Consultancy, located 10 minutes from Byron Bay, within the Byron Shire, is available for purchase  ~  whole or part. My business sale offer would be suitable for a New South Wales Registered Land Surveyor seeking a professional and lifestyle change, working in the eclectic Byron Shire, on the far north coast of NSW.

Business offer components for sale of my Coorabell based Land Surveyor Consultancy

1. Survey practice business intangibles ~ entree ticket, intellectual property, my goodwill, market presence ~  inclusive of my survey practice jobs documentation in hardcopy format.  ( My land and property survey search sold as separate component 3. )

2. On request, my current rate and variety of jobs enquiries, will be supplied. My onward land survey jobs enquiries referral, to the purchaser, by negotiation. Components 1 or 2, cannot be purchased separately.

Optional components 3 & 4

3. Extensive cadastral land and property survey search for the Byron Shire, supplied in digital format.  All search items offered as one lot only.

4. Modern array of practical field and office land surveying equipment offered as one lot only ~ inclusive of Sokkia CX103 Reflectorless 3″ Total Station instrument, brand new and still under warranty ~ SOLD.   The balance of the survey equipment may be purchased separately.  Optional availability to buy also ~ Stanley, The Eltham, 20″ arc Vernier Theodolite in original wooden case, and Curta mechanical calculator, with manual.

For your confidential initial enquiry, phone Robert on (02) 6684 7799.

Any proposed sale and terms will be subject to mutually acceptable, signed off,  formal legal contract.

Vincite opus ~ facis opus ~ mercedem


.” This is what has most impressed me and may well be a shallow thing, but I have admired most of all expertise, the quality of being strictly professional.  This must be understood to extend to every aspect of living within the individual purview so that the business of having lived has been done, in all directions, with competence, its obligations discharged without blemish, its satisfactions achieved in the knowledge of their excellence. “Lucius Beebe.




Some experiences of a Land Surveyor with Macular Degeneration ~ growing an information resource for better future eyesight outcomes.

Regeneration ~ not degeneration

compassion               creativity               courage


Caution alert ~ Dear reader, this narrative is about vision loss.  Should you find this distressing, please leave this page.  I also am stepping out of my personal comfort zone in writing and publishing this article.

The first port of call for any eyesight concern is always the medical professional.

The primary rationale of this journal entry is to plant a seed for the development of an organic knowledge base, in the public interest, specifically for probable future cures for the wet form of Macular Degeneration.  Eyesight malfunctions are numerous, and this journal entry is specific to the wet form of Macular Degeneration only.

My commentary is from the perspective of a non-medical layperson, who has experienced wet Macular Degeneration and it’s profound impacts for the past twenty years.  Again, my purpose is to seek out information for the benefit of all, of the latest developments with respect to the medical treatment of wet Macular Degeneration.  Relevant contributions addressing the theme of this page, would be most welcome.

How to instantly lose the best part of your eyesight, with no current prospect of a recovery

A very basic explanation of the vision process is firstly required.  One’s eyesight consists of two primary components – peripheral vision and macular vision.  Fine accuracy vision is provided by the macular, which enables one to read normally and view detail.

Out of the blue, twenty years ago, at aged 47 years, I lost the central macular vision of my right eye in an instant and was introduced to the world of Ophthalmologists and the terminology, the wet form of Macular Degeneration.  Medical treatment available at that time, did not recover my lost central sight.  Subsequent emphasis was directed to preserve the healthy eyesight of my good left eye.  I was able to continue to work successfully as a professional Land Surveyor.



Out of the blue ~ Round 2, down for the count

My greatest fear was that this could happen to me again.  After twenty years of constant monitoring and checking of my good left eye by Ophthalmologists, my dreaded fear happened suddenly in late 2012, and again, I lost the central vision in my good healthy eye to the wet form of Macular Degeneration.  The wet form of Macular Degeneration is precipitated by a blood vessel eruption or leakage in the retina, which may cause irrepairable damage to the macular, resulting in central vision loss.  On this second occasion, the haemorrhage occurred under the retina.

Although the blood vessel haemorrhages were twenty years apart, medical treatments undertaken, inclusive of intraocular gas applications, were almost identical.  The new exceptions being in 2012/2013, the use of laser retinal scanning imagery and follow-up injections of Lucentis into my left eye.  In my case, leading to no vision improvement in this eye.

For me currently, and as it was twenty years ago, there is no cure to recover this lost vision.  If I’m  incorrect in my statement, I and many others would gladly like to be advised of an available treatment solution.  In my situation, because of family history, medical experts concur that I had a genetic predisposition to the wet form of Macular Degeneration.

My central area of vision for both eyes is obscured, replaced by a featureless grey smudge, with no visual precision – just a blur.  Letters and words cannot be identified.  The remainder of my peripheral vision can identify lines of text, however they cannot be read by me.  Images that I can see are blurry, distorted, sometimes with parts missing, with no sharp focus.

For me, the exponential domino effect of not being able to read in everyday living, has had the most profound impacts.  My passion to practice as a Consultant Land Surveyor has been stopped stone cold.

It’s not lights out ~ what’s next for tomorrow

Ophthalmologists, optometrists and orthoptists have advised me that there is no current cure to recover vision loss, caused by the wet form of  Macular Degeneration.  A damaged or atrophied macular (end stage disciform scarring and geographic atrophy) does not necessarily imply “lights out” – as put to me by one medical expert.  In my case, some peripheral vision remains, facilitating a reduced eyesight.  Unlike cataract removal surgery and the wonderful clear lens replacement, there is no universal plug-in or external optical fix for a damaged macular – not just yet.

A breakthrough in vision restoration for the future, may lie in the direction of a much sought after cell regenerative process.  Regenerative, meaning the repairing of an eye component part, that the body cannot repair naturally.  My layman’s speculation is that a practical successful treatment for wet Macular Degeneration, resulting in correct vision recovery, is more than 10 years away. On behalf of the wider affected community, I dearly hope that I’m wrong.

Key information links

Six years in the murk, but not lights out

Eye on the Cure

My Macular Degeneration Journey ~ by Linda and Sue

eSight ~ digital eyewear for people with low vision

Eye Conditions

A current organic knowledge base in chronological order ~ seeking future treatment options for wet Macular Degeneration ~ see 100 links

Gene-editing tool CRISPR used in blind US patient to attempt to restore sight

Wet Macular Degeneration ~ a valuable animated video explanation

The Patriot ViewPoint – The Blind Life

Why is Assistive Technology so Expensive – The Blind Life

People with disability both liberated and left behind by today’s tech

Legally blind photographer

Stem cell-based retina therapy to treat blindness – University of California, Irvine.

New Stem Cell Treatment Reverses Vision Loss in 2 Patients

Gene therapy for inherited eye disease – MDFA

Stem cell therapy reverses sight loss and lets people read again

Macular Degeneration: Stem Cells Restore Sight in Small Study

First serious adverse reaction to iPS-derived retinal cell transplant reported

Life After Sight Loss ~ Podcasts

Seeing AI App  ~  Artificial Intelligence

Florey Medal winner sets sights on wet macular degeneration cure

eSight 3 Launches in Australia

Macular Degeneration: A stem cell treatment – video, a fair explanation

New Research: Gene Editing as a Potential Treatment for Wet Macular Degeneration

Legally blind ~ The Blind Spot ~ video

A Demonstration of the IrisVision Electronic Glasses

Japanese man is first to receive ‘reprogrammed’ stem cells from another person

How to use a USB microscope for a reading aid ~ video

Winner: GiveVision, Stan Karpenko, London

Patients Lose Sight After Stem Cells Are Injected Into Their Eyes

Macular Disease Foundation Australia – Extract Research Update, December 2016

EYE HOPE  ~ a site for sore eyes ~ curated by Reid Johnson, Seattle, USA

ORCAM – See for yourself

The Stem Cellar

Dry AMD Treatment’s “major achievement”

Basic Stem Cell Terminology

Stem cell cure for blindness tested – BBC News


Osterhout Design Group Teams with NuEyes for Solution to Help Those with Low Vision

Skin-To-Eye Stem Cell Transplant Partially Restores Eyesight Of Woman With Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Japanese scientists have used skin cells to restore a patient’s vision for the first time

‘Miracle’ cells could cure blindness

CRISPR Used to Repair Blindness-causing Genetic Defect in Patient-derived Stem Cells

My macular vision loss strategies ~ 2016

Cautionary comments concerning stem cell therapy and macular degeneration

Stem Cell Trial Aims to Cure Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Restoring vision with stem cells

RXI-109 May Reduce Retinal Scarring

‘Big step forward’ in new treatment for age-related macular degeneration

Restoring vision with stem cells

Stem cells help a local blind man see

Restoring vision with stem cells

Stem cell op could bring back sight for millions: UK breakthrough

A New Treatment for Macular Degeneration

Hope for stem cell therapy in macular degeneration

Faulty Immune Cells May be a Cause of Vision Loss in Wet Macular Degeneration

Are stem cells the future for treating macular degeneration?

Pivotal Clinical Trial Program Design for Stargardt’s Macular Degeneration ~ Ocata Therapeutics

Many Stem Cell Clinical Trials for Macular Degeneration

Blindness cure is in sight

Stem Cells Allow Nearly Blind Patients to See

Successful retina transplant sparks hope

Intra Ocular Lens AMD – Hubble Implant

Stem Cell Trial Yields Surprising Results

Hope for blind as scientists find stem cell reservoir in human eye

First lab grown stem cell implanted to treat macular degeneration

MIT finger device reads to the blind in real time

Summary of Research and Developments, 2013-2014

Stem-Cell Treatment for Blindness Moving Through Patient Testing

Scientists make major breakthrough in Age-Related Macular Degeneration therapy

A Continuing Clinical Trial for Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Stem cells transplants restore sight to blind mice

Macular degeneration: Incurable, but progress being made

Nano innovation could mean eye injections are a thing of the past

Eccentric Viewing in Central Vision Field Loss, CFL ~ pdf

Review of the MD evReader by Robert Prikulis ~ pdf

New iPad app for people with sight loss

MD evReader App ~ You Tube

Stem Cell Trial Enrolling Patients

Gene Therapy May Help Against Rare Blinding Disease

Cells programmed back to embryonic state using acid bath may provide way to grow new organs

Blindness Cure Hope: Genetically Modified Virus Restores Sight in Choroideremia Patients

The Day I Got My Sight Back ~ BBC documentary video 2013

Scientists ‘print’ new eye cells

New hope for patients with macular degeneration

Stem Cell Treatment ~ Research Update December 2013, MD Foundation Australia

Macular Disease Foundation Australia

Webvision ~ Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) by Gregory S. Hageman

Potential topical treatment for macular degeneration

New Treatment For Dry & Wet Macular Degeneration Shows Great Promise

The London Project to Cure Blindness

Historic Japan Stem Cell Trial Approved

‘Big leap’ towards curing blindness in stem cell study

Glasses could correct eyesight of macular degeneration sufferers

Bioengineered virus will improve gene therapy for blinding eye

Video ~ New lease on sight ~ Israeli start-up gives visually impaired a way to read

Bionic eye prototype unveiled by Victorian scientists and designers, Monash University

Stem-cell treatment restores sight to blind man ~ New Scientist – Health

The bionic eye – how does it work ? ~ Bionic Vision Australia

E-Scoop and Life After Vision Loss for Patients Suffering With Macular Degeneration

E-Scoop and Doctor Writes Guide for Macular Degeneration Eyeglasses

Vision Australia ~ blindness and low vision services

Your links, emails and comments are welcome.

Relevant submitted information will be published on this page.

Help grow an information resource for better treatment outcomes for Macular Degeneration.

Email Robert

with my gratitude to Gillian, Sam and Tee


The regeneration of Macular Degeneration current interim report card ~ 12 best statements influencing better future eyesight outcomes.

What is the current state of play

” About 110,000 Australians have wet Macular Degeneration ” ~ Macular Disease Foundation Australia, Research Update Summary Paper, page 4  ~  December 2012.

My following extracts are a synopsis of latest developments as detailed in the reference links noted on my previous Journal Blog narrative, “Some experiences of a Land Surveyor with Macular Degeneration….” ~  my aim being to provide a layman’s snapshot interpretation of current best practice paradigms out there.  Your additional helpful comments or suggestions would be welcome.


” The treatment is based on retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells that have been grown from embryonic stem cells. A surgeon injects 150 microliters of RPE cells—roughly the amount of liquid in three raindrops—under a patient’s retina, which is temporarily detached for the procedure. RPE cells support the retina’s photoreceptors, which are the cells that detect incoming light and pass the information on to the brain….the company has reported impressive results with one patient, who recovered vision after being deemed legally blind.  “  ~  16 April 2014


” Dr Kang Zhang, chief of ophthalmic genetics at UC San Diego, is studying AMD from several angles. He’s investigating genetic variants associated with the disease to better understand how it develops, along with angiogenesis inhibitors for “wet” AMD.  “People at the end stage of end-stage macular degeneration have scar tissue with a loss of photoreceptor cells, so stem cell therapy is the only hope for them,” Zhang said.  For those patients, Zhang is studying how to regenerate an entire retina.  One approach is to use 3-D “bioprinting” of cells to assemble a retina.  Zhang said he and his colleagues are attempting to re-create the embryonic environment in which retinas naturally grow.  “Because the retina is a three-dimensional structure, we have to use ‘bioprinting’ to lay down scaffolds,” Zhang said.  His team is working with a variety of animal and human cells. ” ~ 12 March 2014


” While choroideremia is a rare disease, affecting about one in every 50,000 people, doctors believe the process used to treat it could be turned toward more common inherited eye disorders, such as macular degeneration or retinitis pigmentosa. ” ~ 13 February 2014


” The team used a genetically modified virus and inserted it into the cells in the retina of the eye without causing damage. The first six patients to receive the treatment had all shown improvements to their vision in dim light, with two being able to read more lines on the eye chart. ” ~ 16 January 2014


“….The cells, called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) Cells, will be morphed into retinal cells, then given to six patients with a major cause of blindness: age-related macular degeneration (AMD)….IPS cells are hailed as the perfect compromise cell. They are adult, so uncontroversial; multi-potent like an embryonic cell, so relatively powerful….”  ~  14 August 2013


“…. Damage to the retina causes their sight to become blurry and distorted….Patients use a computer mouse to adjust the Amsler Grid until they can see it perfectly….Using complex algorithms he can produce personalised lenses that compensate for the distortions, and is developing spectacles and contact lenses….We have to eliminate the distortions in macular degeneration with a complex compensation….” ~ 15 August 2013


” ….The eye is one of the most advanced fields for stem cell research….It is relatively simple as the light sensing cells only have to pass their electrical message on to one more cell in order to get their message to the brain….Now the London-based team have shown it is possible to replace the light-sensing cells themselves, raising the prospect of reversing blindness….The study showed that these cells could hook up with the existing architecture of the eye and begin to function….” ~  22 July 2013


“….Building upon 14 years of research, we have now created a virus that you just inject into the liquid vitreous humor inside the eye, and it delivers genes to a very difficult-to-reach population of delicate cells in a way that is surgically non-invasive and safe….the viruses penetrated cells spottily across the retina, but almost completely in the very important fine-vision area called the fovea. Current viruses do not penetrate foveal cells at all….Schaffer predicts that the viruses can be used not only to insert genes that restore function to non-working genes, but can knock out genes or halt processes that are actively killing retina cells, which may be the case in age-related macular degeneration….”  ~  16 June 2013


” An experimental stem-cell treatment has restored the sight of a man blinded by the degeneration of his retinal cells. The man, who is taking part in a trial examining the safety of using human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to reverse two common causes of blindness, can now see well enough to be allowed to drive….”  ~  20 May 2013


” The bionic vision system consists of a camera, attached to a pair of glasses, which transmits high-frequency radio signals to a microchip implanted in the retina. Electrodes on the implanted chip convert these signals into electrical impulses to stimulate cells in the retina that connect to the optic nerve. These impulses are then passed down along the optic nerve to the vision processing centres of the brain, where they are interpreted as an image….”  ~  20 January 2013


“….Recently developed new E-Scoop lenses from Holland now enable doctors to help patients with one of the chief complaints associated with macular degeneration – cloudy vision….The lens has four distinct properties that make vision clearer and sharper, with reduced glare….The yellow tint improves contrast, the prism moves the image away from the damaged macular area, the thickness of the lens, combined with its special “base” curve, makes objects appear slightly larger….”  ~  9 September 2012


“….As our understanding of the pathogenesis of AMD continues to improve, so does the prospects for new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Hopefully, we will eventually eradicate AMD and dramatically improve the quality of life in our older generation.” ~ June 2012

Help grow an information resource for better treatment outcomes for Macular Degeneration.

Email Robert

with my gratitude to Gillian, Sam and Tee

Dictated to my wife, Gillian


Land boundary dispute resolution within the NSW Byron Shire. The unmaking of adjoining neighbours’ demarcation myths.

Folktales about plowmen who encroach upon their neighbours’ fields ~ ” Before the permanent allotment of lands, to every peasant, in sowing time, so much of the field or mark was assigned as was just and appropriate, and boundary posts were driven between his and his neighbour’s allotment. Whoever removed such marks, though he might escape punishment in this world, could find no rest in the grave, but by way of penalty must plough every night on the spot where his sin lay hidden.” Dishonest Plowman Legends , D. L. Ashliman

As a NSW Registered Land Surveyor working in the Mullumbimby, Byron Bay and Bangalow localities, I occasionally receive enquiries from distressed property owners concerning, from their perspective, supposed land boundary disputes with their adjoining neighbours. In this article I will attempt to clarify key relevant issues and highlight perceived property owner misconceptions.  Water boundaries are excluded in this review.

Contrasts in the ownership of land experience can vary from ” Bliss “, as shown in the Windows XP, icon “Bliss” cartoon image above ~ to the unwelcome personal confrontation of a perceived land border, demarcation, land boundary dispute ~ being contentions between adjoining property owners, attempting to protect their own interests. Their perceptions are based sometimes on doubtful evidence, which requires factual land survey investigation.

How land boundaries are created in the first instance and associated responsibilities

In the State of NSW, land boundary rules of law are created by the Parliament, administered by the Government and interpreted by the Judiciary. In a worst case scenario, the absolute final arbitrator of the location of a land boundary on the ground is a Court of Law. The NSW Registered Land Surveyor is specially qualified, trained and has authorised competence in dealing with and resolving most land boundary issues.

The boundary limits of land ownership are accurately quantified in the quaintly termed ” title diagram “, as specified in the Certificate of Title (CT) of the individual land parcel.  Currently, this diagram is actually a precisely surveyed and carefully prepared plan of land survey, referred to as a Deposited Plan of Survey ( DP ), and meeting the strict requirements of the Surveying and Spatial Information Act 2002 Surveying and Spatial Information Regulation 2006 – ( 2012 from 1 September ), and the Registrar General’s Directions, NSW Land & Property Information ( LPI ).

Lodged DPs for the creation and subsequent reinstatement of land boundaries, are required to be accompanied by an extensive Checklist meeting statutory requirements, and signed off by the Registered Land Surveyor undertaking the boundary survey.

Delineated land boundaries are shown in the DP with accompanying corner reference marking details and State control surveyed connections for the future purpose of boundary reinstatement, if required.

The Registered Surveyor responsible for the surveyed DP, makes a mandatory legal declaration in the Survey Certificate panel contained within the separate DP Administration Sheet, stating that the survey was carried out in accordance with the statutory regulations.  There is no provision within this Survey Certificate, see above, for boundary survey work to be undertaken ” under supervision “. The NSW Board of Surveying and Spatial Information ( BOSSI ) issues a photograph identification card to Registered Land Surveyors, for the authorisation of entry to land for survey purposes.

In modern land survey practice, the land boundary dispute description statement is usually a misnomer

The established doctrine of indefeasibility applicable to Torrens title land, refers to the State guarantee as to certainty of ownership of land, inclusive of land boundaries. In the case of Limited Title, land boundaries are not guaranteed.

In my view, modern NSW land boundaries can be construed as land boundaries created since the introduction of precision electronic distance measurement for cadastral surveys in the early 1970s.  Additionally, from this period onwards, NSW survey regulations provided for improved  reference marking and survey control connection to selected land boundary corners in the DP.  This improved technology, with better survey monumentation, resulted in the accurate reinstatement of land boundaries, when required.

Simply put, with modern land boundary surveys, there is usually no doubt as to where a title boundary is on the ground.  Depending on local circumstances, more office investigation and field work may be required to reinstate a particular land boundary correctly in its original position, especially where original survey monuments are gone.

Accordingly, the description that ” an issue is a land boundary dispute “, is a misnomer.  With modern boundary surveys, the validity of a correctly reinstated land boundary on the ground, can be considered not to be in contention.  The ground land boundary location generally cannot be disputed, but rather the real issue being, contentions between adjoining neighbours regarding structures and/or vegetation, related to the correctly determined and known ground boundary position.

Separating the fundamental issues of contention and dispute

The ground location for a particular land boundary may not be known by adjoining land owners for a variety of reasons.  Original ground surface statutory survey pegs are gone as a result of construction, utility services, land clearing, agricultural activity, garden creation, invasive vegetation, fence erection, storm and weather impact, and deterioration through age.  Additionally, in my local experience, it is not unknown for statutory survey pegs to be deliberately removed and/or repositioned incorrectly.

The primary and first process to resolve a contentious boundary location, is to have that boundary correctly reinstated and marked on the ground by a Registered Land Surveyor. If necessary, the surveyed identification of adjoining building structures, fences, vegetation and trees, related to that boundary, may also be undertaken.  In this survey task a detailed written report and plan of survey is also supplied by the Registered Land Surveyor, which may be useful in ongoing negotiations.

Once the correct ground boundary is known with certainty, with accompanying supporting documentation, potentially as admissible evidence, then neighbour issues related to that boundary can be addressed.

Further options for consideration for more complex, contentious land boundaries

The Registered Land Surveyor to lodge a formal deposited plan of survey ( DP ), known as a redefinition plan, detailing the boundary reinstatement for the land boundary in contention.  This plan is examined, registered as a DP by the NSW Registrar General and is available in the public domain.  No Local Government certificate is required for this type of lodged survey plan.

As evidenced by a recent Court report concerning a retaining wall feud along a common boundary, litigation fees can escalate to an excessive amount. In order to provide an alternative process to possible expensive legal and court costs, the NSW Registrar General, under Part 14A Real Property Act 1900, may through an application for boundary determination and payment of associated fees, undertake an examination survey to resolve a more complex boundary dispute, particularly in regard to older created land boundaries.

Land owners’ possible misconceptions relevant to a contentious land boundary

To establish with certainty that a corner post or line fencing is correctly located on a land boundary, requires that investigation and a check survey be undertaken by a Registered Land Surveyor. This check survey will confirm whether the relevant land boundary passes through the material of fencing, or not.  In my local experience, it is not unknown for rural perimeter boundary and corner fencing to be erected up to several metres from the correct boundary position, sometimes resulting in adjoining neighbours adopting an incorrect presumption.

Online aerial imagery or aerial mapping supplied by Local Government, showing a cadastral or land boundary overlay, should be treated with caution.  Land boundaries shown in this media are not survey accurate and cannot be relied upon to establish or interpret a land boundary position correctly.  At best, boundary lines shown should be considered as diagrammatic only. There are too many instances, where boundaries shown within the imagery, are wrongly displaced many metres from the real  road and land parcel boundary location, and not correctly related to displayed infrastructure.

In the disclaimer noted below, with respect to mapping, aerial imagery, and associated displayed land boundaries, Byron Shire Council states no warranty is given, that the issued map provided, is free from error or omission.

In common land law, the most weight is given to boundary evidence on the ground.

Impacts on a land boundary, which may lead to neighbour contention

Post resolution of the correct ground boundary location, in my experience the type of issues contested with respect to a common boundary, are not limited to the following -

  • Erected fence lines and retaining walls.
  • Building structures, walls and attachments, and foundation support.
  • Vegetation, trees and branches.
  • Legal access to a land parcel.
  • The proper use of land.
  • The entering of a neighbour’s land without consent, possibly leading to trespass.

Within their land parcel boundaries, the property owner(s) has the right to fully enjoy their own amenity through the use, care, control and management of their property, being in compliance with Local Government land use laws.

Should you have any enquiries concerning land boundary issues related to this article in the Byron, Bangalow and Mullumbimby localities, I offer as an experienced New South Wales Registered Land Surveyor, personal professional service and expert friendly advice, leading to successful client outcomes.


Please visit my website for contact details.

An explanation of the above  land related terminology, may be found in a glossary provided  by the New South Wales Land and Property Information ( NSW LPI ), Registrar General’s Directions.


Vendors sale checklist for Byron Bay rural hinterland property from this NSW Registered Land Surveyor’s perspective.

In the interest of providing a counter balance to my previous Journal Blog posting, which recommended a checklist for a proposed rural land and property purchase, I now offer my notes for a Vendor considering a rural land and property sale, relevant to the Byron Bay, Bangalow and Mullumbimby rural hinterland. My notes are based upon my experience as a Registered Land Surveyor and property owner Vendor in the local Byron Shire property market. My introductory notes are not exhaustive, but rather include, and are not limited to, my following key points, which are not necessarily in order.

  • Review my relevant checklist points in my previous posting, which may also be applicable to a Vendor.
  • In the current local land and property market, the sales process is biased towards Purchasers, with Vendors being urged to “meet the market” to achieve a fast property sale, possibly resulting in serious financial disadvantage to the Vendor. A review of property marketing strategy, both online and in the print media, indicates that there is a continuous pressure on Vendors to reduce property sale prices. If possible, an option for the Vendor is simply to remove the property from sale and wait for a more beneficial market.

They can help you structure an offer that gets you the lowest price, while meeting the objective of making the vendor feel like they’re also getting a good deal. “ ~  Quote, Domain, The Northern Star, 28 April 2012.

  • Distressed and uninformed Vendors may be vulnerable in this current property market.  In order to achieve a reasonable property sale outcome, the Vendors’ objective should be to be fully aware of property market impacts, from several reliable independent information sources.
  • Hinterland Vendors should be intrinsically aware of the true value and real potential of their real estate.  Where a Vendor unknowingly puts a bargain property on the market, they may be burdened with an unnecessary financial loss, post property sale.

  • Be mindful of the property exploiter occasionally loitering in the market place.  Post land and property securement, having bought low with the calculated  future intention of attempting to sell high, in this instance, the mantra of ” meeting the market ” does not seem to apply. Lawful, but of no benefit to the original Vendor, who sold the property.
  • The property sale process may be managed by a NSW Licensed Real Estate Agent ( Agent ) acting upon the Vendor’s instructions, or alternatively, the Vendor may lawfully pursue the sale process privately.  If using an Agent, the Vendor should endeavour to be in control of the minimum listing period,  listing type and terms, the negotiation of the the Agent’s commission and costs, editorial approval of all marketing  advertising, and importantly, determine their asking sale price for their property.  By law the Agent is required to nominate their estimate of the property sale price in the listing contract document.  It is permissible  that the Vendor’s nominated asking price in the listing contract may differ substantially from the Agent’s estimate of sale price. In a fair and reasonable property sale transaction, it is a willing seller, willing buyer sale process – neither being under any compulsion to sell or buy.  ~  However, reality may differ from the theory.
  • The Vendor’s asking sale price should not be limited only to referencing similar past property sales, which may have been sold because of an owner’s personal or financial pressure. But additionally, be based upon existing similar properties currently not on the market.  Astute Vendors should also familiarise themselves with more recent past property sales and observe the subsequent sale asking price and time period passed, when a new owner puts the same property back on the market.
  • Achieved, well below the market, recent property sales, forced by financial distress or failed property speculation, should not be considered as legitimate reference bench marks for future property sale pricing.
  • The Vendor  should not permit a minor rectifiable property defect to be translated into a disproportionate property sale price reduction.
  • The Vendor has the right to know all relevant details of prospective Purchasers undertaking enquiries and onsite inspections of their property.  It is noted that when agents market their own properties, it is required by law that the agent must declare their interest to prospective Purchasers.  Accordingly in my view, the Vendor conducting a private sale, also has the right to enquire if the prospective Purchaser is an agent seeking to buy the property, or a non-agent individual acting on behalf of a client. ie. middle person.
  • An onsite property inspection disappoints when property marketing photographs and accompanying statements do not match the reality on the ground. Truth in property promotion advertising is more likely to lead to a successful sale result.
  • Unacceptable initial low ball offers are made by Purchasers to test the mettle of Vendors and observe their reactions.  Vendors should simply maintain composure and re-affirm their property pricing position.

As a Vendor, your rightful endeavour is to protect your interests in your property sale transaction.

Should you have any enquiries concerning land boundary matters related to your proposed property sale in the Byron, Bangalow and Mullumbimby rural hinterland, I offer as an experienced New South Wales Registered Land Surveyor, personal professional service and expert friendly advice, leading to successful client outcomes.


Please visit my website for contact details.

An explanation of the above  land related terminology, may be found in a glossary provided  by the New South Wales Land and Property Information ( NSW LPI ), Registrar General’s Directions.


Pre-Purchase checklist for Byron Bay rural hinterland property from this NSW Registered Land Surveyor’s perspective.

My comments apply to land survey practice law in the State of New South Wales. My Land Surveyor’s perspective checklist is a good starting place for your pre-purchase property investigation. It is based on my local experience as a practising Land Surveyor in the Byron Bay, Bangalow and Mullumbimby rural hinterland. This introductory checklist is not exhaustive, but rather includes, and is not limited to, my following key points, which are not necessarily in order.

  • Closely examine the computer folio of the Certificate of Title ( CT ) of the subject property. Understand the meaning and impact of any notations described in the second schedule of the Certificate.  If relevant, understand the impact of a Limited Title.
  • Appurtenant to the aforesaid point, determine the land tenure or land status of the parcel of land being considered for purchase.  Understand whether the property is a straight-out, unencumbered freehold land parcel, or a purchase of an interest of a Multiple Occupancy ( MO ) arrangement, or a rural Community Title lot, which is subject to a management statement/plan, as detailed on the notations of the Certificate of Title ( CT ).  The impacts of this management statement should be clearly understood.
  • View the Deposited Plan of Survey ( DP ) of the subject land parcel.  Identify the subject lot land boundaries within the DP.  Establish whether the subject lot in the DP is a full land survey or a compiled plan.  A statement in the first schedule of the CT,  ” formerly known as Portion – “, indicates a Crown Plan ( CP ) with an associated CP number.
  • Determine the last sale price and date, for the subject land, from the transfer dealing number, as shown in the first schedule of the Certificate of Title.
  • Compare the subject property asking price to the current replacement cost of all existing building and utility servicing structures, together with landscaping, separated from the land price only component.
  • Sight the location of any existing easements within the subject land in the DP.  Correlate any easements, with notations in the second schedule, of the Certificate of Title.  Understand the impact of  any restriction(s) on the use of land.
  • Google the property street address to view aerial imagery.  Inspect the property on the ground.
  • Know the property land use zoning and the associated full implications of that zoning ( see LEP ).  Assess the relevance of Council’s Development Control Plan ( DCP ), if any, to the subject property. Until the new draft Byron LEP is implemented, the Byron LEP 1988 is the current legal planning instrument.
  • Check that a Development Application ( DA ) to Council, if any, over the subject property, has been formerly refused, or is in the current process of being determined.  Is the property subject to the fulfillment of DA consent conditions to Council, or under any Council orders.
  • Establish the existence and location of any un-constructed Crown Roads within the subject land, and which are not part of the subject lot.
  • Ascertain that existing property perimeter rural fencing is correctly erected on lot land boundaries.
  • Check that the subject lot, if vacant, has a building entitlement.
  • Establish which parts of the subject property, if any, are flood or landslip prone.
  • Identify if the property location and access is bushfire prone and subject to bushfire hazard risk management impacts.
  • Confirm that existing building structures are within the subject land and do not encroach upon adjoining lands, roads or easements.
  • Ascertain that there are no encroachments upon the subject property by buildings on adjoining lands, or constructed roads.
  • Are existing building structures lawful and approved by the Local Government Authority.
  • Establish with certainty, that a proposed building site stands within the subject vacant lot, and without any Crown Roads.
  • If applicable, confirm that existing buildings are contained within a designated building envelope within the subject lot.  If vacant land, ascertain on the ground, the location of the building envelope.
  • Know the direction of true north, within the subject land parcel, on the ground.
  • Clarify the availability and installation costs of utility services, if required.  Confirm the quality of mobile phone and digital TV reception, and high speed broadband internet connection.
  • On a rural property purchase it is conditional on the new owner to obtain from Council an Approval to operate an on-site sewage management system for the existing septic.  A prudent purchaser should obtain a plumber’s report prior to commitment.
  • Obtain an Identification Survey and/or have relevant land boundaries surveyed and marked on the ground.
  • Does the subject property have legal access.  Are existing access driveways physically located within the property lot, road reserve, or within a designated right of carriageway envelope.

If a prospective purchaser is not permitted or obstructed in pursuing any line of enquiry, concerning the property details, to their satisfaction, then this may indicate potential problems post property purchase.  Accordingly, one should be fully aware of the possible impact consequences of not obtaining clarity prior to property securement.

Further supporting information may be found in my Journal Blog article titled  ~  Caveat Emptor and your piece of Australia and associated PDF, Lines in Space.

In the interest of providing a counter balance, see my Journal posting Vendors sale checklist for Byron Bay rural hinterland property.

Should you have any enquiries concerning land boundary investigation in the Byron, Bangalow and Mullumbimby rural hinterland, I offer as an experienced New South Wales Registered Land Surveyor, personal professional service and expert friendly advice, leading to successful client outcomes.


Please visit my website for contact details.

An explanation of the above  land related terminology, may be found in a glossary provided  by the New South Wales Land and Property Information ( NSW LPI ), Registrar General’s Directions.



Land Surveyors CPD Workshop ~ Byron Bay, NSW ~ 13 July 2012


Continuing Professional Development through the sharing of ideas amongst Registered Land Surveyors leading to the enhancement of professional cadastral knowledge and survey practice.

Interactive workshop format for professional Land Surveyors

Participants will be encouraged to contribute to workshop topics discussion.  Individual 3 to 5 minute participant presentations of their choice, related to the agenda, would be welcomed.  The sharing of ideas will include, and not be limited to, the nominated key topic subject matters noted below.

Limited to 10 participants only ~  in a friendly boardroom environment

Morning session   ~    9am to 12.30pm

Land boundary reinstatement analysis.

Review submitted examples, assess responses from NSW LPI; beach works protection and the location of the MHWM boundary on the ground; impact of loss of cadastral monuments.

The online cadastral Surveyor.

Available online internet resources; Land Surveyor imaging, promotion and marketing: consumer reactions; search engine impact and rationale for blogging; opportunities for CPD online.

Afternoon session   ~   1pm to 5.30pm

Cadastral business practice and the Registered Land Surveyor.

Competition in the cadastral market place; survey practice models; are there enough disclaimers; winning jobs and payment templates; affordability of land surveys and consumer reaction; perception of the Registered Land Surveyor and Local Government; job documentation as digital files.

The next 20 years, the land boundary Surveyor and cadastral surveying.

What is left for the Registered Land Surveyor, innovate or terminate;  the ” dumbing down ” of cadastral survey practice; multi-tasking for the Registered Surveyor, why; the purpose and use of the regulatory authority registration; considerations of different CPD models.

  • VENUE  The Boardroom, Lord Byron Resort, 120 Jonson Street, Byron Bay, NSW, 2481.
  • DATE  Friday 13 July 2012  ~   9am to 5.30pm
  • COST per participant  ~  $120.00
  • WORKSHOP facilitator  ~  Robert Prikulis  ~   phone  (02) 6684 7799   ~  email
  • COORDINATOR, The Boardroom  ~  Gillian Prikulis
  • HARDCOPY reference notes supplied to each participant at the beginning of the Workshop
  • 8 NSW CPD POINTS  ~  3.5 CAD & 4.5 SP 
  • EVENT code No. UN1201
  • BOSSI NSW CPD Ratifying Organization   ~  University of Newcastle 
  • LUNCH 12.30pm to 1pm, catered, with morning and afternoon refreshment breaks
  • CERTIFICATE of attendance provided at the end of the workshop
  • WORKSHOP registration, EFT payment and paid invoice  ~  email Robert
  • REGISTRATION limited to 10 participants

Land Surveyors CPD Workshop, Byron Bay, 13 July 2012

Registration closed on Friday, 6 July 2012

Surveying computations and the land boundary Surveyor

The cadastre of the Bangalow, Byron Bay and Mullumbimby districts is made up of numerous urban and rural land parcels, whose perimeter land boundary dimensions have been tested.

Created man-made ownership land boundaries have a fixed permanent location on the ground.  Natural land boundaries, for example a creek bank, may vary in ground location subject to gradual and imperceptible accretion or erosion, over a period of time.

This practising land boundary Surveyor is necessarily preoccupied with surveying computations / calculations, related to land boundaries.  The certificate of ownership or title to land, specifies the title diagram, which delineates the external perimeter dimensions of the subject land parcel.  In New South Wales ( NSW ), this diagram is usually a numbered and registered deposited plan of survey ( DP ), showing bearings and distances associated with urban or rural lots in the DP.

A former practice, now not commonly used in NSW, was to additionally provide as part of the land title documentation, a written legal metes and bounds description of the boundaries of a land parcel.  Subject land perimeter boundary bearings and distances could be extracted for checking, together with measured connections to existing property features   ~

Lot 3 commencing at a point on the northern side of William Street distant westerly 100 feet from its intersection with the western side of John Street and being the south-western corner of Lot 2 and bounded on the east by the western boundary of Lot 2 aforesaid being a line partly fenced and partly passing along the western face of a brick wall and bearing 0 ° 00′ 150 feet 0 inches to the northern boundary of the subdivided land thence on the north by part of that boundary being a fenced line bearing 270 ° 00′ 50 feet 0 inches to the north-eastern corner of Lot 4 thence on the west by the eastern boundary of Lot 4 aforesaid being a fenced line parallel to and 10 feet distant from a brick wall and bearing 180 ° 00′ 150 feet 0 inches to the northern side of William Street aforesaid and thence on the south by that side of that street bearing 90 ° 00′ 50 feet 0 inches to the point of commencement. “

The Definition of Boundaries, Handbook for Practising Land and Engineering Surveyors, H.G. Foxall.

Essential mathematical land surveying computation checks   ~  lead to proof of correctness.

The integrity and correctness of  land boundary measurement data as shown in the modern DP, are able to be checked by survey close computation.  Field survey measurements, both bearing and distance, are also required to be tested and checked for accuracy, when locating existing ground boundary marks, when setting out new boundary corners, associated reference marking, boundary line marking or when making mandatory surveyed connections to the NSW state survey control mark system ( SCIMS ).

For the purpose of verification closure computations, related to checking land boundary measurements and in the determination of the relationship of building improvements to boundaries, modern technology land surveying software, in various hardware formats is available, both for the office and field.

For example, COGO and CAD computer software for the office PC, and for field use, sophisticated hand-held programmable calculators, for ease of portability and additionally for data transfer, to and from the PC.

Prior to electronics   ~   no cabling or batteries required  !

Before the widespread introduction and use of personal computers and programmable hand-held devices, how did the land surveyor undertake necessary surveying computations ?  ~   Very slowly. ~  Hand written proformas, using a book of trigonometrical tables, in conjunction with a mechanical calculator, achieved the result of confirming the correctness and accuracy of land boundary measurement survey data.  In my experience, for office use, the mechanical calculator of choice for land surveyors in the early 1960s was the FACIT, which used a numeric metal key layout and  a rotary setting lever.

For survey field use, the CURTA, made in Liechtenstein, was the preferred mechanical calculator. See pictures below.  It was elegant, compact, portable, able to be held in one’s hand and housed in a small water proof metal canister.  Used with a pocket book of trigonometrical tables, necessary survey computations could be undertaken on the spot in the field. To get an idea of the size and scale of the CURTA, the ring tab as seen in the photos below accommodates the point of one’s finger, which permits the clearing of data to allow for a new computation.

The methodology of land surveying computations and the impact on the cadastral layout pattern.

The advent of modern computer technology coupled with electronic field measuring equipment permitted a more complex layout of the urban and rural land subdivision pattern, in sympathy and integrated with, the contours and features of the landscape.  This new computerised technology removed the burden of laborious, by hand,  land surveying computations.

The early subdivision pattern of older NSW towns and rural areas, dominated by the adoption of right angled grid layouts, was partly created because of existing limitations with respect to land surveying computation technology.  This land rectangular grid layout facilitated easier survey computations, both in the office and the field, but additionally at times, took no account of the topography of the land.  Field land surveying techniques were developed to avoid computations by predominantly working with right angles and parallel offsets, where land boundaries were occupied by fences, walls, trees or vegetation.  The original township of Mullumbimby, first surveyed in the 1890s, was set out on this rectangular grid pattern.

Checks, proofs and resultant certainty in modern land boundary determination.

Ultimately, the evidence of survey markings, cadastral monuments and improvements on the ground, related to the relevant registered plan of survey, DP,  locates the correct position of a land boundary.  Precision field measurement, coupled with investigative surveying computations, facilitates a proper comparison with measurement data detailed and shown on a DP,  to actual measurements between found points and / or survey marks on the ground.

A cadastral monument is a natural or artificial object, point, or survey mark, stable in the ground, which is used for the purpose of locating or relocating a land boundary, and must be documented and referred to in a registered plan of survey or legal document on public record.

Through surveying computations, the adoption of a reinstated land boundary position, is supported and proved by measured comparison connections to other survey markings  found. The final boundary measurements determined and adopted, may not necessarily be in exact agreement with the base DP data. The accepted rule of law, is that if the position of found undisturbed cadastral monuments conflicts with measurements shown in the original registered DP,  then the doctrine of  “monuments over measurements ” applies.

A good starting point for finding online resources for land surveying computation software, applicable for both the office and field, can be found at .. Land Surveying and Geomatics Software.

Should you have any enquiries concerning land boundary investigation in the Byron, Ballina, Lismore or Tweed Shires, I offer as an experienced New South Wales Registered Land Surveyor, personal professional service and expert friendly advice, leading to successful client outcomes.


Please visit my website for contact details.

An explanation of the above  land related terminology, may be found in a glossary provided  by the New South Wales Land and Property Information ( NSW LPI ), Registrar General’s Directions.


Rural land subdivision in the Mullumbimby hinterland, year 2011

Stakeholders, contracts, processes and outcomes in rural land subdivision.

Mandatory local government development application approval brings certainty to the land subdivision process.

On acceptance of a land subdivision survey instruction, the NSW Registered Land Surveyor essentially also enters into a contract with the land regulatory authority, being New South Wales Land and Property Information (NSW LPI ).

In the Deposited Plan Administration Sheet, which accompanies the lodged Deposited Plan of Survey ( DP ) to NSW LPI, the Registered Land Surveyor certifies that the survey represented in the plan has been undertaken in accordance with the Surveying and Spatial Information Regulation 2006 and that the Surveyor is Registered under the Surveying and Spatial Information Act 2002.

To ensure best practice competency in the provision of land surveying services, the continuing  integrity of land boundaries in NSW and also for the protection of community interests, only surveyors registered with the NSW Board of Surveying and Spatial Information ( BOSSI ), can undertake land boundary survey and certify  formal deposited plans of land survey.

The local Council’s General Manager or  authorised representative, certifies in the Subdivision Certificate on the DP Administration Sheet, that key provisions of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 ( EP&A Act ), have been satisfied with respect to the land subdivision.  The land owner (s) is also required to sign the Administration Sheet.

The lodged survey plan documentation, additionally requires the LPI Deposited Plan Checklist for Surveyors, to be completed and certified by the Registered Surveyor.  Any requisitions arising from survey plan examination by the NSW LPI  must be responded to by the Surveyor, who undertook the land survey.

Procedures and responsibilities in rural land subdivision.

Necessary tasks undertaken by the Registered Land Surveyor in land subdivision include, and are not limited to the following   ~ Investigative research of relevant existing plans of survey, certificates of land title and local SCIMS control survey network data.  Preliminary computations in COGO to facilitate on the ground survey investigation and precision measurement to resolve an acceptable land boundary reinstatement . Surveyed measurement connections from land boundary corners to specific survey control marks.  Computations for the field marking of new land boundaries and preparation of final plan of survey documentation, acceptable to NSW LPI.

The registration of the deposited plan of survey and subsequent issue of new land titles for the newly created lots, completes the land subdivision process.

This rural land subdivision was located in the Mullumbimby hinterland about 20 minutes drive from the towns of Byron Bay and Bangalow, in the Byron Shire, far New South Wales north coast.  The photo gallery below offers an insight to some aspects of the land subdivision process, both in the field and the office.

Left click to enlarge




Addendum ~ This rural land subdivision, undertaken by myself,  was registered as DP 118 5516 in May 2013, by the Registrar General, New South Wales Land & Property Information.

Should you have any enquiries concerning land subdivision investigation in the Bangalow, Byron Bay or Mullumbimby hinterland, I offer as an experienced New South Wales Registered Land Surveyor, personal professional service and expert friendly advice, leading to successful client outcomes.


Please visit my website for contact details.

An explanation of the above  land related terminology, may be found in a glossary provided  by the New South Wales Land and Property Information ( NSW LPI ), Registrar General’s Directions.


Comments on limited land title in a NSW Crown road purchase.

Considerations of the impact of a limited land title, based upon a compiled plan of survey , in the proposed closure and purchase of an existing Crown Road, as applicable to the Bangalow, Byron Bay and Mullumbimby rural hinterland.

The NSW Government regulatory authority which administers Crown roads and the conversion of Crown roads to freehold, is currently known as the Department of Primary Industries – Crown Lands Division, formerly part of the NSW Land and Property Management Authority, ( LPMA ).

The creation of land title for the sale of  part of a Crown road requires an acceptable plan of survey, referred to as the title diagram, to clearly delineate perimeter land boundaries and land area being purchased.

A successful applicant in the proposed  closure and purchase of a Crown road, and dependent upon existing land status, may be offered the option that a compiled plan of survey for the road closure be undertaken by the Department, subject to meeting the requirements of the Registrar General’s Directions, NSW Land and Property Information ( LPI ).

Compiled plan or full survey by a NSW Registered Land Surveyor ?

The acceptance of this compiled plan option may represent a cost saving to the applicant initially, but also means that no field land survey is undertaken, and that no Crown road boundaries are marked on the ground.  The relationship of existing features on the ground, related to land boundaries, are not known in a compilation plan of survey.  Additionally, specific limitations are placed on the issued land title, reflecting the use of a compiled plan, which burden upon the newly registered proprietor of an estate in fee simple.  For an example and noted below, see notation 2 in the Second Schedule of an extract from a recent  NSW Certificate of Title for a Crown road closure, based on a compilation survey.

Exclusive of the actual land purchase price, the Departmental compiled road closure plan cost represents about 10% of the combined total of LPI lodgement and Crown Lands fees for a proposed road closure and purchase. In my opinion, the fee for a Departmental Crown road closure compilation plan only, bears no relation to the reality of existing land survey costs incurred in the field survey and preparation of a plan of survey for a Crown road closure, by a NSW Registered Land Surveyor, to meet the mandatory requirements of the NSW LPI.

What actually is a compiled plan of land survey

Reliable title to land is anchored to an accurate plan of survey, resulting in the correctness of land parcel boundaries on the ground. As a special concession, the Registrar General may accept a compiled plan of survey.

A compiled plan is a plan of land survey, where some or all of the shown boundary measurements have been adopted from previous survey plan information, without any further survey on the ground. This compilation process is undertaken in the office and does not involve field survey investigation or the marking of land boundaries. The location of existing fencing and physical access to land boundaries, is not shown in a compiled plan.  The use of old or unreliable plans of survey, or survey plans subject to limited title, in the preparation of a compiled plan, is unacceptable to the Registrar General, and a full survey will be requested.

Compiled plan of road closure and limited land title cautionary disclaimer

Where a compiled road closure plan has been used as a title diagram, NSW LPI  will issue a limited title stating that ” The boundaries of the land comprised herein have not been investigated by the Registrar General “, reflecting uncertainty in actual land boundary locations on the ground and indicating that land boundaries are not guaranteed. For the land purchaser, in this instance, the rule of caveat emptor applies.

A remark land boundary survey only of part, or all, of a compiled Crown road closure, will not remove a limitation on land title.  A full formal plan of survey is required. This limitation on land title can only be removed by the lodgement to NSW LPI of a full formal plan of survey, being necessary field survey and associated plan preparation, undertaken by a Registered Land Surveyor, in accordance with the Registrar General’s Directions and the NSW Surveying and Spatial Information Regulation 2006.  The landowner is responsible for land survey costs and additional Departmental administrative lodgement fees.

An independent viewpoint on the use of limited title ~ impacting upon the  NSW Aboriginal Land Council

FACT SHEET #5: What is limited title? NSW Aboriginal Land Council ( NSWALC ) ” In short limited title means land is being returned to Aboriginal people without any completed surveying work. The limitation will not be removed from the title until the land is surveyed. This means LALCs are responsible for undertaking that work, which could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the size of the land parcel in question “.

The issue of limited title is fast becoming a major stumbling block for LALCs and NSWALC alike and one that jeopardises the economic potential of Land Rights.The process essentially ensures LALCs become unwilling heirs to immeasurable debt – as claimed land is handed back to LALCs without necessary surveying work being conducted. This results in poorly resourced LALCs being left to fund surveying work that can cost, in some cases, up to ( see letter ) dollars – depending of course on the size of the land.  In some cases, the survey required could even outstrip the value of the land.”

Should you have any enquiries concerning Crown road investigation or survey in the Bangalow, Byron Bay or Mullumbimby hinterland, I offer as an experienced New South Wales Registered Land Surveyor, personal professional service and expert friendly advice, leading to successful client outcomes.


Please visit my website for contact details.

An explanation of the above  land related terminology, may be found in a glossary provided by the New South Wales Land and Property Management Authority (NSW LPMA).


Reviewing land boundary adjustment in the Byron Shire.

Land boundary adjustment as applicable to the Bangalow, Byron Bay and Mullumbimby hinterland

The subdivision of an individual land parcel results in the creation of new lots with separate Certificates of Title (CTs) , for the purpose of sale or development. The land subdivision may be a minimum of two smaller lots or multiple lots, depending on the proposed development. A land boundary adjustment, where land boundaries are proposed to be altered only, is considered as a land subdivision, even though no additional new lots are created. New CTs are issued to reflect the changed land boundary locations and new lot areas.

Where adjoining lands are held by separate land owners, mutual consent is required to the proposed land boundary change(s).  A development application, DA, is required to be lodged with Council, inclusive of the proposed subdivision layout, preferably prepared by a NSW Registered Land Surveyor.

There is no automatic right to a land boundary variation and no one can guarantee the outcome of a DA submission to Council. The land boundary adjustment process is not intended to replace the regulation of land subdivision through existing planning instruments, but rather to faciliate adjustments of a relatively minor nature. For example, the rectification of a building encroachment upon adjoining land, through changing the common boundary ground location.

.Land use planning policy for boundary adjustment

For the North Coast region, the NSW Department of Planning, Boundary Adjustments Policy , details the current five adopted land use planning principles.

Under the direction of the NSW Government, all Councils are now required to prepare new Local Environment Plans, LEPs, in accordance with the standard instrument LEP template. The purpose being that all LEPs across NSW will now use the same planning language, resulting in, perhaps, a better community understanding and reduced litigation.

Under Part 4, Principal development standards, of the new draft Lismore LEP, currently under community consultation, it is proposed  that, ” to adjust common boundaries between rural lots, where one or more lots is less than the minimum lot size shown on the Lot Size Map ….the subdivision will not result in a change of area of any lot of greater than 10%.“  This limitation is still in the discussion stage and will only be revealed in the final adopted LEP.

At this time, Byron Shire Council has not placed it’s draft LEP on public exhibition for community comment.

SEPP 1 and the development application process for a proposed  land boundary adjustment

As part of a submitted DA, State Environmental Planning Policy No. 1, Development Standards, SEPP 1 , may be used to apply for a land boundary adjustment between proposed rural lots, which are less than the minimum standard, as specified under the particular land use zoning in the current LEP.

The rationale of SEPP 1 is to provide Councils with the flexibility and authorisation to vary development standards, as detailed within their own environmental planning instruments, but only where it can be shown by the applicant that the compliance with the existing development standard, with regards to a particular land boundary adjustment DA, is unreasonable or unnecessary. Existing development standards, in place, referring, for example, to area, shape or road frontage constraints to lots in a proposed land boundary alteration.

The use of SEPP 1 for the justification and seeking of Council approval for a proposed land boundary location change, requires that the applicant essentially demonstrates that the proposal is consistent with both the objective of the existing planning instrument standard and additionally, local, regional and State planning objectives.

As a result of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption, ICAC, investigations in respect of  Wollongong City Council, several recommendations have been made in the use of SEPP 1 in the development planning approval process. Recommendations include – “ that the NSW Planning Department could have played a stronger role in regard to the council’s application of State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) No. 1 ; that for at least two years after the election of a new Wollongong City Council, the Director General of the Department of Planning revokes Wollongong City Council’s assumed concurrence for the use of SEPP 1 (or its equivalent) to determine departures from development standards of more than 10% ; that Wollongong City Council publish a register of DA determinations (including approvals and refusals) that rely on SEPP 1 (or its equivalent) on its website ; that when advertising or notifying development applications, Wollongong City Council disclose whether the application is accompanied by a SEPP 1 objection (or its equivalent). ”

Both land boundary adjustment and land subdivision, in consideration of Council planning approval, are treated in a similar manner. If Council refuses a boundary adjustment application, reasons are given to support its decision and the applicant has the right of appeal. Byron Shire Council maintains a SEPP 1 Objection Register.

Should you have any enquiries concerning land boundary adjustment survey in the Bangalow, Byron Bay or Mullumbimby hinterland, I offer as an experienced New South Wales Registered Land Surveyor, personal professional service and expert friendly advice, leading to successful client outcomes.


Please visit my website for contact details.

An explanation of the above  land related terminology, may be found in a glossary provided by the New South Wales Land and Property Management Authority (NSW LPMA).