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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 7 Hansard (29 June) . . Page.. 2203..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

The Bill provides for the appointment of a Commissioner for Surveys as a part time statutory officer, reporting directly to me. The appointment will be under contractual arrangements. This position replaces the current Chief Surveyor position. It offers greater flexibility than the current arrangement and enables the Commissioner to concentrate on his or her statutory responsibilities.

The Commissioners main duties will be to;

� Ensure that the integrity of the ACT cadastre and the survey infrastructure is maintained

� develop survey practice standards

� consult with organisations and individuals and develop major policies that affect the practice of surveying in the ACT

� register surveyors and oversee the practice of surveying

      enter into reciprocal arrangements with other jurisdictions for

recognition of qualifications and for other matters

The Surveyors Board of the ACT will be abolished and its responsibilities transferred to the Commissioner. To ensure proper community and industry input to policy and standards, the Commissioner will be required to formally consult with affected groups and individuals and report the results of that consultation.

Registration of surveyors has been retained because of the pivotal role they play in the Government's guarantee of land title, which in turn underpins our economy. Postgraduate practical training for surveyors prior to registration has also been retained to maintain parity with other jurisdictions. If, after their National Competition Policy reviews, other jurisdictions drop the requirement for post graduate training, we will review our decision. Only registered surveyors will be able to undertake cadastral (that is land or boundary) surveys.

Disciplinary procedures have been streamlined and made less adversarial. In any disciplinary case, the Commissioner will first inquire into the matter and talk with the offending surveyor to gain a full appreciation of the case. This stage of the process will be done without legal or other representation for the parties involved. The Commissioner will then take what he or she considers is appropriate action. Application may be made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of the Commissioner's decision. Of course further appeals are then available through the courts.

The grounds for disciplinary action are detailed in the Bill and are confined to survey matters.

Under the new legislation, I will issue Survey Practice Directions, previously issued by the Surveyors Board, on advice from the Commissioner. Before providing such advice, the Commissioner will be required to consult with various people and groups of people who have a relevant interest. The Directions will allow the Commissioner, under certain circumstances, to


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