Cadastral (boundary) surveying relates to land ownership, measurement and definition of property boundaries.
Cadastral surveys are performed for the re-establishment of existing property boundaries or for the creation of new property boundaries for land divisions. In South Australia, only licensed surveyors may undertake a boundary survey or place a survey mark that defines a properties’ boundary.
The Surveyor-General is the statutory authority for land surveying and cadastral boundaries in South Australia, and is responsible for issuing survey instructions in the form of Regulations, notices, directions, and guidelines for licensed surveyors. The Surveyor-General monitors licensed surveyor's compliance with survey instructions to ensure integrity of the State's property boundaries.
Cadastral surveying in South Australia is regulated by a four-tiered structure, the components being:
Notices of the Surveyor-General
- cadastral survey instructions
- requirements of the Survey Act, Regulations and other legislation
- Information about boundary common law and survey practice in South Australia.
Plan Presentation Guidelines detail the Registrar-General's plan requirements.
Survey Mark Database
The Surveyor-General's Survey Operations Unit maintains the State's Survey Mark Database (SDB). The SDB can be accessed on the South Australian Property and Planning Atlas (SAPPA) and the South Australian Integrated Land Information System (SAILIS).
Learn more about Geodetic Surveying.
Certified survey plan checklist
Notice of the Surveyor-General (No 5) - Survey Reports require licensed surveyors to provide a survey report, including a certified survey plan checklist, at lodgement, for all certified surveys lodged with Land Services SA.
Land Services SA provide free access to download the PCplans application widely used by surveyors to check mathematical polygon closures and compare plan data against the published Map Grid of Australia 2020 (MGA2020) coordinates of permanent survey marks.
Providing permanent survey mark coordinates
Notice of the Surveyor-General (No 4) - Placing Permanent Survey Marks and Provision of Information for Permanent Survey Marks requires licensed surveyors to provide MGA2020 coordinates of permanent survey marks (PSMs) to the Surveyor-General.
Use the Combined Scale Factor (CSF) calculator to calculate the CSF to convert ground distances to MGA2020 grid distances for PSM coordination:
Complete the provision of PSM coordinates form to provide the Surveyor-General with coordinates for permanent survey marks.
Differences to published coordinates of Permanent Survey Marks
Surveyors finding differences regarding permanent survey marks (PSMs) on surveys lodged with Land Services SA must report the discrepancies to the Surveyor-General, and provide updated coordinates for the survey mark.
PSMs with a Type B Positional Uncertainty (PU) attribute Reactive Soil Area shown on the SAPPA survey mark detail report do not require re-coordination.
Use the Combined Scale Factor (CSF) calculator to calculate the CSF to convert ground distances to MGA2020 grid distances for PSM re-coordination:
Complete the PSM Coordinate Error Report form to notify the Surveyor-General of an error in permanent survey mark coordinates and provide the new coordinates.
Notification of final marking of division of land into more than 5 allotments
Surveyors carrying out a cadastral survey for a division of land into more than five allotments, must place all associated survey pegs and permanent survey marks, no later than 30 days after the completion of works for the provision of roads, drains or other services in association with the division of land.
Use the Combined Scale Factor (CSF) calculator to calculate the CSF to convert ground distances to MGA2020 grid distances for PSM coordination.
Complete the Notification of Final Marking form to notify the Surveyor-General of final marking of these subdivisions and provide the Surveyor-General with coordinates of the permanent survey marks.
Audit & Compliance Framework
The Office of the Surveyor-General has established an Audit & Compliance Framework to provide education to licensed surveyors and monitor the standards of certified surveys lodged with Land Services SA. Desktop investigations and audit surveys gauge compliance by licensed surveyors with survey instructions in the Survey Regulations 2020 and Notices of the Surveyor-General.
Designated survey areas
The current Designated Survey Areas (DSAs) can be viewed on the DSA layer of the South Australian Property and Planning Atlas.
Maps showing the extent of the superseded DSAs are listed below in numerical order with their date of operation.
Survey Searching Guide
The Survey Searching Guide provides surveyors and searchers with a brief description of various sources of land survey information in South Australia and details about the location of original records.
EDM calibration software
Cadastral reform and innovation for Australia
Cadastre 2034 is the National Strategy for Cadastral Reform and Innovation for Australia. It has been published by the Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping to promote an organised and consistent approach to managing the changing cadastral systems within Australia.