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About us > Standing Committee on Land Administration

Standing Committee on Land Administration


In 2002 ANZLIC members decided that ANZLIC should take a lead role in national land administration reform. A “round table” was held at the July 2002 Council meeting in Canberra involving representatives from Registrars-General, Valuers-General, ICSM and PSMA Australia to compare notes on current activities and identify further action.

Since then, ANZLIC and allied bodies have continued to consider their role in land administration reform and actions they need to take. At its meeting on 16 May 2003 in Wellington New Zealand, Council decided to provide leadership and foster collaboration in identifying needs for and actions necessary to provide the means of discovering and accessing information about rights, obligations and interests in land within Australia and New Zealand. It was agreed that a new standing committee be formed to focus on these issues, with the ability to co-opt relevant expertise from jurisdictions and other national bodies to work with Council members.

All land rights, obligations and restraints are legislatively based and include the broad themes of land, water, vegetation, native/indigenous title, biodiversity, petroleum exploration, mining and minerals exploration in both terrestrial and marine environments. These property rights, obligations and restrictions and associated constraints such as native vegetation conservation are increasingly becoming major public issues in all jurisdictions. Certainty of property rights is one of the key factors underlying the entire economy. As the arena of property rights becomes more and more complex, that level of certainty is being eroded and there is increasing pressure on the existing Torrens System, which primarily provides information about title in land.

It is clear from research already undertaken that there is a lack of awareness within the property industry of the extent of interests in land that are not shown on the Certificate of Title. This issue is exacerbated by the fact that there is no effective mechanism for the discovery of interests. State and territory jurisdictions tend to have separate databases, sometimes spread over different departments within the same jurisdiction, to record the various interests in a single parcel of land. Few, if any of these databases use consistent models to record the information.

All governments have shown a desire to adopt forms of e-government as one means to improve services to industry and the community. It is important to insert land administration issues into these initiatives.

Without wishing to constrain the investigations and recommendations for action that may come from the standing committee, a number of issues have already been identified by Council for further consideration:

  • the need to identify all rights, interests and obligations in land, both at the State and national level;
  • the role of a “virtual register” to assist discovery and access to existing rights, interests and obligations;
  • the relative roles of existing bodies and disciplines in areas such as land titling, valuation and spatial cadastre in a land administration agenda;
  • the need to support efficient and effective operation of national land and capital markets; and
  • the level of consistency needed amongst jurisdictions to achieve national outcomes.

membership of SCoLA


Mr Mike Bradford (Chair)
Mr Steve Jacoby
Mr Vic Stephens
Mr Robbie Muir
Ms Sue Chapple
Mr Doug Walsham
Ms Barbara Flett
Ms Beverley Brooks


national summit

SCoLA's first initiative was to commission a Property Rights Administration Project. The aim of the project was to update the paper prepared by Lyons, Davies and Cottrell On the Efficiency of Property Rights Administration in Queensland (April 2002) to provide a whole of Australia and New Zealand context.

A Summary of the Paper "On the Efficiency of Property Rights Administration" (September 2004) formed the basis for discussion at the National Summit on Administration of Land & Property Rights & Restrictions. Since the Summit a Communiqué has been released for which SCoLA has agreed to host the framework and to consult with stakeholders in identifying and establishing priorities and a program of reform

relevant reading

Communiqué, November 2004 (from National Summit on Administration of Land & Property Rights & Restrictions) [PDF: 1p, 96.3kb]

Various presentations (from National Summit on Administration of Land & Property Rights & Restrictions).

Lyons, Davies and Cottrell, 2004. A Summary of the Paper "On the Efficiency of Property Rights Administration" [PDF: 18pp, 166 Mb].

Lyons, Davies and Cottrell, 2002. On the Efficiency of Property Rights Administration in Queensland [DOC: 140pp, 18Mb].

Lyons, Davies and Cottrell, 2002. The Case for Refocusing & Re-engineering Land Administration to Better Meet Contemporary and Future Needs in Property Rights and Markets [PDF: 16pp, 1.6Mb].


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