The Project

Australia is scheduled to adopt a dynamic datum by the end of the decade. The dynamic datum (also known as the Australian Terrestrial Reference Frame - ATRF) will form phase 2 of Australia’s Datum Modernisation (stage one is the move to GDA2020). For further details about GDA2020 click here.

The dynamic datum will bring with it the need to create and work with time-tagged coordinates. New processes and tools to collect, manage, integrate and disseminate spatial information will therefore be required. The associated technical and procedural challenges represent a major barrier to efficient and wholesale adoption of the new datum. The broader spatial sector has expressed concern about the potential cost of adopting a new datum and the lack of commercial off the shelf software that can support a dynamic datum. There are also highly varying levels of understanding across industry regarding the technical elements of datum and reference system implementation, further discussed in Stakeholder Requirements for Modernising Australia’s Geocentric Datum – CRCSI July 2015.

The digital representation of the cadastre is inarguably one of the most critical layers of spatial information held and managed by any jurisdiction. Huge volumes of other spatial and non-spatial information are directly linked to and affected by changes to the cadastral fabric. Managing the cadastre in the context of the new dynamic datum poses a substantial and pressing priority for land agencies across Australia and NZ.

This project postulates that if these issues can be resolved for the cadastre, the findings and outputs can be translated to the management of other layers of spatial information. The project will focus on NSW initially in each stage, and then expand its investigation and findings through engagement with other jurisdictions.


  1. Document how the cadastre in NSW will be affected by adoption of a dynamic datum.
  2. Establish and prioritise what tasks need to be undertaken to transition the cadastre in NSW to the dynamic datum.
  3. Identify what new procedures and tools will be required for the on-going management of the cadastre once the dynamic datum has been adopted.


The project will run from August 2017 until June 2018, in three stages:

  1. Impact Assessment: August – October 2017
  2. Transition Tasks: November 2017 – February 2018
  3. New Tools and Procedures: March 2018 – June 2018

Project Partners

  1. CRCSI
  2. Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping (ICSM)
  3. NSW Spatial Services, Department of Finance, Services & Innovation
  4. Mercury Project Solutions

Key Contacts

Adrian White Cadastre NSWAdrian White
Program Manager
Cadastre NSW
T: 02 8224 3601

Maurits recent photo Oct2017Maurits van der Vlugt
Director, Location Solutions
Mercury Project Solutions
M: 0400 188 267