With nearly one third of all Western Australians living in a strata property, a growing trend for community living and up to half of all new land subdivisions being for strata developments, strata is of great importance to the WA economy. In addition, many offices, commercial, retail and industrial operators use strata properties for their businesses. Contemporary strata laws are key to WA’s economic future.
Comprising the Strata Titles Amendment Bill 2018, the Community Titles Bill 2018 and the associated Community Titles Amendment (Consistency of Charging) Bill 2018, two new types of strata are to be introduced – community titles and leasehold strata – plus a range of reforms to make living in strata properties better. This legislation will also support the Government’s METRONET vision of vibrant, liveable and sustainable communities with good public transport links.
Electronic conveyancing (e-conveyancing) provides a faster, more secure property transfer process by enabling the exchange of property to occur online through an electronic conveyancing system and was successfully introduced in WA in 2014 for a range of common transactions.
Since then, Landgate has been working with industry to achieve full digital lodgement of all land registration documents. Regulations, that were passed in December 2017, require all eligible mortgages, discharges of mortgages, refinances, transfers, caveats and withdrawal of caveats to be lodged electronically. This will be fully implemented by December 2018.
This has been a collaborative process, working with industry to increase the use of electronic conveyancing, identifying and resolving problems, conducting information sessions and supporting training conducted by the conveyancing industry and PEXA, the first electronic lodgement network operator. Work is continuing to remove barriers to e-conveyancing and to extend the types of transactions able to be conducted electronically in the journey to full digital lodgement.
E-conveyancing has and will continue to deliver benefits to our customers. Consumers using e-conveyancing are benefiting from fewer failed or delayed settlements, streamlined financial arrangements allowing early access to proceeds.
Conveyancers are benefiting from reduced administrative costs, not having to attend physical settlements, transparent reporting on the status of transactions, and reduction in errors in documents. The land registry is benefiting by improving the accuracy and integrity of the titles register, automation of back-end processing leading to greater efficiency and reduced turn- around times to register transactions.
Additional work to move to complete digital lodgement and near real-time processing of land titles transactions will continue for the next five years with the emphasis on expanding the types of transactions that can be completed electronically, increasing automation, and supporting the entry of new electronic lodgement network operators. Legislation that will be required to update the Transfer of Land Act 1893 to facilitate the use of electronic conveyancing is currently being drafted for implementation in 2018/19.
New Land Registry – Plans
The New Land Registry – Plans (NLR-P) system allows plans to be prepared, lodged and managed electronically. It is a fundamental part of WA’s modern land registry.
Over the past 12 months, with support of industry the NLR-P has continued to evolve, delivering further economic benefits for the State and industry.
New tools in the Surveyor Portal combines a drafting package with GIS to deliver a tailored land surveying plan that integrates with internal Landgate systems for real-time quality assurance resulting in fast plan examination timeframes and reduction in rework. This tool was developed using significant feedback and testing from representative surveying firms.
As surveying firms increase their use of the full functionality of the NLR-P, it is anticipated that plan approval times for deposited plans and survey-strata plans will decrease significantly, resulting in a reduction in holding costs for land developers, potentially improving housing affordability if savings are passed on to buyers.
These activities directly support Landgate’s strategic objectives to deliver core services better than ever by enhancing the processing of survey plans and new titles to support quality and timely land development in WA.
Optimising Landgate’s information
Landgate maintains significant data and information on behalf of the community of WA, from historical hardcopy records to near real-time property transactions and location information. The challenge is how to ensure appropriate control, security, access and availability of this information and related services whilst driving efficiency and value for money. Landgate’s technology projects have realised the following benefits:
Enterprise Services Reform delivered:
- Cloud-based solutions have replaced legacy systems
- Enhanced information provision and decreased duplication in efforts
- Further self-service for customers.
This work has created a foundation to deliver further innovation and ecommerce solutions in line with customer expectations.
New Land Registry continues to deliver opportunities for electronic lodgement, automation and management of information and transactions that contribute to the overall modernisation of Landgate’s information. Landgate continues to pursue cloud migration realising additional security, adaptability and scalability that can respond to changes in demand.
Ongoing optimisation has also been pursued and will be continued through digitisation of Landgate hardcopy records including the movement of physical records to a secure facility and building digitisation into existing records management practices. Whilst we have pursued modernisation, we have maintained system availability, critical business functions and realised IT service provision cost reductions.
The Capture WA program was established in 1990 to reduce duplication of effort and cost in purchasing aerial imagery across Government.
In 2017/18, we expanded the range of services available to State and Local Government for
the capture of location data. This has increased the economic benefits to the State by reducing acquisition, service and contractual costs across Government.
Focus on our core business
Following internal reforms at Landgate, our statutory Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were redesigned to showcase what we do, refocussing on our core business of land titling, valuation and location data. These renewed KPIs set the course for how we will meet the changing needs of Government, our customers and our community and how we will deliver services that support Government goals.
These KPIs are more transparent, simple and outcomes-focussed by design and are more relevant for our customers. Additionally, they focus on our core business and enables our people to monitor and manage performance. The measures are compliant with Treasury’s Outcome-Based Management framework and offers the business the right information for decision making and will continue to be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure they are both relevant and appropriate.
Review of our enabling legislation
A review of Landgate’s enabling legislation was undertaken during the financial year. Among its key findings, the 2017 review of the Land Information Authority Act 2006 noted Landgate has been effective in its operations, delivering value to the State through the provision of services relating to land information in WA.
Led by Lockwood Advisory, the review involved consultation with a range of stakeholders from across the public and private sectors, as well as extensive analysis of Landgate’s operations and performance over the last five years.
During this time significant changes have been experienced, both within Landgate and the external environment, with the review noting Landgate’s ability to deliver value to the State
and its customers in the face of change in the property market, technological landscape, and the expectations of customers.
The review also sought to highlight some of the opportunities Landgate presents for the State, having developed significant skill and experience in linking resources across Government, delivering whole of Government services, progressing policy projects of State significance, as well as effecting changes that have seen a culture of efficiency and innovation instilled at Landgate.
The review report was tabled in Parliament by the Minister for Lands in November 2017 and includes recommendations to enable the continued effectiveness of Landgate, further improve service delivery and realise opportunities for Landgate to deliver further value on behalf of the State.
SPUR supports the acceleration of WA start-ups in the location technology space by providing mentoring, access to data, expertise, grant funding, co-working opportunities and vital connections to public and private sector networks.
This year, SPUR delivered the second round of its SPURonWA grants, supplying valuable funding to start-ups to assist their acceleration to market.
Grants between $7,000 and $24,000 were provided to local start-ups in diverse industries, including building and construction, agriculture, property and geographic information services. These grants provide economic and social benefit to the State by increasing employment and allowing start-ups to introduce new, innovative services to the community. Some of our Round 2 winners are shown below.
Laconik used the SPURonWA grant to develop the user interface for Play’N To Win, a dynamic, spatial and real time product that maximises nitrogen fertiliser efficiency, profitability and environmental stewardship.
It secured its first commercial sale as a direct result of the SPURonWA grant.
Farmers in WA and SA are using the technology in 2018 and this will bring new economic activity and jobs into WA.
SpacetoCo is a website for the listing and short-term rental of Spaces, making it possible for individuals and businesses to easily list their space to an online marketplace.
SpacetoCo used the SPURonWA grant for further development of their website. Their client base expanded significantly in 2018, partly due to a successful negotiation with Local Government authorities in WA and SA. SpacetoCo have continued to significantly improve efficiencies in the management and utilisation of space.
The Ovass Geotaskr platform is an easy way to make high value business decisions using satellite and aerial data.
The SPURonWA grant has enabled Ovass to expand their product and service offering by developing ship and road identifying algorithms. This has subsequently resulted in a number of discussions with prospective clients to trial the technology.
Landgate proudly celebrated ten years of innovation in 2018. The Innovation program was developed in 2008, as a means to inspire our people to suggest ideas to generate additional revenue streams and improve operational efficiencies. By embracing an innovative culture, Landgate has positioned itself at the forefront of Government nationally, and internationally.
In 2017/18, over 100 Landgate employees took part in Design Thinking training which provides a human-centred approach to innovation. The training provided an opportunity to upskill our people to create a more agile and innovative workforce that is better equipped to meet our future business requirements.
Feedback from attendees indicated that the training provided them with a set of readily applicable tools to apply in the work environment. We will continue to reinforce and establish an environment of Design Thinking learning by providing opportunities and empowerment for our people to innovate.
Collaborating to innovate
Western Power requires ongoing analysis of where to focus its asset renewal efforts to ensure it addresses locations with the greatest public safety outcomes.
This challenge provided a unique opportunity for collaboration across Government. Landgate, in partnership with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES), assisted Western Power by developing a bushfire risk analysis product for the entire power network in the south west of WA. The project leveraged the State’s bushfire spread simulator system ‘Aurora’, to understand, and rank, potential impacts of ignitions during significant fire conditions.
A Dwellings Dataset was created to allow an assessment of the relative magnitude of potential bushfire consequences. The dataset indicates where life and assets are most likely to be endangered during a bushfire, right down to the number of buildings that could be impacted. By assessing the potential impact to life and assets, the simulation provided Western Power with valuable information to prioritise their maintenance decisions.
The methodology and software developed has wider applications and could be used to model bushfire consequence from ignitions originating from a variety of State-wide or National assets or critical infrastructure.
Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
Landgate is proud to continue enabling and supporting native title determinations through its work:
- research, digital capture and supply of current and historical land tenure extents;
- create and maintain native title boundary layers within SmartPlan; and
- provide native title specific datasets, analysis and customised mapping services to progress and support the native title process related to the Commonwealth Native Title Act 1993 (NTA).
Planning has commenced to apply the Aboriginal Procurement Policy launched in 2017/18 which sets progressive targets for contracting with Aboriginal businesses and aims to achieve three percent of contracts awarded to these businesses by 2021. This activity is part of Aspire, Landgate’s Aboriginal Economic Participation Strategy.
Landgate continues to build on the cultural competence of staff through providing cultural awareness training opportunities that centre on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. A focus in this area resulted in 91% of employees having completed cultural awareness training. Additionally, Landgate encourages staff to engage in events through hosting and supporting NAIDOC Week, National Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week.
Driving high performance and cultural change
Landgate completed its Workforce Planning Strategy for 2018-2023, which provides a roadmap detailing the focus areas and strategies required to meet the changing needs of our Government, customers and community over the coming five years. It directly links to our corporate strategy and will allow Landgate to identify the workforce capabilities and resourcing requirements to meet our operational and strategic objectives, both now and into the future. As part of our revised approach to the workforce strategy, we will also be incorporating workforce planning into our business and financial planning processes to realise its full value and produce strategically aligned results across the organisation.
In 2017/18 we identified another step in building a high-performance culture, which was to help our people to further develop their personal accountability. We implemented a program of development based on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This was very well subscribed by our employees with more than 180 people participating in the program and a further 230 places are available for the 2018/19 year. Our cultural transformation efforts have also continued to focus on leadership development. In 2017/18 we developed the Landgate Leadership Framework (based on the Landgate Leader Expectations) which includes employee development at all levels and focuses on building influence, people management, leadership development and business acumen.
Perth Business Office
In February 2018 Landgate opened a new Perth Business Office that supports a broader engagement with the public. Our new premises is designed as an agile and flexible working environment, embracing the State Government initiative to operate through collaborative hubs.
Our customers are greeted with a contemporary, friendly and efficient environment that allows us to prioritise each customer’s needs. Services can be easily re-configured as the business evolves. The new design accommodates the needs of our industry and start-up customers and partners, with work spaces and facilities to help them grow their businesses.