Agency Performance

Financial Outcomes

Outcome Based Management

Delivering on our Statement of Corporate Intent

We deliver core services better than ever

A step closer to full digital land titling services

On 1 December 2018, regulations (passed in December 2017) requiring the electronic lodgement of eligible land registry documents – including mortgages, discharges of mortgages, refinances, transfers, caveats and withdrawal of caveats – came into effect in WA.

The implementation of this change was achieved through Landgate and the Registrar of Titles collaborating with industry over a four- year period.

80% of eligible transactions are now being completed electronically. This is an increase of 28% since the introduction of the regulations on 1 December, a significant achievement considering the first e-conveyancing transaction was completed in WA in June 2014.

The electronic lodgement and processing of documents enables the exchange of property to occur online through an e-conveyancing system. It provides safer, simpler and faster settlements that underpin the State’s property industry. The system has included transparent reporting on the status of transactions and reduction in document errors.  The level of digital processing already introduced into the land titles registration process to date has continued to deliver positive results, with over 79% of simple and correct documents registered in two days or less.

The accuracy of the Land Titles Register is also consistently within target, with less than 1% of Certificates of Title needing adjustment (as a percentage of the total Certificates of Title on the Land Titles Register).

Supporting a competitive environment for electronic conveyancing

The first e-conveyancing transaction was conducted in 2014 via the Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) platform. PEXA has been the sole electronic lodgement network operator (ELNO) in WA since then. The market for e-conveyancing has continued to mature this year.

To help support greater competition through the operation of new ELNOs, Landgate continued to invest in enhancing the New Land Registry system (NLR) and began the regulatory and compliance work required to onboard new ELNOs, enabling them to enter the e-conveyancing marketplace.

Landgate has been working with a new entrant into the ELNO market, which is expected to commence operation in WA early in the 2019/20 financial year.

Plan reform

Landgate has progressed its reform in the way survey plans are created, lodged and examined through the New Land Registry – Plans (NLR-P) system. The NLR-P system enables deposited plans and survey-strata plans to be created and lodged digitally.

Additional functions were implemented to the NLR-P surveyor portal this year, allowing surveyors to create and lodge more types of plans digitally. Enhancements have also been made to the NLR workflow, to achieve automatic examination of all portal lodged plans.

Landgate achieved its Statement of Corporate Intent (SCI) target, with 60% of all plans able to be created in the surveyor portal as full digital plans.

Significant collaboration was undertaken with the surveying industry to increase its use of the surveyor portal. This involved ongoing liaison and consultation via various survey industry forums, and increased training and support to survey firms. As a result, the proportion of plans lodged as full digital plans has increased during the year, from 5.5% to 11.3%. Landgate expects use to increase as projects initiated prior to the launch of the portal are completed and surveyors seek to take advantage of the efficiencies of the digital environment with new projects.

Amendments to the Transfer of Land Act 1893

Landgate progressed amendments to the Transfer of Land Act 1893 during the year.

The Transfer of Land Amendment Bill 2018 was introduced to parliament on 21 November 2018. In line with the 2008 Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) Intergovernmental Agreement, the Bill aims to streamline conveyancing in WA and further support the operation of the titles register in a digital environment.

The Bill proposed amendments in three key areas:

  • modifying the definition of counterpart documents to enable signing mortgages electronically
  • enabling electronic service of many types of notice
  • removing duplicate certificates of title from the conveyancing process to mitigate the risk of fraud through the use of paper based duplicate certificates of title and promote conducting land transactions in an electronic environment.

 

Landgate expects the bill to be debated in the second half of 2019.

Providing a valuation service that meets the needs of our customers

1,456,174 valuations were completed as part of Landgate’s annual valuation program this year.

Landgate delivered the gross rental values (GRVs) of 33 regional local governments across WA from Broome to Denmark. Landgate also delivered 1,060,638 unimproved values (UVs) to relevant local governments and the Office of State Revenue.

The Valuations and Property Analytics (VPA) team has also undertaken a program of work to reform processes and improve efficiency.

The team delivered a search and analytical platform, enabling valuers to quickly identify rental and sales evidence required for their valuation. The solution integrated VPA’s valuation system with a business intelligence platform, a geo-spatial platform and bulk data. It has provided valuers with an efficient, easy to use tool during the data collection and analysis phase of the valuation process.

Several intelligence and analytical solutions were implemented during the year using external data sources to improve the efficiency and accuracy of valuations being undertaken. The data sourced provides key research required for the determination and validation of valuations. Some of the data has been used in the determination of valuations this financial year, with the bulk of the data in place to be used for the metropolitan GRV general valuation that commenced in May 2019.

Automation Process Between Landgate and the Water Corporation

VPA enabled some automation to the process of providing interim valuation requests for the Water Corporation. This process previously required a courier transferring the physical sheets of paper between the Water Corporation and Landgate twice weekly. VPA now receive

a file transfer daily, which allows the work to be tracked and distributed through the week. This results in time efficiencies and has an environmental impact by alleviating the need for 16,900 pieces of paper each year.

Through the reform process, Landgate has identified opportunities to improve the efficiency and quality of its rating and taxing valuations. Landgate’s SCI set the target of reducing time spent to complete rating and taxing valuations by 10%, with a reduction of 9.3% achieved.

A complete review of the Potential Carrying Capacity (PCC) of over 200 pastoral leases in regional Western Australia (used primarily to run livestock) was undertaken. The PCC is the estimated number of livestock that can be carried annually on a pastoral lease long-term, without reducing rangeland condition.

This review was delivered in partnership with Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) and Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. The updated pastoral lease rents were effective from 1 July 2019.

Delivering trusted location data supporting the management and development of our state

Landgate captures, maintains and makes accessible location data which supports the management and development of WA. To achieve this, Landgate established data. wa.gov.au in support of the WA chapter of the Commonwealth Public Data Policy. The online platform currently offers 2,283 datasets from 64 government organisations with simple access level indicators including ‘open’, ‘fees apply’ and ‘government use only’.

Landgate has provided land information and title products for Native Title mediation and litigation purposes to the Department of Premier and Cabinet and the State Solicitor’s Office (SSO).

This involves the research, digital capture and supply of current and historical land tenure extents. These stand-alone Geospatial Information System (GIS) projects include all supporting documentation to assist the State and other parties to conduct native title mediation or litigation in the Federal Court.

Additionally, Landgate provides Native Title specific datasets, analysis and customised mapping services for State and Federal agencies.

As Landgate focuses more on its role as a data provider, work has progressed to cease production of some products and services. Throughout the year, seven non-value adding products and services were decommissioned to ensure the focus remains on delivering core services, and only those offerings adequately benefitting the State and the community.

Gnulli Tenure Capture Project

In February 2019 Graphic Services delivered the Gnulli tenure capture project.

This significant piece of work took four employees 14 months to complete.

The Gnulli native title claim area extends from Carnarvon to Exmouth and required the capture of over 5600 current land tenure parcels and over 3200 historical parcels.

There were over 11,000 regulated documents worth in excess of $284,000 provided in support.

Beach Emergency Signs Project

Beach Emergency Signs Project (BEN) bulk data upload into Landgate’s Geographic Names Database (GEONOMA).

Landgate’s Location Data Maintenance team have been instrumental in supporting the Beach Emergency Signs Project (BEN) – a joint initiative developed by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Surf Life Saving WA and several Local Government Authorities in 2017.

BEN is a coding system which aims to improve emergency response times by installing signs with unique codes at public beach access points. Landgate has been recording beach and surf spot names into the GEONOMA, with signs then displayed to show the unique names to each area, ensuring members of the public know their location when they need to communicate it in an emergency.

We support government priorities and business growth

Delivering public policy, legislative reform and data that support the development
of our State

Strata Titles Act Reform

Landgate is making strata better to deliver social and economic benefits for the WA community. The new laws will see flexibility to achieve enhanced community outcomes such as:

  • the introduction of improved management schemes
  • greater amenity
  • a simplified dispute resolution process.

 

The reforms also support the implementation of METRONET, helping to deliver station precincts through the introduction of Community Titles Schemes and Leasehold Schemes. The introduction of Community Schemes to WA will attract major new investment that will help drive further economic growth for the State.

On 19 November 2018, a major milestone was achieved with the Strata Titles Amendment Bill 2018 and the Community Titles Bill 2018 becoming Acts of Parliament.

This achievement represents several years of dedicated effort in progressing reforms to the strata legislation and involved considerable communication and consultation with the property industry, government and community regarding the changes to be introduced.

Landgate collaborated with the Parliamentary Counsel’s Office in developing the new legislation. Landgate was praised for the quality of advice provided to help key stakeholders understand the complexities of the bills and in conjunction with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, were awarded the President’s Award for Planning Excellence from the Planning Institute of Australia.

Preparation for changes to Landgate’s systems and processes is underway to enable the registration of plans and new electronic forms. The preparatory systems changes needed to accommodate the new types of strata are on track to be completed late in 2019, ready for implementation of the new legislation.

Landgate is working with other key government agencies, including the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, the State Administrative Tribunal and the Office of State Revenue to develop and embed new systems and processes that will enable effective operation of the legislation.

Strata Titles Act Reform

Landgate is making strata better to deliver social and economic benefits for the WA community. The new laws will see flexibility to achieve enhanced community outcomes such as:

  • the introduction of improved management schemes
  • greater amenity
  • a simplified dispute resolution process.

Supporting other government priorities

In addition to leading strata title reform, Landgate has continued to support government priority programs including:

  • providing data advisory services, data and a full-time specialist GIS resource to lead GIS program assessment and delivery of operational analysis and outputs for the Westport Port and Environs Strategy
  • providing data and valuations consultancy advice to assist government in decision making and planning around METRONET, the Land Asset Sales Program and Native Titles negotiations.

 

Collaborating across government and using our data insights to create efficiencies

Landgate implements and maintains the WA Whole of Government Open Data Policy on behalf of government. This policy aims to improve the management and use of the public sector’s data assets to deliver value and benefits for all Western Australians.

The agency also actively supports other agencies in making their own data more accessible through WA’s open data portal,
data.wa.gov.au. Sharing data widely across government and the community has the potential to drive better government, innovation, business growth and new employment opportunities.

Landgate actively worked with government agencies, including the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, Department of Education, Department of Finance, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, as well as Horizon Power and the WA Marine Science Institute. This collaboration has resulted in an additional 260 new datasets available for use.

A review of internal datasets was also conducted to identify those suitable to be placed on the open data portal, which was not already available. This resulted in Landgate making 306 of its datasets accessible through WA’s open data portal.

The total number of datasets from all agencies shared through data.wa.gov.au was 2,283, an increase of 120% since the end of the last financial year, exceeding the SCI target of 10% growth.

Open Data Portal

WA’s open data portal provides a single, convenient point of access to public sector data in WA and is delivered by Landgate, in partnership with agencies across the sector.

The open data portal is supported by Landgate’s SLIP, which provides access to a multitude of government location-based data through web services, applications and maps.

Capture WA

Landgate’s Capture WA program provides state and local governments with the coordinated procurement of location-based data through a panel contract. The type of data captured through the program includes aerial and satellite imagery, and updated maps of roads and other infrastructure.

The program also provides the processing, storage and distribution to participants and avoids multiple agencies buying and licensing access to the same data. In 2018/19 Landgate delivered over $4.133m in efficiencies to the state through CaptureWA, significantly exceeding the $1m SCI target.

Creating easier access to Landgate data to stimulate and grow the economy

Through its Location Technology Hub SPUR, Landgate provides established and emerging businesses with access to its sales evidence, property attribute, tenure, cadastral and topographic data. Businesses, known as ‘Value Added Resellers’ (VARs), use Landgate’s data to create their own products and services which they on-sell to end users.

Landgate commenced the development of a framework designed to stimulate greater uptake of Landgate datasets this financial year. The new framework will expand the range of datasets currently on offer and make it easier for VARs to access Landgate data by simplifying pricing and licensing arrangements.

SPURonWA

In supporting the state government’s priority to ‘Create a Bright Future’, SPUR continues to deliver assistance to WA’s start-up network through its grants program. SPUR Developer Licenses allows start-ups to access data in order to build, test and verify the market.

The Minister for Lands announced recipients of the third round of SPURonWA grants in November 2018, with eight local innovators awarded grants ranging between $10,000 and $15,000; to a total of almost $100,000. Grant recipients are also able to access location data relevant to their business activities and to access Landgate expertise for support and advice.

Further support is provided to start-ups through industry events including the HARVEST AgTech program, Curtin Ignition accelerator, the Start-up Weekend, ‘Data Discovery’ and ‘Start-ups UP CLOSE’.

VORTALS™

Cognetic Technologies is the company behind the VORTALS™ application and software suite – a world-scale augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) design and presentation platform. By harnessing the power of GIS data, the VORTALS™ platform re-invents the way in which content is structured and delivered to users in an augmented world.

VORTALS™ has completed a pilot program with Edith Cowan’s Graduate School of Research and commenced a further pilot with Cecil Andrews College. Discussions with a number of institutions, both in industry and in the education sector are on-going.

“The SPUR grant gave us the opportunity to use services that would typically be out of reach of a start-up. Because of the grant, we could bring in outside perspectives and skillsets that were invaluable in progressing our business forwards.”
Russell Scott, Co-Founder

SOAR

Soar’s goal is to develop a global Super-map, capable of showing and delivering geospatial imagery at any scale from low-resolution satellite to high-resolution drone imagery. Soar’s global Super-map combines spatially tagged imagery and content acquired from drone operators, aerial surveyors and satellite image providers in a single marketplace platform. Based on the Ethereum blockchain, Soar uniquely tags every image and transaction to maintain a public ledger of the origin and authenticity of the content.

As most content captured by drone and aerial mapping companies is only ever used once, the Soar Super-map allows imagery creators an opportunity to license their content through a decentralised, distributed mapping environment. These images can be purchased and downloaded from the Super-map.

Soar was listed amongst the 2019 Top 50 Global Blockchain Innovations at the World Blockchain Forum conference in Singapore in June 2019.

“The SPURonWA grant provided additional funding to help Soar deal with critical pre-launch issues involving client onboarding and content licensing issues. We found the SPURonWA grant team really helpful during the project. ”
Neil Prentice, Commercial Manager

We deliver returns to the State

Using performance data and business acumen to improve cost effectiveness and returns to the State

Improving business acumen

The WA property market experienced a further decline during 2018/19 with activity levels for document registrations falling by 7% in comparison to the prior year. The level of registration activity experienced during 2018/19 is similar to the late 1980s and early 1990s when there were significantly fewer titles on the Land Titles Register.

In response to this declining revenue, Landgate continued to monitor and re-assess its financial situation and ensured it maintained a disciplined fiscal approach, which resulted in significant expenditure savings.

These expenditure savings, together with the recognition of the gain on the share sale of investments in PEXA Ltd and Advara Ltd, resulted in a significant return to WA for the 2018/19 financial year.

Additionally, a review of Landgate’s financial and non-financial delegation framework was progressed during the year to better support decision making within the organisation. The new delegations’ framework was effective from 1 May.

Deriving value from our assets

PEXA shareholding

In November 2018, the Landgate Board and the state government confirmed their intention to sell the state’s 11.8% shareholding in PEXA Ltd.

PEXA was formed in 2010 to fulfil the COAG initiative to deliver a single, national electronic conveyancing solution to the Australian property industry.

The electronic conveyancing market has matured to a point where new entrants are now being established and going through regulatory approvals; it was the right time for the state to exit its investment.

The divestment was finalised in January 2019, delivering a return of $185 million to the state; a considerable return on Landgate’s original investment of $38.9 million.

Landgate Partial Commercialisation

In June 2018, the State Government announced that while Landgate will remain a statutory authority, the government would look to commercialise its automated land titling functions.

Landgate has played a key role in the Treasury-led project, which has facilitated an open market process to find a suitable service provider for the partial commercialisation transaction.

Extensive preparatory work was undertaken by the project team on the transaction scope and structure in the first half of the financial year in conjunction with Treasury, the SSO and associated advisors.

Following an open Expression of Interest process, respondents were shortlisted by government to submit non-binding indicative offers in the second stage of the market process. By June, the third stage of the market process proceeded with successful bidders invited to conduct bidder due diligence on the release of detailed information in a secure data room. This included vendor due diligence reports prepared by the state’s advisors and draft transaction documents.

The open and competitive market process is intended to be completed by the end of the calendar year 2019.

Divestment of shareholding in Advara Ltd.

As part of the partial commercialisation announcement in June 2018, the state government announced it would consider its options to divest its 77.78% shareholding in Advara, Landgate’s start-up established to commercialise the NLRTM Platform.

In May 2019, the state government sold its shareholding to Adecco Holdings Ltd.

Adecco purchased Landgate’s shareholding for $7.2 million and renegotiated terms resulted in future cost savings for IT service provision. The total net present value to the state of the divestment was $14.8 million. This achievement was the result of significant
work and successful negotiations between the state and Adecco, which as the minority shareholder held the first right on any transfer of Landgate’s shareholding in Advara.

As part of the sale agreement, Landgate will continue to own the intellectual property and share royalty revenue if NLRTM is deployed in other jurisdictions.

Innovative New Opportunities

Landgate’s work to develop the best innovation practice across WA’s local government and state agencies continued and was recognised nationally.

Landgate was awarded the Australian Financial Review’s 19th most Innovative Company in Australia and New Zealand in July 2018. This result ranked Landgate higher than any government agency.

The 2018 submission project was the lifesaving fire consequence mapping technology, developed by Landgate’s Location Intelligence team in collaboration with Western Power and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services. Fire consequence mapping helps predict the impact and risk of power pole generated bushfires, which enables Western Power to prioritise maintenance efforts across their entire power network to ensure that maintenance of power poles with the greatest risk to lives and homes can be prioritised.

Other Initiatives

Launch of Land Enquiry Services

Landgate launched Land Enquiry Services (LES) to customers replacing its aging Land Enquiry (LEN) and shopfront systems in May 2019. LES is a new online platform that offers a simpler, more efficient service for customers to search land and property information, order related products including certificate of titles, plans and documents, and enquiries on dealing status’.

LES provides an improved searching experience, simpler navigation, near real-time information from the Land Register, instant map access and more payment options.

Uptake of Webchat/Alternative Channels

Landgate’s webchat service enhances the agency’s ability to provide rapid response to simple customer queries. 17% of the agency’s customers now engage with Landgate through this channel. As of 30 June, response times for webchat customer queries was two seconds. Customer sentiment was also high, with 87% of webchat customers finding it easy to do business with Landgate.

Feedback Management

Landgate maintains a robust complaints management process to ensure service offerings can be adapted to satisfy consumer expectations, and to meet the requirements of the WA Ombudsman. Landgate is certified to ISO-9001:2015, which is the international standard that specifies requirements for a Quality Management System (QMS).

Listening to and acting on feedback is an essential part of continuous improvement and improving customer experience. This information is invaluable and provides the Authority with the opportunity to identify service improvements, increase customer satisfaction, strengthen customer input into services and acknowledge areas of excellence.

In line with Landgate’s Customer Feedback and Complaints Policy and the Customer Service Charter, provision of feedback is received in person, writing, telephone, online and through comments via surveys and focus groups. Feedback is logged into a Customer Relationship Management system, where it is assigned to an employee to respond to the issue(s). It is then monitored and managed by the Compliance and Quality Assurance Officer.

Landgate aims to resolve all complaints within 10 working days of acknowledgement. If this is not possible, the complainant will be informed of an estimated resolution date. A monthly summary report of all incidents is produced and published on the Landgate intranet.

Feedback Received

361 compliments were received, which mostly related to praise for customer service representatives who have assisted with ease of doing business with Landgate, empathy during interactions and clarity and relevancy of advice. There were 336 complaints received throughout the year, 306 of which have been responded to and resolved while 30 remain outstanding.

Landgate proactively undertook customer feedback campaigns in February and May to capture opportunities for service improvement going into the future. This active engagement resulted in two large spikes in customer complaints but enabled the capture of valuable customer feedback around how the Data WA platform, SLIP, and LES can be improved to better meet the needs of consumers.

Continuing the cultural change journey

A new leadership development framework was implemented to continue to build the leadership capability within the agency. The framework included several programs with 294 employees participating, which supported the development of business acumen, business efficiency and the ‘Way of Working’ cultural reform.

A ‘Way of Working’ staff engagement survey was held in September 2018 and saw Landgate increase its engagement score from 49% (2017) to 52%. This is the second consecutive year that Landgate’s employee engagement scores have risen. Engagement improvements were primarily focused on employees having a better understanding of how their work contributes to delivering on Landgate’s strategy and being motivated by senior leader’s vision for the future.

Following the survey, initiatives were put in place through a ‘Way of Working’ engagement plan to increase this score to 69% by 2023, in line with Landgate’s Strategic Development Plan 2018/19 – 2022/23.

Aspire strategy

The Aspire strategy is Landgate’s Aboriginal Economic Participation Strategy. The strategy encourages employment and business opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Through the Aspire strategy, Landgate has achieved the following:

  • a new graduate program was designed and implemented with three Aboriginal graduates recruited into the agency as part of the program
  • successfully engaged Aboriginal businesses, with 5.88% of Landgate’s procurement being awarded to Aboriginal businesses, exceeding the Aboriginal Procurement Policy target of 1%
  • delivery of cultural awareness training to employees
  • celebration of events such as Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week
  • working with representatives of the local community to rename meeting rooms with culturally appropriate Noongar names
  • working with Koya Aboriginal Corporation, a not-for-profit organisation operating in the City of Swan, delivering mobile primary health care services to the community. Landgate’s support for delivering the project includes access to Landgate data, co-working spaces, data expertise and mentoring.

Swan Aboriginal Community Christmas party

Landgate employees donated food and gifts to help vulnerable and disadvantaged Aboriginal families from the Midland community. Employees also volunteered their time to wrap the donated goods into hampers to present to families at the Swan Aboriginal Community Christmas party in December.

International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2019, Landgate hosted a community event with special guests Ingrid Cumming and Len Collard who shared their story about balance, equality, culture and family.

The theme was #BalanceforBetter – a call-to- action for driving gender balance. The event was held at Landgate’s Midland office, and guests included Landgate employees and members of the Swan community.