Land Unit Classification System (LUCS)

Land Unit Classification System for rural valuations.

The Challenge

The NSW government are modernising the valuation system in NSW. The NSW Valuer General produces an annual rural property valuation assisted by various local contract valuers, each with their own system. This project standardised the way valuers describe the land units in rural properties by developing a plain English common land classification system from published authoritative state-wide physical parameters.


The project partners are the NSW Department of Customer Service, Spatial Services Division, the Office of the Valuer General NSW, and CarbonLink.

The Solution

This project is complementary to but independent of the Value Australia project, which focusses on valuation modelling for the urban and peri-urban areas.

The project has delivered:

  • A framework for describing characteristics of a property (primary land classification, soil, slope and irrigation) related to rural land valuation. The framework is made up of seven Land Primary Classes and three Land Subclasses.
  • The Primary Classes include:
    • Alluvial flats
    • 1st class cultivation
    • 2nd class cultivation
    • Open or lightly timbered native grazing
    • Medium timbered native grazing
    • Heavily timbered native grazing
    • Other
  • The Subclasses include:
    • Irrigation
    • Slope
    • Soil type
  • A raster-based processing approach for compiling and analysing spatial data, and reporting on the relevant characteristics.
  • A web application (and associated technical infrastructure) for accessing property reports, individually and in bulk (by LGAs), which provide valuers with access to the required data that can be directly incorporated into existing worksheets.


The benefits of having such a system in rural valuation include:

  • Improved accuracy and consistency with standardised classification of land types, calculation of area and slope;
  • Reduced valuation cost by minimising the duration and frequency of site visits;
  • Improved audit trail of the annual rural property valuation process;
  • Continuous improvement of valuation over time to support broad-base and specialist valuation of local rural property by adding relevant parameters to refine the authoritative baseline value; and
  • Improved transparency of the valuation process and confidence in the valuation system for rural landowners in NSW.

To learn more, contact FrontierSI at or Technical Lead Lachlan Hurst at