A Modern Definition of Australian Property Information

Creation of a Property Model for Australia.

The Challenge

One of the themes of the Foundation Spatial Data Framework (FSDF) data is Land Parcel and Property. The land parcel component of this theme is well defined and widely available however it is not aligned with the modern concept of property as outlined in Cadastre 2034 and the Future State of the Land Parcel and Property Theme. Cadastre 2034 provides a vision for a modern cadastral system which enables people to readily and confidently identify property and extent of all rights, restrictions and responsibilities (RRR) related to land and real property, and the ability to visualise and manage this information in 3D and 4D. The aim of this project was to review the Land Data and Property theme in the context of the Cadastre 2034 vision, similar Property Modelling conducted in New Zealand, and the expectations of users, to establish a new definition for “property” and how this can be represented with land parcel (DCDB) data and address.


The project partners were the QLD Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME), and the Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping (ICSM) through Geoscience Australia (GA).

The Solution 

The aim of this research was to create a detailed modern definition of Property and redefine the foundational data products to be included in the national FSDF Land and Property Theme. There were two proposed stages to the project, however only stage 1 was conducted which canvased the opinions of users and potential users using a relatively small sample identified on the east coast (Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and some NSW rural) to provide sufficient insights to determine a realistic definition of property data and basic attributes.

The research established that property has no single definition, as its elements are owned and managed by many for numerous purposes. Instead, a relational model of the Foundational Elements was developed to provide criteria and rules for linking to, and between, the elements in a consistent way, which would provide the basis for Property interoperability and consistency into the future. The Foundational Elements were identified as:

  • Land Parcel – An area of land with defined boundaries under unique ownership for specific real property rights.
  • Property – A land parcel, or a collection of contiguous land parcels with single ownership used for a common usage by a single entity.
  • Premise – An individually owned building or structure, or part of a building or structure, used for a single usage by a single entity.
  • Address – An address is a structured label, usually containing a property number, a road name and a locality name; used to identify a plot of land, a building or part of a building, or some other construction.

There has been a broadening user base for Land and Property information and ever-evolving user expectations regarding information, quality, accessibility and timeliness of land parcel and property data. The state-based systems providing data for this theme were established in early 2000 with a focus on delivering products suitable for local government. This narrow focus and diverse user base have contributed to a Foundational data theme that is not meeting the current and future needs of users. The outputs from this research provide an evidence-based set of priorities that can be used to scope the business requirements for modernising the cadastral system, and a set of priorities for the creation of a nationally aligned future state roadmap. The creation of the new property model through collaborative research provides jurisdictions with the drivers and knowledge to make changes to support both the modernisation of property data within jurisdictions and deliver a national framework.


To learn more, contact FrontierSI at contact@frontiersi.com.au or Phil Delaney at pdelaney@frontiersi.com.au.