Cadastral Standards Historical Information

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The following articles, papers and reports concerning historical aspects of cadastral surveying in Tasmania are provided to contribute to understanding of the profession's Tasmanian history and inform the practice of modern land surveyors as they retrace the footsteps of the surveyors before them.

Whilst some material below has been authored within the Office of the Surveyor General other papers have been reactivated with the permission of the authors or copyright owners, obtained from the Tasmanian Parliamentary Library or linked directly. ​​

Anyone who wishes to contribute additional articles that may help to improve cadastral surveying in Tasmania should contact the Offi​​ce of the Surveyor General.

Tasmanian re​​ports and articles:

​​ Survey System of Tasmania, Report No. 54 to the Tasmanian House of Assembly, 1883

Report by Alexander Black, Assistant Surveyor-General of Victoria, into the surveying of land and mineral rights in Tasmania. Virtually all the recommendations from the Black report, including the regulation of surveys and surveyors supported by field and office inspection, were adopted in 1884 with the notable exception being the call for for an increase in fees paid for surveys. A subsequent complaint that between 25% and 100% additional work was required with not extra payment forthcoming ​led to a Select Committee Report to the Tasmanian Parliament (No. 143 in 1886) which sheds more light on colonial land survey practices. 

Payment of Surveys, Report No. 143 to Parliament of Tasmania, 1886​

The Report commences with the following opening text:

"Your Committee have the honor to report to your Honorable House that they have held. eight sittings, and examined five witnesses. The evidence taken discloses the fact that, prior to the issue of the Regulations now in force for the guidance of surveyors, surveys were very frequently effected in a rough and unsatisfactory manner, the surveyors, in some cases, evidently being controll​ed less by the purpose to make a satisfactory survey than by the desire to make the fees payable afford a good remuneration for the work done."

  Henry Hellyer - In His Footsteps   (8Mb)

  A yarn on surveying with Frank Miller   (2Mb)​

  Central Monument Project - Institution of Surveyors Australia (Tasmanian Division)   (5Mb)

  Sprent and the Trigonometrical Survey of Tasmania - FIG 2010 Paper by Peter Murphy   (87Kb)​

  Survey Cairns in Tasmania   (513Kb)​

  Interview with Ralph Campbell-Smith   (146Kb)​​​​

  Surveyor Christopher Rowe (PDF 736Kb)​

​​Useful Links

​​Repo​rt on the transactions of the Survey Department of Van Diemen's Land, from the foundation of the colony to the end of Colonel Arthur's Administration, Addressed to His Excellency Sir John Franklin, K.C.H. on his assuming the Government by George Frankland, Surveyor General, 1837


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