Action plan sets path for a decade of spatial innovation

By on 16 December, 2016


Earlier this year, spatial industry representatives from various organisations around Australia converged to oversee the development of Australia’s first spatial industry growth agenda. Named the 2026Agenda, the initiative aims to take the best advantage of the growing opportunities for the spatial sector over the next decade.

Traditionally, this ‘spatial’ sector has focused on location-specific practices such as positioning, cadastral surveying, geodesy, engineering and mine surveying, remote sensing, GIS, and cartography.

However, in recent times the use and generation of location data has expanded rapidly to other areas of the economy, particularly earth observation, mobile technologies, autonomous aircraft and vehicles and the Internet of Things (IoT). The 2026Agenda aims to encapsulate the growth opportunities in these areas, as well as the ones yet to arise.

Since it started in July 2016, the 2026Agenda has engaged more than 400 individuals, through a combination of Leadership Forums across Australia and one-on-one interviews with representatives of priority sectors including agriculture, health, transport and energy.

Earlier in the year two documents were released, the 2026Agenda: Insights Report and the 2026Agenda: Ideas Paper, both of which compiled insights and ideas from industry leaders.

The next big step

Now, the next big step for the 2026Agenda has just been announced. The draft of the 2026Agenda Action Plan has been published and is available for released for public comment.

The Action Plan presents 32 high priority initiatives (shown in the accompanying diagram) and a roadmap to drive the 2026 Spatial Industry Transformation and Growth Agenda.

Each of the 32 high priority initiatives are categorised into six main areas: Public Infrastructure and Analytics; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Outreach; Research and Development; Education, Training and Capacity Building, and lastly, Representation.

Controversially, the agenda lists as one of its  priorities the need for “The two peak bodies (SSSI and SIBA) to form one spatial organisation.”


The 32 growth areas highlighted in the draft 2026Agenda Action Plan (click to enlarge).

The plan also highlights key growth areas for the spatial industry, including transport, agriculture, health, defence and security, energy, mining and other emerging industries.

All 2026Agenda activities to date have been coordinated by a working group jointly chaired by SIBA and the CRC for Spatial Information, including representatives of ANZLIC, Australian Earth Observation Community Coordinating Group (EOCCG), Data 61 (CSIRO), Landgate, Geoscience Australia, the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines, and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

This draft of the action plan will be available for comment until 31 January 2016. Feedback is openly invited, with responses delivered via email to

What comes next?

Following the release of the Action Plan it will be time to commence the implementation of initiatives t in 2017. The organising committee are seeking participants willing to take a leading role in this next phase. If you would like to get involved, contact or visit

The final Action Plan will be released in the first quarter of 2017, along with a comprehensive resources including details, rationale and ideas for implementation of the 2026Agenda framework and initiatives and feedback from the national consultation.

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