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ANZLIC The Spatial Information Council
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current topics > local government

local government

issues related to spatial information

  1. All local governments are striving to provide efficient and effective services to their communities. Communities are increasingly demanding access to information about local services and issues. Local governments already recognise the value of spatial (location based) information to meet these demands, across functions such as planning, rating, community services and engineering.
  2. Local governments are collectively large purchasers of spatial technologies and services, including geographic information systems, aerial and satellite imagery, asset location technologies and customer relationship management systems. They have a common need for advice on industry benchmarks and experience in procurement processes for information technologies related to spatial data.
  3. Local governments need access to people skilled in the collection, management and use of spatial information. Shortages and turnover of in-house staff with these skills has been identified as a major barrier to use of spatial information in local governments. A more sustainable scheme of access to skilled people is needed by all local governments.
  4. All levels of government recognise the need to share spatial data in order to save time and money on data collection and management. Flows of data between local governments, State and national government agencies is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity in areas such as planning, environmental management and community safety. Benefits include reduced duplication of effort within councils and reduced time and transaction costs for the community.
  5. All levels of government and business enterprises have or are developing services and products using spatial information. Applications span the full range of local government functions. Sharing application development and experience is needed to increase timeliness of installation and decrease development costs for local governments, given their common needs in this area.

what is needed

  • Break down barriers and build capacity to access and use spatial information resources needed by local governments: people, data and technology. This requires common policies, strategies and programs. Focus is provided by the Spatial Information Industry Action Agenda released by the Australian Government in September 2001 and the implementation of a nationally consistent framework through the Australian Spatial Data Infrastructure (ASDI).
  • Involve local government in development of spatial data infrastructure elements at local level. The key resources needed include:
    • Advice based on experience and best practice;
    • Sustainable expertise at local level;
    • Good quality and current data fit for local use;
    • Investment funds for building local capacity.
  • Increase cooperation and reduce duplication of effort, both between local governments and with State and national government agencies.
  • Cement relationships between levels of government at both formal and informal levels.
  • Provide local government input to national and State/Territory spatial information initiatives with local impacts.


ANZLIC has worked with the Australian Local Government Association under a strategic alliance on a project to adapt the Natural Resources Information Management Toolkit to suit the needs of local government. For more information about the project and to download the Toolkit go to >>> Local Government Spatial Information Management Toolkit.