Public access to Government land and geographic information has greatly improved because of the management of data by the Western Australian Land Infostation System (WALIS) Lands Minister George Cash announced today (Thursday, February 9) at the opening of WALIS Forum '95.
"Making information available is the theme for this year's Forum, stressing the importance of having relevant, reliable and current information available to all sectors of the community," Mr Cash said.
WALIS was a consortium of 24 government agencies which integrated land-related information so it could be shared to avoid duplication of time and effort when collecting data.
Mr Cash said joint ventures between public and private sectors would benefit from quality information being available.
"The growing importance and influence of WALIS can be seen by the increasing demand from the private sector for Government land and geographic information to help resolve issues such as native title, mining and petroleum exploration, and agricultural and pastoral management," he said.
"An advisory committee has been established to provide a community perspective on issues facing WALIS and is already providing advice on making Government information more accessible and useable".
The WALIS advisory committee includes members from the industry, local government and educational institutions.
Mr Cash, who unveiled the Department of Land Administration's (DOLA) Panairama aerial photograph catalogue and the new WALIS Land Information Directory, said the technological improvements enhanced the capability of WALIS to support effective land management and resource development throughout WA.
Panairama is a series of computer discs which provided a panoramic view of Western Australia from current aerial photography. The technology provided an overview and basis for ordering higher resolution digital images or other conventional photographic products.
The Land Information Directory enabled users to determine whether data already existed before undertaking expensive data collecting exercises. A dial in access enabled users to utilise the directory directly from their own offices, or access it through the Internet computer network.
Mr Cash said the launch of Data Mart at this year's Forum was a first for Australia with information available on topography, geology, soils, property ownership and boundaries, environment and census data.
"The Data Mart provides a one stop shop for anyone seeking information on data needs and it gives them the opportunity to discuss their interests directly with the suppliers," Mr Cash said.
WALIS Forum '95 is being held at the Burswood Convention Centre.
Media contact: Mark Thompson (09) 222 9595