Geodetic datum compliance date shifts

DUE to the COVID-19 pandemic, Western Australia’s mines department has changed the date of full compliance for the implementation of the Geocentric Datum of Australia 2020 from July 1 to October 1.
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The geodetic datum compliance date has changed.

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The national implementation of GDA2020 is necessary to account for Australia's tectonic movement of about 7cm north each year.

Since 2000 Australia has moved about 1.8m towards Indonesia.

That movement means the coordinate reference system has to be changed.

GDA2020 supersedes the current GDA94 datum and older coordinate systems such as the Australian Geodetic Datum 1966 and 1984.

Resource Tenure executive director Rick Rogerson said GDA2020, like GDA94, was a "static" datum, which meant coordinates of features such as roads, buildings and land parcels did not change with time during the period the particular datum applies, despite the ongoing movement of the earth's surface due to tectonic movement.

"The upgrade will ensure spatial data can be more closely aligned to positions observed using Global Navigation Satellite Systems," he said.

"All mining tenements will retain their relationships with all other mining tenure, no ground will be gained or lost."

The Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping is responsible for coordinating the GDA2020 datum shift nationally.

The WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety has been working with Landgate, the lead agency for GDA2020 implementation in WA, to deliver systems changes and the appropriate policy and regulatory changes.

Rogerson said a DMIRS working group had been established to implement the upgrade, however, the transition was complex as it involved regulatory changes to accommodate all three previous datums.

"The original target date was July 1 but DMIRS is now aiming for October 1 as a full implementation date in response to technical, policy and regulatory issues in addition to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.

"The DMIRS Datacentre is being updated to accommodate the download of datasets in both GDA2020 and the current GDA94 datum from July 1, while work continues on required policy and regulatory changes as well as system conversions."

DMIRS is updating regulations and policies that specify a defined datum to reflect the adoption of GDA2020 and changing systems.

For a transition period, downloadable spatial data will be available in both GDA2020 and GDA94.

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