Minister for Technology at Spatial Awards

The State Minister for Technology, Gordon Rich-Phillips was one of several speakers at the ninth annual Victorian Spatial Excellence Awards.

Speaking at the ceremony, the minister not only celebrated the innovation of the night’s award winning GIS projects, but also spoke to the continuing importance of spatial data in the government’s DataVic Access policy.

Speaking to the industry, Mr Rich-Phillips said that spatial information is “driving the state’s key projects and initiatives” within “education, health and industry development”.

“Victoria’s spatial technology sector is worth around half a billion dollars annually, playing an increasingly central role in many planning and management tasks.”

Spatial Vision’s CFI Savanna Burning Abatement Tool, which aids farmers in calculating the greenhouse gas emissions of burning savanna in the early dry season, took home the night’s Award for Sustainability and Environment.

Another of Spatial Vision’s projects, InFlame, was a finalist for the Award for People and Community. InFlame assists district commanders in the Metropolitan Fire Brigade spatially target home safety mail outs.

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Spatial Vision's Managing Director Glenn Cockerton also spoke on behalf of the Spatial Industries Business Association, saying the industry was "unique" not because of the services it offered but rather the "transformative" power of the spatial information it generates.

"Fundamental to our industry is the availability of current, high-quality and accessible location-referenced information.

So we are especially pleased to have Mr Gordon Rich-Phillips here tonight so that we can acknowledge the way in which he and the Victorian Government have embraced the concept of open access to quality information from the public sector."

Mr Rich- Phillips spoke to the more than 1,000 datasets that are now available at the Victorian Government Data Directory, of which more than 550 are spatial datasets.

“This first stage of spatial data release includes local government,  electoral, urban growth and planning scheme boundaries, rail network, relief contour data, parks and conservation areas,” Mr Rich-Phillips announced.

“Providing more open access to government data will help drive innovation,  create new business opportunities and also enable the development of new technologies, new products and new services.

“Releasing spatial data – alongside transport and traffic data – has  proved highly popular in many jurisdictions around the world and I will  continue to advocate strongly for the release of government data and the full implementation of the DataVic Access policy”

The night’s other award winners were:

  • Export award: Taylors – Train-the-Trainer Course, Digital Cadastral Surveying, Bangladesh;
  • Innovation and Commercialisation award: Taylors – NBN Surveying Services – Aerial Deployment;
  • People and Community award: Department of Environment and Primary Industry/CFA – eMap;
  • Spatial Enablement award: Alpine Shire Council for the BAL plan;
  • Sustainability and Environment award: Spatial Vision – Savanna Burning Carbon Abatement Tool;
  • Technical Excellence award: Bureau of Meteorology – The Next Generation Forecast & Warning System and the Geospatial weather viewer MetEyeTM; and
  • Victorian Government Award for Spatial Excellence: Alpine Shire Council – BAL plan.

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