Give your opinion on the underground utilities standard


Image Credit: © / au / black_mts

Standards Australia has published a revised draft standard for information and engineering for underground utilities.

By Craig Roberts

For over 230 years, we’ve been building public service infrastructure across Australia. But it’s really only in the last few decades that we’ve started to notice the location of all these pipes and ducts. This is necessary for several reasons: to be able to find them, to plan better projects or to avoid construction disasters.

This need was the motivation for the Australian AS_5488 classification standard for underground utilities / engineering information.

It all started at the NSW Surveying and Mapping Industry Council (SMIC), the leading body for surveying and mapping in NSW, under the leadership and motivation of Mark Gordon and Greg Livingstone. The initial standard was launched in 2013 with an update in 2019.

But with the establishment of the new GDA2020 benchmark and associated National Positioning Infrastructure (NPI), a revised 2021 standard has been drafted and is now open for public comment.

The standard consists of two parts: Part 1: Information (and this is largely geospatial information) and Part 2: Engineering (engineering management).

There have been several changes since 2019; significantly, the recognition of GDA2020 as a national “Recognized Position Measurement Standard” supporting the legal traceability of positioning.

With the confluence of Referral System Modernization, Low Cost Multi-GNSS, CORS Nationwide Expansion, Next SouthPan (SBAS) and Ginan’s PPP Service Promise, AS_5488 will be in the spotlight. test of the time to support localization of utilities using robust, accurate and simple solutions. satellite positioning.

If you work in the utility locating industry and recognize the huge advantage offered by modern satellite positioning, please do not hesitate to give your opinion.

Go to, scroll to Public Comment, sign up with an email address and password, and search for 5488. You will find two draft documents: DR_AS_5488.1_2021 and DR_AS_5488.2_2021.

Click on the link to download the drafts. You can submit comments online, section by section.

Public comments close on December 16, 2021.

Craig Roberts is Senior Lecturer in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of NSW.

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