Widespread and far-reaching impact on the community
The thing that must be considered when it comes to the interference of survey marks is not just how many survey marks are affected but also the number of properties that could be adversely affected. Due to the nature and principals of cadastral reinstatement, properties removed from the construction corridor can still be impacted, particularly when the proposed works include road intersections. For example, a cadastral survey mark fixing the property boundary of a road intersection affects the reinstatement of at least two boundary alignments.
Depending on the historical survey evidence in an area together with the configuration of the parcel being surveyed, the surveyor may need to accurately locate cadastral marks around the section to reinstate the necessary alignments, including cadastral marks up and down the front, rear and adjoining streets, and sometimes on the opposite sides of those streets. The survey may need to continue further afield until sufficient cadastral marks are located to facilitate the reinstatement.
Cadastral surveyors can often be faced with many challenges when it comes to reinstating property boundaries, however the biggest obstacle to overcome in terms of time, cost and accuracy is the disturbance or destruction of survey marks. The financial ramifications can be dire to the community, but more so to the surveying industry who are typically burdened by these unforeseen costs. If key reference marks are disturbed or destroyed, the surveyor may need to keep extending their survey until they can find reliable and relevant reference marks to facilitate the reinstatement. The further the survey is extended, the more the accuracy and reliability of that boundary determination are compromised, thus highlighting the importance of completing an Ident plan of recovery marks prior to commencement of any construction work.
Like cadastral survey marks, the destruction of PSMs can have far-reaching ramifications to surveyors and the community as their use is not confined to their immediate or general vicinity. PSMs that are part of the State horizontal and/or vertical control network could be used to carry out surveys within hundreds of metres and up to many kilometres of their physical location. This highlights the importance of ensuring sufficient surveys are carried out post-construction to install, coordinate and/or level PSMs to suitably ensure the pre-construction horizontal and vertical control networks are maintained and not diminished.
Time does not heal old wounds when it comes to the interference of survey marks. Without protecting or preserving survey marks the impact can have long-lasting ramifications for future users, well after the project is completed. Increased survey costs resulting from the disturbance or destruction of survey marks are inevitably passed onto the public, be it landholders, developers, or consumers. Aside from the perpetrator facing the prospect of hefty penalties, the public pays the price when those interfered with survey marks, are required for their next project.