Note: this guideline is issued by the Surveyor-General under section 7(1)(ga) of the Cadastral Survey Act 2002 about the Rules for Cadastral Survey 2010 and is not legally binding.

The following information relates to defining by adoption existing boundaries under rule 6.4 including what this term means, the duty of a surveyor when a right line, irregular or water boundary is defined by adoption, and the accuracy standards that apply.

'Defined by adoption' applies only to a boundary and is a term used to describe the quality of the definition of that boundary.  This should not be confused with the term 'adopt' which has a more general meaning and which relates to the use of existing survey information .

Defining by adoption a right line or irregular boundary - duty of surveyor

Where a surveyor is permitted to define by adoption a right line or irregular boundary, they need only ensure that the adopted work meets accuracy tolerances and that there is no known evidence of 'conflict'.  It is unnecessary for the surveyor to search for all the old marks or fix occupation to discover if conflict exists along this boundary.

Defining by adoption a water boundary - duty of surveyor

Because a water boundary is ambulatory, the surveyor must not assume that the documentary position is fit for adoption.  The surveyor must compare the current ground position with the documentary position to determine whether it is appropriate to adopt the boundary position.  

Evidence of erosion or inaccurate adoptions (taking into account the accuracy specifications in r 3.4) may result in the boundary having to be re-surveyed.

Accuracy of adoptions when 'defining by adoption'

A boundary defined by adoption is not subject to the same definition requirements as a boundary defined by survey.  However, the boundary must meet the relevant accuracy standard for either right-line boundaries [r 3.3] or water boundaries and irregular boundaries [r 3.4].

The position of a boundary point which is 'defined by adoption' will be determined by the use of adopted vectors.

The position of a boundary point must not be 'defined by adoption' if the adopted vectors fail the boundary accuracy standards, notwithstanding that they meet the survey accuracy tolerances in place at the time of the original survey.

Where class A parcels under 0.4 ha may be defined by adoption

Refer to When class A boundaries on parcels under 0.4 ha may be defined by adoption

Boundary point purpose and mark state information in CSD

To ensure the level of evidence used by the surveyor is clearly recorded, the CSD must indicate the boundary mark purpose as 'defined by adoption' and the boundary mark state as 'adopted'.

Boundaries of underlying parcels may be 'defined by adoption'

Where a new non-primary parcel is to be created on an underlying parcel:

  • the existing underlying parcel boundaries that are in close proximity to, or coincide with, a new non-primary boundary may be defined by adoption or accepted [r 6.3 or r 6.4] (refer to accuracy of non primary boundaries upon resurvey),
  • the accuracy between the new non-primary boundaries and these underlying boundaries must comply with rules 3.3.1 (class A or B), 3.2.3(b) (class C), or 3.2.4(b) (class D) as appropriate.

Where the inaccuracies of the coincident or close underlying parcel boundaries are such that their relationship with new non-primary parcel boundaries is unable to be determined to the required accuracy [refer r 3.3.2], rule 17 (Alternative requirements for non-primary parcels) will apply.

Last Updated: 31 March 2017
Authority: Surveyor-General - Section 7(1)(ga) of the Cadastral Survey Act 2002
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