Cadastral Surveying



Cadastral surveys refer to those surveys where property boundaries are concerned.  This can be existing property boundaries where the location is uncertain, requires confirmation or creating new boundaries as in a subdivision. 

SMK Land Surveyors holds a current Certificate of Registration issued by the Surveyors Board of Queensland to legally perform these surveys. 

This type of survey will accurately define property boundaries and consider the legalities of land ownership.  The team at SMK Land Surveyors are committed to providing the highest service that comes with this survey to ensure your investment or your client’s investment is accurately documented, thus providing security and peace of mind.   

Here’s a glimpse into the types of surveys we excel at

Subdivision Surveys

Perfect for those looking to divide larger parcels into smaller, individual lots. We ensure compliance with Australian zoning and subdivision regulations, providing accurate and reliable surveys. 

Lease Plan Surveys

When it comes to lease agreements, our surveys ensure accurate and detailed documentation of the property, facilitating transparent communication between landlords and tenants. 

Identification Surveys

Our identification surveys are designed to precisely delineate property boundaries, providing clarity for property owners, prospective buyers, and legal documentation. 

Construction Surveys

Trust SMK Land Surveyors for precise measurements and layout assistance in construction projects. We stake out locations for buildings, roads, and utilities, ensuring your construction plans are flawlessly executed. 

Easement Surveys

Discover the exact location and dimensions of easements on your property with our thorough easement surveys. We map out areas where external entities may have rights of access or use. 

Contour and Detail Surveys

Elevate your land management strategy with our contour and detail surveys. We map out elevation data, contours, and other crucial features, providing a comprehensive understanding of the terrain. 

Subdivision Surveys

Subdivisions, in the realm of real estate and urban planning, refer to the process of dividing a larger parcel of land into smaller lots or plots, each intended for individual ownership or development. The primary purpose of subdivisions is to efficiently utilize land resources, creating organized and structured layouts that cater to various needs within a community.  

These divisions can serve multiple purposes, including residential, commercial, or industrial development, allowing for the establishment of diverse properties like housing estates, shopping centers, or business parks. Subdivisions are driven by the necessity to accommodate population growth, enhance urban planning, and meet the evolving demands of a dynamic society. By carving out smaller, purposeful parcels, subdivisions contribute to the orderly expansion and optimization of available land, fostering sustainable and well-designed communities. 

Here are several reasons why you might want a subdivision: 

Increased Property Value:  

  • Subdivisions can lead to an increase in property values as they create well-planned, attractive neighborhoods with access to essential services and amenities, making them desirable for potential buyers or investors. 

Zoning Flexibility:  

  • Subdivisions offer the flexibility to designate specific zones for residential, commercial, or industrial purposes, ensuring a well-balanced and purposeful distribution of land use within a given area. 

Optimal Land Utilization:  

  • Subdivisions enable efficient use of available land resources, allowing for the creation of diverse properties such as housing developments, commercial zones, or mixed-use areas. 

To complete a thoroughly adequate subdivision they are often paired with Identification surveys on the entire blocks of boundaries and AHD height certificates. In land subdivision, AHD height certificates can be necessary to ensure proper boundaries delineation and regulatory compliance.   

Subdivision surveys involve dividing larger parcels of land into smaller lots, establishing new boundaries, while identification surveys precisely delineate existing property boundaries, collectively ensuring clear and compliant land divisions in real estate development. 

Daniel locating an old fence post during a Subdivision Survey at Plainland, with supervision  

(2023 taken by Jack) 

Daniel locating a pin in the center of a rural block at Tenthill 

(2024, taken by Jack) 

AHD (height certificates)

An Australian Height Datum (AHD) height certificate is a document that provides accurate information about the elevation of a specific location or property. AHD is a standardized vertical reference point used in Australia for height measurements. By providing reliable elevation information based on a national benchmark, AHD height certificates contribute to informed decision-making and compliance with regulatory standards in a range of applications.

An Australian Height Datum (AHD) height certificate may be required for various reasons, including:

Flood Risk Assessment:

  • AHD height certificates are essential for evaluating flood risk and determining the elevation of structures or land concerning flood-prone areas.

Property Development:

  • Developers may require AHD height certificates to assess and plan for proper drainage, grading, and elevation changes on a property.

Land Subdivision:

  • In land subdivision, AHD height certificates can be necessary to ensure proper boundaries delineation and regulatory compliance.

Land Title Transactions:

  • AHD height certificates may be requested during land title transactions to provide comprehensive information about the elevation and topography of the property.

Government Regulations:

  • Some local government authorities may require AHD height certificates for regulatory compliance, especially in relation to land use planning and development.

Dispute Resolution:

  • In cases of boundary or property disputes, AHD height certificates can provide accurate elevation data to resolve disagreements related to land use and ownership.

Insurance Purposes:

  • Some insurance companies may request AHD height certificates to assess and mitigate risk, particularly in areas prone to natural disasters like floods.

Obtaining an AHD height certificate ensures that accurate and standardized height information is available, supporting various aspects of land development, construction, and compliance with regulations. It is an essential document for informed decision-making in a wide range of scenarios.



Setouts refer to the precise layout and marking of key points on a construction site, serving as a guide for builders and contractors during the construction process. These points, often based on architectural or engineering plans, indicate the exact locations where structures, features, or components should be positioned. Setouts play a critical role in ensuring that construction projects align with design specifications, dimensions, and alignments. By providing clear reference points, setouts contribute to the accuracy and quality of construction work.

A setout survey is conducted for various reasons in construction and land development. Here are a couple of common reasons for a set out survey,

Compliance with Design Intent:

  • Setout surveys play a vital role in ensuring that the construction aligns with the design intent. By providing clear reference points based on architectural or engineering plans, setout surveys help maintain the integrity of the design throughout the construction process.

Alignment and Dimension Verification:

  • These surveys help verify and ensure that structures are aligned correctly and have the intended dimensions. This is crucial for maintaining uniformity and meeting the specified standards in the construction project.

Preventing Errors and Rework:

  • Conducting a set out survey helps prevent errors during construction that could lead to costly mistakes.

Vice versa, the sledgehammer usually mashes pegs like potatoes.

(2024, taken by Jack)

Setting out the final pegs at Harlaxton McDonalds.

(2023, Taken by Jack)

Repeatedly setting out pegs can take a toll on even the best sledgehammer.

(2023, Taken by Jack)

Identification Surveys

This type of survey identifies the existing property boundaries. 

Whilst this type of survey does not define the buildings within the land, any structure which lies close to, on the boundary or over the boundary will be noted on the plan.  This structure may belong to you or your neighbor, hence structures which are overlying your boundary, regardless of the origin, are discovered.  This is termed an encroachment and may spark a process which involves notifying your Neighbour or adjacent land holder of the structure.  This is a legal process we are obliged to comply with. 

Remember, your fence, garden bed or retainer wall are all structures and features which may define the physical boundary; however, this is not necessarily true according to your Title.  The boundary as per your Title is defined on the survey plan of your property. 

When might you need an Identification Survey? 

The answer is whenever you need to know exactly where your boundaries are. 

  • Purchasing a block of land in a new or established area 
  • Erecting a shed, patio, fence or other structure 
  • Building a house extension 

It’s not just new structures, it is also maintaining existing structures as above. 

Neighborhood disputes are a common reason for requiring a boundary survey.  It is important that you disclose this at the time of your enquiry such that we can be prepared for any conflict which may arise whilst we are conducting your survey. 

These surveys are comprehensive examinations of property boundaries, ensuring clarity for owners, buyers, and legal documentation. At SMK Land Surveyors, our identification surveys serve various purposes, from property transactions to legal documentation, providing an accurate delineation of land boundaries. Common needs for identification surveys include resolving neighbor disputes by offering clear evidence of property lines. 

An Identification Survey will accurately define your property boundary and clear up any confusion with third parties as the data and plan produced are legal documents. 

Boundary Realignments   

Boundary realignments involve adjusting or shifting property boundaries, often to resolve disputes or accommodate changes in land use. Identification surveys play a crucial role in this process by providing precise documentation of existing property boundaries. When considering a boundary realignment, an identification survey is essential to accurately assess the current boundaries, ensuring that any adjustments adhere to legal standards and regulations. This comprehensive surveying approach facilitates a smooth and legally compliant realignment process, minimizing conflicts and ensuring clarity in property ownership. 

Following a fence line in Helidon during a Boundary Survey

(2023, Taken by Daniel)

Target set up at a Boundary Survey at Nobby

(2023, Taken by Jack)


Des completing calcs on a Boundary Survey at Flagstone Creek

(2023 Taken by Jack)


An old boundary peg found during a survey in Helidon is guessed to be more than 120 years old, bigger than any of the pegs modern day surveyors use.

(2023, Taken by Daniel)

Easement Surveys

Easement surveys are conducted to identify, map, and document the existence and specific details of easements on a property. An easement is a legal right that allows someone to use another person’s land for a specific purpose. This use can include the right to access the land, install utilities, or cross the property. Typically, an easement’s identity where specific things are and gives them land that is not allowed to be modified e.g. power lines, water pipes, sewer lines and drainage.

Easement surveys are important for several reasons:

Ensuring Compliance:

  • Property owners and developers need easement surveys to ensure compliance with local regulations and to avoid potential legal issues related to encroachments on or alterations to existing easements.

Facilitating Property Transactions:

  • When buying or selling a property, knowing the details of easements is crucial. Easement surveys provide information that can affect property values and influence the decision-making process for potential buyers.

Future Planning:

  • Property owners can use easement surveys to plan for future development or modifications to the property while considering the constraints imposed by existing easements.

Identifying Easement Boundaries:

  • The surveyor precisely delineates the boundaries of existing easements on the property, ensuring a clear understanding of where the easement is located.

Documenting Easement Types:

  • Easement surveys specify the type of easement, whether it’s for utilities, access, drainage, or other purposes. Different easements have distinct implications for land use and property rights.

Resolving Disputes:

  • In case of disputes over easement rights or boundaries, an easement survey can serve as essential documentation to help resolve disagreements between neighboring property owners.

Easement surveys are typically conducted by licensed surveyors who specialize in land surveying. These surveys play a critical role in providing clarity, legal documentation, and peace of mind for property owners and stakeholders regarding the use and limitations of their land.

An Easement Survey in Withcott, Supervised by two donkeys

(2023, Photo taken by Jack)


Daniel and Des setting up the base for a large easement survey at Flagstone Creek.

(2024, Photo taken by Jack)

Contour and Detail Surveys

Contour and detail surveys are integral components of land surveying, each serving distinct purposes. A contour survey involves mapping the elevation levels of a given area, creating contour lines that represent changes in terrain and topography. This type of survey is crucial for understanding the lay of the land, identifying potential drainage issues, and informing site planning.

On the other hand, a detail survey provides a comprehensive examination of a property, documenting existing structures, boundaries, and physical features with meticulous precision. Detail surveys are essential for various purposes, including property development, construction planning, and land use assessments. These surveys offer a comprehensive understanding of the existing conditions of a site, aiding architects, engineers, and developers in making informed decisions. Whether you’re planning a new construction project, conducting land-use studies, or seeking to optimize site design, contour and detail surveys are indispensable tools to ensure accurate and thorough assessments of the land.

Some of the most common reasons to get a contour and detail survey include:

Site Planning and Design:

Contour surveys help understand the land’s topography, helping architects and planners design structures compatible with the natural slope and features of the terrain.

Construction and Engineering Projects:

Detail surveys are crucial for construction projects, providing accurate information on existing structures, utilities, and other features that may impact the construction process.

Drainage and Grading Analysis:

Contour surveys help identify natural drainage patterns, allowing for effective planning of grading and drainage systems to prevent water-related issues on the property.

Property Transactions:

Prior to buying or selling a property, individuals may request a detail survey to confirm property boundaries, existing structures, and other features, ensuring accurate representation in legal documents.

Flood Risk Assessment:

Contour surveys are essential for assessing flood risk by identifying low-lying areas and establishing floodplain boundaries. This information is critical for floodplain management and risk mitigation.

Picking up the location of the creek banks during a contour survey in Helidon

(2023, Taken by Daniel)


A control point used during a contour survey in Gatton (Control points are set points that authenticate the accuracy of all other measurements during a survey)

(2023, Taken by Jack)

Development Applications

Development applications serve as pivotal documents for surveyors, condensing proposals for land use and alterations. Surveyors play a crucial role in the development application process by conducting detailed site surveys, which involve precise measurements, boundary delineation, and topographical assessments.

These surveys provide essential data that supports the proposed development’s compliance with zoning regulations, ensuring alignment with local planning guidelines. SMK Surveyors contribute their expertise in land measurement, mapping, and spatial analysis to assess the impact of proposed developments on the existing environment. SMK Surveyors help applicants navigate the intricate landscape of development applications, facilitating informed decision-making by local authorities.

In essence, surveyors act as indispensable contributors to the evaluation and approval process, ensuring that proposed developments seamlessly integrate with the surrounding terrain and adhere to regulatory frameworks.


Amalgamation refers to the process of combining two or more entities into a single, unified entity. In various contexts, this term is used to describe the merging or consolidation of businesses, organizations, or administrative units. Amalgamation might involve the combining of adjacent land parcels into a larger, consolidated property for development purposes. Other uses for Amalgamation include combining larger lots for subdivision, adjusting property boundaries to align with zoning regulations and assembling larger scale construction projects

Compiled Plans

Compiled plans typically refer to comprehensive documents that consolidate various plans, data, or information into a single, organized format. These plans could relate to land development, construction projects, or any area where different aspects need to be brought together for a unified view. In urban planning, compiled plans may integrate zoning maps, infrastructure plans, and environmental impact assessments into one document, providing a comprehensive overview of a city or region’s development strategy.

Lease Plan Surveys

Lease plans are detailed drawings or diagrams that outline the boundaries and physical features of a property or a specific area within a property. These plans are typically associated with lease agreements, providing a visual representation of the premises subject to the lease. Here are key aspects of lease plans:

Boundary Representation:

  • Lease plans clearly delineate the boundaries of the leased area. This includes the demarcation of walls, fences, and any other physical structures that define the limits of the space being leased.

Internal Layout:

  • In addition to external boundaries, lease plans often illustrate the internal layout of the premises. This may include the location of rooms, common areas, and any specific features relevant to the lease agreement.

Measurements and Dimensions:

  • Lease plans include accurate measurements and dimensions of the leased area. This ensures clarity regarding the size and configuration of the space covered by the lease.

Identification of Common Areas:

  • If the leased property is part of a larger building or complex with shared spaces, the lease plan may identify common areas and highlight any shared facilities or amenities.

Compliance with Regulations:

  • Lease plans are often required to comply with local regulations and standards. For example, they may need to adhere to specific mapping or surveying standards set by relevant authorities.

Legal Documentation:

  • Lease plans are integral components of legal documents, serving as visual references to support and clarify the terms and conditions outlined in the lease agreement. They help prevent misunderstandings and disputes by providing a clear visual representation of the leased premises.

Lease plans are crucial for both landlords and tenants, providing a tangible and visual representation of the leased premises. They contribute to a transparent and well-documented leasing process, helping to establish clear expectations and avoid potential conflicts over property boundaries or usage.

Daniel measuring the height of a retainer wall during a Lease Plan survey.

(2024 Taken by Jack)

Location Certificates (form 16s)

In Australia, Form 16 certifications hold significant importance in the realm of land surveying, specifically in certifying boundaries. Form 16 is a certificate issued by a registered cadastral surveyor, validating that a surveyed plan adheres to the requirements outlined in the Land Title Act. For surveyors, this certification is a critical step in defining and confirming property boundaries. It signifies that the surveyed boundaries are accurately represented on the plan, aligning with legal and cadastral standards.

Form 16 certifications are commonly associated with subdivision plans, providing assurance to landowners, developers, and regulatory authorities that the land divisions comply with relevant legislation. These certifications not only validate the accuracy of boundary demarcations but also play a pivotal role in the transfer of land ownership and the establishment of a reliable cadastre. The Form 16 certification process underscores the crucial role of surveyors in upholding the integrity of land boundaries and ensuring legal compliance within the Australian land tenure system.

Some of the most common reasons to receive a Form 16 include:

Subdivision Plans:

  • Form 16 is often required when submitting subdivision plans to certify that the proposed land divisions comply with relevant legislation and cadastral standards.

Cadastral Surveys:

  • Cadastral surveys, which involve the measurement and demarcation of land boundaries, often result in a Form 16 to confirm the survey data’s accuracy.

Easement Creation or Modification:

  • When establishing or modifying easements on a property, a Form 16 may be necessary to certify the surveyed plan’s compliance with legal requirements.

Compliance with Legislation:

  • Various legislative requirements dictate the need for Form 16 certifications in different circumstances, ensuring that surveyed plans meet the standards set by the Land Title Act and other applicable laws.

Boundary Disputes Resolution:

  • In cases of boundary disputes, a Form 16 can be instrumental in providing a certified survey plan that clarifies and resolves disputes between neighboring landowners.

In summary, Form 16 certifications are commonly associated with various aspects of land surveying and property transactions. They ensure that surveyed plans adhere to legal and cadastral standards, providing a reliable basis for property ownership, development, and compliance with regulatory requirements in the Australian context.

Ascon (As Constructed) Surveys

As-Constructed surveys, often abbreviated as “ascon,” are surveys conducted to document the final constructed conditions of a project. These surveys are typically performed after construction is completed to verify that the work has been done according to the specifications, plans, and permits.

In the context of surveying, ascon surveys involve capturing accurate measurements and details of the physical features and dimensions of structures, infrastructure, and other elements of a project. This information is then compared to the original design plans to ensure compliance and identify any discrepancies or deviations.

Ascon surveys are crucial in various industries, including construction, engineering, architecture, and urban planning. They provide valuable documentation for future reference, maintenance, renovations, and legal purposes. Additionally, they help stakeholders understand the actual conditions of a project site and make informed decisions moving forward.

Ascon is typically used on large projects where utilities have already been built. These utilities include underground cables, sewer pipes, stormwater, underground tanks, water lines and network cables. Sometimes when completing an ascon survey a utility expert can be called in to locate where underground utilities are for the surveyor to pick up.

Sewer manholes being picked up by Des and Anthony during an ascon survey

(2024, photo taken by Dan)

Dan Lawless

Mobile: 0427 713 508
Email: HERE

Kristine Lawless

Office Email: HERE