Australia’s geospatial industry needs stronger leadership and clarity of vision, said the head of Britain’s world-leading Ordnance Survey agency, Dr Vanessa Lawrence, in a 2011 report for Australia’s Department of Resources Energy and Tourism.
Before the Lawrence Report was published in April 2012, the head of RET, Drew Clarke, and its Minister, Martin Ferguson, delivered one of Lawrence’s key recommendations: converting the former Office of Spatial Data Management into a new Office of Space Policy.
Lawrence said that a new national geospatial vision needed to be articulated and ‘significant leadership must take place at all levels of Government’. She identified three policy areas especially needing leadership: information, spatial (location) data and geospatial data.
She also highlighted a need for more clarity in the Board governance, funding and management of PSMA Australia Ltd, a company established and owned by Australian Commonwealth and state and territory government agencies to collect, co-ordinate and distribute basic public datasets to public and private sector customers. Its Canberra office, led by CEO Dan Paull, also is a hub managing relationships between data custodians, data managers, and customers.
PSMA’s former Independent Chair, Olaf Hedberg, was replaced by Glenn Appleyard in 2012.