Transport Safety Victoria, Melbourne Australia

Accurate marine survey supports improved management of marine assets on Victoria's waterways.

Business Challenge
Transport Safety Victoria (formerly Marine Safety Victoria) or TSV is the State of Victoria’s marine safety agency. It coordinates waterway management, develops and implements vessel standards and operator competencies, protects the marine environment and funds the improvement and development of associated infrastructure.

TSV establishes speed limits, operating zones and the conditions needed to provide a safe operating environment for all waterway users.

Operational rules are gazetted and listed in a publication entitled ‘Vessel Operating and Zoning Rules (VOZR) for Victorian Waters’, a 130 page document that is difficult to apply to the day-to-day management of waterways.

TSV recognised that it lacked an up-to-date register of the features described in the VOZR and that the information contained in the VOZR in relation to where zones started and ended was difficult for the public to interpret. TSV asked Geomatic Technologies (GT) for help.

Services Overview
GT offered to provide asset capture services to TSV to obtain an up-to-date register of waterway assets. This involved a survey of assets in six waterways.

GT was required to capture data for each asset mentioned in the zone descriptions in the VOZR documentation for the Yarra River, Westernport Bay, Hazelwood Cooling Pond, the Gippsland Lakes, Glenelg River and Lake Hume.

With assistance from TSV staff and using a TSV vessel, GT identified, photographed and assessed the condition of all 320 assets described in the VOZR within a three month period. To do this GT adapted GT’s Asset Inspection Mapping System (GT AIMS) technology to capture the following attributes:

  • Asset type – sign, buoy, beacon, marker, or feature (e.g. a jetty).
  • Compliance with schedule – correct asset location, incorrect location or missing asset.
  • Condition – good, fair, or poor.

GT utilised a differential GPS or Global Positioning System and each asset location was recorded to an accuracy of (±2m).

Using the field data GT constructed a dataset of 90 polygons for the zones with each polygon defining an area within which a rule has been enforced (e.g. a no boating zone or a speed restriction).


  • Using GT AIMS GT was able to rapidly capture asset attribute information as well as assess asset condition.
  • The field survey provided well-structured spatial data that could readily be assumed by the client’s MapInfo GIS or Geographic Information System.
  • The field survey data was used to audit signage locations described in the VOZR with their actual locations on the ground.
  • The survey produced documentation for waterway managers highlighting deficiencies in asset compliance and condition with recommendations on how to fix them.
  • The survey delivered spatial improvements and rectification to the Government of Victoria’s authoritative Vicmap Hydro dataset.
  • TSV is capitalising on the successes of the initial survey by undertaking periodical surveys to ensure that the stated benefits continue to be realised.