Aerial surveys and imagery

Did you know that Wilkinson Shaw & Associates have the ability to undertake surveys and aerial imagery with our drone?  Drones are cutting down surveying times to hours instead of days.  While traditional survey will still be required there’s a lot that drones can help with on your project.

A few areas that drones are advancing the civil design and construction industry are:

  • Cutting down on times to start conceptual design.  In some instances you can capture some preliminary site levels and have the data available to start conceptual earthworks design within a day.
  • Speeding up site verification of levels.  You no longer have to rely on a surveyor taking shots with a GPS rover and then wait for the data to be processed as drones allow you to quickly survey a site when construction is in full swing.    Once we have flown the site the data is uploaded and processed.  From here we can provide cut/fill volumes and other information such as difference in levels from the final design surface.
  • Verifying progress claims.  Undertaking regular drone surveys can also help contractors and/or the superintendent to verify claims for earthworks quantities and percentage of works completed.
  • Resolving disputes.  As drone survey data provides a visual record of works undertaken it can be used as a tool to help resolve disputes with contractors.

If you are interested in drone surveys of your site please give us a call on (07)3555-9888 to discuss what we can do for you.

Rockhampton Development Opportunities Await

With the recent announcement that Rockhampton will be the Fly In Fly Out (FIFO) hub for the Adani Carmichael Mine it would be expected that property prices will continue to firm in the area.   WSA have been involved with developments in Rockhampton and Livingstone Shire Councils since 2006.

Adani is expected to create 1,700 new jobs in Rockhampton due to the Council negotiating with Adani for both construction and FIFO jobs on the mine project.   With construction commencing in just a few weeks the demand for more housing in Rockhampton will start to rise almost immediately.   Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor, Margaret Strelow, has been quoted as saying that “As a Region, we need to open our arms and embrace this opportunity which lays the foundation for the future success of Rockhampton – it is up to us as a community to build on it and make the most of this hard-won opportunity”.

We have a proven track record working in challenging sites in the area.  Varsity Park at Norman Gardens is an example of one of our projects undertaken in the region.   Give us a call on 07 3555 9888 to discuss your project in the region today.


Can I subdivide my property? – An engineering perspective

There are numerous factors that determine if a property can be subdivided. Each Council has its own set of rules and regulations (known as a Planning Scheme).  These rules set the framework for what is considered allowable development. While the rules change from Council to Council, what remains relatively the same is the engineering requirements that need to be met for a subdivision to occur.

As Civil Engineers with years of experience with subdividing land, we have a good grasp of minimum lots sizes, minimum frontages and average block widths and we can give you an indication of your expected lot yield. What we can also do, that generally a town planner or surveyor can’t, is tell you which engineering issues are going to stop your project before it even starts. There are 3 engineering requirements for a subdivision to occur:

– A connection point for sewer;
– A connection point for water; and
– A lawful point of discharge for stormwater

At WSA we offer a service called a “Discovery Review”. For a cost of $550 including GST, we will undertake a desktop review of a site in relation to sewer and water connections and a lawful point of discharge for stormwater. We will then hold a meeting with the client at our office or on the phone for up to one hour with either a Director or Principal Engineer to discuss the outcomes of the review.  A small up front free from an experienced civil consultant such as WSA could save you a fortune in fees from surveyors and town planners if a project is not viable from an engineering perspective. Give us a call on 3555 9888 to discuss your site today.


We think before saying yes

The last thing you want to hear as a developer is that your site can’t be developed after you’ve gone unconditional on the purchase contract.

WSA have been involved in a job situated on a waterway that was affected by both local and regional flooding. Our initial brief was undertaking a preliminary desktop study to advise on the developable area. This report was provided to the client who then decided to push ahead with the purchase.

Under the advice of the client’s project manager the Development Approval phase of the project was sent out for pricing. We submitted our price and things went quiet.

Finally the project manager came back to us with feedback from other consultants that the development couldn’t be done. Fast forward six months and with WSA’s involvement this site now has a Development Approval that other consultants thought couldn’t be achieved.

WSA goes to great effort when providing preliminary information or tenders to ensure we can fulfil our clients expectations for a project. If WSA believe your proposal cant be delivered we will advise you immediately before to much money has been spent on a concept that is not viable.

Steps to Subdivide Residential Property

Are you thinking about subdividing your current property? Or maybe you’ve seen an investment site that has been advertised on a real estate website as a subdivision STCA (Subject To Council Approval). In this 5-part series WSA will take you through the steps required for subdividing a property.

Subdivisions in Queensland can sometimes be a tricky maze to navigate. The information in this series is generally related to residential subdivision. While the issues surrounding non-residential subdivisions can be similar there are often additional charges and services associated with them. To stop you wasting time and pulling your hair out with frustration it is always worthwhile to organise a site specific consultation.

How to Subdivide your land
When undertaking a subdivision WSA explain it in four basic stages:

  1. Development Approval
  2. Operational Works Approval
  3. Construction
  4. Plan sealing and registration

Get the experts in EARLY!
If you are looking at purchasing a property, all we can say is do your due diligence and get the experts in early. As a property developer there is nothing worse than doing your sums on the number of lots you think the property can yield to only find after purchase that it is a lot lower.

At this stage WSA’s experience shows that you should look at engaging a civil engineer, town planner and registered surveyor. It is common for surveyors to offer town planning services but just be aware that this may not be their area of expertise.

You may find that occasionally town planners may tell you it’s not necessary to engage a civil engineer (or even a surveyor) at this stage. However, for a small investment now, engaging a civil engineer with the expertise in subdivisions, such as WSA, could save you heartache and a large expense from an engineering issue that other professionals are not trained to see.

Before obtaining Development Approval or DA some investigation will need to be undertaken utilising your newly appointed professional team. Servicing of your site for things such as water, sewer and stormwater is undertaken by a civil engineer. The relevant regional plans and planning schemes are assessed by the town planner in association with the civil engineer. The surveyor will then be able to come up with a lot layout based on the information provided by both the town planner and civil engineer.

At this stage you may also be advised of other professionals, such as ecologists, that may be required to ensure that there aren’t any issues before pushing forward to obtain a Development Approval.

The next article in the series will examine the Development Approval process.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss your next upcoming project.


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