The Land Assessment Portal

By Mostyn Lee

3rd July 2020

There are several State-significant Native Title Agreements (Agreements) in Western Australia that involve the delivery of land related benefits.

Landgate was required to report a property transfer to several government organisations and needed a single solution to provide all these reports in a cost-effective manner.

This is a long and complex process, arranged into a series of discrete steps referred to as Phases, summarised below:

  1. Identification of land requires access to land related data, initial consultation with internal and external stakeholder and the ability to record and track information against individual land parcels.
  2. Claimant Tenure Selection involves the referral of land to the representatives of the involved Native Title groups for consideration of preliminary land information and the selection of a preferred tenure.
  3. Assessment requires formal referral to government and private stakeholders to obtain information and approvals.
  4. Terms of Allocation requires the analysis of information and approvals collected from all preceding Phases and drafting of terms for negotiation with the representatives of the involved Native title groups.
  5. Allocation is the final part of the process where valuation, surveying and conveyancing of land, among other operations, required to enable transfer of ownership to the landholding body is undertaken.

The Problem

State Government agencies (Agencies) implementing these agreements required a way of accessing accurate and current land information as well as recording information against individual land parcels. Parcels and information would then need to be tracked through the workflow defined within the relevant Agreement, as summarised above. Due to the lengthy process, the issue of currency was particularly important and land data regularly changes over time.

Agencies also required a way for disparate teams to work together on common tasks that could take many months or years. Due to the sensitive nature of the work, they required full auditing and logging of all actions and responses going back to the start of the projects. There was also a requirement to maintain confidentiality.

The Agencies required a reliable and intuitive way for the representatives of Native Title groups and other agencies to perform their oversight and referral responsibilities, and they required it to be fully reportable to meet milestones determined in the Agreements.

The Solution

Akkodis undertook to build a bespoke C# ASP.Net Cloud-hosted web application to record and support the entire workflow, using Entity Framework to connect to an SQL Server database. It is known as the Land Assessment Portal (LAP).

Initially developed on Azure in 2015, the application has had major extensions. The most recent extension included:

  • Support for multiple Agreements
  • Workflow changes as processes and legal frameworks have developed
  • A move to ASP.Net Core and EF Core.
  • A complete UI overhaul to use modern Javascript frameworks.
  • Migration to AWS cloud infrastructure

And ran from January 2018 to March 2020.

The AWS services now include:

  • The ASP.Net website hosted on an Elastic Beanstalk, with custom eb extensions used during instantiation
  • The SQL Server database is hosted in an RDS instance
  • S3 buckets are used for file processing
  • Storage of uploaded files,
  • Temporarily storing .zips for decompression
  • processing spatial files
  • The code is hosted in a GIT repository in CodeCommit
  • Commits trigger continuous delivery with a CodeBuild pipeline
  • Alerts and logs are captured with Cloudwatch
  • The application infrastructure and DevOps are defined in tiered YAML CloudFormation scripts

Additionally, EC2 hosted ArcGIS servers are used to serve spatial information and perform spatial operations such as generating ShapeFiles and the calculation of new land borders.

The Outcome

The LAP is the primary business workflow tool and SSOT for the delivery of land related benefits under multiple Agreements and is heavily relied by key implementation agencies and a number of their stakeholder. Its secure operation and continuing availability to stakeholders across organisations supports this important activity.