Australia facing geospatial shortage

Australia is not keeping up with the booming demand for Geospatial professionals, UNSW Professor, Chris Rizos, has told a world surveying congress in Sydney.

“Technology has revolutionised the world of surveying and spatial information in general, but we can no longer meet the needs of industry and government here,” Professor Rizos said.

“A recent US survey suggested that people with these skills are now required across 146 of the fastest growing occupations.”

According to Professor Rizos-head of the UNSW School of Surveying and Spatial Information Systems-technologies like GPS, airborne & terrestrial laser scanners, satellites and 3D imaging are now in huge demand across the entire economy.

“Universities right across the country are struggling to attract enough young men and women in to this rapidly growing field,” Professor Rizos said.

“A major problem here is that Australia’s pool of surveyors and spatial professionals is also aging, with only 20% of the profession being in their twenties, the lowest proportion ever.”

“Sectors using geospatial technology are exploding,” Professor Rizos said. “It includes satellites, agriculture, climate, disaster response, urban planning, navigation, consumer electronics, telecommunications, environment, mining, manufacturing, construction and global security, to name just a few.”

Professor Rizos was speaking at the opening of FIG-the world congress of the International Federation of Surveyors-in Sydney, organised by the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), and the Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI) - the peak body representing spatial professionals in Australia and New Zealand.