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WA’s sense of place explored in new history book

A new book provides an insight into the vital role early land surveyors have played in making Western Australia the prosperous state it is today.

‘Managing a Million Square Miles, A History of Western Australia’s Department of Lands and Surveys’, by Ron Hutchinson takes readers on a journey from Western Australia’s colonial days to the early 21st century.

The department, which is now known as Landgate, is WA’s oldest government agency.  Until 1993, the agency was mostly housed in one of Perth’s oldest buildings on Cathedral Avenue which is now COMO The Treasury, Perth.

Landgate Chief Executive Mike Bradford said by providing a secure land titles registry, his agency protects the property wealth of WA and supports the state’s property market and economy.

“The foundations of our registry were laid by WA’s first Surveyor General John Septimus Roe who was responsible for managing the allocation of land to early settlers,” Mr Bradford said.

“Mr Hutchinson’s book gives a captivating insight into how land management in WA grew and evolved to meet the changing needs of the state in modern times.

“As well as land management, the book details the department’s commitment to innovation and technology, something Landgate is a national leader in today.”

Author Ron Hutchinson said his passion for the subject matter and interest in history inspired him to write the book.

“Originally I intended to briefly document the history of cartography and surveying in Western Australia but after 12 years of work the project expanded to cover all aspects of the department and evolved into a book,” Mr Hutchinson said.

“There is now a written record of the history of the Department of Lands and Surveys and the role played by some of the legendary figures in its employ.”


Note to editors

Landgate is Western Australia's primary source of land information and geographic data, providing the accuracy government, business and individuals rely on.

Contact: Karen McPherson, Media and Ministerial Adviser

Phone: +61 (0)8 9273 7514