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Welcome to the future: the spatial sector growth plan arrives

Glenn Cockerton (left) and Dr Peter Woodgate (right) at Locate17 presenting Australia’s 10 year strategy to grow the spatial industry.


Released last week at Locate17, the 2026 Spatial Industry Transformation and Growth Agenda (2026 Agenda) represents a step change for the industry, and aims to act as a catalyst to maximise the innovation, productivity and competitiveness of the industry across Australia.

Collectively created by business, government, academia and spatial-user organisations, the 10-year Action Plan is underpinned by 34 transformational initiatives.

A rapidly changing technological and operating environment is creating unprecedented global opportunities for the spatial sector to generate additional value. This is especially relevant for the Australian spatial sector, which has a global competitive advantage in this area. However, failing to stay ahead of, or keep pace with, changes in technology, policy, governance, research and development and global investment in spatial capabilities puts the sector at risk of missing key growth opportunities.

In response, members of the spatial sector have collaborated on a 10 year strategic plan to grow and transform the Australian spatial industry. Following some nine months of consultation, the plan is now ready for implementation following its formal launch at Locate17 and available online for viewing.

The plan is supported by Australia’s Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor MP, who noted “The power of location technologies is growing rapidly and they are poised to play a central role in transforming the Australian economy. By leveraging the enormous potential of spatial information, we can accelerate the growth of both traditional and emerging markets and industries.”

In a powerful call for action, Minister Taylor has issued a challenge:

I encourage the spatial sector, and the broader community, to take this 2026Agenda forward and become a leading example of innovation and leadership for the nation.” – The Hon. Angus Taylor


An underlying theme of the plan, built through consultation with over 500 individuals across Australia, is that the success of the spatial industry is linked to the ability to drive success in key growth sectors of the economy, such as transport, agriculture, smart cities and health. The plan consists of six key pillars of transformation:

  1. Public Infrastructure and Analytics: accelerate the nation-wide access to location-related data and analytical tools that are easy to use, and facilitate the implementation of new ideas and growth in the private sector
  2. Innovation and Entrepreneurship: foster spatial innovation and entrepreneurial skills, capitalising on technological advances to evolve business models and open new markets and opportunities
  3. Outreach: clearly communicating the value and contribution that location intelligent and related services to the industry to Australian society
  4. Research and Development: coordinate location-related R&D in Australia to collaboratively solve problems of national interest
  5. Education, Training and Capacity Building: introduce location-related training and education at all levels of education, nation-wide and including regional communities, to develop a well prepared and diverse workforce
  6. Representation: consolidate the voice of the spatial industry, and provide effective leadership and advocacy for the industry

Over the coming months, the 2026 Agenda Team will be kicking off the implementation plan for this Agenda working with forward thinking individuals and organisations to deliver the plan.

The full version of the 2026 Agenda can be downloaded at the 2026Agenda website, www.2026agenda.com. If you wish to be involved please contact the 2026Agenda team, Phil Delaney (CRCSI) and Eva Rodriguez (SIBA and CRCSI) on 03 9035 9936 or via email on pdelaney@crcsi.com.au or erodriguez@crcsi.com.au.

The 32 priorities listed by the 2026 Agenda Action Plan.

The 2026 Agenda was formally launched at the Locate17 conference in Sydney on Wednesday 5 April by Co-chairs of the working party behind this initiative, Glenn Cockerton (SIBA) and Peter Woodgate (CRCSI).

The pair believe this ambitious agenda represents a once in a generation opportunity for the sector, noting that, “We have an exciting challenge ahead of us, and we want to take this opportunity to ask spatial businesses, academia and government agencies to take a leadership role in implementing this plan.”

Cockerton also noted that “there has never been a better time to be a part of the Australian spatial industry” and described it is a “once-in-a-generation opportunity.”

It was revealed during the presentation that some of the 34 initiatives are already underway. Positioning the Locate conference as the core national event for the spatial sector is one of them.

Perhaps the most controversial among the initiatives is for “the two peak bodies (SSSI and SIBA) to form one spatial organisation.”

The plan also highlights key growth areas for the spatial industry, including transport, agriculture, health, defence and security, energy, mining and other emerging industries.

Do you agree with the plan? What would you like to see included? Feel free to leave your comments below.

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