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GDA2020 in Queensland

Australia has upgraded its geocentric datum to GDA2020 to keep pace with changing technologies and the dynamic nature of the Earth’s surface. GDA2020 replaced GDA94 as the current datum.

Organisations that work with accurate spatial information or rely on location-positioning need to be aware of this change.

Implementing the change

The Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping (ICSM) has led the change nationally and the Department of Resources has coordinated the implementation of GDA2020 datum in Queensland.

Our department has ensured business, including systems, data and processes, are GDA2020 enabled.

Timeframes and stages

Australia's national datum was modernised through the adoption of GDA2020 on 1 July 2020.

Our systems, data and processes are available in GDA2020 to allow users to transition their own business to GDA2020.

Adoption of GDA2020 Queensland legislation commenced 1 July 2020 as recommended by ANZLIC
Transition (sunset phase during which support for GDA94 is maintained) July 2020 – June 2022

Implementation status

Our department has successfully implemented the necessary changes to its spatial systems to enable GDA2020. These changes will not affect the availability of existing GDA94 datasets.

GDA2020 functionality has been implemented in the following system environments:

  • QSpatial
  • Queensland Globe
  • Survey Control Data

Why do we need a new datum?

GDA94 coordinates tell us where things are in Australia—but these coordinates locate features as if our continental tectonic plate was fixed in 1994. Because our tectonic plate moves approximately 7cm per year, GDA94 coordinates are out of position relative to a global reference frame by 1.8m in 2020.

Many information systems use satellite positioning systems that have a coordinate framework fixed to the centre of the earth, rather than our tectonic plate. These systems regularly adjust to the current coordinates to maintain accuracy.

However, the difference between GDA94 and global systems has become obvious—even to smartphone users—so measures were needed to bring both into alignment and refresh the accuracy of how features are located on maps.

See Modernising Australia's Datum.

Find out more

National resources

The ICSM website provides more information about modernising Australia's datum, including:

Last updated
21 July 2023
Last reviewed
21 February 2023