Response to 2026 Agenda

Ms Eva Rodriguez
2026 Agenda Team
Via email

Re 2026Agenda – SIBA response to draft Action Plan

Dear Eva

Thank you for seeking our feedback on the draft action plan. From our point of view, the 2026Agenda is a seminal initiative for positioning the spatial industry in the rapidly transforming global landscape. The breadth of consultation and analysis undertaken by the project team is commendable, and for an incoming CEO and board, this body of work presents an optimal context for shaping our organisation.

This submission is a collaborative body of work from the SIBA board, membership and staff. Our response is structured across three themes:

  1. General statements providing a context for our response
  2. Our alignment with the actions (appendix)
  3. Our next steps

General statements

  • It is becoming clear that the diverse organisations representing the spatial sector each exist to service a unique set of needs, and it is at the intersections of our respective charters that the opportunities for collaboratively strengthening our industry are greatest.
  • SIBA welcomes the ability to leverage the 2026Agenda to help us improve the alignment of our business activities with our charter of market development (as uniquely different from research and professional development).
  • A new way of working together will certainly be the outcome of the suggestion of merging SIBA and SSSI, regardless of exactly how that relationship unfolds. Formally suggesting that the work of both groups be reviewed in the context of each other has already started several beneficial discussions, as we seek to understand what differentiates and what binds us. The same will likely hold true as we review our activities in the context of our relationships with other representative bodies in the industry.
  • SIBA has a clear role to play in ensuring that emerging businesses and their advocates are connected to the broader spatial community. These connections offer a two-way exchange with emerging customer needs and how they are being met.
  • In some areas, burgeoning innovation is wreaking havoc with regulation and we also have a responsibility to ensure the business environment continues to evolve. We need to contribute to effective governance, and also to the development and implementation of workforce planning and development strategies that are appropriate to an industry and economy in transition.
  • There is a need to advocate for the value of spatial professionals as equals in rigour and specialisation as our peers in allied disciplines such as engineering, law, science, finance and trades, for example. Perhaps this is part of a skilling requirement for industry; perhaps an advocacy task, perhaps both.
  • Most importantly, the gaping hole in spatial advocacy is a unified statement about the industry’s relevance in the broader economy. This includes capability, contribution to GDP, and job creation. The 2026Agenda has gone some way to address this, however on reflection, the vision statement for the 2026Agenda really needs to be clearer about the change it seeks to embody in this regard.

Our next steps

Having just concluded the merger of SIBA with SIBA QLD (Spatial Qld) and more recently SIBA and GITA, we are currently undergoing an extensive internal planning process. The timing of the 2026Agenda is fortuitous.

We will be developing and implementing our 3-year strategy and associated plans over the coming months. During this time, our specific actions related to the 2026Agenda will become more concrete.

We welcome dialogue with the 2026Agenda team and other stakeholders on an ongoing basis, and particularly as we work through this process.

Once again, I thank you for the opportunity to comment directly on the Action Plan. I look forward to the next stage.

Warm regards
Deanna Hutchinson
Chief Executive Officer