Tillegra Dam
Example of geotechnical report

The GGRD is a collaborative multi-year project that aims to collate, store and provide access to NSW government geotechnical reports and data. The project will:

  • create a new geotechnical report collection in our DIGS® document archive
  • add a new geotechnical report view in our MinView web mapping application
  • establish procedures for receiving reports and data from government agencies
  • harvest geotechnical data
  • develop 3D geotechnical models.

Geotechnical investigations

  • In NSW, geotechnical data about Earth’s subsurface (mainly rock and soil strength) is generated through mandatory investigations to support public and private infrastructure projects. This information is critical to infrastructure planning, design, construction and asset protection or maintenance.
  • To date, maintaining a record of geotechnical data and re-using the information has been a key challenge for government agencies. Geotechnical investigations are conducted by multiple agencies in NSW but there has been no central repository or access to these reports and associated data.
  • With the vast increase in construction and infrastructure spending, including the recently announced NSW Government commitment to invest $93 billion on infrastructure over four years to 2022-23, we urgently need to manage this data.


GSNSW, as custodian of the state's geological knowledge, has established the NSW Government geotechnical report database (the GGRD) to archive data and make it available.  A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement was signed between the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, Transport for NSW and Australia Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) in January to bring together seven agencies including ARTC, Mining, Exploration and Geoscience, Public Works Advisory, Sydney Water, Roads and Maritime Services, Sydney Trains and Sydney Metro to develop and implement the GGRD project. The MoU sets out key milestones over a three-year period with the overall aim of making government-procured geotechnical reports and data publicly available.

Project phases

There are over 3450 Public Work Advisory reports in the geotechnical collection in DIGS® which are also spatially discoverable in MinView as a NSW Public Works report layer. The GSNSW is collaborating with the MoU signatory agencies to implement ongoing submission of geotechnical reports and data.

GSNSW is currently generating a Western Sydney Aerotropolis (WSA) 3D model as a proof-of-concept of 3D planning tool to demonstrate the usefulness of geotechnical databases and models, this work package will be delivered in the first quarter of 2021.A long-term aim is to use the data to generate 3D geological models of cities, towns and proposed major infrastructure corridors to assist scoping and planning projects.