Webinar Q+A

At the webinar we held on Thursday 13th August there were a huge number of questions asked and we didn’t have time to answer them all. Since then we’ve taken all of your questions and tried to provide answers below.

If you have more questions or need more information feel free to ask through the discussion forum.

You can access a recording of the webinar by clicking here.


What is the Go-Live date?

The next generation referral service is planned to go live on 1st July 2021. Members will have access before this date to prepare for the switchover.

How long with the Legacy Referral method be available?

The legacy referral method allows members to continue to receive referrals by email. There is no end-date for this and we intend to continue to support the legacy referral method as long as required.

When and how will information relating to potential changes to existing response configurations be sent to members? When will the new API details be published?

We will continue to share information throughout the roll-out. Final system documentation will be made available in Q1 2021.

Searching for Dig Site

Have you considered using What3Words as a method for finding your Dig Site?
+ Could you add the ability to search with two X,Y coordinates? This would allow the user to nominate both a start and end position for his search.
+ Are you looking in to an easy way to integrate maps so there could be some overlay function?

Thanks for these ideas. We’ve added them to the list for consideration as we progress the design activities.

Is it possible to call Dial Before You Dig directly from AutoDesk?

The next generation referral service includes a published developer’s API for lodging enquiries. Whilst AutoDesk integration is currently under consideration for stage one, it might be possible through the use of the API.

Can you submit referrals in GDA94?

Yes. Referrals can be submitted by loading a ShapeFile using GDA94 and GDA2020.

Is there going to be a better way to identify rural requests? These are sometimes difficult to locate.

You will be able to search by Lot number, DP number and geographic coordinates. You can also upload your enquiry boundary if you already have it drawn in a different mapping application.

Will there be limits on the type of features which can be submitted via Shapefile in an enquiry? For example, complex or multi-part features? Supporting this as an Asset Owner would be problematic.

Each enquiry can only be a single polygon or line feature. Enquirers cannot upload multi-part features due to downstream complexity for asset owners.

As an enquirer, can i upload one Shapefile with multiple points and get a response for each (eg test locations along 20km of highway)?

Yes. There will be some limits on the number of enquiries created at one time from an upload.

Will you be able to search for the new subdivisions in Victoria?

The new referral service will allow searching by DP and Lot numbers. There will be some lag but we intend to minimise this delay as we recognise that excavation work on new subdivisions represents a considerable volume for DBYD enquiries.

Submitting Enquiries

Will the way data is provided to the system change at all?

As part of the design workshops taking place in August/September, we are reviewing the data that is captured with an enquiry. If you have ideas on any changes to the data that is collected, please share this at our ideas site.

Can enquiries be lodged through an API?

Yes. The new service will have a published API for lodging enquiries.

Will there be a limit to the size of the area a customer can select? We have had areas the size of a few municipalities!

As part of the collaborative design workshops being held in August and September, we plan to review the maximum size of enquiries. If you have ideas on this, please share at our ideas site.

Asset Owner Access

Will asset owners have multiple logins to access the platform?

Yes. Each asset owner organisation is able to add additional users to view the dashboard and reports and to manage the configuration.

Can we interrogate the new system to look for people that have undertaken DBYD requests? (For example, checking for people who have not applied for a road opening permit?)

Yes. The search and reports features for members will allow you to explore all enquiries being made in your area.

Responses from Asset Owners

Are the stage one changes likely to speed up response times from members? Eg some members can take 24 hours to respond. Is this likely to improve?

Under stage one the responsibility to respond to enquiries remains with the asset owners. Dial Before You Dig will have much greater visibility of the way that members are responding and we will continue to work with members to help find ways to improve response times. 

Are there currently any guidelines or templates on how or what to communicate to enquirers?

Dial Before You Dig provides guidance to members on how to respond to enquiries lodged through the referral service. You can find more information here.

Will depth of services information be added?

Responses to enquiries will continue to be generated by the members. The inclusion of depth information will be up to each individual member.

Will the new platform enable enquiring parties to access digital data / GIS data made avalable by asset owners?
+ Is there or will there be a way to charge to format of information received rather than just PDFs (such as Genio files or DWGs)?
+ Can we get a feed of the data and not have to manually export it?
+ I am a contractor who needs to collate DBYD drawings and read these PDF’s into CAD software. Can we now export DBYD inquiries as CAD/DWG?

Responses to enquiries will continue to be generated by the members. Some members are already starting to provide links to data downloads and interactive web maps and the new DBYD platform will allow us to continue to drive innovation in this area.

As we are moving to GDA2020, will the members be updating their infrastructure locations to the new co-ordinate system to improve the accuracy?

Responses to enquiries will continue to be generated by the members. Internally, the new referral service uses GDA2020 and we will continue to work with members to encourage the move to GDA2020.

As a regulator we need sometimes to confirm that documents are sent. Will we request that evidence through DBYD or the asset owner?

DBYD will be able to provide confirmation of the documents sent in response to any enquiry.

Response Emails

Will we still be sending email to the individual members if we have an issue with the plans they sent? Or will there be a new standard email address that we use to send to DBYD that you will then send to the utility company that we emailing about?

The direct contact information for members will still be available for any follow-up queries or discussions regarding your enquiry.

Can the response to DBYD be done via API instead of email?

Yes. Asset owners will be able to upload the response files for an enquiry directly to the new referral service rather than sending by email.

Is it intended that the system will collate asset owner responses or is that something for consideration in later phases?
+ Will enquirers be able to view responses via online platform rather than only email? With a map overlay of assets found would be great

Response collation is under consideration for a later phase. Many third-party products are available for this today, including solutions from Esri Australia, Mipela and PelicanCorp.

Can all the responses be returned in one bundle from DBYD instead of as a series of emails from the various asset owners?

Responses will continue to be returned as soon as they are available. We believe it is important to get each response to the enquirer as fast as possible.


Will there be any schema changes to the information being sent to asset owners?

There may be some changes to the information collected with each enquiry. Any schema changes will be notified during Q1 2021. Our aim is to minimise the impact on members where possible whilst ensuring we have the right service for the future.

Will you be putting together a communication strategy to advise users of the changes? Will each state have their own strategy?

An information exchange process has commenced. Important information will continue to be provided through a range of mediums as the project progresses by both state and national organisations.

Future Services

Can you make an online/app method to report damage easily or major differences found?
+ Will asset owners accept data back to update their data sets.

This is a service DBYD is looking to provide with support from asset owners who are willing to work with us to make this a workable option, especially for locators.

You said that “at this stage” responses will continue to come from Asset Owners, but does that mean you envisage responses coming from DBYD in the future? And what does that mean regarding the data?

The Referral Service of the Future is a multi-year program to improve the value provided to the entire Dial Before You Dig community. One of the services being considered is to provide centralised response handling for organisations who choose to use it. Data ownership will remain with the asset owners and use of the DBYD response service would be optional.

Will the platform be expanded in the future to include further safety and awareness information and training options?

Yes. Safety and awareness information is an important part of Dial Before You Dig.

Existing Third-Party Solutions

There are obvious synergies between DBYD and SmarterWX Collaborate. Are there plans to make planned works available to other parties?

SmarterWX Collaborate will continue to be the application used for sharing capital works programs between councils and utilities.

The Referral Service of the Future is a multi-year program to improve the value provided to the entire Dial Before You Dig community. One of the services being considered for the future is improved inter-agency works scheduling.

How does this system affect PelicanCorp’s Plan Access?

Enquirers who have PlanAccess will continue to be able to use this service. For more information please contact PelicanCorp directly.

What does this mean for current SmarterWX Automate asset owners?

The Next Generation referral service is built using technology from the SmarterWX portfolio. There is no impact for SmarterWX Automate subscribers.

SmarterWX Automate will continue to provide response automation and you will be automatically migrated with no impact.

What effect will this have on Mipela and Pelican Corp automated solution customers have when the email integration is switched off?

There are no plans to turn off the legacy email integration. There is no end-date for this and we intend to continue to support the legacy referral method as long as required.

Connecting with us

How can we connect further?

If you have ideas you’d like to share please use our ideas page at https://www.nextgendbyd.com.au/your-ideas or use the comments section below.