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Real Property (Electronic Conveyancing) Amendment Bill

Second Reading

Adjourned debate on second reading

(Continued from 24 May 2016)

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY ( 15:50 :25 ): I rise to speak on the Real Property (Electronic Conveyancing) Amendment Bill 2016. This bill is the second instalment in terms of changes required for our participation in the national electronic conveyancing scheme. According to the government, the bill's purpose is to align the requirements for paper conveyancing with the new provisions for electronic transactions to facilitate a smooth transition between the lodgement mediums and to avoid the complexity and costs of dealing with two separate systems.

The bill removes the requirement for the Registrar-General to issue, and for registered proprietors to produce, duplicate certificates of title and tenants' copies of crown leases. References to duplicate certificates of title and tenants' copies of crown leases will also be removed from all state legislation. Instead, parties to a conveyancing transaction will undergo additional requirements aimed at verifying their identity and their right to deal with the land in question.

During the debate on the Real Property (Priority Notices and Other Measures) Amendment Bill 2015, I indicated that I would not be supporting these measures. As we know, currently the original titles remain with the Lands Titles Office and duplicate titles remain with the bank or financial institution that holds the mortgage over a property or the owner themselves where the property is freeholded. Under the proposed changes, if an owner of a property wishes to have details of the title in their possession or access details for any reason, they will be required to pay a search fee to the Lands Titles Office. I would appreciate any information the minister can provide in relation to this cost.

I had initial reservations about the proposal to remove duplicate certificates of title and had drafted amendments to this provision. However, having consulted with the government I have been given assurances that there are appropriate safeguards that address my concerns. Whilst I am still somewhat sceptical, I will not be proceeding with my amendments.