Industry welcomes Landgate decision

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THE property industry has applauded the Western Australian government’s decision to commercialise Landgate rather than sell it off.

Earlier this week the government surprised the market by announcing it would not go ahead with the sale of the state’s land titles and valuation services system.

Instead only Landgate’s automated land titling service will be commercialised whilst the primary functions of the register will remain in public hands.

At the same time, the WA government capped any increases to the price of the services at CPI or CPI plus 1%. This follows controversy in New South Wales, where fees have more than tripled following privatisation of the Land and Property Information office.

The private operators of the monopoly in NSW have lifted fees from $8.50 to $30 for mandatory property searches. Furthermore, the operators also introduced a $50.90 penalty every time a mistake is found in an application, along with a $138.80 fee to record an ongoing interest in a property.

The Australian Property Institute yesterday welcomed the WA government’s decision to commercialise Landgate, rather than sell it off.

“By commercialising Landgate, the WA government will bring additional revenue to the state and increase diverse employment opportunities for our valuer member base,” API chief executive officer Amelia Hodge said.

“I applaud Premier McGowan’s decision not to cut services and employment at Landgate. What we must also consider is that, as this transaction involves the government privatising the function of selling off Certificates of Title and associated legal documentation, they are commercialising public data.

“Our members are pleased that the government has considered industry protections in respect of potential price rises and price gauging on Landgate products by any purchasing entity.” Hodge said.

Australian Property Journal