Calls to keep Land Titles Office in public ownership

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plans to privatise the NSW Land Titles Office.
Sale would lead to uncertainty: local surveyor Patrick McNamara, right, with Labor MPs Clayton Barr and Greg Warren, centre; they are fighting plans to privatise the NSW Land Titles Office.

The sale of the Land Titles Office would lead to uncertainty – both for existing homeowners and people trying to enter the housing market.

It would also drive up the cost of moving house, buying land and changing titles through the increased fees charged by private operators.

These are the arguments mounted by State Labor’s Campbelltown MP Greg Warren and finance, services and property spokesman Clayton Barr as they push back against the government plans.

The two Labor MPs today joined forces with local surveyor Patrick McNamara to speak out against the Berejiklian Government’s plans to privatise the state owned  Land Titles Office.

“Home owners deserve the certainty of knowing that their property rights are protected by the government, not sitting in the hands of a private provider motivated by profit over public interest,’’ Mr Warren said.

“This is just another example of this government being more focused on a short term sugar hit of cash than on the long term implications of their decisions for local residents and for the budget bottom line.”

Under the proposal first flagged by Premier Berejiklian when she was treasurer, the government is planning to sell the land titles registry for around $2 billion under a 35 year contract.

Labor says the budget bottom line will also take a hit from the sale, with Land and Property Information (LPI) recording $190 million in revenue and a $130 million profit to the Government in the 2015-16 financial year.

Labor says opposition to the proposed privatisation has been widespread, with peak bodies representing lawyers, surveyors and property owners all publicly opposing the plan.

Local surveyor Patrick McNamara says the government’s plan has the potential to undermine the integrity of the entire Torrens system of land ownership in NSW.

[social_quote duplicate=”no” align=”default”] “Land owners may not be able to rely on the security of their title as they have done for over 100 years,” he said.[/social_quote]

The funds raised by the sale would be used to pay for upgrades to sporting stadiums in Parramatta, Olympic Park and the Eastern Suburbs.

Labor MP Clayton Barr says: “In Campbelltown, one of the state’s fastest growing regions, the integrity of the land titles system is absolutely paramount and the government is putting that entirely at risk.”

The Land Titles Office is based in this Queens Square building in the Sydney CBD.





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