“Mr Sneaky” does it again

The Weatherill Labor Government is trying to sneakily sell off the Land Services Division.

In March, Attorney-General John Rau introduced legislation to change the real property laws including electronic conveyancing of land. This was to reduce costs and delays associated with conveyancing and increase the accuracy of transitional data.

However, there was no mention of the Government’s investigation into the sale of the State’s property information database.

“Since the Bill was debated in the Parliament in March Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis has admitted his Government is looking at selling off the Land Services Division – and still no word from the Attorney General,” said Shadow Attorney General Vickie Chapman.

“The Attorney-General must come clean on his Government’s plans to privatise this service before the Bill resumes debate within weeks.

“It is scandalous that the Weatherill Labor Government has kept this a secret in earlier debates.

“In particular the Attorney-General must explain the following:

  • Will the Registrar-General’s position be abolished?
  • Are the Valuer-General and Surveyor-General’s position at risk?
  • How many jobs will be lost if the LTO is sold and has the PSA been informed?
  • What is the estimated income from such a sale and will it attract asset re-cycling funding from the Commonwealth?
  • What protections will be in place for the security of the property information database?
  • What controls will be in place to cap the costs of the services escalating?
  • Has the Government received any unsolicited bid from a purchaser and if so whom? 

Sir Robert Richard Torrens invented the Torrens Title system and was the third Premier of South Australia.

“Sir Robert would turn in his grave if he knew of the Government’s plan to privatise this important government service,” said Ms Chapman.

“The Weatherill Labor Government has kept this investigation into the future sale a secret and that is totally unacceptable when asking the Parliament to debate the reform.

“Part of the legislative changes involved the independent professionals assuming the risk and responsibility for verifications of identity and other certifications. This is clearly designed to increase the value of the asset.”