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McGowan Government rejects sale of Landgate

  • Landgate's automated land titling service to be commercialised
  • Personal privacy and security protections maintained
  • Any increases to the price of the services will be capped at CPI or CPI plus one per cent
  • No forced redundancies as a result of the decision
  • Decision will fund Western Australia's participation in the National Redress Scheme

The McGowan Government has rejected the sale of Landgate, opting instead to commercialise a restricted part of Landgate's automated functions.

The Cabinet decision was made following the completion of a detailed scoping study which carefully investigated options to realise value for the community from Landgate's operations.

The scoping study presented a number of options to the Government including proceeding with the sale of Landgate; making no changes at all; or commercialising a restricted part of Landgate's automated functions.

The Government has opted for the latter option, ensuring it will retain ownership and oversight of the land titles register, and Landgate itself will continue to function as a statutory authority.

The decision means Landgate's automated land titling service will be commercialised. There will be no forced redundancies as a result of this decision.

Under the new arrangement, existing privacy and security protections for property owners regarding land titles will be unchanged.

Pricing for services provided under the contract will be capped at CPI or CPI plus one per cent, meaning a new operator will be restricted in the prices it can charge customers during the term of the contract.

Landgate will continue to directly provide property valuation, location information and land titling functions that have not been automated.

An independent, competitive process will be undertaken to identify potential commercial service providers.

The decision will fund Western Australia's participation in the National Redress Scheme and the State Government's decision to remove limitation periods for all child sexual abuse actions, which, combined, could cost $640 million.

Separately, commercial advisors will soon be appointed to undertake further work on the State's options in relation to its shareholding in Advara.

Comments attributed to Lands Minister Rita Saffioti:

"Landgate has proven itself to be an innovative and commercially focused statutory authority that has created considerable value for the State.

"Under this arrangement, the State will retain ownership and statutory responsibility for our land titles register, ensuring the security and integrity of the State's vital data asset.

"The authority will continue to provide services to customers, the community and Government through its property valuations, location information and remaining land titling functions, and will continue to innovate and evolve as a vital State agency."

Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt:

"This is an example of responsible financial management by the McGowan Government.

"Due to the $40 billion worth of debt left by the Liberal National Government, we need to ensure that there is a suitable funding source to pay for new expenditure decisions, such as signing up to the National Redress Scheme and lifting the statute of limitations for victims of child sexual abuse.

"Landgate has transformed itself into a world-class operator and the time is right for the Government to realise a return on this investment.

"Today's announcement will see value realised for the benefit of the State, whilst ensuring the protections and rights of the public are maintained."