February 7, 2013  |  Second Reading

Electronic Conveyancing (adoption of national law) Bill 2012

 I am pleased to add  a few comments in regard to this bill, which will take conveyancing a step further  in  recognising that the use of electronic lodgement of documents will enable conveyancing to  take place more  efficiently and conveniently  but will also  recognise an agreed  national system that was agreed  to  some  time  ago.  It  will  enable  agreed  national principles  to be applied  across  the country. Clearly  this  is a  significant advancement in conveyancing in  Australia  generally  but  particularly  in this state.  Not  only  will obvious efficiencies be created but it should also  mean there will be a lower  cost associated with registering  property transfers, and that will benefit people who purchase properties in the future

I am pleased to support this  legislation. However, a number of constituents who have purchased property recently in different  parts of my electorate  have gone to the council,  as  is appropriate whenever  property is transferred, to  check whether  there are were restrictions on the property and they have been advised, and have believed, they would be able to build on their property. Although it  is not relevant to this legislation, the issue of people purchasing property they believe they will be able to build on has become a problem. Recent changes as  a  result of  decisions  in the Victorian  Civil  and Administrative Tribunal may mean that a number of those people will not be able to build. Most  recently a  constituent who  had bought two blocks of land in Coomoora for $250 000 believed  they  would be able to  build  on them and  the  council  had advised them that  was  the case. However,  under  changes providing you  cannot build  on land that is in a potable  water catchment.  The constituent  has been advised they  cannot build  and there  is no solution for them, so suddenly  the value of  their  land has changed. This is a  matter  that  I know is before the Minister  for Water and the Minister for Planning. I certainly hope they will be able to find a solution for people who have bought blocks of land in a number of places, whether it be in  the Newlyn or Trentham  areas  and other parts of  the Macedon Ranges including Coomoora.

I hope  the government  will take action, to enable councils to act more quickly to allow people to build on their land, recognising the potable water issues  — ensuring  that  the  treatment  of  the  water  on their  land  is  carried  out appropriately but in a way that will enable them to build. This  legislation  clearly  enables  greater  efficiency  in  conveyancing   for purchasers, but people also want to  know that  when they  purchase land and get information from councils that they will be able to build on that land, they can believe that advice. They do not want to t  find out afterwards that their  land is significantly reduced in value or that their plans for the future will not be realised. I hope the government will respond to those  issues in  regard to  the potable  water  catchment  restrictions  and  find a way of ensuring that we can quickly respond and that people who purchase blocks  with a  view to building on them will be able to have this matter resolved.