White elephant

After six years in development and over $40 million spent, banks and lawyers have continued to boycott the Victorian government's new electronic conveyancing system, effectively rendering it useless. What was trumpeted as the "world's first electronic settlement" last month has so far been the only one using the system. It is worth noting that this year some 400 000 conveyancing transactions will be done in Victoria.

The electronic system was designed to eliminate from conveyancing the necessity of meeting to exchange documents and the drawing of cheques. The Government also hoped it would reduce the costs of buying a house, saving $235 to $395 on the typical four-party settlement and up to $70 million in red tape reductions across the state each year.

Other Australian states want a centralised national system and to this end the National Electronic Conveyancing Office (NECS) has been set up. However Victoria has frustrated progress, insisting on keeping its own system. See Building the Agenda.

Article on WA Today

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