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Commercialisation of Victoria's Land Titles Registry and the Mandated Use of PEXA

Commercialisation of Victoria's Land Titles Registry and the Mandated Use of PEXA

By Property and Environmental Law Section

Conveyancing Innovation Real Property Technology 

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The Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) is concerned by the most recent cyber security incident involving theft of money being paid as part of property transfers transacted using PEXA, in which a family lost $250,000 from the settlement of their Melbourne property. The LIV considers that this incident, in addition to a variety of ongoing operational issues that practitioners have experienced with their use of PEXA, brings into question the merits of mandating PEXA’s use by 1 October 2018 in the absence of PEXA guaranteeing the integrity of its systems from a security and service perspective. The LIV is also concerned that this cyber security incident is only one of multiple similar instances involving the redirection of settlement funds involved in the property transfer process under PEXA that have previously occurred.

The LIV further submits that the recent publicity of the security and service issues with PEXA intersects with the broader issue of the proposed privatisation of the Victorian land titles registry. The LIV is concerned that the owners of PEXA are effectively the same entities that are benefiting from, and responsible for, its mandated use. The LIV suggests that a privatised land titles registry would undo all of the checks and balances associated with the Torrens system of title which, when coupled with PEXA’s security and service shortcomings, will result in serious consequences for practitioners and consumers. The LIV considers that it is now appropriate to revisit its opposition to the proposal.

The LIV has prepared the following letter to the Victorian Premier which calls for robust safeguards to be implemented to protect consumers and practitioners in the use of electronic conveyancing and for the land titles registry to remain within the public sector. 

20180808_LET_LP_PEXAandPrivatisationofLandUseVictoria_FINAL-(1).pdf


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