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An electronic conveyancing system with the potential to save the community more than $100 million a year will be piloted this month, the Planning Minister, Rob Hulls, said today.
Mr Hulls said eight financial institutions had signed up to trial the groundbreaking system, which will be Australia's first for online property settlement and lodgement.
"This system will make land transactions faster and easier by removing the need to physically attend property settlement, or lodge documents with Land Registry or the State Revenue Office," Mr Hulls said.
The electronic conveyancing system will reduce business costs and deliver significant benefits for property buyers and sellers, solicitors, conveyancers, and financial institutions.
Mr Hulls said the four major banks - ANZ, Commonwealth, National Australia Bank and Westpac - would participate in the pilot, along with Macquarie and Bendigo banks, Suncorp Metway and mecu Limited. The trial commenced this week.
He said the pilot would enable the financial institutions to process mortgages and discharges of mortgage, removing the need for some paper documents to be lodged at Land Registry.
A second pilot, scheduled for 2007, would allow financial institutions, solicitors and conveyancers to trial online financial settlement.
"Victoria's electronic, online conveyancing system will be one of the first e-commerce systems in Australia to use digital certificates to sign electronic documents," Mr Hulls said.
"This is the first step to removing the need for parties to physically attend settlement."
Mr Hulls said that while there would be no fees for using the new online conveyancing system during the pilot, statutory fees relating to registering mortgages and discharges of mortgage would still apply.
The Department of Sustainability and Environment is developing the online property settlement system as a model for a national electronic conveyancing system.
The SFE Corporation (via SFE Austraclear) has been appointed to develop the software and systems to enable electronic financial settlement.
A National Electronic Conveyancing Office has been set up in Melbourne and the project has the support of all Australian states and territories. For more information visit the National Electronic Conveyancing website at http://www.necs.gov.au
Last updated: 16 June 2008
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