Review fails to answer critical questions concerning liability

19th December 2016

Earlier today, Dominic Perrottet, NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property released the findings of the investigation into the Land Title office (LPI) and the bungle that saw more than 200 families unknowingly buy homes in the path of a future freeway.

The investigation by PwC found the error occurred because the process for uploading files from Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) into the CRR has, since its establishment in 2009, been informal, inconsistent and lacking in governance and review mechanisms

Greens Finance and Services Spokesperson, Justin Field MLC said:

“The investigation into the Central Register of Restrictions has revealed two issues. Firstly, it could have been a lot worse with the revelations that an audit of all historical Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) files found that one further file – relating to 377 properties in the vicinity of the New M5 – was not correctly uploaded in September 2014.

“It is not clear how many home owners have been impacted by this error with Minister, Dominic Perrottet, only saying, ‘I am advised by RMS that, with the New M5 project now well underway, the vast majority of the involved properties now sit outside the designated route and are not directly affected by its construction.’

“With Christmas just around all those families deserve more clarity than that from the Minister and I am asking Minister Perrottet to ensure all the affected home owners are contacted and informed of the risk posed to their homes by this error.”

Secondly, neither this report nor the Minister’s subsequent statement has done anything to address the question of who would be liable in a future, privatised LPI, should this kind of mistake occur.”

“The answer to this question has very real implications for consolidated funds because at this stage there are no protections in place to prevent a private company making claims on the public purse in the case of future errors.”

“The Minister’s statement, this investigation and the fact that the Law Council, Law Society, Real Estate industry, property developers and the PSA have all voiced deep concerns over this rushed privatisation makes it clear the community has real concerns.


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