Rising cost of dud deal: Fast-track of land titles sale could cost NSW $200 million

The cost of the NSW Government’s fast-track sale of the land titles registry, the LPI, are rising with a Sydney Morning Herald report today that Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has insisted potential buyers must cut fees by 10 per cent to offset new requirements to charge GST.

There is no current need for the land titles services to charge GST as they are a government agency.

The mounting cost of the controversial and unpopular land titles sell off includes $170 million in lost annual profit to the NSW taxpayer, a likely $200 million reduction on the sale price to the private bidders and a $20 million a year ‘gift’ to the Federal Government in GST revenue.

Greens MP and Treasury spokesperson Justin Field said the Treasurer could no longer ignore the rising cost of this dud deal.

“At a time when the NSW Treasurer and Government are talking up fiscal responsibility and housing affordability, their push for land titles privatisation has proved costly for the community,” he said today.

“We have a world-class land titles system that is proven to work, generates $170 million in annual profit and has been used as a model overseas. If it ain’t broke, why tamper with it?

“Yesterday we saw a diverse network of professional organisations, community groups and concerned homeowners take to the streets opposing the sell off of NSW land titles. They represented the 84 per cent of NSW homeowners who oppose the planned privatisation.

“The more we find out about the sale of this monopoly and essential service, the more opposition grows. The community is right to be concerned about increasing risk of fraud, misuse of personal data and increasing costs of property purchases as a result of the privatisation.

“The NSW Treasurer and Government should listen to the experts, LPI staff and the overwhelming majority of the community and stop the sell-off of land titles,” Mr Field said.

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