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Sold: Victorian land registry privatisation nets $2.86bn

By on 29 August, 2018

First State Superannuation-owned entity acquires land registry services of Land Use Victoria for $2.86 billion, state to retain control of remaining services.

Victorian Land Registry Services, a new company owned entirely by First State Superannuation, now owns a concession to operate the state’s land registry functions and transactions for the next 40 years.

First State Superannuation previously acquired the NSW land titles registry, together with Hastings Funds Management, for $2.6 billion in 2017.

A spokesperson for Land Use Victoria said that the state retains control of the remainder of Land Use Victoria’s functions and services, including the Surveyor General’s office.

“The state will retain ownership of essential services, including Subdivisions, Application & Survey, Valuer-General Victoria, Office of Surveyor-General Victoria, Land Information and Spatial Services, Government Land Advice and Coordination, and the Victorian Government Land Monitor,” she said.

“Interaction with the land registry and its processes will be business as usual, which means there will not be any impact on the office of Surveyor-General Victoria, or surveyors.”

Read responses of the Institution of Surveyors Victoria and Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute of Victoria to the sale of the state’s land registry.

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said that following the privatisation, any price increases would be capped at the consumer price index, and the state would retain control of the prices of statutory land registry services.

The sale has been vehemently opposed by a coalition of community groups and the Victorian opposition, and an inquiry into the proposed sale was passed in Victorian parliament in late May, following complaints of fee hikes and service deficiencies following the sale of the NSW and South Australian registries.

Pallas said the proceeds would be used to fund infrastructure such as schools, transport projects and investment in the hospital system, amid a chorus of criticism from the opposition.

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