REAL PROPERTY (ELECTRONIC CONVEYANCING) AMENDMENT BILL

Second Reading

Adjourned debate on second reading.

(Continued from 9 March 2016.)

Ms CHAPMAN ( Bragg—Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (18:19): I indicate that I expect to be the only speaker for the opposition and we will be supporting this bill. Briefly, may I say that, of all of the changes, and we are now really at the third stage of legislative change to fulfil the commitments of having a national electronic conveyancing system, one single NEC system for use throughout Australia, I thought that the move in this tranche of reform to the abolition of hard copy titles—I was going to say parchment but, of course, we are a long way away from that; we still have electronic—to facilitate the execution of the ultimate objective of this would be more controversial than it has been.

I am satisfied, as is the opposition generally, that, with the guidance of Mr Philip Page as the Chair of the Law Society Committee and others who have considered this legislation, including the Australian Institute of Conveyancers SA, we should support the same. I place on the record my appreciation to Mr Brenton Pike, the Registrar-General, who has provided me with a briefing. He has also kindly obtained for me a copy of my original crown lease of the part of land I currently own on Kangaroo Island, which is very good of him. I do not have the original parchment copy, I might say, but he did send me a facsimile transmission of that, so I was very pleased to have it, and I read it with interest. How helpful he is.

I have to say that, overall, during this legislative reform process, he has been most helpful. I wish him well in the implementation of this next stage of change. I would ask one thing, and that is that, in his interpretation of the draft guidelines which are to implement the processes for verification of identity and the like and verification of authority guidelines, he exercise some flexibility.

There is just one case I want to refer to in consultation, related to the production by a country resident of a driver's licence which, for the sake of this, I will say indicated that his name is John L. Smith. Because he did not have the full second name, it was rejected as an item for the purposes of verification. Obviously, as often occurs in the country, he had to travel some distance to a post office to present that. When he went back with something closer to the mark, it was rejected again.

So, we have this very unhelpful over-regulatory, prescriptive process which can sometimes make it very inconvenient. It may be fine for people, like many of us, who live in the convenience of a metropolitan area or close to a conveyancer or practitioner who might be handling this for us, but it is not there for everybody. So, in the implementation of this, I ask that he be given some flexibility in that regard. With those few comments, I will support the bill.