Confidential property ownership details and valuable aggregated data could be exposed if the Labor State Government’s plans to privatise the land title registry component of Landgate go ahead.
The Nationals WA Leader Mia Davies said Treasurer Ben Wyatt had swept his party’s strong anti-privatisation sentiment under the rug to make way for the sale of a public asset responsible for more than $36 billion of property transactions annually.
“WA Labor, backed by the unions, spent a fortune campaigning against the partial sale of Western Power before the last State election, which would have returned upward of $11 billion for the State,” she said.
“A year after being elected on an anti-privatisation mandate, the Treasurer suddenly seems more than willing to sell a crucial statutory authority for a fifth of the price of Western Power.”
Ms Davies said commercialising land registry information was too risky and would not enjoy the support of The Nationals WA.
She added that proceeds from a sale were unlikely to be used to address debt, with the State Government likely to spend it on expensive election commitments.
“The Premier and Treasurer have completely changed their tune when it comes to selling publicly owned assets, which flies in the face of their two year union-funded protest about privatisation before the 2017 election,” she said.
“Yet Labor are dogged in their refusal to sit down with WA’s biggest miners to negotiate a fairer return to the State for the sale of our finite iron ore, a policy The Nationals WA have long touted as a reasonable solution to WA’s structural budget deficit.”
The Nationals’ plan to introduce a $5/tonne Special Lease Rental levy BHP and Rio Tinto would generate $7.2 billion for the State over four years.
Labor is yet to outline a credible plan to reduce State debt.
The Nationals WA lands spokesperson Vince Catania said shifting a well-functioning entity from public to private hands posed a risk for property owners State-wide.
“Landgate’s land titles register is an extremely valuable state-owned asset and the organisation acts as guardian of WA’s land titles dating back almost 190 years,” he said.
“Protecting clients’ confidential information, fee setting, access to information, provision of a land registry shopfront and the level of government regulation are major issues the Labor Government is yet to address.
“The sale of Landgate has the potential to threaten the security of our State’s land tenure, which is the cornerstone of WA’s economy.”