Page 583 - Week 02 - Thursday, 20 February 2020

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those used for e-conveyancing. Where a client is represented, their lawyer or their bank will need to certify that they have undertaken verification of their client’s identity in accordance with the verification of identity rules and their authority to deal with the land in accordance with the verification of authority rules. This process is strengthened by a requirement on the lawyer or the bank to keep the documents that were relevant to providing the certification. Further, the Registrar-General will audit compliance with these obligations. Self-represented parties will also receive the benefit of the stronger protections against fraud through a verification of identity and authority framework.

The verification of identity and authority rules will be disallowable instruments. These rules will be very important to the healthy functioning of the new system and, to assist members and the public to see and to understand the scope of the proposed framework, the rules are provided as associated instruments together with this bill.

The verification of identity rules provide a framework for verifying that a person is who they say they are. This can occur through a face-to-face interview and a process like the 100 points identity checks that we are now well familiar with. There is also scope for verifying identity in some other way that is reasonable. The verification of authority rules provide that reasonable steps need to be taken to verify that a party has the authority to deal with the property interest in question, and generally this is shown by a demonstrated connection to the property.

Consultation on the exposure draft bill and associated disallowable instruments indicated broad levels of support, with suggestions for technical changes, which have been addressed, such as to ensure the banks have clarity on their obligations to verify identity and authority. Further, consultation has brought about helpful feedback on the requirements within the proposed disallowable rules. This has resulted in measures to facilitate competition and assist self-represented parties by broadening the pool of persons who can verify identity. This bill is an important step towards modernising the ACT’s land titles system, and I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Hanson) adjourned to the next sitting.

Electronic Conveyancing National Law (ACT) Bill 2020

Mr Ramsay, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement, a Human Rights Act compatibility statement and the following papers:

Australian Registrars National Electronic Conveyancing Council—

Model operating requirements—Version 5, dated December 2018.

Model participation rules—Version 5, dated December 2018.

Electronic Conveyancing (Adoption of National Law) Bill (NSW)—First print, together with an explanatory note.

Title read by Clerk.

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