Page 585 - Week 02 - Thursday, 20 February 2020

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The national law empowers the Registrar-General to authorise businesses to become ELNOs. Further, it empowers the Registrar-General to make rules for the use of an electronic lodgement network and the use of that network by subscribers. The bill provides that rules made by the Registrar-General under the national law are disallowable instruments. The Registrar-General must have regard to the desirability of maintaining consistency with model rules for ELNOs and subscribers developed by the Australian Registrars National Electronic Conveyancing Council, that is, the land title registrars of each state and territory.

To assist members and the public to see and understand the scope of the proposed framework, the nationally agreed model rules are provided as associated instruments together with this bill. Broadly, the operating requirements govern the participation of ELNOs, and these requirements go to matters such as performance of the ELNO, security and compliance. And the participation rules govern the participation of subscribers to ELNOs and they require lawyers and banks to take reasonable steps to verify a client’s identity and authority to undertake a transaction. The Registrar-General has powers to audit compliance with these obligations.

I am happy to say that the ACT is a party to the intergovernmental agreement for an electronic conveyancing national law. As a party, the ACT, through the minister, can propose and vote on amendments to the national law. In the event of an amendment to the national law, the minister can ensure that an appropriate transition period is in place before it comes into effect in the ACT.

I wish to note that the minister can use their power to set the transition period for an incoming national law amendment in a different way. The transition period could be set to ensure that there is sufficient time for the Assembly to amend how the ACT applies the national law, such as the territory did not adopt a disagreed amendment. However, this would not be done lightly. As a party to the intergovernmental agreement, the government recognises the importance of minimising inconsistencies between other jurisdictions on how we approach the national law.

I have tabled the explanatory note to the Electronic Conveyancing (Adoption of National Law) (NSW) Bill which contains the national law in its appendix, to assist members and the public to understand the intended operation of the provisions. The introduction of e-conveyancing is another important regulatory reform for the territory, and I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Confiscation of Criminal Assets (Unexplained Wealth) Amendment Bill 2020

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

Independent review of the effectiveness of ACT Policing crime scene powers to target, disrupt, investigate and prosecute criminal gang members, dated 6 December 2019—Prepared by Associate Professor Terry Goldsworthy and Dr Gaelle Brotto, Bond University.

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