The Electronic Conveyancing Act 2014 (WA) has now taken effect, paving the way for digital lodgement of documents in Western Australia. Under the new legislation, settlement agents, lawyers and lenders who are subscribers to the Property Exchange Australia e-conveyancing platform (PEXA) can lodge documents and complete settlements electronically instead of using paper.
The multi-million dollar PEXA system began digital transfer services in NSW in November 2014 and rolled out similar services in Victoria in early 2015.
Western Australia and Queensland come online in May 2015. This will allow a greater range of documents to be lodged electronically. Other states and territories face a longer wait for the system.
The much-heralded digital system has the capacity to replace most Australian paper-based property title transfers, reduce settlement times and costs, and bring property buyers and sellers, settlement agents, conveyancers, lawyers, banks and title registry offices on to a single unified system. It will remove the need to physically attend settlements and should also offer better protection against fraud.
The increased efficiency is expected to translate into 80 million dollars’ worth of savings for Western Australians over seventeen years.
Industry analysts are predicting savings of between $100 and $200 per transaction once PEXA is fully operational. However, the efficiency-driven savings are reliant upon settlement representatives switching to the digital system. Flat Rate Settlements is committed to moving to the PEXA system as soon as we are satisfied that it is operational and offers a reliable and secure service.
PEXA was set up in 2010 with federal government support after a meeting of the Council of Australian Governments urged modernisation of the antiquated system of paper-based transfers used by land titles offices and conveyancers.
The exchange’s $100 million development costs were underwritten by four state governments (NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia), ANZ, NAB, CBA, Westpac, Macquarie, Link Market Services and former transport executive and property developer Paul Little.
Electronic Conveyancing Bill 2014 (WA): http://www.slp.wa.gov.au/legislation/statutes.nsf/main_mrtitle_13144_homepage.html
Electronic Conveyancing Bill 2013 (WA), Explanatory Memoranda: http://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/Parliament/Bills.nsf/7F9FA28F3AB637AC48257C360028C548/$File/EM55-1.pdf
Second reading Speech: Electronic Conveyancing Bill (WA) 2013: http://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/Parliament/Bills.nsf/7F9FA28F3AB637AC48257C360028C548/$File/Bill55-1SR.pdf