SA Law Society claims that the government’s move should be looked into deeply.
The legal body stated that making the Land Services Group private raised eyebrows because there is minimal transparency of the privatisation process.
The legal body added that lack of transparency showed that there may be increased consumer costs, lower quality service or risk of compromised security of data.
SA Lawyers have backed their counterparts saying that the community impact should be fully disclosed and the process of privatising SA’s Land Service Group must be completely transparent.
In addition, the Property Council of South Australia has joined hands with the legal body. Together, the duo claims that they will stand strong to ensure that the process becomes transparent if the government insists on going ahead with its plan of privatising South Australia’s Land Services Group.
They claim that they are disappointed with the quality of information offered to the public in regards to the tender process.
The Law Society president Tony Rossi said that the government hasn’t shared with the public any information regarding the project’s long-term impact. “It is important for the public to get a clear view why the government needs to privatise their community’s Land Service Group,” said Mr. Rossi.
He added that the government should come out clear on this issue and give the public tangible information on why they made the decision. “I am surprised there has been next to no public information from the government about the proposed sale.
“The reason why we are standing firm on this issue is because it has huge implications for the South Australian residents and it is one of the biggest government transactions in recent history,” said Tonny Rossi.
As a matter of fact, last year’s budget bill buried deep a line that gave the government permission to make such a crucial decision. And in this case, selling this essential service,” said Philip Page, chair of the Law Society’s Property Committee.
Mr Page said that it is surprising to see the government outsource a land title registration system to a private operator. To make the decision more questionable, the Land Service Group has been operating efficiently in the state for more than 150 years.
Hence, Mr Page concluded that the government should explain how outsourcing such a crucial service to a private operator (motivated by profit) would benefit the public in the long run.
Compromising the ownership information of land is serious because land is the biggest asset most people will own. Hence, it is important that the privacy, accuracy, and security of land owners’ information don’t get compromised.
To make matters worse, title insurance may be needed to protect assets, which is not the case now. It is also expected that the private operator will look for ways to benefit from the sale of land data. And in the worst scenario, they may increase fees for unregulated services.
“Such issues should be considered and looked at deeply. I am seeking an assurance that local jobs will not be lost in any restructuring of this service,” said Daniel Gannon, Property Council SA executive director while speaking to Aussie Lawyer Blog.