Professional Conveyancing Services

House Swaps Online

Date: July 8, 2013


Author: Adam Turner
Date: 2004-05-11
Source: Sydney Morning Herald


The public will not have access to EC, and public access to SPEAR will be limited to viewing subdivision applications – following the advertisement of the planning permit – and lodging objections.

Land Exchange comes after the Victorian Government implemented online property titles in 2001. Land Exchange is an object-oriented, component-based system designed around service-oriented architecture and based on the J2EE platform. It utilises Public Key Infrastructure encryption technology and users will require a smartcard or USB dongle to digitally sign data. Pilots for both components are scheduled for the second half of this year and both are expected to go live by June 30, 2005.

Three years of workshops and 12 months of planning went into Land Exchange before the first lines of code were written in late 2003. The Government drove the extensive consultation and design process, which included all parties that will use the systems and utilised Unified Modelling Language methodologies to establish business requirements.

“There’s been many, many years of discussion about trying to get conveyancing process online but when you look at who is involved; financial institutions, the conveyancers and the solicitors – and given they’re in a competitive market – there needed to be a trusted third party to actually drive it,” Delahunt says. “A lot of work has been done over the years, prior to us getting funding, looking at the issues of how do you replicate what’s regarded as a safe paper process (in) the online world.”

Land Exchange cost more than $5 million to build and will cost $1.5 million a year to operate. End users will reap the benefits of the system.

There are more than 200,000 property transfers in Victoria each year. At present, all interested parties are required to attend settlement in person wherever the title is located. Moving online is expected to deliver savings of $70 each to the vendor and the buyer’s conveyancer or solicitor.

Conveyancers played a key role in the EC consultation process, says Pauline Barrow, Victorian division president of the Australian Institute of Conveyancers.

“We wanted to ensure what actually happens in the paper-based system is translated to the electronic system,” Barrow says. “We also wanted to ensure that it was going to be able to be done in a safe environment.”

EC will save conveyancers a considerable amount of time and money, Barrow says, by allowing them to see when the bank is ready to settle. “In the system we operate now, we have to ring the bank and you can be sitting on the phone for half an hour, waiting to get through to someone to find out a simple answer,” she says. “We also won’t have to physically turn up for a settlement and there won’t be any bank cheques. ”

Taking property off paper

Land Exchange’s Electronic Conveyancing (EC) system enables online processing for conveyancing, settlement and lodgement of land dealings. Conveyancers, solicitors and financial institutions can access EC via the internet, using a smartcard or USB dongle to digitally sign data.

Land Exchange delivers the financial settlement information using XML and web services via a fixed network to Sydney Futures Exchange (SFE) Austraclear, which is the financial settlement manager for EC. This eliminates the need for a bank cheque at settlement.

The financial settlement manager processes the data and sends it to the relevant financial institutions and the Reserve Bank of Australia, which handles inter-bank settlements. Land Exchange also interfaces across the State Government’s network with the State Revenue Office to pay stamp duty and the Land Registry to update title information. It also proposes to email updates to various statutory authorities and municipalities, replacing the notice of acquisition and disposition.

Frequently Asked Question

Question: Are all conveyancers (CPCs) the same?
Answer: No. As with any profession or trade each individual will be different. Some CPCs are self-employed and some work in small business or in large conveyancing firms. Some will offer a wider range of services than others and they will all have their own set of fees and business practices.

If you use a member of the Australian Institute of Conveyancers then you know that the conveyancer (CPC) you have chosen has undertaken specialist training, participates in a compulsory professional development program, holds professional indemnity insurance for your protection and will offer professional service and advice.

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PCS is a Certified Practising Conveyancer PCS is a member of Australian Institute of Conveyancers (Victorian Division)