Single National Network Conveyancing

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The nation’s only electronic conveyancing system is to be sacrificed to make way for a single national network.

The decision to eliminate Victoria’s $50 million system, known as ECV, was announced yesterday as part of a series of deals intended to cut the cost of buying a home by between $120 and $130.

The national system, which is expected to begin operating late next year, is intended to deliver annual efficiency gains of $240m to be shared between consumers and those in the $1.4 billion conveyancing industry.

The intellectual property that underpins the Victorian system has been acquired by NECDL, a company backed by most states and the big banks and which will own the national network.

NECDL chairman Alan Cameron declined yesterday to reveal how much the intellectual property in ECV was worth but said it had been independently valued over the past six months.

When the Baillieu government was in opposition, it called ECV a “$50m white elephant”.

In 2009, figures contained in the regulatory impact statement indicated ECV could cost the state government $80m in development costs by 2013-14, much of which was to be spent on contractors and consultants.

In return for giving up the intellectual property in ECV, Victoria is understood to have emerged with a dominant 33.7 per cent stake in NECDL.

Mr Cameron said ECV would eventually be merged into the national network that will be known as PEXA or Property Exchange Australia.

Consultancy Accenture has been given responsibility for designing, building, testing and deploying the national system.

The Australian

16 August 2011

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