The partial sale of a Western Australian government agency will bring $1.41 billion in upfront funds to the state with no forced redundancies.
The Western Australian Land Information Authority is a statutory authority better known as Landgate. The authority provides access to location information including titles, property details, valuations, property sales reports, maps, and aerial and satellite imagery.
Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, and superannuation funds Sunsuper and HESTA, have bought Landgate under the joint name Land Services WA. The organisation will run Landgate’s automated titling services, including the processing of property transactions and searches of the title register.
The 40-year deal has brought $1.41 billion in upfront proceeds to the state, which will go towards payouts for victims of historic sexual abuse and help fund the lifting of the statute of limitations for historical sexual abuse.
Treasurer and Lands Minister Ben Wyatt has praised the decision.
“I’m delighted that the proceeds will go to an important cause, allowing the government to meet its ongoing funding requirements for the National Redress Scheme and to victims of historical sexual abuse,” he said.
Under the deal, the state will retain ownership of the Land Titles Register and other data, while the existing security and privacy of the land titles register will not change.
Landgate will continue to operate as a statutory authority. The agency will remain in control of manual titling transaction processing, property valuations and location information, and will deal with the public as usual.
All staff will be retained and there will be no forced redundancies as a result of the commercialisation.
Wyatt said Landgate’s commitment to innovation has brought “immense value” to WA.
“It is also important to acknowledge the Landgate board and staff for their hard work in overseeing and providing input to this transaction,” he said.
In June last year, the state government rejected the sale of Landgate and decided to instead commercialise a restricted part of the agency.
At the time, Lands Minister Rita Saffioti said the authority would “continue to provide services to customers”.
“Under this arrangement, the state will retain ownership and statutory responsibility for our land titles register, ensuring the security and integrity of the state’s vital data asset,” she said in a statement.