Proposed Landgate Sale a Broken Promise
Today’s announcement by the McGowan Government that it is preparing to privatise Landgate, Western Australia’s Land Information Authority, represents yet another broken promise to Western Australian voters.
The Government will spend more than half a million dollars on a feasibility study to justify the sale of the agency.
Landgate employs more than 500 people and provides services to government, business and the community including a secure land titles system, impartial land valuation services and authoritative location information.
Approximately $36.2 billion value of transactions and a whopping 847 property datasets are processed through Landgate each year.
Last financial year the agency made a gross profit of $26 million but was generating annual returns of $40 million a year just a few years ago.
Community and Public Sector Union/ Civil Services Association Branch Assistant Secretary, Rikki Hendon said the announcement represented a breach of trust.
“Mark McGowan and WA Labor went to the 2017 state election having promised the people of Western Australia that it would stop the privatisation of public services and assets.”
“Today’s announcement is a broken promise, plain and simple. To say we are disappointed is an understatement”.
Ms. Hendon also branded the proposed privatisation as short sighted.
“Landgate generates ongoing revenue for government and delivers valued services to the public.”
“Selling it off will give the government a one-time only budget sugar hit, and then it’s gone.”
“All that will remain is a private interest property data monopoly, rather than a public service owned by and run for the benefit of Western Australians”.
“Our members are concerned that in the rush to boost the state’s coffers, the government is ignoring the potential long term consequences of the sale Landgate, such as increased user fees, greater vulnerability of property data and the loss of WA jobs."