10/09/2019 - 15:30

$1.4bn for Landgate partial privatisation

10/09/2019 - 15:30

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The McGowan government has inked its biggest privatisation deal yet, with Landgate’s titles register to be operated by a consortium including industry superannuation funds and a Macquarie Group fund, in a deal worth $1.4 billion.

$1.4bn for Landgate partial privatisation
Landgate's main office is in Midland. Photo: Attila Csaszar

The McGowan government has inked its biggest privatisation deal yet, with Landgate’s titles register to be operated by a consortium including industry superannuation funds and a Macquarie Group fund, in a deal worth $1.4 billion.

Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, Sunsuper, and Hesta will process property transactions and title searches on the register.

The $1.4 billion windfall will be upfront, with further ongoing revenue.

That compares to $2.9 billion for the rights to the Victorian registry in 2018, $1.6 billion for the South Australian service in 2017, and $2.6 billion for the NSW office in 2017.

The state government will use a portion of the cash to cover its share of the National Redress Scheme for survivors of sexual abuse. 

The WA government revealed the sale of Landgate operation rights was under consideration in December 2017.

In August 2018, Investec was chosen for the privatisation work, while PwC, KPMG, and BIS Oxford Economics also played roles.

All up, advisers were paid $17 million, the state government said.

Under the deal, there will be no forced redundancies, and service fee growth will be capped to the CPI.

"The Landgate partial commercialisation has achieved an outstanding outcome for the state, realising $1.41 billion in upfront proceeds, while protecting the ownership, integrity and security of the Land Titles Register,” Treasurer Ben Wyatt said today.

"This milestone has been made possible through Landgate's commitment to innovation and commercial outcomes, which today realised immense value for the state.

"The successful transaction highlights the McGowan government's commitment to the responsible management of the state's finances and to a prudent, yet decisive, approach which puts the taxpayers of WA first.

"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.

"It is also important to acknowledge the Landgate board and staff for their hard work in overseeing and providing input to this transaction. 

“The return to the state today would not be possible without Landgate's ongoing commitment to excellence in innovation."

Shadow Treasurer Dean Nalder criticised the deal.

"At the last election, WA Labor promised it would not privatise any State-owned assets, apart from the TAB," Mr Nalder said.

"Today, the McGowan Labor government announced the partial privatisation of Landgate, the agency responsible for managing the titles to hundreds of thousands of Western Australian family homes.

"Treasurer Ben Wyatt needs to explain why Labor broke its election promise.

"And he needs to explain what will happen to the personal data of hundreds of thousands of Western Australian homeowners.

"Many West Australians would be very concerned that their personal details will be sold to a bank and a union super fund for untold purposes."

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