National Electronic Conveyancing System
In 2005, the Law Council established the National Electronic Conveyancing System Committee (NECS Committee) to advise on issues related to the development of a truly national eConveyancing system.
In July 2008, the Council of Australian Governments agreed there should be a new single national electronic system for settling real property transactions in all Australian States and Territories. The system would allow legal practitioners, conveyancers and financial institutions to:
- electronically prepare and lodge land property dealings with title registries;
- transmit settlement funds and pay associated duties and tax; and
- remove the need to physically attend property settlements.
In 2011 and 2012, all six States and the Northern Territory signed the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) for developing, implementing and managing the regulatory framework for national e-conveyancing, including the legislation to support national e-conveyancing, the ECNL. The Australian Capital Territory signed the IGA in February 2020.
To date five states and the ACT have commenced eConveyancing. New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia have mandated its use for all mainstream transactions. The ACT and Queensland have not mandated use of eConveyancing. Tasmania and the Northern Territory have yet to commence eConveyancing. Use of eConveyancing has also increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since 2005, the Law Council and its Constituent Bodies have been heavily involved in the development of eConveyancing in Australia. The Law Council maintains its commitment to the project which will be of considerable benefit to the legal profession, clients and the economy as a whole through the achievement of efficiencies and reduced costs in the conveyancing process.
The Law Council strongly supports interoperability between Electronic Lodgment Network Operator (ELNOs). Interoperability would allow a subscriber (such as a lawyer) connected to one ELNO to conduct a transaction with a subscriber connected to a different ELNO. This would allow subscribers to choose the ELNO that is best for them and ensure that they are not required to subscribe to multiple ELNOs.
In the Law Council’s view, this choice will encourage competition between service providers and, in turn, achieve more efficient outcomes for subscribers and their clients, maintain pressure on prices and stimulate innovation in this fast-moving space.
Since 2019, the Law Council has participated in the Interoperability Industry Panel and has sought to work with governments and other industry participants to develop an interoperability solution that benefits members of the legal profession, their clients and the industry as a whole.
The Australian Registrar’s Electronic Conveyancing Council (ARNECC) is the body established to facilitate the implementation and ongoing management of the regulatory framework for eConveyancing. ARNECC membership comprises the Land Titles Registrars (or their nominee) from each Australian state and territory. Please visit ARNECC’s website for further information on eConveyancing.
The regulatory framework comprises the following documents: