National Electronic Conveyancing System
The National Electronic Conveyancing System (NECS) project aims to deliver a truly national e-conveyancing system with a single point of entry operating in each jurisdiction, The Law Council has consistently supported the development of NECS.
From 2005 to 2009, the Law Council was represented on the project's then oversight body, the National Steering Committee (NSC) of State, Territory and industry representatives. The NSC had oversight of the National E-Conveyancing Office (NECO), which was funded by the NSW Department of Lands.
In March 2008, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) committed to the development of NECS and in March 2009 published a National Partnership Agreement (NPA) on 27 areas of regulatory reform, including NECS.
Subsequent to the COAG agreement, the NSW, Queensland and Victorian Governments established National E-Conveyancing Development Ltd (NECDL), to accelerate the development of NECS and to allow other COAG jurisdictions to later join in the operation of NECS. The Law Council supported the establishment of NECDL.
The Law Council was invited to and nominated a director, Mr John McIntyre, to the NECDL Board, which also included directors from the 3 States, the Australian Bankers Association and the Australian Institute of Conveyancers. The Law Council established an Advisory Group to provide any assistance Mr McIntyre may require in fulfilling his duties to NECDL. In November 2011, NEDCL was restructred and Mr McIntyre and a number of directors resigned. The new NECDL Board structure includes two independent directors. The Law Council was pleased that the then chair of its NECS Working Group, Professor Sharon Christensen, was appointed as an independent director.
The Law Council provided significant input on the detailed requirements for NECS from May 2008, to June 2010 through the then NECS National Project Team (NPT). The Law Council was represented on NPT by Mr Murray McCutcheon. Mr McCutcheon also assisted NECDL with the assessment of possible Information Technology providers.
The Law Council has also been involved with further NECDL consultations regarding system design matters relating to the e-conveyancing platform, Property Exchange Australia (PEXA).
Since October 2010, the Law Council has also been involved as a major stakeholder with the Australian Registrars' National Electronic Conveyancing Council (ARNECC), which has developed the Electronic Conveyancing National Law, Model Operating Requirements and Participation Rules.
The Law Council has also welcomed NECDL's progress in:
- Securing funding from 4 major banks and other private investors.
- Appointing an Information Technology provider
- Acquiring necessary intellectual property from several states.
- Issuing Release 1 of PEXA in June 2013, which allows single party transactions such as stand alone mortgages and discharges of mortgages to be lodged electronically by financial institutions.
In July 2013, the Law Council agreed to participate in the Electronic Conveyancing Group (ECG), which involves the Law Council, the Australian Bankers' Association and the Australian Institute of Conveyancers. It aims to work collaboratively to contribute to the efficiency of the e-conveyancing system and to develop effective relationships with ARNECC and NECDL.
Effective 3 March 2014, NECDL changed its name to Property Exchange Australia Ltd (PEXA).
The Law Council's NECS Committee was formed in 2005 and currently comprises:
- Mr Philip Argy, Expert Member (Chair)
- Ms Lyn Bennett, Law Society of the Northern Territory
- Mr David Clark, Law Society of Western Australia
- Mr Roslyn Curnow Nolch, Law Institute of Victoria
- Ms Lyndal Turner Guy, Law Institute of Victoria
- Ms Mary Macken, Law Society of New South Wales
- Mr Murray McCutcheon, Legal Practice Section
- Mr Mark Swan, Law Society of NSW
- Mr Philip Page, Law Society of South Australia
- Mr Matthew Raven, Queensland Law Society
- Mr Peter Rosier, Law Society of New South Wales
- Mr Tim Tierney, Law Society of Tasmania
- Mr Michael James, Law Society of the ACT
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. NECS will also contribute to the development of a truly national legal profession as a legal practitioner anywhere in Australia will be able to conduct a conveyance in another part of Australia without having to arrange for someone to be physically present at settlement or to lodge documents.
PEXA has a comprehensive website.
The Australian Registrars' National Electronic Conveyancing Council (ARNECC) has a comprehensive website about the regulatory framework.
Visit the EGC website.