Join Len Harris’ campaign to reverse the theft and destruction of Queensland paper property titles
By TONY MOBILIFONITIS
FORMER One Nation Senator Len Harris is on the road across Queensland for 20 weeks to expose the massive scandal of Queenslanders’ paper property Title Deeds being made void and placed under private corporate control.
In October 2019, under the Land, Explosives and Other Legislation Amendment Act, all Queensland property Title Deeds were changed into electronic form and placed under the control of three private companies – Purcell Partners Pty Ltd (PEXA), Sympli Australia Pty Ltd and Property Exchange Australia (PEXA).
One of the companies, Property Exchange Australia (PEXA), is in the throes of capitalizing on the control of those Title Deeds by either becoming a public company and issuing $1.8 billion worth of shares or in selling outright for $3.8 billion.
Harris says the concern with these corporate entities is that they can be bought and sold at the whim of the owners, or by hostile takeover if listed on the stock exchange. He wonders if the system will become one where property owners pay an annual fee to the companies for a permit to occupy the home. A forerunner of that is Microsoft switching from selling programs to paying an annual access fee.
“The question is, in the long term future, say 10, 20, or 50 years down the track, who will control the computer your land and home ownership is registered in?” Harris says.
For now, Queenslanders’ paper property titles have been seized, digitized and turned into assets for the benefit of few private corporations, their future shareholders or some other corporate entity we know nothing about. It’s akin to some entity taking money out of your bank, parking it and reaping interest without benefit to you, the owner.
Harris is also seeking public support for a judicial review of the covering legislation by a chief judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland, and an application to the Federal Court for directives to reverse and remedy the outrageous and high-handed action.
“The only solution and the best solution for this is to take the Queensland Government to the Federal Court of Australia and have this Act struck down,” Harris says in a video on thesilentmajority.org.au website created for the campaign.
Harris agreed with Cairns News that Queenslanders should take special note of a bizarre World Economic Forum advertisement circulated in 2020: “It’s 2030. You will own nothing. But you will be happy”. It raises the question of whether losing possession and direct control of property title deeds is a step on the way to losing ownership of the property altogether in a global digital maze.
The electronic titles system has also been implemented in Victoria and NSW but with one important exception – the paper titles have not been voided in those states as they have been in Queensland. “The Queensland Government severely reduced our right to have documents that prove ownership of our homes to nothing other than historic artefacts to look at,” Len Harris states in a circular to Queensland business owners.
Some may argue that “it’s just the new electronic titles that have come in. No-one has actually stolen our titles.” But when paper titles have been made void i.e. of no legal standing, you then become entirely reliant for the proof of your ownership on the grace of the private corporation to show it when you ask. In other words, your personal ability to show ownership of your property has been taken out of your hands.
Even now, the document provided upon request from Titles Queensland (formerly the Registrar of Titles Office) acknowledging your name as existing on an electronic title with one of the holding companies, has no legal weight.
Property Exchange Australia is wholly owned by The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) Lightyear Investments B.V., a subsidiary of North Haven Infrastructure Partners II, a fund managed by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners (MSIP). They are collectively deciding to either float PEXA on the stock exchange or sell it outright. PEXA currently holds 70% of all electronically lodged conveyancing records in Australia.