Sir Robert Richard Torrens – the man behind Australia’s 'Torrens system' of land-title registration – was an economic liberal who might have approved of privatising title registries.
So on the nose is the proposal to auction off the NSW Land and Property Information Office via a 30-year lease that the Law Society, the Real Estate Institute and the Institute of Surveyors oppose it.
The Land Registry is a valuable asset – so why not keep it in state hands, for the public good?
Privatisation has its advantages. But Australia’s title offices may not necessarily be the right government businesses to be privatised.