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Landgate to be partially sold off to pay compensation for child sex abuse victims



The decision was announced as WA Premier Mark McGowan made a historic apology to victims.

"Never again can our government or institutions turn a blind eye to abuse or worse, hide perpetrators," he told Parliament on Wednesday, as many survivors watched on from the public gallery.

"I am sure I speak for all West Australians when I say this can never happen again and we are truly sorry for what has occurred."

The Government had been considering selling all of Landgate, but today said that possibility has been rejected.

Instead, it will commercialise Landgate's automated land titling service, which runs property searches and is responsible for automated property transfers.

"Other Landgate functions, such as valuations, manual processing of titles and customer services will not be affected," Mr McGowan said.

"Landgate will remain a publicly-owned statutory authority."

There will be no job losses as a result.

The Government has also committed to the National Redress Scheme, making WA the last state to join the scheme which begins next week.

That had been long flagged, but the Government said the delay was because it was working through the fine print.

WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt said the move was expected to generate enough money to pay for the $640 million cost of anticipated compensation claims.

"I am expecting a fairly strong interest," Mr Wyatt said.

The Government dismissed the suggestion the announcements were made together to soften the blow of commercialising the automated service.

Mr McGowan said it was the "responsible and right thing to do".
"We didn't think privatising Landgate was the right thing … we wanted to make sure that those people who work for Landgate were given the opportunity to keep their jobs," Mr McGowan said.

"We want to make sure we treat these survivors of child sexual abuse properly and we want to make sure that we can afford to do that, and this allows us to ensure both those things can happen."

The Premier said he was the first of his counterparts to offer a formal apology to victims.

The WA Government also handed down its response to the royal commission into institutional responses to child sex abuse.

https://www.geezgo.com/sps/28346

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