Following concerns raised from residents regarding changes to Land, Explosives and Other Legislation Amendment Bill in 2019 and specifically concerns regarding paper vs electronic titles deeds. We have received the following information from the Minister for Resources in italics.
In regard to title deeds, for over 100 years, Queensland has had a secure and reliable system of recording ownership and other interests in freehold land, commonly known as the Torrens titling system which relies on title by registration in the Freehold Land Register. Proof of ownership is ascertained by undertaking a search of the Freehold Land Register.
In 1994, Queensland adopted an electronic land title register which removed the need for paper Certificates of Title – they were issued only upon request by a registered owner. In 2019 around only 11 percent of properties in Queensland still had paper Certificates of Title.
Current and authoritative information about ownership and other interests in land was obtained, not from a paper Certificate of Title, but by doing a search of the electronic register. A Paper Certificate of Title was merely a copy of the details recorded in the electronic Freehold Land Register at the time the paper Certificate of Title was issued.
The legislative changes in 2019 simply removed a remnant of paper-based titling processes which regularly created delays and added to costs for people conducting land title transactions through the more modern and efficient electronic channels.
As those raising the concerns have also advised that there is court action occurring in relation to this, a reminder that The Legislature, which includes MPs and Ministers, are unable to comment specifically on matters before the court due to separation of powers. Anything further to the information above will need to await any court determinations.