Conveyancers Licensing Bill
Better Business June/July 03
Once again Parliament returned recently following a long recess for the State
Election. A number of Bills are being examined and I wish to mention the
Conveyancers Licensing Bill, the Valuers Bill and the Consumer Credit
Administration Amendment (Finance Brokers) Bill. The proposed reforms for all
Bills are based on the recommendations of a National Competition Policy review.
It should be noted that this information is extracted from Hansard and should
you wish to view or be aware of what legislation is debated, it is available on
line at www.parliament.nsw.gov.au.
Conveyancers Licensing Bill
The Conveyancers Licensing Bill repeals the Conveyancers Licensing Bill
replacing it with a new Act that aims to improve consumer protection, allows
conveyancers to incorporate, introduce "rules" for conveyancers, clarifies and
updates existing legislation, and reforms the disciplinary scheme. Licensing for
conveyancers was first introduced in 1992 to increase competition in the
provision of conveyancing services by allowing other qualified professionals to
undertake conveyancing work and to protect consumers of conveyancing services by
providing that conveyancers must be licensed, accountable and meet certain
standards of competence. Retained in the Act are the current boundaries for the
legal work a conveyancer may undertake. There are three main categories of
proposals, which encompass licensing requirements, general conduct of licensees
and discipline and enforcement.
This Bill being implemented aims to improve the efficiency and flexibility of
the system for regulating valuers in NSW. Valuers are currently regulated under
the Valuers Registration Act 1975 which establishes an occupational licensing
regime for valuers and provides for the Office of Fair Trading to register
valuers who have completed an approved course of study and met prescribed
practical experience requirements. Changes to the Act reflect changes in the
industry, which have seen valuers move into new practice areas.
Consumer Credit Administration Amendment (Finance Brokers) Bill
The aim of this Bill is to significantly improve the protection offered to
consumers who use the services of finance brokers, increase competition in the
finance broking industry and bring legislation governing finance brokers into
line with new industry practices. In brief the Bill requires;
an upfront disclosure of any commission to be paid by the consumer, which is
essential to enable the consumer to make an informed choice about using the
the proposal will increase competition in the finance broking industry by
helping consumers to decide which broker is offering the most competitive
disclosure of the broker's financial relationship with lenders and the fact
that the broker's recommendations will be drawn from a limited range of lenders
are two of the most important requirements in the bill. The disclosures will
alert consumers to the fact that brokers are not independent and their
recommendations may be influenced by financial or other benefits.
alerting consumers to the financial relationships between lenders and brokers
will help to ensure that consumers question brokers about the reasons for the
recommendations, and scrutinize more closely the conditions of the credit
product being recommended.
The Carr Government proposes that changes to the above Bills will protect the
consumers and provide a balanced approach to regulation and will be of benefit
to consumers and industries. If at anytime you wish to contact me in this regard
or in relation to other matters, please do not hesitate to contact my office.
I invite and encourage your feedback on (ph) 6621 3624, (fax) 6622 1403, PO Box
52 Lismore, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or