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Tuesday, 2 April 1968

Mr BOWEN (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Attorney-General) - The subject of preparing an ordinance on unit titles has been under consideration for some considerable period. At one time we were waiting for the New South Wales, Victorian and South Australian legislation covering strata titles to be passed. We now have that. Difficulties have been experienced in the Australian Capital Territory because of, particularly, the leasehold nature of the title. Honourable members will understand that a strata title gives a title up in the air on a particular floor and then above that. If this is based on a head-lease and is a title to a sublease the problems that occur if there is forfeiture of the head-lease, and the obligations to insure and so on, are very considerable. I will not go into them in detail. I have adopted the expedient of appointing a committee consisting of a lecturer from the Australian National University who is experienced in real property law, a representative from the Australian Capital Territory Law Society as well as people from my own Department. They have been meeting once a week and they have made very considerable progress with this difficult subject. I am not going to hold out hope of a very early ordinance on the subject but I am assured that considerable progress has been made.

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