Move Over Marx Brothers, Here Comes the Bligh Government

Posted on August 14, 2008 by | 5 Comments

Tim O'Dwyer M.A., LL.Bby Tim O’Dwyer M.A., LL.B
Solicitor
Consumer Advocate
watchdog@argonautlegal.com.au

Real Estate Encyclopedia

 

 

Real estate consumer protection goes west as a result of a convoluted dog’s breakfast amendment to the law, according to Tim O’Dwyer.Mover over Marx Brothers here comes the Bligh Government

 

Linda Lavarch MP noticed two Legal Aid lawyers sitting in the public gallery during a recent session of State Parliament.  “They had tears in their eyes as the Attorney rose to speak,” she later told her parliamentary colleagues before explaining how these lawyers saw firsthand the misery caused by payday lenders’ interest rates.  It was understandable, she said, that lawyers brought to tears by clients’ stories would be emotional over Attorney-General Kerry Shine’s Consumer Credit and Other Acts Amendment Bill which would limit the lenders’ charges.

 

Any conveyancing lawyers present would have also wept – less with joy over this long-overdue action, and more with despair over the betrayal of real estate consumers by the Bill’s unrelated amendment of Section 24 of the Legal Profession Act 2007.

 

While the Bligh government was effectively giving a green light to legally unqualified estate agents to continue to  prepare legally binding contracts, the weepiest moment came when the Attorney-General said the amendment gave “certainty” to agents and solicitors regarding their “roles and responsibilities” within property transactions.  Yet Mr Shine was aware of the inability of most agents to properly prepare contracts because his office had been briefed with examples of agents’ contractual recklessness, incompetence, ignorance and illiteracy.

 

The only “certainty” is that agents will continue to control the contracting process.

 

More about “Move Over Marx Brothers”…

 

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5 Comments

  • http:// says:

    Sorry, dear Blog-readers. I forgot to mention that the scene of this agent-friendly-consumer-betrayal is, of course, Queensland. No wonder my home state is still regarded legally and politically as the Deep North!

  • http:// says:

    Marx Bros were witty and hilarious, not stupid.

  • What about the “hundreds of millions” ripped off the elderly by the Lawyer’s first mortgage scams. These “legal” people now have links to parliament. The parliament knew about these scams and did nothing but help to frustrate “justice?”.

  • Hi Allen,

    Yes, this compounds the problem doesn’t it. It that the point you’re making?

  • http:// says:

    LATE BREAKING BUT DISAPPOINTING NEWS (September 2008):

    Last year (2007) I lodged a test complaint with the Legal Services Commissioner about an agent’s likely breach of Section 24 of the Legal Profession Act where a self-serving annexure had been added to a contract prepared by the agent.

    The Law Society investgated for the LSC and reported:

    “By virtue of the amending effects of the Legal Profession (Transitional) Regulation 2007 to the Act, it would appear that the Sales person and subject entity have not committed any offence by inserting the ‘Special Conditions Annexure “A”’ into the subject Contract as the repealed Act would have allowed this practice.
    By virtue of the amending effects of the Legal Profession (Transitional) Regulation 2007 to the Act, it would appear that the Sales person and subject entity have not committed any offence by inserting the ‘Special Conditions Annexure “A”’ into the subject Contract.”

    The LSC accepted this conclusion and, not unexpectedly, decided to take no action.

    However this year (2008), after the Scrutiny of Legislation Committee found the retrospective get-out-of-jail-free-for-agents regulation was arguably invalid, I asked the LSC to revisit my complaint and consider prosecuting the agent with a view to getting a court ruling on this now-superceded-but-still-repugnant regulation.

    I soon received this lame-duck-limp-d*ck-dead-loss reply:

    “Whilst a court may well find that the view of the Committee is correct, it is clearly the intention of the Government that agents should be allowed to be substantially involved in the process of preparing property contracts. In those circumstances the use of the Commission’s financial resources to making such an application as you seek would not be in the public interest.”

    Only in the Deep North!

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