LANDGATE WILL HIT A NEW LOW

Hills Gazette - - OPINION - MARY SHAW, Mid­vale

I WAS ap­palled to learn that La­bor is con­sid­er­ing the pos­si­ble pri­vati­sa­tion of Landgate.

Who will these new own­ers be? How many big banks and over­seas com­pa­nies will have shares? How many cur­rent and ex Landgate ex­ec­u­tives are in­volved in the proposed pur­chase? Are the pub­lic go­ing to be fully in­formed? Is there any pos­si­ble con­flict of in­ter­est?

It's a worry also that so much knowl­edge will be in the hands of whom? What will hap­pen to all our pa­per ti­tles?

This would be the fi­nal straw for all those Landgate em­ploy­ees, my­self in­cluded, who over the last two and a half years have been made re­dun­dant, vol­un­tar­ily or oth­er­wise. Does this govern­ment have any idea at all of the mis­ery, past and present, in­flicted on Landgate em­ploy­ees?

Do they have any idea of how knowl­edge and loy­alty are be­ing re­placed by con­tract work­ers, so badly trained in the cus­tomer ser­vice area, that many of them do not stay? Do they have any idea how many staff are be­ing badly treated and overworked, es­pe­cially in cus­tomer ser­vice?

Do they have any idea what it's like for a cus­tomer to try and get as­sis­tance by email or phone? In many cases the cus­tomer is given a link to do it by them­self on their com­puter. Don't have a com­puter? Go to your lo­cal li­brary and use theirs. Don't know how to use a com­puter? Go to one of the com­mu­nity-based or­gan­i­sa­tions for as­sis­tance. In some cases clients are be­ing told to go to a lawyer for as­sis­tance.

What if the client needs to get a Ver­i­fi­ca­tion of Iden­tity? Cur­rent plan is for the Post Of­fice to han­dle all of this at a cost of over $150 per per­son. So if a cou­ple were go­ing on hol­i­day and wanted to pro­tect their home by plac­ing a caveat on it; imag­ine the cost of both of them get­ting the VOI and then the cost of lodg­ing it with Landgate?

How many more older ex­pe­ri­enced staff will be re­placed by the "younger go get­ters" that man­age­ment seems to want?

How long be­fore all the knowl­edge is gone? Such a shame that once again cor­po­rate greed is more im­por­tant than the peo­ple who gave so much over the years, and more im­por­tant than the right of the pub­lic to feel that their State Govern­ment is look­ing af­ter their prop­erty and af­fairs.

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