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Australia's Victoria state in A$2.86b land title register deal with pension fund

[SYDNEY] Australia's Victoria state has agreed to sell a four-decade concession to run its land and property registries to pension fund First State Super for A$2.86 billion (S$2.86 billion), the government said in a statement on Monday.

The deal allows First State Super to levy fees for property ownership registrations in Australia's fastest growing state for 40 years, while the government plans to spend the proceeds on schools, hospitals and transport projects, the statement said.

This will give "a major boost to our already unprecedented investment in schools, hospitals, road and rail", Treasurer Tim Pallas said in the statement.

First State Super is one of the Australia's largest pension funds and last year was also part of a consortium that paid A$2.6 billion to get a similar 35-year land title lease in neighbouring New South Wales.

The state of Victoria will keep control of essential services, such as land subdivisions applications and estate registrar services, according to the statement.

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Pricing for statutory services will be controlled by the state and price increases for non-statutory services will be capped at the level of inflation, the statement added.

Over the next four years, the state expects to invest an average A$10.2 billion per year in infrastructure, significantly higher than in previous corresponding periods, government estimates show.


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