Legislation passed on recording land
Legislation has been passed in the Senate that will transfer the function of recording land interests from the Registrar General to the Land Title Registrar Office.
The Bill was passed along with eight other pieces of legislation during yesterday's sitting of the Senate.
The Land Title Registrar Bill 2017 will ensure that information concerning land ownership will be kept in one place and will be facilitated through an electronic system.
During his first speech as a senator, Andrew Simons said the Bill would help provide clarity in land disputes.
He said: “One of the biggest things this will do is to improve the ability to resolve disputes between land owners. A common dispute is that you have a neighbour, they have a wall, you think the wall is encroaching on your land and they think otherwise. The deeds may in fact be in conflict somewhat. If you can afford lawyers and are willing to work through the courts amicably you may reach some resolution but most people don't have that luxury, so this Land Title Registry will keep things out of the courts as much as possible. It will give people more security to what is often a family's greatest asset.”
Describing the Bill as a “long-awaited modernisation”, Mr Simons added: “Most people are used to paper deeds. They get lost, they might be in conflict and we are one of the last countries in the world to move to this system so it is good to see us make that final step.”
Senator Lynne Woolridge said she hoped that the legislation would be tabled in this session of the legislature.
The America's Cup Amendment Act 2017 was also passed, defining the area of Dockyard and introducing a zero per cent duty rate for materials necessary for capital development projects in Dockyard in the run-up to the event. Some concerns were raised about part of the amendment that included a temporary waiving of mandatory training for managers, supervisors and those in charge of bars selling alcohol.
Progressive Labour Party Senator Kim Wilkerson asked whether at least a modified version of the training could be implemented during the six week period the waiver applied which she said she would “wholeheartedly recommend”.
Minister for National Security Jeffrey Baron addressed the concerns, saying public safety was his “central preoccupation” but to avoid potential staff shortages during the America's Cup “we needed a contingency”. He said “the pressure would be squarely on Gosling's” which is running the bars during the sailing event to provide “tremendously managed” staff.
Among the other legislation passed yesterday was the Summary Offences Amendment Act 2017 which will raise the age that people can buy tobacco from 16 years of age to 18. The Summary Offences Act had been in conflict with the Tobacco Control Act of 2015.
The other legislation passed were: The USA-Bermuda Tax Convention Amendment Act 2017; The International Co-operation (Tax Information Exchange Agreements) Amendment Act 2017; The Bermuda Hospitals Board Amendment Act 2017; The Quarantine Act 2017; The Bermuda Immigration and Protection Amendment Act 2017; and Consideration of Draft Regulations Entitled “The Insurance Accounts Amendment Regulations 2016.
Legislation debating Casino Gaming Regulations and fees was delayed until the next sitting of the Senate due to take place tomorrow.