ACT News

Computer glitch in Moncrieff land sale saw buyers told they were not eligible

The Land Development Agency has apologised and abandoned first-come-first-served registrations as a way of selling land in the wake of problems with the Moncrieff sale.

"There were certainly a number of issues related to this process and the LDA apologises for the frustration and disappointment that was caused to potential buyers," Land Development Agency chief executive David Dawes said on Wednesday.

Planning Minsiter Mick Gentleman and Kirk Coningham from the Master Builders Association turn a sod at Moncrieff in ...
Planning Minsiter Mick Gentleman and Kirk Coningham from the Master Builders Association turn a sod at Moncrieff in November 2014.  Photo: Supplied

"While there is no further action able to be taken in relation to this sale, the LDA will no longer use the first-come-first-served registration process for the sale of land."

Mr Dawes also confirmed that a computer glitch saw people who attempted to register for land in Moncrieff receive emails wrongly telling them they had been disqualified because of the timing of their registrations.

Moncrieff is part of Gungahlin.
Moncrieff is part of Gungahlin. 

More than 800 people registered for 77 blocks of land being sold by the government in Moncrieff, through the Independent Property Group. The land was sold at set prices to the first 77 people to register by email after 10am on November 9, with each buyer allowed just one block.

The system brought a string of complaints from people who missed out, including one who sent at email precisely at 10am but ended up 275th in the queue.

Advertisement

Another failed buyer, builder Shaun Cummins, said he sent eight separate registrations after 10am, one for himself and others on behalf of friends and family who couldn't be at a computer at the appointed time. He missed out, receiving a string of responses from the sales group saying his emails had arrived before 10am, making him ineligible.

The Independent Property Group had confirmed the email had been sent to Mr Cummins and others in error, Mr Dawes said.

"There was an auto-reply message set up for emails received prior to 10am. However, Independent Property Group were unable to turn it off after 10am," he said.

Mr Cummins and others who had registered had been sent an email advising of the error, Mr Dawes said.

The email said, "If you have sent an email at 10am today to ... secure a block selection appointment in Moncrieff you may have received an auto reply message to say your email has been received too early. If you sent your email after 10am your email has been received and an agent from Independent will contact with you shortly on the number that you have supplied in your initial email.

"Please note: all emails received from 10am onwards have been added to the queue regardless of the auto reply message you may have received.

"Apologies for the confusion if you received the un-updated response."

Mr Cummins said the system was deeply flawed given the difficulty many people had being in front of a computer at 10am. His wife worked in childcare and could not send a registration. His cousin was in construction in Goulburn and was also unable to access a computer, as were others on work sites. His first string of emails on behalf of himself and others among family and friends had gone to the wrong email address and by the time he sent them again it was about 10.10am. As a result, none of the eight had secured blocks.

The sale was the first time a first-in-first-serve email system had been used by Independent Property Group, but it was used for land sold in Coombs in July 2013.

26 comments

Comment are now closed