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Digitising legal documents to save Australians time and money

Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Media Release

Minister for Industrial Relations
(Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate)
Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy
Minster for Women's Economic Security
Senator the Hon Jane Hume

Special Minister of State
Minister for the Public Service
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister and Cabinet
The Hon Ben Morton MP

Joint media release

The Morrison Government is making it easier to communicate digitally with a $2.8 million commitment announced today.

Attorney-General, Michaelia Cash said over the next 18 months the investment will improve digital approaches to document execution, and develop practical resources to support further application of the Electronic Transactions Act 1999.

"We want to make it simpler for individuals and businesses to complete legal documents," the Attorney-General said.

"It builds on our recent reforms which allow Australians to digitally execute Commonwealth statutory declarations.

"This is another step towards a common, consistent approach to document execution, and is important for boosting productivity and competitiveness and providing further options for business."

Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy, Jane Hume, said this will position Australia as a leader in digital economy regulation.

"Australian businesses need to adopt and adapt digital technologies at a greater rate than ever before, and we are assisting them in doing this," Minister Hume said.

"The Morrison Government has taken a world-leading position on deregulation and the settings needed to accelerate our digital economy – these simple steps will grow Australia's future as a modern and leading digital economy."

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Ben Morton, said that the measure will be used to ensure government keeps pace with how Australians want to communicate with each other when doing business.

"We are committed to a renewed Deregulation Agenda focussed on ensuring that where regulation is required, it is fit-for-purpose," Minister Morton said.

"These are common sense reforms, saving Australians valuable time and money."

The 18-month implementation project builds on last year's consultation on modernising business communications, which focused on improving the technology neutrality of Treasury portfolio laws to ensure they do not restrict the use of current and future technologies.

Temporary changes have already been made to the law to allow for the electronic execution of Commonwealth statutory declarations. This will enable people to use an electronic signature and have their statutory declaration witnessed using audio-visual technology.

For more information about the Government's Deregulation Agenda, visit the Deregulation Agenda website.