The Shopping Centre Council of Australia (SCCA) today welcomed the Queensland Government’s $400 million Land Tax Relief package which will assist in the provision of support to retail tenants experiencing hardship in Queensland as a consequence of COVID-19.
SCCA Executive Director Angus Nardi said: “We commend the Queensland Government on this package, and it is welcome news for shopping centres and retailers. It’s is a strong and positive step by the Queensland Government which is aligned with the principles set out in the Code of Conduct which was released earlier this week.
The Government has also announced that it will change legislation to ban evictions on the grounds of financial distress.
On 26 March the Shopping Centre Council and its members announced that no SME or family retailer in its members’ shopping centres would face a termination of their lease as a result of financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Queensland Government’s announcement today reinforces this commitment and sends a strong signal that retailers can sit down with their landlords to discuss rent relief and business continuity with confidence,” Nardi said.
“This is an excellent and practical example of how Governments, shopping centre owners and retailers can work together to help all parties manage the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“We also welcome the Queensland Government’s commitment to consult with stakeholders on the implementation of the new Code of Conduct”.
“We have already held discussions with the Queensland Government on this issue, thank them for their courtesty and look forward to working with them further”.
The Shopping Centre Council continues to work closely with the National Retail Association, Australian Retailers Association and Pharmacy Guild of Australia in relation to national retail leasing issues, and will continue to engage with all state governments in relation to regulation on the new Code of Conduct.