NSW retail leasing reform launched

property, rental, lease, agreement, pen, dealThe NSW government has seen amendments tabled to the Retail Leases Act for the first time in over 20 years at parliament yesterday.

The Retail Leases Amendment (Review) Bill 2016 was presented to NSW Parliament on Tuesday to introduce reforms to the Retail Leases Act 1994, aimed at making it ‘easier to do business in NSW and improve fairness in the marketplace.’

Minister for Small Business, the Hon John Barilaro MP, introduced the Retail Leases Act (NSW) Amendment Bill 2016 into the house, with the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) welcoming the bill.

“Minister Barilaro and the NSW government need to be congratulated for steering through changes which should make retail leases more transparent and fairer in New South Wales,” said Russell Zimmerman, executive director, ARA.

Zimmerman added that “one key example is the development of a sales reporting code which would see NSW retailers be able to request retail category values from landlords.”

“This enables them to understand real lease values which the Shopping Centre Council has agreed to through negotiation by the ARA and its industry partners at the Franchise Council of Australia along with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.”

The retail industry in NSW accounts for almost 390,000 jobs and $36 billion in annual sales to the economy.

Retailer Lease Advocates and industry associations including the ARA, Pharmacy Guild and Franchise Council, have been working with the Minister to develop the reforms to lease legislation in the state.

“We are never going to take the lord out of landlord, however the bill introduces the opportunity for a more informed and transparent market for retailers to start to level the playing field when dealing with their retail leases” said Phillip Chapman, director of MiLease and Lease1.

“Although similar recommendations were made by the productivity commission report on the market for retail leases in Australia in 2009, it has taken the collective resources and tenacity of industry stakeholders and the Minister to understand what represents good legislative policy and break through to deliver.”

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