Date: February 13, 2015
The National Retail Association (NRA) has today lodged a comprehensive submission to the Small Business Commissioner regarding the state of South Australia’s retail leasing legislation.
Based on member feedback, the NRA has compiled its recommendations for the State Government, but is again urging all states to adopt a more uniform national approach to shop leasing laws in order to promote consistency and reduce the administration and compliance burden for retail businesses.
NRA CEO Trevor Evans said it’s important to protect vulnerable small businesses in an uneven bargaining position when it comes to leasing arrangements.
“It’s also time for policy-makers to harmonise these types of arrangements in order to level the playing field,” Mr Evans said.
“Retailers are tired of enquiries into shop leasing arrangements that don’t deliver any substantial changes. Business owners deserve action on the long-promised concept of uniform national shop leasing laws,” he said.
The South Australian issues paper discusses topics such as the first right of refusal for tenants to renew their lease, better dispute resolution processes, fairer rent adjustment procedures, requirements around bank guarantees, transparency around incentives, and contractual obligations around store refits.
“We would like to see South Australia and the other states and territories join together in pushing for a national approach,” Mr Evans said.
Today’s submission has coincided with CEO Trevor Evans’ and retail leasing specialist Michal Lonie’s appearances at the Senate Standing Committee on Economics in Canberra, as part of the committee’s inquiry into the need for such an approach to retail leasing arrangements.
“It’s the same position we have given to a number of other state-based reviews of retail leasing as well. At some point retailers are entitled to question how many inquiries are needed before something will be done,” he said.
The NRA is Australia’s largest and most diverse retail industry organisation, and has been representing the interests of the retail, fast food and broader service sector for almost 100 years.
Media contact: SAS Media and Communications – 07 3171 2960 or 0467 792 013