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Red tape reduced for retail leasing on the Gold Coast

By Greg Bell

Small businesses hoping to secure retail leasing on the Gold Coast should find the process a whole lot simpler, as the Queensland government reveals it's reducing red tape affecting the sector. It's being made possible through the Retail Shop Leases Amendment Bill, which has already been passed by the state parliament.

Retail remains an important sector in not only the Queensland economy, but the entire country. Giving this extra level of assistance, especially to small businesses, makes this an important step towards ensuring future prosperity both in the short and long-term.

How changes to Gold Coast retail leasing will work

A variety of changes have been introduced to the way in which this type of commercial property on the Gold Coast operates. Through the new bill, minimum standards will be established for retail shop leases; some non-retail leases will no longer be covered by the legislation.

Another major amendment is that a low-cost dispute resolution process will be opened up to tenants, giving greater assurances that any problems will be dealt with quickly and fairly. Shopping centre landlords will also be exempted from liability to compensate their tenants when the centre is closed in response to an emergency situation.

Furthermore, any retail premises with a floor space exceeding 1,000 square metres won't be covered by the act. The Queensland government indicated that in order to operate such large spaces, the tenants tend to be "sophisticated business operators" who therefore do not need any type of special protection.

Improving competition in the retail sector

Attorney-general and minister for justice Yvette D'Ath highlighted that the legislative changes would give smaller businesses an opportunity to compete on a more level playing field with their larger counterparts.

"This bill enhances protection for retail tenants," commented Ms D'Ath.

"It will safeguard prospective retail business buyers by requiring the seller to provide disclosures about the lease for the business premises, before a business contract is entered into."

One of the main reasons for the bill is to make sure operational efficiency is improved throughout the retail sector. This will give tenants the flexibility to be able to waive the landlord's disclosure period, while making sure the determination of market rents is carried out in a fair manner.

Why retail trade is so important

Retail has retained its status as a jewel in Australia's economic crown for some time now. It has been thriving across Australia for many years, so it perhaps makes sense to give these smaller players the assistance they need.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveals that in trend terms, retail turnover increased 0.2 per cent between February and March this year.

Many sub-sectors performed well month on month, with clothing, footwear and personal accessories retailing registering the greatest rise at 0.7 per cent. Household goods retailing improved 0.2 per cent, while food retailing witnessed an increase of 0.1 per cent from February levels.

The ABS also noted that some parts of the country performed better than others, with one of the standouts being Queensland, where a 0.1 per cent rise in retail trade was seen.

If smaller enterprises are to be given half a chance of competing with the big stores, then the Queensland economy could well be transformed. So, now is the time to ask yourself whether there's ever been a better moment to take a closer look at retail leasing on the Gold Coast.

We're here to lend you a hand in coming to that all-important final decision, so why not give us a call? Our experienced team can guide you through the local market and help you buy commercial property on the Gold Coast, no matter what your ambitions might be.

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