QUEENSLAND PARLIAMENT EXTENDS COVID LEGISLATION

The COVID-19 Emergency Response and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 was passed by Parliament yesterday.

The Bill changes a number of pieces of legislation and regulation, most notably the Retail Shop Leases and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020, which was introduced earlier in the year to give effect to the good faith leasing principles outlined in the National Code of Conduct.

Following strong advocacy from the Property Council, the rental relief provisions of the Regulation will not be extended past the current 31 December 2020 expiry date. This date was previously extended from its initial expiry date of 30 September.

The dispute resolution provisions within the Regulation will however be extended until 30 April 2021 (the new ‘COVID-19 legislation expiry date’) to allow the conclusion of any disputes still in train.

The Property Council is pleased to see Government propose a definitive end to the rental relief provisions, given the significant financial and regulatory burden they place on landlords. It is also a positive signal regarding a return to ‘business as usual’ for Queensland.

As the Bill was declared ‘urgent’ it was not referred to a Parliamentary Committee for consideration. However, the Property Council provided feedback directly to Government.