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Commercial property sector support for small and large businesses to manage coronavirus impacts

Australia’s commercial property sector will play a vital role in supporting small and large businesses to manage through the economic impacts of the coronavirus.

“We’re all in this together and have a shared interest in seeing businesses make it through this very difficult time,” said Ken Morrison, Chief Executive of the Property Council.

“We welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement today that state and territory governments will work on model laws for commercial and residential tenancies experiencing hardship, and we stand ready to work cooperatively with governments on their implementation.

Our commercial property owners and managers and their thousands of employees are fully committed to the importance of keeping businesses open, whether they’re in a small warehouse or our largest office building.”

“Our commercial property owners and managers are already in discussions with affected tenants about helping them continue to operate through this unprecedented period.

“The nature of those arrangements will obviously vary from property to property and tenant to tenant.

“However, they all start from the strong interest that property owners and managers have in keeping their tenants in place and supporting the viability and success of their businesses.

“Tenants also should not hesitate to raise their concerns with their property manager to discuss a way forward,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr Morrison said state and territory governments also need to step forward by offering meaningful tax relief to target struggling tenants.

“Australian governments collected $10.4 billion in land tax last year, the overwhelming majority of which is paid by commercial property owners.

“State and territory governments should provide land tax relief – legislated so that it must be passed through to tenants – then that can help support struggling tenants.

“Land tax is typically the highest outgoing that tenants pay, so temporary relief would help.

“Commercial property owners stand ready to do their part, and governments can also help support tenants through this period,” Mr Morrison said.

Media contact: Matt Francis 0467 777 220 mfrancis@propertycouncil.com.au