The New South Wales government yesterday issued a draft of the Retail Leases Amendment Bill 2011 for public comment.
The draft bill proposes tougher laws for retail landlords in a bid to provide greater protection to small retailers.
Urban Taskforce’s chief executive labelled the proposal well-intention but criticised the government for overlooking the source of the problem.
According to Mr Gadiel, retail leases law was almost constantly being re-written, but nothing was being done to rectify the reasons of the imbalance of power between big shopping centre landlords and smaller retailers.
“Town planning laws are the real culprit – that’s the reason that small businesses are in a weak position when they deal with their landlords,” Mr Gadiel said.
“These constant revisions of the Retail Leases Act will have no effect while town planning laws are unreformed.”
“The Commission belled the cat by publicly declaring that owners of retail concentrations such as shopping centres compete in an oligopolistic fashion with other landlords,” Mr Gadiel said.
“This is a blunt, but accurate assessment of the state of competition between retail landlords at the moment.”
“The state government should stop fiddling at the edges and tackle the real cause of the problems.”