Lease changes give certainty: Pharmacy Guild

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The NSW Government yesterday introduced significant amendments to the Retail Leases Act for the first time in over 20 years, aimed at making it easier to do business in NSW.

These changes clarify some issues around community pharmacy leases and give additional certainty to pharmacy owners, says the Pharmacy Guild, which welcomed the move.

NSW Branch President Mark Douglass says: “We commend the Minister for Small Business the Hon John Barilaro MP for introducing this package of reforms which seek to improve transparency and clarity for landlords and retail tenants.”

The amendment Bill includes significant positive changes across sections of the Act, the Guild says, and clears some of the issues around the reporting of sales by pharmacies through the removal of dispensary sales data.

“This is an overdue and welcome reform,” Douglass says.

“It is an appropriate recognition of the unique characteristics of community pharmacy businesses and will make it easier for tenants and landlords to comply with appropriate lease requirements.”

The Australian Retailers Association also welcomed the move.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman says the NSW Government has gone a long way to creating “more transparency and equality” under the NSW Retail Leases Act, with an industry sales reporting code developed and a range of issues within the Act being addressed.

“Minister Barilaro and the NSW government need to be congratulated for steering through changes which should make retail leases more transparent and fairer in New South Wales,” Zimmerman says.

Zimmerman added that “one key example is the development of a sales reporting code which would see NSW retailers be able to request retail category values from landlords”.

“This enables them to understand real lease values which the Shopping Centre Council has agreed to through negotiation by the ARA and its industry partners at the Franchise Council of Australia along with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.”

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