- $25 million allocated to McGowan Government's rent relief plan
- Rent waived for six months for eligible tenants of buildings owned by Government agencies and trading enterprises, effective immediately
- First time the State Government has waived rental payments for tenants
- State Government sets example to private sector to offer rent relief to those impacted by COVID-19
The McGowan Government will waive rental payments for small businesses and not-for-profit groups in Government-owned buildings for six months to help these lease holders respond to the impacts of COVID-19.
Premier Mark McGowan and Treasurer Ben Wyatt today announced $25 million had been allocated for the rent relief plan for small businesses and not-for-profits that lease from Government agencies and trading enterprises.
This is the first time the State Government has waived rental payments for any lease holders.
The plan will benefit businesses such as convenience stores in train stations, cafés in government buildings, and restaurants in tourism precincts, such as Elizabeth Quay and Yagan Square. It will also benefit eligible small businesses leasing land from the State, such as caravan park and eco-tourism operators.
A raft of individually tailored measures including more flexible opening hours, and facilitating takeaway and delivery options are also available to tenants across Elizabeth Quay and Yagan Square. DevelopmentWA has been working closely with each lease holder to support them during this difficult period.
Legislation is also in place that allows pastoral lease holders to request rent payments be reduced, waived or delayed where the lease has been adversely affected, or if the lease holder is suffering personal financial hardship due to poor economic conditions in the pastoral industry.
The rent relief builds on the recently announced moratorium on the termination of leases for non‑payment of rent for six months for commercial tenancies suffering financial distress, to be implemented by State and Territory Governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The rent relief plan builds on the $607 million business and household relief package announced by the McGowan Government earlier this month.
Small businesses include those owned and operated by an individual, partnership or proprietary company with a relative small market share and are not a subsidiary of a larger business, as defined by the Small Business Development Corporation Act 1983. Not-for-profits include all charities and associations defined by the Associations Incorporation Act 2015.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"These are unprecedented times for our community and our economy.
"My Government is doing everything it possibly can to support Western Australian businesses who are clearly facing enormous hardship as a result of strict social distancing measures introduced across the nation.
"We expect this measure will offer relief to many small businesses. The State Government is leading by example and we'd like to see landlords follow suit, when they can.
"My heart goes out to those who've been forced to close down, as well as Western Australians who've found themselves without a job.
"Today's announcement builds on the $607 million business and household relief package that I announced earlier this month, and it will complement further business and household relief announcements to come."
Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt:
"We know many small businesses are doing it tough, which is why we are leading by example and waiving rent for six months for small businesses and not-for-profit tenants in Government-owned premises.
"I now implore private landlords, where possible, to do the same and help reduce pressure on small businesses that are being heavily impacted by recent trading restrictions designed to contain COVID-19.
"We know immediate rent relief will make a positive difference to the livelihoods of many Western Australians over the coming weeks and months, and give businesses the best chance to bounce back following these difficult times.
"The McGowan Government is continuing to look at other ways to provide relief to businesses and households to help Western Australians cope with the impacts of COVID-19 and keep the economy ticking."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Treasurer's office - 6552 6100