The Nationals WA have called on the State Government to follow the lead of NSW, Victoria and Queensland to provide greater assistance to property owners and renters caught in COVID-19 tenancy turmoil.
Leader Mia Davies said the Premier needed to follow the example set by his interstate counterparts and deliver a relief package to cover landlords and tenants in commercial and residential arrangements.
“Measures debated in the Parliament this week will provide a framework for landlords and tenants to negotiate a short-term compromise on rental payments during this time of financial hardship,” she said.
“However, rents will eventually have to be paid and mortgages on properties and businesses will still need to be repaid and this is putting considerable pressure on all parties involved.”
Nationals WA commerce spokesperson Peter Rundle MLA said other States had introduced packages offering a range support including land tax relief, reducing the foreign land tax surcharge, and increasing resourcing for dispute resolution services.
New South Wales is offering $440 million in help, Victoria $500 million and Queensland $400 million.
Mr Rundle said the State Government was yet to announce any changes to land tax or increased resourcing for dispute resolution services.
“If a discount, waiver or rebate on land tax was offered it should be on the terms that any savings for the landlord are then used to provide rent relief for a tenant,” he said.
“We’ve supported the legislation brought to the Parliament this week but we don’t think these arrangements go far enough.
“There are businesses that have shut down because they’re unable to comply with social distancing or other measures implemented and aren’t getting any income to pay their rent.
“Those who have lost their jobs and businesses facing steep drops in income that still have to stump up at the end of each week or fortnight to pay their rent or mortgage.
“Legislation alone is not enough, property owners and renters need tangible assistance to get through this crisis and be ready to get back into trading when economic conditions improve.”