The SCCA works to ensure the interests of shopping centre owners are understood, and appropriately protected, in the ongoing operation and periodic review of competition law and related policy.
All provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act (previously the Trade Practices Act) apply to shopping centre owners. In July 1998, the Federal Government also introduced section 51 AC of the then Trade Practices Act to “provide a new avenue for small and specialist retailers to pursue remedies against unconscionable conduct in the retail tenancy relationship”. (This provision is now included in Part 2-2 of the Competition and Consumer Act.) In 2001, following the passage of a special federal law, States and Territories progressively extended the jurisdiction of their retail tenancy tribunals to consider matters involving unconscionable conduct. This was done, according to these governments, to provide retail tenants with a lower cost and more easily accessible tribunal (than the Federal Court) to deal with allegations of unconscionable conduct.
Even though the Federal Parliament does not have direct responsibility for retail tenancy matters, from time to time it has commissioned parliamentary inquiries into aspects of retail tenancy regulation. From time to time the Productivity Commission also undertakes inquiries into aspects of the retail industry and the retail leasing industry.
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