Kick in the Guts

We are incredibly disappointed with the government’s announcements yesterday that do not allow for inspections or new listings until the third step, earliest date being 26 October 2020.

After multiple and ongoing attempts from the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) to try work with the government in defining a reasonable path for the sector, the Andrews government has chosen to ignore the plight of property owners and our sector as a whole.

The grim prognosis is certain to convince the thousands of businesses in Victoria, in a lot of industries, that have been desperately hanging on that there’s little point in continuing a losing flight – particularly with the decrease in the level of job keeper payments from later this month.

Paul Guerra, head of Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says the state appears to have moved to a virus eradication strategy that would eradicate businesses and that Victoria, unlike NSW, was not getting the balance right. “Two months from now a lot of businesses won’t be here and that means a lot of jobs won’t be here either” he says.

The Premiers more-of-the-same intentions became obvious. Canberra has no input beyond Andrews informing the Prime Minister of his plan on Sunday morning.

From what I heard Andrews said, “I understand many people will not be pleased to hear this news, if there were any other option, we would absolutely pursue that.”

But Victoria has not only been on a different path to the rest of the country because of the state governments failure in managing hotel quarantine, he also clearly rejects the need to keep a gasping economy alive.

For example, the only change from next Sunday is you can exercise daily for two hours rather than one, the nightly curfew starts at 9pm rather than 8pm and that single people will be allowed visits from one other person. None of this will have any impact on economic activity in the state.

Frankly, you can open the economy with COVID safe plans. I’m certain we will accommodate dressing head to toe in PPE, an astronaut suit if they prefer and even still social distance if it means we can run a single Private Inspection for Lease or Sale – not for ourselves but for our owners and Landlords who simply have had zero assistance.

Many invest in property as security with options to sell up and cash up if times gets tough, and this isn’t even an option. Virtual is a great tool, but its not like buying a t-shirt – the market is not there virtually.

The most depressing aspect is Andrews’ believe he has made absolutely the right choice. Even this protracted timeline outlined by the Premier will depend on dramatic improvements. How reassuring.


*references from financial review