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The National Retail Association (NRA) has welcomed the ACCC announcement proposing to grant authorisation for NRA members to engage in information sharing and, in the case of tenants, collective bargaining with respect to their leases. NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said the draft determination meant that NRA members are one step closer to obtaining a 12-month authorisation to negotiate rent relief measures.

“Retailers have been rocked by the devastating impact of COVID-19. Even with restrictions beginning to be eased across most states, many businesses are still struggling to keep afloat,” Ms Lamb said.

“The ACCC has published a draft determination providing a preliminary view that authorisation be granted to enable collective bargaining and information sharing regarding rent relief measures for NRA members.

“This announcement means NRA members nationwide are one step closer to being able to negotiate outcomes that maximise the chances of meeting their rental obligations.

“Improving the quality of information accessible to both landlords and tenants will result in more productive negotiations and ultimately more effective outcomes for the respective parties.

“With JobKeeper due to end in September, retailers will continue to need all the support they can get to ease the cost of doing business. The NRA welcomes this decision and is very optimistic that the ACCC will grant a 12-month authorisation.”