29 April 2020

Mr Darren Vaux
Boating Industry Association Ltd

Dear Mr Vaux

Thank you for your letter of 25 March 2020 requesting assistance in supporting the boating industry due to impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic situation.

I understand how extensively COVID-19 is impacting individuals, businesses and the broader economy.

I refer to your request for a rent holiday for your maritime industry tenants along with a tenant guarantee. As a result of COVID-19, Queensland Treasury has provided instructions to the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) to provide rent relief for commercial tenants who rent premises from the Queensland Government.

On 24 March 2020, the Queensland Government announced a $4 billion stimulus package which includes rent relief for commercial tenants who rent premises from the Queensland Government. This relief is in the form of six months’ rent free and is effective from 1 April 2020 (rent relief).

Therefore, TMR will not be issuing commercial tenants regular rental invoices for the period from 1 April to 30 September 2020 (rent relief period). If tenants have already paid rent for all or part of this relief period, they can contact TMR’s boat harbour leasing team by email at boatharbourleasing@tmr.qld.gov.au to discuss options available to them. Businesses will still be required to pay outgoings in accordance with the lease terms.

With regards to the regulatory fee component of the rental invoice, TMR is currently seeking advice to understand if Queensland will also be providing relief for the mooring regulatory fees that is included in the regular rental invoice. Until advice is received, TMR has deferred payment of the regulatory fee and will provide a further update in this regard when details have been provided.

It is expected that any TMR tenants who have approved commercial subtenants operating from their leased area will pass this rent relief onto them for the whole duration of the rent relief period. TMR reserves its right to withdraw the rent relief offer to TMR tenants should it be made aware that the rent relief has not been passed on to the commercial subtenants.

I trust the above arrangement will be of assistance during this difficult time. Please contact the boat harbour leasing team with any queries or concerns.

With regards to support for the ongoing access by families to safe boating, TMR will continue to work within federal and state public health directives that provide the overriding sense of direction in how we regulate boating activity during COVID-19. TMR is also working with all to maximise opportunities now and into the future to continue to provide opportunities for the enjoyment of safe boating.

At present, TMR asks skippers to be responsible and support the Chief Health Officer and help stop the spread of COVID-19. Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has been very clear – if you don’t need to be out then stay ashore, stay home. However, from midnight Friday 1 May 2020, these restrictions will be relaxed to allow some recreational boating activities.

Social distancing rules will continue to apply at the boat ramp and on board, so please continue to check the Maritime Safety Queensland website at www.msq.qld.gov.au for current information.

Boating is a big part of Queenslander’s lifestyles and I agree that it is an important activity that will add to people’s wellbeing and assist as we move to a recovery phase. TMR is happy to explore opportunities presented as they arise.

Planned maritime infrastructure projects will continue to be rolled out as intended. New opportunities will also be considered as options to support Queenslanders are developed.

TMR will endeavour to keep you informed of changes as this unprecedented event unfolds.

I trust this information is of assistance.

Yours sincerely

Neil Scales
Department of Transport and Main Roads

2020.04.29_Letter-from-TMR-committing-to-rent-relief.pdf – 113.00 KB