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Webinar recording - Commercial tenancies and support available during COVID-19.

This webinar  will provide you with a clearer understanding of the impacts of COVID-19 on commercial tenancies and assistance that is available from the Victorian Small Business Commission.

 On 7 April 2020, the Prime Minister announced the terms of the National Cabinet's decision in relation to a mandatory code of conduct for commercial tenancies ("the Code").The Code is a set of principles to guide rent relief negotiations between landlords and tenants.

Following this announcement, The Victorian Government announced on the 15 April 2020 a commercial tenancy relief scheme to alleviate financial hardship faced by tenants and landlords as a result of COVID-19. 

This webinar will discuss:  

  • The National Code 
  • Grey areas of the law 
  • The Victorian Small Business Commission supporting small business during COVID-19


  • Judy O'Connell, Victorian Small Business Commissioner 
  • Sebastian Renato  Principal Lawyer- Property and Construction-  Macpherson Kelley 


Judy O’Connell is the Victorian Small Business Commissioner.

Judy has extensive experience working with small businesses throughout her public service career of over 30 years and comes from a family of small business owners, with both her father and two sisters operating their own businesses.

Since becoming Victorian Small Business Commissioner, Judy has overseen the development of a new three year business strategy outlining plans for a fairer and more competitive environment for Victorian small businesses.

In 2018 Judy was honoured to be named one of the Top 50 Public Sector Women in Victoria.

The Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) is focused on small business community engagement, advocacy, monitoring the small business environment and providing dispute resolution services.

Sebastian Renato was drawn to the inclusiveness of property law – not only is it one of the oldest forms of law but it’s an area of the law that almost everyone will be involved in at some point in their life.

Understanding that legal services are just one part of the whole property process, Sebastian provides pragmatic legal advice that enables his clients to make the best decisions when it comes to buying, selling, developing or leasing their property.

From starting his legal career in a small regional law firm in central Victoria to working at a top tier, Sebastian has had a diverse range of property law experience, from advising on large farming ventures, to exposure to some of the country’s biggest property and infrastructure transactions. Harnessing his previous experience and strong industry knowledge, Seb tailors his advice to be pragmatic and strategic, working towards the best outcome for the client.

Join us for this webinar to share the latest information on commercial tenancies during COVID-19 and what assistance is available. 

The Committee for Mornington Peninsula is disappointed that the Mornington Peninsula received just 0.09 per cent of the funding announced for our neighbours in greater Geelong in this year’s State Budget.

$424,000 of new funding was announced for the Mornington Peninsula whilst $463.43 million of new funding was announced for Greater Geelong, which has the same enrolled population as the Mornington Peninsula.

After extended and repeated metropolitan Melbourne lockdowns, the CfMP would have expected more support for our local businesses and public assets and services to help the Mornington Peninsula to recover, however no new funding was announced for our local hospitals, schools, TAFE, parks, roads or public transport services in this Budget.

Disappointingly, new taxes will be imposed on major employers on the Mornington Peninsula and our residential and commercial properties will be taxed at a higher rate as businesses and property owners attempt to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

We remain hopeful that over the coming months, the Victorian Government will announce local funding initiatives for the Mornington Peninsula from the state-wide funding programs announced in this State Budget.

This unpredictability of government decision-making contributes to the general unease in the community about unforeseeable restrictions that could be imposed upon Victorians at any moment.

The lack of a clear and consistent approach to reopening and locking down Victorian communities erodes business and consumer confidence to plan, resulting in damaging effects to local economies, community mental health outcomes and the reputation of Victoria as the place to be.

Victorian members of the Committees for Cities and Regions are calling on the Victorian Government to actively consult with the community to develop a long-term Covid readiness plan for Victorian cities and regions.

As Victoria faces another long weekend under lockdown-style conditions, the Committees are calling for a common set of publicly available and industry-informed standards to be applied to decision-making on Covid restrictions in Victoria.