This section of the website is intended to provide easy access to legislation and regulations that affect the shopping centre industry, major inquiries of relevance to the industry, as well as the websites and contact details of relevant government agencies and relevant industry organisations.

Retail Tenancy Legislation And Regulations

Five of the six States, and both Territories, have retail tenancy legislation and some also have accompanying regulations. Tasmania has a statutory Code of Practice made under the Fair Trading Act. The relevant legislation and accompanying regulations are listed below.


Competition and Consumer Act 2010

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

ACCC Guide to Unconscionable Conduct

New South Wales 

Retail Leases Act 1994


Retail Leases Act 2003

Retail Leases Regulations 2013


Retail Shop Leases Act 1994

Retail Shop Leases Regulation 2006

South Australia

Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995

Retail and Commercial Leasing Guide

Retail and Commercial Leases Regulations 2010

Western Australia

Commercial Tenancy (Retail Shops) Agreement Act 1985

Commercial Tenancy (Retail Shops) Agreements Regulations 1985

Australian Capital Territory

Leases (Commercial and Retail) Act 2001

Leases (Commercial and Retail) Regulations 2002

Northern Territory

Business Tenancies (Fair Dealings) Act 2003

Business Tenancies (Fair Dealings) Regulations 2004


Fair Trading (Code of Practice for Retail Tenancies) Regulations 1998


Small Business Commissioners 

Four States and the Commonwealth have Small Business Commissioners whose functions include dispute resolution.


Australian Small Business Commissioner

(The Federal Government has announced this position will be replaced by an Australian Small Business and Family Enterprises Ombudsman on 11 March 2016.)

New South Wales

NSW Small Business Commissioner

Small Business Commissioners Act 2013


Victorian Small Business Commissioner

Small Business Commissioners Act 2003

South Australia

South Australian Small Business Commissioner

Small Business Commissioners Act 2011

Western Australia

Western Australian Small Business Development Corporation  

Small Business Development Corporation Act 1983


Trading Hours Regulation

Some States still retain restrictions on trading hours on some days or at some times, although restrictions do only apply to small shops. The Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory do not regulate trading hours. Victoria and Tasmania allow trading on all days except for Christmas Day, Good Friday and the morning of Anzac Day. NSW also does not allow trading on these days and, in addition, does not allow trading on Boxing Day and Easter Sunday, although there are exceptions for certain areas. Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia still maintain restrictions on hours and days of trading and reference should be made to the legislation in those States.

New South Wales

Retail Trading Act 2008

Office of Industrial Relations


Shop Trading Reform Act 1996


Trading (Allowable Hours) Act 1990

Trading (Allowable Hours) Regulation 2014

Business and Industry Portal

South Australia

Shop Trading Hours Act 1977

Shop Trading Hours Regulations 2003

Western Australia

Retail Trading Hours Act 1987

Retail Trading Hours Regulation 1988

Department of Commerce


Shop Trading Act 1994

Northern Territory

Retail trading hours in the Northern Territory are not regulated.

Australian Capital Territory

Retail trading hours in the ACT are not regulated. 


Planning Laws

New South Wales

Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979

Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000


Planning and Environment Act 1987

Planning and Environment Regulations 2005


Sustainable Planning Act 2009

Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009

Western Australia

Planning and Development Act 2005

Planning and Development Regulations 2009

South Australia

Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 

Planning, Development and Infrastructure (General) Regulations 2017


Land Use Planning and Approvals Act

Land Use Planning and Approvals Regulations 2004 

Northern Territory

Planning Act

Planning Regulations

Australian Capital Territory

Planning and Development Act 2007

Planning and Development Regulation 2008


Relevant Public Inquiries

Productivity Commission Inquiry Report ‘The Market for Retail Tenancy Leases in Australia’, 31 March 2008 

Productivity Commission Inquiry Report ‘Economic Structure and Performance of the Australian Retail Industry’, 4 November 2011

Productivity Commission Research Report ‘Performance Benchmarking of Australian Business Regulation: Planning, Zoning and Development Assessments’ April 2011

Productivity Commission Research Report ‘Relative Costs of Doing Business in Australia: Retail Trade’ September 2014

Report of the ACCC inquiry into the competitiveness of the retail prices for standard groceries July 2008

Senate Economics References Committee Report ‘The effectiveness of the Trade Practices Act 1974 in protecting small business’ March 2004

Senate Economics References Committee ‘Need for a national approach to retail leasing arrangements’ March 2015

Competition Policy Review Final Report March 2015


Industry Codes 

In addition to federal and state legislation, the SCCA has entered into three important voluntary industry codes which also guide members’ conduct and practices in shopping centres

COVID-19 Retail Recovery Protocol

The Protocol can be accessed here.

Casual Mall Licensing Code of Practice

Information relating to this Code can be accessed here.

Code of Practice – Reporting of Sales and Occupancy Costs

The purpose of this voluntary industry Code of Practice (the Code) is to establish how landlords and retailers communicate sales data between themselves. The Code establishes a mutual obligation which requires that a landlord who collects sales information is to provide this information in an appropriate form to retailers who request it.  The parties to the Code with the SCCA include the key national retailer/tenant groups the Australian Retailers Association, National Retail Association and Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

The Code can be accessed here.

Code of Conduct for Fair Service Provision in Shopping Centres

This Code of Conduct was agreed in January 2012 between the Shopping Centre Council of Australia and the Building Service Contractors Association of Australia to ensure high standards of corporate responsibility on the part of shopping centre owners/managers and on the part of service providers, including those involved in cleaning, maintenance and security. The objective is to provide a safe, clean, convenient and pleasant environment for shoppers, retailers, staff and other visitors.

The Code can be accessed here.


Other Websites

Australian Retailers Association (ARA)

Inside Retail

International Council of Shopping Centers

National Retail Association (NRA)

Pharmacy Guild of Australia

Shopping Centre News