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Full-page ads decrying the Victorian Premier’s stance on real estate closures were circulated across major metropolitan newspapers this week.
The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) has revealed the new campaign against the “onerous and unnecessary property market restrictions”.
The full-page ads, released on Wednesday, 8 September 2021, read: "Locked down and locked out. Mr Premier, please give us our keys back.”
Featuring an image of Victorian Premier Dan Andrews, it continues: “Victorians are being denied their basic right to rent, buy, and sell a home … The financial and emotional stress of losing deposits, defaulting on contracts and not being able to secure appropriate living arrangements is leaving families in distress and endangering lives.”
The associated call-to-action is to write to the Premier directly “to help him understand their challenging situations and concerns with the government’s approach”.
REIV CEO Gil King authorised the full-page advertisements, and said the campaign follows failure from the government to understand that the property sector can operate safely.
As well as appearing in newspapers across the state, the advertisement will be distributed via social media, with the REIV expecting many people to heed the message.
“Ever since the beginning of COVID-19, the REIV, on behalf of the sector, has outlined that private property inspections – residential and commercial – can occur safely,” Mr King said.
“We have made dozens upon dozens of representations to the Victorian government but are repeatedly ignored. We are determined to ensure the message gets through, and if taking a more public stance means the voices of Victorians are heard, then we are prepared to invest resources into that approach.”
Just last week, the Victorian government reported that it would look to relax real estate restrictions once 70 per cent of the state’s eligible population had received their first jab of a COVID-19 vaccine.
REIV President Leah Calnan added that: “Buyers and renters are flying blind, and sellers and rental providers aren’t able to position their asset at its best.
“Lockdown regulations that ban property inspection by private appointment are creating an unnecessary burden on the property market, impacting aspiring homeowners and mum and dad investors. Most critically, though, they’re stopping many people from being able access rental properties so they can put a roof over their heads.”
With REIV members reporting serious hardship of clients, Mr King said “suffocating a sector with unnecessary rules is already impacting the health, safety, and mental well-being of the community and we shudder at the thought of potential longer-term consequences”.
“The REIV is ready and willing to work with the Victorian government in finding the solutions that enable business to resume while ensuring the safety of all Victorians.”