The Real Estate Institute of Victoria has fired yet another forceful missive at Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, under the provocative title used above – which sounds like it could also be the opening line to a Bob Dylan song.
They note the “enormous emotional and financial distress in the community” that results from the inability to buy, sell or lease property at the moment, saying the government has “not taken the time to understand the impact of a complete lockdown of the property market on ordinary Victorians”.
They also announce the start of a public campaign urging the government to reconsider their decisions, with the hashtag #reconsider-lockdown.
“The path proposed by the Andrews’ Government jeopardises livelihoods and assets of hard-working Victorians who have abided by the rules and restrictions for over six months,” the REIV statement reads.
“Pushing families to the brink, financially and emotionally, is not the answer.
“The irreversible impact of these decisions on the mental and financial well-being of people is being ignored.
“People are unable to find appropriate housing for their families, people who have worked hard to save and build an asset are unable to sell or lease to tide over these difficult times. The examples and stories are overwhelming.
“The Real Estate Institute of Victoria has made multiple attempts to explain to the government that private one-on-one inspections can be conducted in a safe manner.
“This will allow Melburnians to buy/ sell/ rent, saving people undue emotional stress and anxiety.”
Mr Gil King, CEO of the REIV, said they have made multiple attempts to help government agencies understand how the property market works.
“We are not asking for live auctions or open house inspections,” Mr King said.
“We know these pose a risk. We have never asked for any relaxation in measures that could potentially impact the health and safety measures.
“The industry has been prepared and equipped to conduct one-on-one inspections safely. There have not been any reported instances of infection transmission through real estate practices.”
REIV President Leah Calnan said members were regularly reporting the severe hardship many of their clients are facing.
“The government needs to take the time to understand that this is about the health, safety and mental well-being of the community,” Ms Calnan said.