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25 March 2020: Department of Planning, Industry and Environment news

Our COVID-19 response

The NSW Government is working with councils to support communities across the state in response to COVID-19.

New changes
New Ministerial Order power

On 25 March 2020, the NSW Government introduced the COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020, which made changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

The changes allow the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces to make an order for development to be carried out without the normal planning approval in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The list of Ministerial orders currently in force is below. The list will be updated progressively. Orders can also be found on the NSW Government Gazette.

These measures will be kept in place until the crisis is over, and reviewed as new issues arise.

Physical copies of planning documents no longer required

The COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020 removed the requirement for planning decision makers (such as councils) to display physical copies of some documents.

These documents will now be available online via the NSW Planning Portal and local council website.

Digital documents include development applications, Environmental Impact Statements on exhibition, registers of development consents, complying development certificates and construction certificates.

Current exhibition periods will be unaffected, and documentation that is required to be made physically available will be made available online for the duration of exhibition periods.

Supporting supermarket deliveries

The State Environmental Planning Policy (COVID-19 Response) allows supermarkets and other retail outlets across the State to receive deliveries 24 hours a day.

The policy overrides local planning restrictions that limit the timing and frequency of truck deliveries to ensure consistent supply of essential goods to communities right across the State.

New orders
Retail trading and operating hours and waste disposal

The Minister for Planning and Public Spaces made the Environmental Planning and Assessment (COVID-19 Development – Extended Operation) Order 2020 on 25 March 2020.

The order allows for retail premises such as supermarkets, pharmacies and corner stores to operate 24 hours per day.

This provides retailers the flexibility to adjust and extend their hours of operation to ensure that the community has easy access to food, medical supplies and essential household goods.

The order also allows for waste disposal from retail premises at any time.

Retailers that are part of hotels and motels are now also able to provide food and beverages 24 hours per day to people using their accommodation to consume in their rooms.

All other conditions still apply, and when operating outside the usual hours of operation, retailers must take steps to reduce noise.

These measures will be in place until the crisis is over, or another order is made amending these measures.

Home businesses operating hours

The Minister for Planning and Public Spaces made the Environmental Planning and Assessment (COVID-19 Development – Extended Operation) Order 2020 on 25 March 2020.

The order allows home businesses to operate 24 hours per day and to employ more than two people other than the permanent residents of the dwelling, but not more than five people, providing they can abide by social distancing rules.

All other conditions still apply, and home businesses must take steps to ensure that they have no adverse impact on the amenity of the neighbourhood including noise, smell, fumes or waste products.

These measures will be in place until the crisis is over, or another order is made amending these measures.

 

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