State Government Planning Reforms and COVID Protocols

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the State Government have introduced a series of changes to the local and state planning legislation, frameworks and schemes.

These changes aim to remove barriers within the planning system to support businesses and enable flexible responses in a changing environment.

On 8 April 2020 the Minister for Planning issued a Notice of Exemption in response to COVID-19 which outlines a range of temporary exemptions from certain approvals and requirements, including for the following:

  • Businesses seeking to adapt by changing their current approved use and associated temporary works.
  • Restaurants and cafés required to sell takeaway in contravention of current planning conditions.
  • People operating their businesses from their homes in residential zones.
  • A two-year time frame extension for all current development approvals.
  • Parking shortfalls associated with non-residential development.
  • Businesses needing to change signs.
  • Companies needing to deliver goods but currently with restricted loading and unloading times.
  • Parking commercial vehicles on residential properties.
  • Medical or health-related facilities required in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please note that the above listed exemptions have associated conditions and are only temporary in nature. 90 days after the current (COVID-19) State of Emergency ends, these exemptions will no longer be applicable.

On 30 April 2020 the Minister for Planning issued an updated version of the Notice of Exemption. The updated Notice of Exemption is largely consistent with the notice released on 8 April 2020, but includes additional clarification and minor changes. For more information, please refer to the State Government COVID-19 Planning Changes Information online.