20 March 2020
Given the uncertainty taking place worldwide as a result of COVID-19, the Queensland Government has introduced various statutory amendments to the planning legislation in order to assist communities and industries during this time.
Urgent amendments to Queensland’s planning framework have been made to extend operating hours to 24 hours a day in response to supply chain demands, to issue ‘temporary use licences’ ensuring important services may continue to be provided to the community, and to allow for the suspension or extension of statutory timeframes.
Amendments to the Planning Act 2016 (Qld) allow the Minister to declare an ‘applicable event’, which is not necessarily limited to the increasing COVID-19 emergency, but could also apply to natural disasters (eg. bushfires).
The Minister has already declared an ‘applicable event’ from 20 March 2020 to 20 June 2020 for the COVID-19 emergency, a copy of which is available here.
During an ‘applicable event period’:
Similar amendments have also been made to the Economic Development Act 2012 (Qld), to provide similar powers for priority development areas.
The Public Health and Other Legislation (Public Health Emergency) Amendment Act 2020 (Qld) was introduced and passed by Parliament on 18 March 2020, and rapidly came into force on 19 March 2020.
This approach by the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning in welcomed and responds to a potential scenario where industry, government or the community may be significantly affected by measures introduced to combat COVID-19, such as self-isolation and a work‑from‑home workforce. The amendments are considered imperative to ensure that important services remain available and accessible to the Queensland community.
This publication is introductory in nature. Its content is current at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should always obtain legal advice based on your specific circumstances before taking any action relating to matters covered by this publication. Some information may have been obtained from external sources, and we cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such information.