On 23 April 2020, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020 (Qld) (COVID Emergency Act) commenced in Queensland. Amongst other things, the COVID Emergency Act enables the making of regulations under Acts for particular relevant matters, including for an Act that requires the publication or display of a notice or advertisement for a particular purpose.
On 26 June 2020, pursuant to that regulation-making power, the Planning (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020 (Qld) (COVID Emergency Planning Regulation) commenced. It applies to development applications and change applications made under the Planning Act 2016 (Qld) (Planning Act) for which public notification must be undertaken, where notification has not been given prior to its commencement.
The COVID Emergency Planning Regulation has the following effects:
The option of giving notice to the occupiers of each lot in the “identified area” is interesting because it departs from the ordinary requirement under the DA Rules to give notice to owners of land adjoining the proposed development.
Looking at the COVID Emergency Planning Regulation definition, it states that “Identified area, for a development application or change application, means an area identified by the assessment manager for the application as having occupiers that are likely to be interested in the application.” Three aspects of this definition are novel for present purposes:
The COVID Emergency Planning Regulation also sets out temporary arrangements regarding public access to documents for those who must or may keep relevant documents for inspection and purchase, and those who request to inspect those documents.
The COVID Emergency Planning Regulation is due to expire on 31 December 2020, unless extended prior.
Author: Andrew Magoffin
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