The COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020 received Royal Assent this week in the Victorian Parliament.
The Bill “temporarily amends certain Acts and temporarily empowers the making of regulations for the purpose of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Of interest to the development industry are the following amendments:
Planning and Environment Act 1987
- Clarification that public Panel Hearings can occur utilising video conferencing technology.
- Planning permit and amendment documents must be made available on the designated entity’s website to satisfy the requirement to make documents available for public inspection.
Local Government Act 2020
- Enables council meetings to occur with the use of video conferencing technology.
The Planning Institute of Australia has welcomed both the amendments stating that they “are consistent with our advocacy principle that the planning system must continue to function remotely and efficiently, and the acknowledgement by Government that planning has a crucial role in supporting and stimulating economic recovery (another PIA advocacy principle)”.
With the Act changes dealt with, the PIA are calling for all agencies involved in the planning system to prioritise investment in technology to enable the planning system to operate as efficiently as possible.
EDQ Town Planning continues to operate throughout the current COVID-19 climate and encourage anyone looking to undertake a development of any sort to contact us to discuss your requirements.