Research / COVID-19 Legislation Amendments

COVID-19 Legislation Amendments

The Bills can be viewed here:

COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures—Attorney General) Bill 2020

COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures—Miscellaneous) Bill 2020

COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures—Treasurer) Bill 2020

The Government is proposing a number of amendments including the following:

Treasury: The Government will provide a payroll tax exemption for Job Keeper payments made to workers who have been stood down, and for any extra wages paid to workers that earn less than the Job Keeper payment. This additional payroll tax relief will help keep people in jobs and support businesses who sign up to the Commonwealth’s Job Keeper scheme.

Planning: Amendments to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 will extend the timeframe for when a development consent lapses and when appeals can be lodged in the Land and Environment Court. The amount of time a business can remain empty before it loses its existing use rights will be extended from one to three years. These changes will provide more certainty for the community, business owners and the development industry and support NSW’s economic recovery.

Better Regulation: A series of amendments to the Strata Schemes Management Act, Community Land Management Act and Retirement Villages Act will remove the need for face-to-face meetings by allowing retirement village committees, owners’ corporations and associations in community schemes to operate electronically. Changes to the Contract Cleaning Industry Act 2010 will temporarily eradicate the 20 week waiting period, to fast track long service payments for those who have permanently left the industry after 5 years.

Local Government: Changes will allow councils to apply the rate peg more flexibly and respond to changing economic conditions such as COVID-19, bushfires and drought. The Minister will have the power to limit a council’s general income as an added safeguard against it disproportionately burdening one sector of the community (such as residential, business, agricultural or mining). Subject to certain conditions, the Government is also placing a two-year moratorium on council chambers and offices building works to ensure investment in infrastructure projects (such as roads, bridges, parks and sportsgrounds), which directly benefit the community and contribute to local economic recovery. The changes will also prevent councils taking legal action for outstanding rates for six months for ratepayers experiencing financial hardship, and provide local government workers with flexibility around leave entitlements to help councils minimise job losses and manage and retain staff.

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