Emergency COVID-19 measures pass NSW Parliament


[25 March, 2020] 20 urgent amendments have passed the NSW Parliament to ensure authorities can appropriately respond to COVID-19.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch said it was necessary for Government and business practices to change.

“COVID-19 is a once-in-a-century crisis and these vital changes are needed to stop the spread and save lives,” Mr Crouch said.

“There are a total of 20 amendments that provide more powers for Police, more flexibility in the health system, reduced restrictions for supermarket operations and relaxed planning laws.

“The Government’s $2.3 billion Stimulus Package will also help to protect jobs and protect the community through extra health spending, tax cuts and additional cleaning of public infrastructure.”

The emergency measures that have passed the NSW Parliament include:

  • –  Empowering Police to take immediate action on suspected breaches of COVID-19 public health orders.
  • –  More flexibility for NSW Health to use private health facilities whenurgently required to better manage the flu season and COVID-19.
  • –  Reducing the number of people required to physically attend court.
  • –  Allowing potential conditional release of vulnerable, low-risk offenders if theCOVID-19 threat increases.
  • –  Changes to planning laws that ensure any development that protectscommunity health, welfare and safety can proceed without normal approvals.
  • –  Allowing supermarkets to stock their shelves around the clock andremain open through the Easter long weekend and ANZAC Day.
  • –  Allowing councils to hold meetings electronically, rather than physically.
  • –  Extending the renewal date of Working With Children Check (WWCC)clearances that are due to expire in the next six months.

The Bill gained assent on Wednesday March 25, 2020 and will be active immediately for 6 months with a six month extension option.

Source: Media Release Adam Crouch, Wednesday March 25, 2020. NSW Parliamentary archive.