Supermarkets and pharmacies will be able to operate around the clock in NSW to guarantee communities have access to essential goods at all times during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 today enabled Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes to issue his first order to override normal planning controls restricting hours of operation.
Rob Stokes“These orders cut red tape so we can move quickly and decisively to ensure the health, wellbeing and safety of our community during this time,” Mr Stokes said.
“The focus of our first order is giving people flexibility to visit their local supermarket, pharmacy or corner store at any time of day if those retail premises choose to operate for extended hours.
“This means the community will have access to food, medical supplies and essential household goods whenever they need it.
“Stores will also be able to dispose of their waste at any time of day, rather than during restricted hours, to dispose of the significant and sudden increase in stock.”
The order also provides greater flexibility for home-based businesses to operate at any time and expand their business as necessary.
“For those businesses operating out of home, we are facilitating more flexible operating hours and increasing the number of people working together from two to five, providing they can abide by the social distancing rules,” Mr Stokes said.
“This is important as more and more people work from home and need flexible working arrangements.”
Today’s move is on top of changes made last week to allow for 24/7 deliveries at supermarkets and pharmacies. The changes will be in place until the crisis is over. The order is available on NSW Planning’s website at: www.planning.nsw.gov.au/COVID19.