New Clause 52.18
The Minister for Planning has used his powers to introduce a new Clause 52.18 (State of emergency exemption) into all planning schemes to respond to the current state of emergency and the significant community demand for food and other essential goods as a result of COVID-19. Amendment VC181 was gazetted on Monday 6 April 2020.
The new Clause 52.18 will allow the delivery of food and other essential goods to occur at any time of the day to enable supermarkets, hospitals, pharmacies and other essential businesses to receive stock to meet the significant community demand. Specifically, it applies to:
- Food, drink, groceries, medicine, or cleaning, sanitising, health, hygiene, medical or personal protection equipment, supplies, or products, or the like.
- Any goods to a supermarket, market, hospital, medical centre, pharmacy, residential aged care facility or retirement village.
The exemption in Clause 52.18 will override any requirement, including condition of a planning permit or provision of the planning scheme that limits the hours or days during which goods can be dispatched, delivered, loaded or unloaded.
The exemption applies when a state of emergency declaration under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 in relation to Novel Coronavirus 2019 (2019-nCoV) is in force and for three months after. After this time, restrictions on the time of day that dispatch, delivery and loading /unloading of goods is allowed will continue to apply.
The immediate implementation of VC181 has formalised the actions that many Councils have taken to respond to the current community demands and will facilitate access to food and essential goods for all Victorians.