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New planning rules announced in response to COVID-19

Published on 02 April 2020

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has announced a range of new planning rules in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Construction hours extended

Under the new rules, construction sites will be able to operate on weekends and public holidays as a way of supporting the construction industry during the outbreak.

The department said the extension of hours for construction sites allows workers to abide by social distancing rules while keeping construction projects progressing by allowing building work to be spread across more days of the week.

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Planning rules relaxed for food trucks and ‘dark kitchens’

Food trucks and ‘dark kitchens’ will now be easier to set up and operate under the new planning rules.

Food trucks will now be able to operate on any land, at any time, providing they have the landowner’s consent.

Dark kitchens will also be able to operate in any existing commercial kitchen, provided they can abide by social distancing rules.

Dark kitchens – also known as virtual kitchens, cloud kitchens or ghost kitchens – cook meals solely for delivery, rather than for eating-in. 

These businesses are seen as a viable option to offer additional food delivery options for the increasing number of people working from home, or could be used to produce greater quantities of meals for people in quarantine, or in medical, health or aged care facilities.

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Last updated on 22 April 2020