COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020
The COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020 (Bill) was passed by both houses of the NSW State Parliament last night and received royal assent today. The Bill deals with a number of emergency measures, but in particular introduces a new Part 11 into the Retail Leases Act 1994 (Act).
The amendment enables regulations to be enacted in response to the pandemic:
The regulations can only be made if Parliament is not sitting, and is unlikely to sit within 2 weeks after the regulation is made and, in the Minister’s opinion, the regulation is reasonable to protect the health, safety and welfare of lessees under the Act.
Regulations made under the power expire 6 months after the regulation commences, unless Parliament resolves an earlier expiry.
So far, no regulations have been drafted or tabled. Watch this space.
Part 11 does not just apply to retail leases, but also to “any other Act relating to the leasing of premises or land for commercial purposes”. The amendment may therefore facilitate regulation under, for example, the Conveyancing Act 1919 (NSW), which deals with restrictions on, and relief against, forfeiture of both retail and commercial leases.
In addition, supermarkets are exempted from the requirement under the Retail Trading Act 2008 to be closed on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and before 1pm on Anzac Day, for 2020.
Download PDF here – COVID-19 update
25 March 2020
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is provided as personal information only. It is not intended to be legal advice and it should not be used as legal or professional advice.