Daily Update

20 May

Supreme Court

The NSW Supreme Court today announced its first steps towards reopening to parties and the public, with some face-to-face civil hearings to resume on 1 June 2020, followed by criminal jury trials from 29 June 2020. Read more here.

Regional travel to restart

In a further easing of restrictions, the NSW Premier has announced that regional travel within NSW will be allowed from 1 June 2020, ahead of the June long weekend. Travellers from interstate will be able to visit NSW for a holiday from 1 June but will need to comply with the rules of their home state when returning. Read more here.

NSW transport measures

The NSW Government is encouraging employees to work remotely where possible. When accessing the CBD, employees should minimise use of public transport, especially during peak times, and, where possible, walk, drive or cycle. Transport NSW marshalling officers will assist commuters in the CBD regions to comply with COVID guidelines. More here.

Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979

New legislative changes will provide NSW councils with more flexibility to invest funds in community infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 are part of a wider range of changes made under the COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures- Miscellaneous) Act 2020. Other key amendments include extending the statutory timeframe for when a development consent lapses, doubling the time applicants have to lodge merit appeals on decisions through the Land and Environment Court (from six to 12 months), and extending the amount of time a business can remain empty before it loses its existing use rights (from one to three years). More here.

Support for stranded international students

The NSW Government will fund temporary crisis accommodation for stranded international students as part of a $20 million package protecting the vulnerable. Read here.

$400 million funding boost for health and medical research

The Federal Health Minister has announced a $400 million funding package for world-leading health and medical research projects, including $84 million for 61 new research projects in infectious diseases which could contribute to an understanding of COVID-19 and translate into new treatment strategies and trials. More here.

JobSeeker mutual obligations exemption

The Australian Government has announced it will extend the exemption on mutual obligations for job seekers up to 1 June 2020. This means no compulsory appointments, job search effort or Work for the Dole. More here.

Record drop in retail spending

Australian retail turnover fell 17.9 per cent in April 2020, seasonally adjusted, according to preliminary retail trade figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This is the strongest seasonally adjusted fall ever published from the Retail Trade survey, following the strongest ever seasonally adjusted rise in March 2020. More here.

City of Sydney COVID recovery plan

The City of Sydney Council is consulting with communities, businesses and organisations on the development of its City Recovery Plan to help inform their response to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The Council’s short survey is open until midnight on Wednesday 3 June 2020. Access here.

Golden Gavel – COVID Edition

Due to the current restrictions on mass gatherings, the Young Lawyers Golden Gavel competition is going online this year. Find out more.