New NSW COVID-19 Recovery Act 2021
Thursday 25 March 2021 @ 2.30 p.m. | Legal Research
On 25 March 2021, the COVID-19 Recovery Act 2021 (NSW) received assent as Act 5 of 2021. The Bill was originally introduced by NSW Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, to the Legislative Assembly on 16 March 2021, and passed through Parliament with amendments on 24 March 2021.
The Act makes extensive amendments to more than 30 pieces of NSW legislation and repeals the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery (COVID-19) Regulation 2020 (No 578 of 2020).
Object of the Act
As outlined in the Bill Digest, the purpose of the Act:
The Treasurer also referred to previous legislation which was introduced to address COVID-19 challenges, and the need for:
He also noted in his speech:
“[the] bill therefore proposes to temporarily extend emergency measures by up to 12 months. The extensions will help with continued management of the pandemic as well as our longer-term economic recovery”.
Brief Overview of the Amendments
The Act outlines extended emergency measures which include amendments to the following legislation with the aim to “extend provisions for conducting meetings, medical examinations, and mandatory questioning by audio or video link”:
- Associations Incorporation Act 2009;
- Strata Schemes Management Act 2015;
- Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016;
- Crown Land Management Act 2016; and
- Mental Health Act 2007.
Other amendments contained in the Act extend emergency provisions for only six months, with a possibility of further extension by regulation – for example, certain sections of the following Acts:
- Long Service Leave Act 1955
- Annual Holidays Act 1944
- Industrial Relations Act 1996
- Retirement Villages Act 1999
The Act also includes provisions designed to “support the transition back to normal commercial and residential tenancy laws” following the repeal of previous emergency measures.
These provisions include certain preserved protections for commercial tenants under the Retail Leases Act 1994, as well as new amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act 2010.
In the Treasurer's second reading speech to Parliament, he commented:
Legislation Review Committee
The Legislation Review Committee (the “Committee”) noted in their March 2021 report:
The Committee also recognises that a flexible repeal date for these provisions may be desirable, as the Treasurer suggested in “recognising the uncertainty of the duration of the pandemic”.
TimeBase is an independent, privately owned Australian legal publisher specialising in the online delivery of accurate, comprehensive and innovative legislation research tools including LawOne and unique Point-in-Time Products. Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice and does not substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.
COVID-19 Recovery Act 2021 [NSW] - Bill and supporting information available from TimeBase's LawOne Service