Section 13 Notice – Extension of statutory timelines

On 22 May 2020, a notice was issued by the Premier of Tasmania, with the approval of the State Controller, under section 13 of the COVID-19 Act. The section 13 notice is available for viewing in the Tasmanian Government Gazette – Special Gazette of 22 May 2020.

The notice provides an extension of time for a proponent to substantially commence a use or development approved by a planning permit during the COVID-19 emergency period.

How long is the extension of time and how does it apply?

A use or development must substantially commence within 2 years of a planning permit being granted, unless an extension has been granted by the local council. Extensions may be granted for up to 4 years, in 2 year increments, providing a maximum of 6 years to substantially commence.

The notice provides a further 6 month extension to any permit that had been granted the final 2 year extension possible under section 53(5)(c) of the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 before the notice came into effect. It does not apply to any permits that are granted the final 2 year extension after this date.

The 6 month extension does apply beyond the life of the notice.

Why has a 6 month extension been given to substantially commence?

The extension has been provided to assist those who may have difficulties in substantially commencing a use or development approved by a planning permit due to impacts caused by the COVID-19 emergency. This may be due to restrictions on the movement of people, limited numbers of people available to undertake the required works, or delays in obtaining finance or subsequent approvals.

An extension of 6 months is the maximum possible under section 13 of the COVID-19 Act.

How long does the notice remain in effect?

The notice will remain in effect for 12 months, unless revoked earlier.

The COVID-19 Act provides for notices to be revoked or amended. All notices are automatically revoked 60 days after the end of the emergency period as declared by the Premier.