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The Environmental Planning and Assessment (Covid-19 Development – Construction Work Days) Order 2020 (NSW) (Building Order) and the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Covid-19 Development – Infrastructure Construction Work Days) Order 2020 (NSW) (Infrastructure Order) took effect on 2 April 2020 and 9 April 2020 respectively.

The Orders permit the carrying out of building work or work or the demolition of a building or a work in New South Wales on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday (Work) where there is:

  • in the case of the Building Order, a development consent or complying development certificate in place, and
  • in the case of the Infrastructure Order, a State significant infrastructure approval, an approval granted in relation to an activity the subject of environmental assessment or an authorisation under the Water Supply (Critical Needs) Act 2019 (NSW) in place.

“Building work” means any physical activity involved in the erection of a building. The work or operation on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday must:

  • comply with any conditions of the consent, certificate, approval or authorisation that restrict the hours of work or operation on any other day as if the conditions applied to work or operation on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, and
  • not involve the carrying out of rock breaking, rock hammering, sheet piling, pile driving or similar activities during the hours of work or operation that would not be permitted but for the relevant Order. 

The Work is also subject to a condition in each Order that all feasible and reasonable measures must be taken to minimise noise.

Parties to building, construction and infrastructure works and demolition contracts in NSW and parties entering into such contracts should consider the impact of the Orders on those contracts. The Orders will be relevant to the application of contractual provisions regarding working hours and days, extensions of time, acceleration and changes in law.

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