08.05.2020 at 00:56
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NSW health directions still not relaxed for real estate

Update: The NSW government has now published the new direction allowing auctions and home inspections. It is here.



On 3 May 2020 the NSW government announced that it would be relaxing restrictions on real estate industry. In their press release Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said “traditional property inspections and on-site auctions would be allowed from this weekend” (i.e. tomorrow 9 May 2020).

 

But as at 11.00 AM on 8 May 2020, there is still no amended public health direction in place. Instead, the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 amended last amended on 1 May 2020 remains intact on the NSW government’s legislation website. Under paragraph 7 (3) (b) of that order Minister Hazzard has directed that a person must not:

“(a) conduct an open inspection of premises for the purposes of the sale or lease of the premises but a person may show a single person the premises after the person has made an appointment for that purpose, (b) conduct an auction at which persons attend in person (except an auction for food supply or a fibre or crop auction).”

 

In this bizarre world of legislation by press release, if the government fails to amend the direction by the weekend it seems unlikely that even the officious NSW police will seek to enforce the current direction. But if they do, all we can suggest is that you have a copy of the press release to hand to dissuade the plods from issuing you with an infringement notice. If you get one anyway, the existence of the press release will probably furnish you with some ammunition should you choose to contest the fine. Good luck!

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