COVID-19 construction measures to end in New South Wales

Weekend and public holiday work to revert to pre-pandemic settings

Australia Publication May 2021

This article was co-authored with Ann Matthias.


The extension to construction working hours implemented by the NSW Government last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will be revoked on 7 June 2021. The extension, which was enacted via the Environmental Planning and Assessment (COVID-19 Development – Construction Work Days) Order 2020 (NSW), permitted all building work and demolition work subject to a development consent to be carried out on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday without the need for approval (subject to conditions). The revocation of the extension means that construction working hours will return to their pre-pandemic settings; contractors will need to comply with conditions on the development consent that restrict the hours of work on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, or seek approval under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) for any change to those hours.

This reverses the previous extension up to 31 March 2022 that was introduced via the COVID-19 Recovery Act 2021 (NSW) (see our update on this here).

We note that the revocation does not apply to the Environmental Planning and Assessment (COVID-19 Development—Infrastructure Construction Work Days No. 2) Order 2020 (NSW) which applies to infrastructure work that is subject to:

  • a State significant infrastructure approval;
  • an approval under Division 5.1 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW); or
  • an authorisation under Part 3 of the Water Supply (Critical Needs) Act 2019 (NSW).

Subject to any further changes by the NSW Government, the extended infrastructure working hours will continue to apply until 31 March 2022.

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