Small businesses in bushfire-affected communities will be able to relocate to portable offices without council approval as part of a new recovery initiative announced by the Minister responsible for Disaster Recovery.
The Minister, John Barilaro said the changes would ensure regional business owners continued to earn an income, employ local residents and support local economies.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our regional communities, and these changes will make it easier for owners to open their doors and start trading again,” Mr Barilaro said.
“This may only be a small change, but it’s one that will have a significant operational impact for the many small business owners across the state who have been devastated by these fires,” he said.
Mr Barilaro said changes to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) Amendment (Bushfire Response) 2020 would enable any existing business that sustained damage in the bushfires to operate from a portable office, such as a shipping container, for up to two years.
He said Planning Reform Fees worth an average of $320 would also be waived, along with fees for the issue of BASIX certificates for bushfire-affected residents who need to rebuild their properties.
The Minister for Finance and Small Business, Damien Tudehope said small businesses were incredibly resilient and encouraged bushfire-affected enterprises to look into the new initiative.