Section 18 Notice – Authorisation for meetings not to be held in public

On 3 April 2020, a notice was issued by the Premier of Tasmania, with the approval of the State Controller, under section 18 of the COVID-19 Act. The section 18 notice is available for viewing in the Tasmanian Government Gazette – Special Gazette of 3 April 2020.

The notice provides for alternate arrangements for local council meetings that are required to be held in public, including when acting as a planning authority under the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993.

What are the alternate meeting arrangements for local councils?

The notice provides for local council meetings, including while acting as a planning authority, to not be held in public provided:

  • an electronic recording of the meeting is made available on the council’s website for viewing by the public; and
  • the recording is made available, as far as practicable, for viewing at the time of the meeting being held.

Providing alternative arrangements for local council meetings are important for allowing continuity of business, particularly with the current restrictions on the movement of people and the need for social distancing. It also provides reasonable opportunities for the public to view the meeting proceedings.

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.