Author Topic: How far can I go  (Read 464 times)

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Offline Goshen

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How far can I go
« on: May 12, 2020, 03:27:18 PM »
OK, I don't want to start an all in argument but here goes.

I live in Cairns and was in the process of building a livable shed (in preparation for building a house on site) near Bundaberg (about 1400 km's away ) when this whole Covid thing started - so I packed up and came home. BTW .....I have given up my original paid job to complete this whole project so consider this my job.

My building approval will lapse soon if I don't get it finished and ready for inspection and I have about a week or two of work left before I can move in and make a start on a house.
I heard of a number of people travelling for work and other reasons such as collecting caravans etc around Qld so I decided to see if it was permissible for me to get back on site and get it finished.
I'm not looking for a loophole or trying to cheat the system...I really want a definitive answer and the piece of legislation it comes from so I can if needs be make some alternative plans......and that seems to be the sticking point.

I have spoken to both Qld Health and the Policelink  regarding their interpretation of the legislation and cant seem to get a definitive Yes/No answer. It seems shrouded in mystery and down to the interpretation of the policeman who pulls me over on the day to discuss my intentions.

I have read and re-read every piece of directive that I can find and have found this in a document titled "Home Confinement, Movement and Gathering Direction (No. 4)" issued on May 8.

6.   A person who resides in Queensland must not leave their principal place of residence except for, and only to the extent reasonably necessary to accomplish, the following permitted purposes:
e.   to perform work or volunteering, or carry out or conduct an essential business, activity or undertaking, and the work, business activity or undertaking to be performed is of a nature that cannot reasonably be performed from the person’s principal place of residence

and this in the definitions of the same directive:

22.   Essential business, activity or undertaking means a business, activity or undertaking that is not prohibited by the Non-Essential Business, Activity and Undertaking Closure Direction #8, or its successor, or another Public Health Direction. (This is the list of business's that cannot trade such as cafe's, bars brothels and nail parlours etc (and building work isn't listed as non-essential))

The current travel restrictions in terms of distance (50 km )apply to recreational travel not to work travel...which I interpret my situation as being.
I went to the local Police station and was told "yes of course you can, keep your building approval handy and such things as rates notices and off you go ....but you're on your own if a highway patrolman further down the road see's it differently"

Can anyone offer a definitive answer supported by a reference to a specific piece of legislation ...please ?

Cheers

G


Offline Rodt

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Re: How far can I go
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2020, 03:49:36 PM »
Not in Qld but i reckon you have got a good case. Not much you can do in hardly any circumstances though if you get a little dictator in a uniform.

I think the key is in this statement

22.   Essential business, activity or undertaking means a business, activity or undertaking that is not prohibited by the Non-Essential Business, Activity and Undertaking

If the authorities can't help though you will be taking a chance

Offline loanrangie

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Re: How far can I go
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2020, 04:13:12 PM »
I'd be seeking an extension due to the current situation.
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Offline Bird

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Re: How far can I go
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2020, 04:21:51 PM »
What chance is there for the average person if the authorities cant give you a straight answer....  ??? :'( :'( ???

Send email to your local member, or go see them.
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Offline Spada

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Re: How far can I go
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2020, 04:49:20 PM »
I' aint a legel person, but it seems fairly straight forward to me -
Quote
e.   to perform work or volunteering, or carry out or conduct an essential business, activity or undertaking, and the work, business activity or undertaking to be performed is of a nature that cannot reasonably be performed from the person’s principal place of residence

My take is that it is an essential undertaking, as the work needs to be completed prior to the permit lapsing, and certainly can not be done from home. Potentially also might fall into the "moving house" category as you are preparing your new place for habitation.

Again, thats just opinion, not legal advice. I'd suspect anyone getting caught falling foul of the regs is doing something that otherwise draws attention to them selves ?
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Offline Goshen

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Re: How far can I go
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2020, 05:16:14 PM »
I was thinking of getting an extension but when I heard of people travelling ,seemingly willie nillie, up and down the coast I thought Id look into it.

I think its pretty clear that what I want to do falls into the essential work definition too, but Bird you're dead right when you say if the authorities cant give you a straight answer then me, as a mere mortal, has no hope of getting it right.

I know a lot of people have suffered much worse financial hardship than this will cause us ...but if I don't need to lose money sitting round doing sweet fa then Id rather not.

Thanks for your replies.

G


Offline Pete79

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Re: How far can I go
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2020, 06:41:24 PM »
It seems shrouded in mystery and down to the interpretation of the policeman who pulls me over on the day to discuss my intentions.
That’s what it all boils down to.
And fortunately here in QLD the odds are exceptionally good that the only coppers you’ll pass between your old place and your new place will be sitting on the side of the road, in the aircon, taking photos.... ;D

Seriously though, my personal opinion is that you fit several of the criteria to be on the road.
If it was me, I would be doing what I needed to do to build my new place. It would be very easy to pled your case to anyone that questions your movements.

Offline Bird

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Re: How far can I go
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2020, 06:50:52 PM »
If you get pulled over, do they let you continue? or do they send you back?

I guess I'm with Pete on this, go do what you gotta do.. maybe at 3am ;)
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Offline rags

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Re: How far can I go
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2020, 07:05:03 PM »
A few things to consider here.
1st one have you started any work on the property? A building permit will not expire if you have made a start. Any time frame for a building permit can also be extended if needed.
Also you will find that time frame under the  planning act may be suspended soon if not already enacted..
If you have doubt about your permit speak with your building certifier

2nd issue is you are working in an essential industry (building) so you can continue to do so regardless if you need to travel and stay as part of that project.

So my tip is get out there and get building. If travelling  it maybe wise to carry some details of the job you are heading to like plans etc

Offline Goshen

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Re: How far can I go
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2020, 07:19:02 PM »
Perhaps I didnt  word that quite right ...apologies if I didn't - From the certifier ...the development approval will lapse by a date 6 months after it was issued if I don't file a Form 58 for inspection or apply for an extension...like I said earlier the job is 8 parts done and I really want to get it habitable so that I can get on with the house and have a few creature comforts while I'm doing it.

Buggered if I know about being turned back by the police, Id hate to get to Gin Gin and get told to turn around !! That could result in a news headline !!!
I'm thinking Ill go and get on with it....despite having my camper in tow drawing attention to myself !!!!
 
What it does do is highlights the lack of clarity and communication of guidelines to the average joe.

Ive had one bloke up here who is a lawyer say that a number of the restrictions are not actually legislated (rather they are please dont's) and wouldn't stand up to closer legal scrutiny....however I'm not inclined to test that out....

As far as the number of law enforcement officers on the Bruce Highway I gotta agree Pete that I have done the trip many times and have seen minimal presence from them.

Cheers

G

Offline rags

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Re: How far can I go
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2020, 07:58:14 PM »
 Goshen, you will be fine regarding the timeframes, I sure the certifier will learn this soon.

The Qld govt has recently passed the PHOLA bill, amongst a few bills. The PHOLA bill  was in response to the Covid 19 pandemic and amends various Acts including the planning Act, freezing mandatory time frames of that Act. The parliament sits again next week where further amendments are proposed to acts such as the building act.

In any case you can still apply for an extension of time beyond the  period provided by the PHOLA bill but as I have said above I don’t believe necessary at this time of Covid 19

If you want some night time reading you can read here
https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/sitting-dates/latest-sitting-dates

« Last Edit: May 12, 2020, 08:02:09 PM by rags »

Offline Goshen

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Re: How far can I go
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2020, 08:35:30 PM »
Thanks Rags, I'll have a look see.  I'm going to make up my mind later this week and I will definitely have a talk to the certifier first.
I do have a bit of time up my sleeve as there is not too much left to get it habitable.
 
It is as much a case of if possible, without bending the rules, carrying on with the project....while I appreciate the need to do my bit to help contain the risk
I don't want to waste time unnecessarily .... life could be short  ;D

Cheers

G