Coronavirus (COVID-19) and your rights

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Restrictions have eased in Victoria from 11:59pm Sunday 22 November. We will update this page as more information becomes available.

Read the Premier's statement for the summary of updates.

This page sets out rights and responsibilities in line with current health advice. Read more about the Roadmap for reopening at Coronavirus (COVID-19) Victoria.

For information about how areas we regulate are affected, see the links on this page.

Property

Renting

Visit Renting laws and support – Coronavirus Victoria.

Inspections and auctions

Visit Rental hiring and real estate services sector guidance – Coronavirus Victoria.

Licensed and registered businesses

Victoria’s roadmap for reopening currently applies. You must follow the restrictions on public gatherings in outdoor public spaces. Up to 50 people may gather from any number of households (children under 12 months of age are not included in the limit).

If current restrictions affect your ability to hold a meeting, see the information in this section.

For more detail, visit the Roadmap for reopening at Coronavirus (COVID-19) Victoria.

 

If you need to hold a meeting, you can:

  • use a teleconference, videoconference or other means of electronic communication.
    The Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 (the Act) permits members to take part in general meetings by using technology that allows members to clearly and simultaneously communicate with each other, regardless of the incorporated association's rules about this. The Act also permits meetings of the committee of an incorporated association to be conducted by use of technology that allows members to clearly and simultaneously communicate with each other.
  • use proxy voting. You must use a standard form to proxy vote if the rules of the incorporated association require you to do so. Members must be given a copy of the form with the notice of the AGM/Special General Meeting. A person acting as a proxy must act honestly and in good faith and exercise due care and diligence
  • apply for an extension of time to hold the AGM. The Registrar is currently granting three-month extensions and waiving the usual fee. To seek an extension, complete our Extension of time to hold an AGM or lodge financial statements form (Word, 97 KB) and send it to cav.registration@justice.vic.gov.au.

If your co-operative is scheduled to hold a meeting (subject to its rules), you should choose an alternative approach to ensure you are complying with relevant restrictions.

You must adhere to the requirements of the rules of the co-operative and the Co-operatives National Law (Victoria) (CNL), if you:

  • use alternative means to hold meetings including teleconference or video conference. The CNL permits directors to hold board meetings or transact co-operative business outside physical meetings by the use of technology that allows the board to clearly and simultaneously communicate and share documents with each other. Meetings of the board can also be held by circulation of papers without the board members being physically present together. Circulation of papers can occur by use of technology.
  • use proxy voting or postal ballot. The rules of some co-operatives permit the use of proxy voting and/or postal ballot. It is strongly advised that prior to acting under any of these provisions, a co-operative seeks independent legal advice to ensure the board is acting in accordance with its regulatory requirements.
  • apply for an extension of time to hold your AGM. The Registrar will approve an extension of up to three months and waive any usual fee. To apply, complete the Application for extension or shortening of time form (Word, 128 KB) and submit to cav.registration@justice.vic.gov.au.

You must hold annual general meetings (AGMs) or other meetings by teleconference or other remote technology.

Some matters do not need an AGM and can be resolved by ballot. You can conduct a ballot by:

  • post
  • telephone
  • internet
  • fax
  • other electronic communication.

Owners corporations should also consider what powers and functions they can delegate to the committee and/or manager. This can ensure effective administration between meetings.

Owners corporations should consider limiting the use of their power to decide that certain matters can only be dealt with at a general meeting. This will help provide flexibility for decision-making while physical distancing is needed.

For general information, view Meetings and committees.

Shared facilities in apartments and multi-dwelling properties

Information for residents and managers of apartments and multi-dwelling properties with shared facilities is available at Apartments and multi-dwelling properties – coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Department of Health and Human Services website.

If you cannot postpone a meeting, you can meet remotely via a:

  • teleconference
  • videoconference.

Managers should contact residents as soon as possible to agree on a preferred approach.

For the most up-to-date information on restrictions, visit Industry restriction levels at Coronavirus (COVID-19) Victoria.

Products and services

Most Victorian consumers and businesses do the right thing. We urge buyers and sellers to consider the impact of excessive pricing and panic buying. We support measures to ensure supply and demand of products is fair for everyone.

Consumers and businesses must comply with the requirement to wear a fitted face mask.

We encourage all businesses to set fair prices during this emergency.

Businesses can legally set their own prices, but must not mislead consumers about the reason for increased pricing. Excessive pricing by a business may be found to be unconscionable if the product is critical to help save or protect vulnerable consumers. This would make the high prices illegal. See our information about Price rip-offs.

Private sales are not covered by Australian Consumer Law. Private sellers can legally list face masks, hand sanitiser and toilet paper on classified sites for significantly more than they sell for in stores.

We urge consumers not to pay exorbitant amounts to people reselling important sanitary products. Retailers are aiming to keep shelves stocked with important products for those who need them.

If an event cannot go ahead due to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, this may be a ‘frustrated contract’. This means it is impossible to carry out the contract due to events beyond the control of all parties. In this situation, consumers are entitled to a refund for any services not provided. Organisers may deduct reasonable expenses they have already incurred. Organisers should have clear refund policies and processes, to ensure they meet their obligations.

We recommend buying tickets from ‘authorised sellers’. Tickets sold by unauthorised sellers are not always legitimate. This could make it difficult to get a refund in the event of a cancellation. If purchasing online, use a secure connection.

Insurance may provide further protection for consumers who cannot attend an event due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Check any exclusions carefully, as many policies do not cover ‘known events’.

Many public sporting events cannot go ahead due to coronavirus (COVID-19). A consumer’s first step should be to check any membership or ticket terms and conditions for the seller’s refund policy.

With sports memberships, a range of services may be offered as part of that membership. Each club should clarify which services are being cancelled because they can no longer be provided. This may be a ‘frustrated contract’. In this situation, consumers are entitled to a refund for any services not provided. Clubs may deduct reasonable expenses they have already incurred.

There is a significant increase in malicious activity surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19), including misinformation made to appear to be from trusted sources such as government agencies and media outlets.

Protect yourself against online scammers, by following these quick tips:

  • Do not reveal personal or financial information in emails, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
  • Use trusted sources—such as legitimate, government websites—for up-to-date, fact-based information about coronavirus (COVID-19): dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus
  • Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations: acnc.gov.au/charity

You can report a potential scam via our Report a scam page. Learn more about current coronavirus (COVID-19) scams from the Scamwatch website.

For accurate information about coronavirus (COVID-19), use the: