Rules for areas outside metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire

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A State of Emergency and State of Disaster have been declared in Victoria due to the serious risk to public health posed by coronavirus (COVID-19). This page sets out rights and responsibilities in areas we are receiving increased enquiries about. We are reviewing the information on this page in light of restrictions announced on 2 August. For the latest information about the Stay at Home and Restricted Activities directions, visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.

These are the current restrictions for areas outside of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire. If you live in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire, different restrictions apply to you.

See Rules for restricted areas – metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire or Renting rules and support during the moratorium

Property

These are the current restrictions for areas outside of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire. If you live in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire, different restrictions apply to you.

Auctions

You should keep 1.5 metres between yourself and others and practise good hygiene, with regular hand washing and hand sanitising. If you feel unwell, even if you have tested negative for coronavirus (COVID-19), you should stay at home.

Under the Deputy Chief Health Officer's directions, estate agents may organise an auction for sale of a residential property if the following additional conditions are met:

  1. The auction is attended in person by no more than 20 members of the public (excluding the owners or residents of the property and anyone reasonably required to facilitate the auction).
  2. The estate agent does not permit the number of members of the public in a single undivided indoor space to exceed the density quotient.
  3. The estate agent meets the requirements for requesting and keeping records in the Restricted Activity Directions (No 12). For every person who attends for longer than 15 minutes (including the estate agent's staff), the agent must:
    • request their first name and contact phone number
    • if provided by the person, record those details with the date and time they attended
    • keep a record of these details for 28 days
    • take reasonable action to protect any personal information collected from use or disclosure other than as requested by an authorised officer under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 and destroy the information as soon as reasonably practicable after 28 days (unless permitted or required to retain it).

Note that a person who lives in the Stay at Home restricted areas may only attend an auction remotely.

People with coronavirus (COVID-19) or close contacts of those with coronavirus (COVID-19) must stay at home and can only attend the auction remotely via teleconference or video conference.

Other interested people may also attend remotely.

Inspections for lease and sale

You should keep 1.5 metres between yourself and others and practise good hygiene, with regular hand washing and hand sanitising. If you feel unwell, even if you have tested negative for coronavirus (COVID-19), you should stay at home.

Under the Deputy Chief Health Officer’s directions, an estate agent may organise an inspection of a residential property for the purposes of a prospective sale or rental of the property, if the following additional conditions are met:

  1. The estate agent does not permit more than 20 members of the public to enter the premises at any one time (excluding the owners or residents of the property and anyone reasonably required to facilitate the inspection). Note that a person who lives in the Stay at Home restricted areas may only attend a private inspection.
  2. The estate agent does not permit the number of members of the public in a single undivided indoor space to exceed the density quotient.
  3. The estate agent meets the requirements for requesting and keeping records in the Restricted Activity Directions (No 12). For every person who attends for longer than 15 minutes (including the estate agent's staff), the agent must:
    • request their first name and contact phone number
    • if provided by the person, record those details with the date and time they attended
    • keep a record of these details for 28 days.
    • take reasonable action to protect any personal information collected from use or disclosure other than as requested by an authorised officer under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 and destroy the information as soon as reasonably practicable after 28 days (unless permitted or required to retain it).

The restrictions and requirements in relation to open retail facilities apply to display homes, regardless of whether the property is intended to be used for residential or commercial purposes.

Some not-for-profit agencies may help eligible tenants in financial crisis. For initial advice and referral to a financial counsellor, visit the National Debt Helpline website.

The Tenancy Assistance and Advocacy Program (TAAP) can make a referral where appropriate. It supports tenants who are financially disadvantaged and vulnerable, and have certain specified tenancy issues.

On 18 March 2020, the Victorian Government announced almost $6 million for Victorian homelessness organisations. The funding will help protect Victorians at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you need urgent help with housing, contact the Department of Health and Human Services’ housing assistance team. Call 1800 825 955 (free call, 24 hours) or visit the HousingVic website.

Licensed and registered businesses

This section sets out rights and responsibilities for people and businesses outside of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire who have been impacted by Stay at Home restrictions.

Due to the changing nature of circumstances in Victoria, we will update this information as often as possible. For information about the impact of the new restrictions that apply to Stay at Home restricted areas, across metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, from 11.59pm on 8 July 2020, go to Rules for restricted areas - metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.

These are the current restrictions for areas outside of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire. If you live in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire, different restrictions apply to you.

If your club or association is scheduled to hold a meeting, you must follow the restrictions on gatherings in place.

Holding a meeting

Under the Deputy Chief Health Officer's directions, up to 10 people can hold a public gathering such as a meeting in a public place. Up to five people can hold a private gathering, such as a meeting held at an association member’s home. This limit does not include any people who ordinarily reside at the premises.

Where a meeting is held in a facility such as a community or a physical recreation facility, a range of other restrictions and requirements will also apply.

People at gatherings should keep 1.5 metres between themselves and others and practise good hygiene, with regular hand washing and hand sanitising. If you feel unwell, even if you have tested negative for coronavirus (COVID-19), you should stay at home. For more information, see Social gatherings - Department of Health and Human Services.

If you re unable to satisfy these requirements and 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.

Financial statements

If this emergency makes it difficult to engage an independent accountant or auditor to review your financial statements, you may request 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.

These are the current restrictions for areas outside of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire. If you live in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire, different restrictions apply to you.

If your co-operative needs to hold a meeting, you can do so but must continue to follow the restrictions on gatherings.

Under the Deputy Chief Health Officer's directions, up to 10 people can hold a public gathering such as a meeting in a public place.

Up to five people can hold a private gathering, such as a meeting held at a member’s home. This limit does not include any people who ordinarily reside at the premises.

Where a meeting is held in a facility such as a community or a physical recreation facility, a range of other restrictions and requirements will also apply.

Attendees should keep 1.5 metres between themselves and others and practise good hygiene, with regular hand washing and hand sanitising. If you feel unwell, even if you have tested negative for coronavirus, you should stay at home. For more information, see Social gatherings - Department of Health and Human Services.

If you are unable to satisfy these requirements and your co-operative needs to meet in order to comply with its rules and the Co-operatives National Law (Victoria) (CNL), you can:

  • 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.

Having your financial statements reviewed or audited

If you are experiencing difficulties engaging an independent accountant or auditor to review your financial statements, you may also seek an extension.

To seek an extension please complete the Application for extension or shortening of time form (Word, 128 KB) and submit to cav.registration@justice.vic.gov.au.

These are the current restrictions for areas outside of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire. If you live in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire, different restrictions apply to you

Annual general meetings and other meetings

Restrictions still apply on gatherings for annual general meetings (AGMs) or any other meetings.

Under the Deputy Chief Health Officer's directions, up to 10 people can hold a public gathering such as a meeting in a public place. 

Up to five people can hold a private gathering, such as a meeting held at a member’s home. This limit does not include any people who ordinarily reside at the premises.

Depending on where the meeting is held, a range of other restrictions and requirements will also apply.

Attendees should keep 1.5 metres between themselves and others and practise good hygiene, with regular hand washing and hand sanitising. If you feel unwell, even if you have tested negative for coronavirus, you should stay at home. For more information, see Social gatherings - Department of Health and Human Services.

If you are unable to satisfy these requirements and your owners corporation needs to meet, you must hold the meeting 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.

Payment of owners corporation manager annual registration fee

A registered owners corporation manager must pay the prescribed annual registration fee to the Business Licensing Authority (BLA) on the anniversary of the date the manager was last registered.

If you are facing financial hardship and cannot pay your annual registration fee, you can apply for a six-month extension prior to the due date by emailing information@bla.vic.gov.au. There is no fee associated with the extension application.

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.

These are the current restrictions for areas outside of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire. If you live in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire, different restrictions apply to you.  

Holding meetings

Under the Deputy Chief Health Officer's directions, up to 10 people can hold a public gathering such as a meeting in a public place. 

Up to five people can hold a private gathering, such as a meeting held at a resident's home. This limit does not include any people who ordinarily reside at the premises.

Depending on where the meeting is held, a range of other restrictions and requirements may also apply.

Attendees should keep 1.5 metres between themselves and others and practise good hygiene, with regular hand washing and hand sanitising. If you feel unwell, even if you have tested negative for coronavirus, you should stay at home. For more information, see Social gatherings - Department of Health and Human Services.

If you are unable to satisfy these requirements and 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.

A person who owns, controls or operates a brothel or sex-on-premises venue, must not operate that facility.

The most up-to-date information on restrictions in Victoria is available on the Department of Health and Human Services website.

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.

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: