Many temporary initiatives introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic are now here to stay – with a ministerial statement from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment estimating an additional $3.1 billion net economic benefit over the next 10 years, with some sustainability benefits as well, as far as we can gather. 

Treasurer Matt Kean announced that the temporary regulations, including flexibility of meetings and digitalisation of processes, had proven to be popular and effective and, after consultation and evaluation, it made sense to retain them.

The initiatives include digitalisation of paper processes, allowing remote meetings, greater flexibility for home business operations, allowing greater use of food trucks and ‘dark kitchens’ (delivery-only kitchens without a storefront), and giving workers more flexibility over their long service leave. Flexibility and digitalisation also means fewer greenhouse gas emissions and reduced paper usage.

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