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UPDATED: Contractual dates – cancellation of public holidays

The Queensland Government has cancelled the Royal Queensland Show public holidays originally scheduled in Brisbane on 11 August 2021 and in the Moreton Bay Region and Scenic Rim Regional Council areas on 9 August 2021.

See notification by gazette under the Holidays Act 1983.

The cancellation may affect the calculation of critical dates under a contract, such as the settlement date and the dates of conditions in relation to building and pest, finance, etc.  For the REIQ contract for Residential Houses & Land, clause 10.5 is relevant.

Solicitors will need to scrutinise each file to determine the impact of the cancellation. The cancellation may also affect contracts which are not due for immediate settlement or settlement within a reasonable time. 

Solicitors are reminded that it is important to act upon instructions from the client about dates that are now affected by the cancellation of the public holiday. Solicitors should consider whether they need to seek instructions from their client/s as to how the parties will deal with any change in date calculations.  

The approach will depend on the matter and the client’s instructions. It may mean that clients, through their solicitors, will confirm any of the existing arrangements (with time to remain of the essence) or agree to the alteration of time calculations due to the public holiday cancellation. For conveyancing matters, broadly, this is likely to mean parties have the option to either (a) agree with the other party to an extension of time (for example, to the day after the usual public holiday) or (b) if there is no other agreement, advise the client that the date will change to be a day earlier. 

Clients should also be advised of the risk of not being ready to settle or obtaining finance/building/other by the earlier date.

If you are insured with Lexon, Lexon has also released risk alert 3 of 2021/22 (5 August 2021) which considers these issues. 

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