Changes to construction industry rules offer a hope for jobs, the economy and for vaccine uptake

Urban Taskforce today congratulates the NSW Government on its decision to open up the construction industry across greater Sydney under a set of strict conditions which have been developed by industry in close consultation with the unions, the Government and NSW Health. This is a great result for construction workers and for the entire industry.

The construction industry is a key driver of the NSW economy, and this decision shows that the NSW government is able to balance economic outcomes which impact so greatly on people’s lives and mental health, with a great health outcome by agreeing to an industry led incentive to the promote vaccine uptake.

When the Health Orders are made (expected early next week), projects inside and outside the nominated restricted Local Government Areas will be able to open and have up to 50% of total site capacity, on site at any one time.

This construction site cap will apply to all sites across all of Greater Sydney. This will mean that some sites, which had not relied on staff from restricted LGAs, there will be a reduction in site capacity until this cap is lifted. However, this is considered a small backward step worth taking for the health of the community, our workforce and our industry. With the uptake of the vaccine, it is hoped that restrictions can be lifted more widely asap.

Workers who live outside restricted LGAs will be able to go into those LGAs for construction work.

Those who live within the restricted LGAs will be able to leave those LGAs for construction work if they can satisfy one of the following conditions:

  • They have had 2 vaccine injections, OR
  • They have had 1 vaccine injection at least 21 days prior, OR
  • They have had 1 vaccine jab PLUS they must show a negative COVID test result every 3 days.

This decision will give construction workers a very strong incentive to get vaccinated. It gives an even stronger incentive to those who live in the restricted LGAs.  This is a great step for the economy of NSW.  It will greatly assist in promoting vaccine uptake among younger construction workers. The move is supported by NSW Health, the property development and construction industry and the unions.

The industry has been leading trials of Rapid Antigen Tests and it is expected that, once approved by NSW Health, these will play an important role while regular testing is required.

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