The re-opening of construction sites across Greater Sydney is an important first step in restoring the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of construction workers.
Urban Taskforce was at the forefront of arguing the case for the tens of thousands of businesses that have safely managed COVID over the last 16 months when the complete shutdown occurred. It is good to see that the Government has heard our voice and is now moving in the right direction.
Construction sites will be allowed to re-open on Saturday provided they follow a checklist of strict site procedures to ensure the safety of all construction industry staff. Working with senior government and health officials, industry leaders have effectively developed a COVID-Safe plan for the entire construction industry. Site preparation in advance of the re-opening can commence from tomorrow.
The construction site closedown will remain in the restricted LGAs. This appears to be a blunt tool for managing outbreaks given the size of the listed LGAs and the vast distances between areas of COVID concern and the boundaries of those LGAs – but this is the method of apply restrictions for now.
Importantly, the majority of construction workers live in those LGAs so this will significantly limit the return of construction activity across Sydney. Construction work is prohibited in those listed LGAs and construction staff who live in those LGAs are not allowed to leave (for reasons not listed in the Health Orders).
This is a highly limited return to work for the construction industry – but something is certainly better than nothing at all.
As an industry, we will strive to take all measures necessary to demonstrate to Health officials, the Government and the community, that our industry is a leader in safe work practices and that includes dealing with COVID-19.
Urban Taskforce will continue to work with Government to deliver safe workplaces, to expand opportunities for the re-opening of the industry and to restore our place as the key drivers of the NSW economy.