- Construction will be allowed to resume this weekend
- Will remain banned in eight LGAs
- Property Council has welcomed the announcement
Construction work will be allowed to recommence on 31 July, the New South Wales government has formally announced today, despite the nation’s largest city set to endure a lockdown for another month.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said construction can resume with safety measures in place, such as controls on movements between sites and reduced contact overall between workers.
Work in residential houses can also recommence when there is no contact between workers and residents. However, construction will not be allowed to resume in the eight LGAs of concern – Fairfield, Blacktown, Cumberland, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool, Parramatta and Georges River.
“However, businesses in those LGAs which are part of the construction supply chain will be permitted to operate,” Mr Barilaro announced.
“Construction supply chain workers will be added to the authorised workers list and will be allowed to leave their local area for work, subject to meeting COVID-19 surveillance testing requirements. This includes workers engaged in manufacturing of construction materials, plant and components.”
John Barilaro, Deputy Premier
Additionally, worksites will be allowed to operate on Sundays and public holidays until Christmas to make up for the lost time.
The decision has been applauded by the industry, with Acting NSW Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia (PCA), Lauren Conceicao, remarking that the industry takes re-opening safely very seriously.
“Construction is a vital part of the economy and the sector has demonstrated that it has been able to operate safely throughout the pandemic, including during Victoria’s long second lockdown,” Ms Conceicao said.
“The industry fully supports the additional health measures announced today, which should give the people confidence that taking this action will not present an unacceptable health risk to the community.”
Ms Conceicao thanked the NSW government for their collaborative approach, noting the safe reopening will assist in keeping 350,000 jobs afloat.
“The response from the construction sector is clear – we recognise we have a responsibility to operate our sites safely and in accordance with these tough new measures, the industry is committed to this.
“We will continue to work constructively with Government as the matter progresses and thank them for their willingness to listen and work with us as we navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown for the wider industry.”
Lauren Conceicao, Property Council NSW
Figures from the NSW government show the construction industry in the state is worth about $24.4 billion in economic output or 5.1% of gross state product.
“This announcement will assist in mitigating the financial and mental health impacts the industry is being faced with following the surprise shut-down,” concluded Ms Conceicao.