Friday, January 21, 2022

Greater Sydney construction work to restart with modified Covid rules

Construction will resume in Greater Sydney including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour this week with new COVID protocols to be introduced to keep workers and worksites safe.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro today outlined the roadmap forward and said the NSW Government had worked closely with industry to plan this reopening, creating the construction COVID-19 safety plan, and he commends the industry’s ongoing commitment to tackling the virus.

“Construction will resume on Saturday, 31 July, with safety measures such as controls on movements between sites, reduced contact between workers within sites, improved tracing capability and a focus on encouraging workers to get vaccinated,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Works in occupied premises including residential homes can also resume from this Saturday where there is zero contact between workers and residents. There will be a limit of up to two workers for indoor services and five workers for outdoor services, and works will only be possible where it is feasible for residents to vacate the area. If contactless arrangements are not possible, work cannot go ahead.

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“Unfortunately, construction will not resume in the eight LGAs of concern – Fairfield, Blacktown, Cumberland, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool, Parramatta and Georges River Local Government Areas.

“However, businesses in those LGAs which are part of the construction supply chain will be permitted to operate. 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.

“I can also announce that as part of our plan to reopen construction, worksites will be able to operate on Sundays and public holidays for the remainder of the year, up until Christmas, to make up for any time lost.”

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the construction industry was vital to the State’s economy and reopening the industry safely was crucial to keeping hundreds of thousands of people in jobs.

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“Getting workers back on the tools as soon as possible has always been our priority, but we need to ensure it is done as safely as possible to protect both workers and the community,” Mr Perrottet said.

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“The construction COVID-19 safety plan builds on the COVID safe measures already in place at many worksites, but we’re now applying that consistently right across the sector.

“We have worked with the industry over the past two weeks to get the right outcome and I would like to thank the sector for their constructive engagement. I would also like to acknowledge the willingness of the industry to take the lead in trials in the application of Rapid Antigen Testing and local vaccination services at sites, consistent with guidance from NSW Health.”

A defined list of preparatory works may commence on worksites from tomorrow to enable sites to reopen safely, with limited workforces on site to ensure COVID safe measures are in place, that equipment and plant can be restarted safely and that all utilities are in order.

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