Property Council welcomes NSW construction restart

Construction across Greater Sydney will reopen on 31 July with strict COVID-19 health precautions in place.

The Announcement:

The Property Council has applauded today’s decision to allow all construction sites across most of the Greater Sydney area to reopen on 31 July subject to a range of strict new health measures.

Acting NSW Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia, Lauren Conceicao said the property industry takes the responsibility of 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.

“The Property Council has been working extremely closely with the NSW Government to ensure that the construction industry was able to restart safely come 31 July.

“We thank the NSW Premier and her Government for their collaborative approach to get to this safe reopening of the construction industry keeping almost 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.

“The Government’s plan leaves construction ‘paused’ in the five hotspot local government areas and we know that this will cause hardship for businesses and workers there. We hope that construction activity is able to resume in these areas as soon as the health situation improves.

“While we continue to focus on the immediate challenges, we will need a strong roadmap implemented to exit from the lockdown successfully. We know that vaccination is key to getting the state’s economy back up and running, with vaccination of our workers made a priority.”

“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,” Ms Conceicao said.

Ms Conceicao said the size of the construction industry in NSW was significant in the context of jobs and the economy.

“ABS (May 2021) data shows that there are 348,525 jobs in construction, with 251,000 of these on site each day. Another 165,000 are related engineers, architects and real estate services,” she said.

“NSW government figures show how critical the construction industry is to our state’s economy – worth $24.4 billion in economic output – or 5.1 per cent of the gross state product.

“As the construction industry is at a higher risk of being impacted by mental health conditions with, workers are 63 percent more likely to die from suicide. This announcement will assist in mitigating the financial and mental health impacts the industry is being faced with following the surprise shut-down.”

The areas as identified by the NSW Government where construction will be prohibited include Fairfield, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool, Cumberland, Blacktown, Parramatta and Georges River Local Government Areas.

Source: Property Council of Australia

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