The planned widescale reopening of Greater Sydney construction sites, outside of the locked down Local Government Areas (LGA’s), is at risk unless the NSW Government authorises key workers residing in these areas to travel to work.
Currently, workers in a locked down LGA are only able to travel outside the LGA they live in if they are required to leave home for work and are classified as an Authorised worker. The list of Authorised workers does not include workers in the construction industry.
Australian Constructors Association CEO Jon Davies said “Many construction sites will struggle to reopen following the end of the two-week industry shutdown as over half the workforce is located in the locked down LGAs and is therefore not authorised to travel”.
CFMEU NSW Secretary Darren Greenfield said “Many of these workers are required to supervise site activities, ensure work is undertaken safely and operate critical plant and equipment”.
CFMEU and ACA have called on the Government to add these supervisors and critical operators to the list of workers authorised to travel from locked down LGAS to projects located in other areas.
“Construction has been significantly impacted by the two-week shut down and we can’t afford any further delay in reopening of work sites,” said Mr Greenfield.
“We are confident that the agreed further tightening of what were already comprehensive COVID-safe operating protocols and procedures, will keep workers and their families safe and prevent transmission of the disease on construction sites,” said Mr Davies.
ACA members and the CFMEU are working collaboratively with the NSW Government to implement rapid antigen testing across construction sites in order to stay one step ahead of the virus.
Mr Davies said “Construction is all about managing risk and as an industry we have shown since the since the start of the pandemic that industry can effectively manage the risk of COVID transmission on our worksites”.
Mr Greenfield said “CFMEU is working with industry to get information to workers who want to get vaccinated as quickly as possible”.