The Australian Constructors Association welcomes today’s announcement Sydney construction sites will re-open on 31 July and that JobSaver eligibility is being expanded but says more needs to be done for a meaningful return of major construction on infrastructure projects.

Australian Constructors Association CEO Jon Davies said the construction industry may be set to reopen, but it will have one hand tied behind its back.

“With eight local government areas now in lock down, approximately half the workforce on any given project will be missing and many activities will be either stopped completely or significantly disrupted,” Mr Davies said.

“That’s why the Australian Constructors Association is calling on the NSW Government to take a more targeted approach to restrictions.”

Instead of the current blanket approach of locking down whole local government areas, the Australian Constructors Association calls on the NSW Government to consider a more flexible approach, with restrictions focused on impacted postcodes and exemptions for key workers.

“To deliver the planned pipeline of NSW infrastructure projects and support the economy we will need more hands on deck but we don’t expect this to come at the cost of the safety of our workforce or the wider population,” Mr Davies said.

“We are confident that the agreed further tightening of what were already comprehensive COVID  operating protocols and procedures, will keep workers and their families safe and prevent transmission of the disease on construction sites.

“We are also working collaboratively with the NSW Government to implement rapid antigen testing across construction sites so we can stay one step ahead of the virus.

“Construction is all about managing risk and as an industry we have shown since the since the start of the pandemic that we can effectively manage the risk of COVID transmission on our worksites.

“We therefore call on the NSW Government to further ease the restrictions on our industry and allow us to help rebuild the economy.”