NSW to shutdown construction industry due to COVID-19 outbreak
NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced that all construction will be paused for two weeks, effective from today in a move to halt the spread of COVID-19.
The decision came after several COVID-19 cases were linked to three drivers supplying materials to the WestConnex Rozelle interchange site last week.
“We know this is a big decision. We know the impact this will have on businesses small and large,” she says.
“But we really need to reduce mobility, and we need to reduce the chances of anybody getting the virus in their workplace, spreading it to their colleagues and then bringing it home.”
Site managers were given 24 hours to advise staff and get safety measures put in place for abandoned sites.
The lockdown will cost the NSW economy millions according to some experts and infectious diseases expert Robert Booy told Today that the cases showing up at worksites led NSW Health to make the extreme choice of shutting down this industry: “It is tough on lives and livelihoods, the two are enmeshed.
“If we have good health, we can have good business. The two have to work together so we get control of the virus and get back to as normal a life as possible after this.”
CFMEU NSW secretary Darren Greenfield says the construction workforce is one of the biggest in NSW and the industry is a critical part of the state and national economies: “This decision will affect hundreds of thousands of workers across the industry and supply chains and have an enormous impact on their lives, the lives of their families, and their communities.
“The NSW and Federal Governments need to ensure any emergency payments and other support measures are made available to affected workers and their families without delay.”