Lockdown regulations have forced Built to halt work on all of its NSW sites, including the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park in Sydney and the $ 6 billion Parramatta Square upgrade in western Sydney.
“Anything beyond a two-week shutdown will have catastrophic effects on the industry and will have an exponential effect on how quickly the construction and real estate sectors can recover,” Mr. Mason said.
The Urban Taskforce, which represents the development sector, also warned that the impact of closing construction sites would be felt across the economy.
Urban Taskforce boss Tom Forrest said the NSW state government’s hasty decision, taken without consultation with industry, smacked of a panicked government over its indecisive action to control the strain outbreak Delta which started in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. “There is simply no evidence base to support the decision to shut down the entire construction industry – 100%,” Forrest said.
Master Builders Association executive director Brian Seidler and the Construction, Forestry, Marine, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU) both received only about an hour away from the government’s plan to suspend construction work before its announcement on Saturday morning.
“Generally the industry has been blameless on the whole COVID issue and then suddenly being told without warning that we are shutting down was interesting, if you know what I mean,” Seidler said.
He said 160 large projects submitted their COVID security plans to the government last Friday to show they can stay open and manage the risk of coronavirus.
“We thought (…) that we could convince the government that we are working safely,” Seidler said.
The industry is also keen to ensure that contractors and workers can continue to be paid despite the lockdown. Mr Seidler acknowledged that there was already support from the states and the federal government, but said the money “has to be quick”.
Mr Forrest added that even at the height of the Victorian lockdown, the construction industry remained open on a reduced basis. At worst, Victoria has limited the number of construction sites to 25 percent.
Stockland, the owner of large developments across the state, said he is engaging with the government through the Property Council to provide information on how to get out of lockdowns once the outbreak is under control .
“There are examples in the Victorian market of how the projects were able to function safely. So these are the things we are discussing with the government, but it is very important that we continue to follow the health advice, ”said Stockland Managing Director Tarun Gupta.
Ken Morrison, Managing Director of the Property Council of Australia, called on the NSW government for clarity, saying it is essential to engage with industry on the roadmap to end the lockdown
“It was a very abrupt decision and, although we know that construction sites can systematically operate in
in a safe manner against COVID, industry will continue to do the right thing and work with the government
towards a safe reopening, ”said Mr. Morrison.
“Our priority right now is to support construction jobs and workers during the
period of forced closure, in order to minimize problems between the parties and to ensure that the government
the support is adequate and clear to the construction sub-contractors and supply chain.
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