COVID-19 Impact on Construction Industry Closure in Sydney

Written on the 19 July 2021

COVID-19 Impact on Construction Industry Closure in Sydney


The Construction Industry Response to COVID-19

The most recent COVID-19 health restrictions have shut down the construction industry in Greater Sydney (including the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour, and Central Coast), starting from 19 July 2021 to 30 July 2021. The measure was taken as an effort to limit the spreading of the COVID-19 "Delta" strain. The shutdown is predicted to affect more than a quarter of a million workers and an industry loss of up to $1.4 billion.

Jarrod Ball, the chief economist of the think-tank Committee for Economic Development of Australia, claimed that this shutdown would increase the government's support bill. "Greater Sydney is the engine room of the construction sector, responsible for almost 20 percent of the sector's economic value and employing around a quarter of a million people or one in five construction workers in Australia", Mr. Ball said.

The decision was made after several COVID-19 cases rose among construction workers, including the drivers who deliver construction supply materials. The shutdown has caught the attention of groups representing the construction industry and has called for the return of JobKeeper from trade unions.

The COVID-19 Measures

The latest Public Health Order paused all of the works on construction sites in Great Sydney. However, some urgent works may be undertaken in construction sites for the following purposes:

Ensuring the safety of the construction sites.
Dealing with environmental risks.
Ensuring the integrity of a partially completed work that would deteriorate if not maintained.
Maintaining the public utilities.
Receiving deliveries of supplies that would deteriorate if not stored.
Ensuring a safe operation of current transport infrastructure.

What is Defined as Construction Sites?

Construction Sites may be defined as a place where work is completed to erect, demolish, extend, or alter a structure/building. It may also be defined as a place where civil works are carried out, but not a place where work is carried in a dwelling with residents.

Hence, works in relation to residential dwelling (maintenance, cleaning, repairs, etc) may not take place unless urgently required to ensure the residence's health, safety, or security.



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