Pro­posed Changes to Con­struc­tion Shut­down Orders under Pub­lic Health (Covid-19 Tem­po­rary Move­ment and Gath­er­ing Restric­tions) Order 2021

Fur­ther to our recent arti­cles which dis­cussed the intro­duc­tion of clause 22(4A) and clause 24AB of the Pub­lic Health (Covid-19 Tem­po­rary Move­ment and Gath­er­ing Restric­tions) Order 2021 (the Orders), it appears the Orders will be eased for Con­struc­tion Sites locat­ed out­side of an affect­ed area’* as of 31 July 2021.

Whilst we are await­ing con­fir­ma­tion in writ­ing of the pro­posed changes, the NSW Gov­ern­ment today announced amend­ments to the Orders to allow con­struc­tions sites with­in the Greater Syd­ney to recom­mence works as of 31 July 2021. How­ev­er, there will be much greater con­trol on the atten­dance of employ­ees, con­trac­tors and sub­con­trac­tors on spe­cif­ic sites, espe­cial­ly those cur­rent­ly occu­pied. Whilst it comes as no sur­prise, not­ing the dev­as­tat­ing impact that the Delta Vari­ant of Covid-19 is hav­ing on our com­mu­ni­ties, the pro­posed changes include that:

  • Con­struc­tion works can now com­mence on non-occu­pied con­struc­tion sites”. These are deemed to be sites where there are no per­sons cur­rent­ly occu­py­ing the premis­es. This ranges from infra­struc­ture projects to exist­ing devel­op­ment sites and all oth­er works inclu­sive that do not involve a con­trac­tor com­ing into con­tact with an occu­pant of the premises.
  • Sub­ject to the above, con­struc­tion works may be per­formed on sites where per­sons are cur­rent­ly occu­py­ing the premis­es, pro­vid­ed that Con­trac­tor is not to come in con­tact with the occu­pant of the premis­es or has the poten­tial to infect an occu­pant of the premis­es. This is a rather sub­jec­tive and if you have con­cerns about whether or not you will come into con­tact with the occu­pant, we sug­gest that you refrain from per­form­ing those works.
  • Notwith­stand­ing the above, no con­struc­tion works are to be per­formed in the fol­low­ing local gov­ern­ment areas and the exist­ing clause 22(4A) and Clause 24AB shall remain enforce in these areas:
    • Fair­field;
    • Can­ter­bury Bankstown; 
    • Liv­er­pool;
    • Cum­ber­land;
    • Black­town;
    • Par­ra­mat­ta;
    • George’s Riv­er; and 
    • Camp­bell­town.

As a fur­ther note, if you live in these areas and engaged to per­form works out­side of any of these areas, you first check whether you are autho­rised leave these areas to per­form work. Accord­ing­ly, we pro­vide the fol­low­ing link which lists what is an autho­rised per­son —‑1

These orders will no doubt pro­vide some par­tial relief to the con­struc­tion indus­try after the two week lock­down peri­od, which has been fore­cast to cost the NSW Econ­o­my in excess of $2.5 bil­lion in rev­enue. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, many oth­er busi­ness­es are still in lock­down and fac­ing mas­sive finan­cial impact.

Dis­claimer: This is a pre­lim­i­nary overview of the pro­posed revised Orders with a full update to come when the writ­ten changes to the Orders are released. 

* affect­ed areas’ in accor­dance with the Orders are list­ed as the fol­low­ing LGA’s: Fair­field, Can­ter­bury Bankstown, Liv­er­pool, Cum­ber­land, Black­town, Par­ra­mat­ta, George’s Riv­er, Campbelltown 

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