Tale of two cities for construction sector

Business Council of Australia

While NSW is getting on with reopening construction at full capacity, Victoria’s snap shutdown of the sector puts the state’s recovery at risk, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“We welcome the Berejiklian government’s sensible, risk-based approach to unwinding restrictions and letting people get on with their lives.

“NSW has demonstrated that a best practice model including rapid antigen testing and public health orders to drive vaccination can get construction going safely. Throughout this outbreak, NSW has worked closely with industry to problem solve and develop solutions in partnership.

“By contrast, Victoria’s snap shutdown of the entire sector will put the recovery at risk and undermine confidence in the state’s slow reopening plan.

“Around 320,000 Victorian jobs in the construction sector have been put a risk because of the actions of a small minority.

“Big projects aren’t a tap that can simply be turned on or off, even a very short shutdown puts projects at risk.

“Businesses are ready to work with the Victorian government to find a way through this challenge to save jobs, just as they have in NSW.

“Harsh restrictions don’t just have a monumental economic cost, every day we delay a safe reopening takes a serious toll on community cohesion and our social wellbeing.

“Most Australians are doing their bit and getting vaccinated, now it’s up to governments to do theirs by sticking to the plan and reopening the nation as people are protected.”

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