Prime Minister Andrew Barr gives Canberra construction a Covid plan to reopen | The Canberra Times

Prime Minister Andrew Barr gives Canberra construction a Covid plan to reopen |  The Canberra Times

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Canberra construction is set to resume work next week after ACT Prime Minister Andrew Barr detailed his plans to reopen more industries despite an increase in the number of Covid cases. The construction industry has lobbied for work can return and claimed it has been shut down for a longer period of time than any other outbreak of state or territory since the pandemic began. ACT registered 21 new Covid cases on Friday, but Barr has given companies hope by letting some reopen under certain restrictions. “Subject to the fact that the public health situation remains stable, the ACT government is working to reopen part of the construction sector in a covid-safe manner from next Friday, September 3,” the government said. “New industry lines outlining strong guidance on covid-safe practices will be provided to the sector and enable planning.” Some Commonwealth government projects began work again this week, but staff were asked to show proof of their first vaccination or reservation before they were allowed to be on site. These measures could be implemented for ACT construction sites, but the government has not yet provided further details. The government has also imposed restrictions on hardware retailers. People will no longer enter the stores after 19,000 people have checked in at Bunnings in one day. Builders and home renovators must order online and pick up supplies via a click and collection system. READ MORE COVID-19 NEWS: Asked what support there would be for smaller construction companies or builders, Barr said: “The financial support that is in place is in place for those companies and individuals who are unable to to earn an income. ” Construction managers hosted a roundtable discussion with officials earlier this week in an effort to gain clarity for workers and projects. Larger sites are set to get the green light as they will be able to monitor staff and have covid officers on site. The plan is less clear for smaller operators and their restart may be delayed after September 3rd. CFMEU has been pushing to reopen to all workers. “It’s time for the ACT Government to give the green light so we can start getting everyone in the construction industry in Canberra back to work,” said Zachary Smith, CFMEU ACT Assistant Branch Secretary. “We are now two weeks into a one-week shutdown of construction and there is still no plan from the ACT government to reopen the industry.” The ACT has adopted some of the toughest economic lockdown measures in any state or territory, but now is the time to reopen construction, get people back to work and enable the industry to resume its role as a strong driver for the ACT economy. “Construction can open safely and should do so within the next week. It is our members who bear the financial pain of the strictest lockdown laws in the country. This pain on working people is only exacerbated by further delays from the ACT government.” READ MORE COVID-19 NEWS: Our coverage of the health and safety aspects of this outbreak of COVID-19 in ACT and lockdown is free for all to access. However, we rely on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you can, you can subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support. You can also sign up for our regular newsletter. Our journalists work hard to deliver local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:



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