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?-?https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-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

For further information please contact:

Helen Kowal, Partner
Phone: +61 2 9777 8321
Email: hek@swaab.com.au

Christian Marchant, Associate
Phone: +61 2 9777 8381
Email: cpm@swaab.com.au

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.