Labor Senator, Deborah O’Neill has weighed in on local COVID-19 restrictions to the construction industry, calling on the NSW Government to allow Central Coast tradies to return to work on Friday.
Construction sites were ordered to close on Monday, July 19 for a two-week period to help limit the spread of community transmission during the Greater Sydney lockdown.
Senator O’Neill said she wanted to see the return of construction work on Friday, one week prior to the July 30 deadline.
“There is no community transmission in nearly 5 weeks of lockdown here,” O’Neill said.
“I believe in common sense health orders and that’s why I’m standing up and calling on the Berejiklian government to figure out what all Coasties already know – that we are a region that starts at the Hawkesbury River.
“All 7 treatment plants on the [Coast] returned negative results for COVID-19 this week.
“It’s time for the Premier Berejiklian and Adam Crouch to let the hardworking small businesses and tradies, labourers and apprentices in in construction who live and work on the Coast get back to work.
“For larger employers and job sites I call for 25% of the Central Coast workforce work on larger Central Coast sites to return to work with a COVID Safe Plan.”
O’Neill said the Federal Government’s ‘cruel’ refusal to reinstate the JobKeeper scheme had affected businesses across the Coast.
“Most of those in construction are small business or sole traders and the impact of the shutdown has been massive,” she said.
“They will have had no income for a week already.
“The clock is ticking.
“The Local Business Chamber has reported to me that upwards of 44,000 locals (out of 110,000) have been affected by the shut down if you count supply chain.
“25% of all businesses on the Coast are in construction, the highest of any SA4 region.
“How many will still be standing in another week, or two or three if the government extends this “Sydney” lock down?”
Media release, July 22
Senator Deborah O’Neill