South Australia’s building and construction industry says it must be allowed to resume operations next week to protect the livelihoods of 70,000 workers and limit damage to the state economy.
The industry has been caught up in the statewide lockdown as health authorities try to contain a dangerous COVID-19 cluster.
Master Builders Chief Executive Ian Markos says the industry has shown in the past it can work in a COVID safe way and must be allowed to resume operations at the end of the lockdown on Wednesday, if not sooner.
“Any prolonged shutdown of the building and construction industry will damage the economy, businesses and workers,” he said in a statement.
“The government must protect the livelihoods of the more than 70,000 South Australians directly employed in the industry and allow us to re-open on Wednesday.
“The damage to business, peoples livelihoods, workers and clients has now already occurred.
“You can’t just shut down this industry mid-construction and expect everything will be okay”.
Mr Markos said local clusters of coronavirus cases were not a surprise and something people had to learn to live with.
“It is critical that the industry is able to commence planning this weekend for a start next Wednesday, or sooner, so that construction work can start in a safe, planned and controlled way,” he said.
“Delays will also make it extremely difficult for commercial builders to fulfil their contractual obligations, potentially costing them large amounts of money.”
The lockdown is planned to last six days but authorities will continue with a range of restrictions for another eight days.
Those restrictions are yet to be revealed.