Qld construction industry calls for more COVIDSafe practices
In the wake of the lockdown in Sydney, the Queensland Government and unions have stated that there is no place for COVID complacency in the state’s construction industry. Minister for Public Works and Procurement Mick de Brenni said that all parts of the sector have worked hard to remain safe and stay open, but with thousands of jobs at stake, simple COVIDSafe measures are more important than ever.
Queensland construction sites have implemented a range of measures, including ensuring social distancing in crib rooms, using hand sanitiser, and staggering start times, to keep everybody at work.
“From day one, tradies, subcontractors, major construction companies, suppliers, unions and employer groups have worked together to keep this critical sector working. We are all focused on working together to ensure construction sites stay open, powering Queensland’s economic recovery,” de Brenni said.
Master Builders Queensland CEO Grant Galvin said it is critical to keep the building and construction industry open, adding that the situation in other states has shown the success of Queensland’s COVID plan.
“Everyone, on every site across Queensland has been working hard to keep our construction sector going during this trying period. We don’t want to see construction shut down, therefore it’s critical that we keep up the COVIDSafe practices,” Galvin said.
Electrical Trades Union State Secretary Peter Ong added that the construction industry has had to change its work practices to ensure the safety of all workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We sat down with builders, workers and sub-contractors and put together a plan that would keep our industry going, but not at the risk of workers or the general public. Proper planning and implementation as well as education is what was required and that’s what we did, and the fact that we have not had one infection in our industry in 18 months is a testament to that planning. We have managed to keep workers safe and employed and added to the economy,” said Ong.
Plumbers Union State Secretary Gary O’Halloran said COVID shutdowns in other states showed how damaging they could be. “We have been able to be COVIDSafe, keep people employed, keep apprentices coming through and projects going by being COVIDSafe on site. But we need to make sure we keep doing the right thing,” O’Halloran said.
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