There’s no place for COVID complacency in Queensland’s construction industry, the State Government, unions and industry have urged in the wake of the Sydney shutdown.
Minister for Public Works and Procurement Mick de Brenni said all parts of the sector had worked hard to remain safe and stay open but with 240,000 jobs at stake, simple COVID-safe steps were more important than ever.
“From day one, tradies, subcontractors, major construction companies, suppliers, unions and employer groups have worked together to keep this critical sector working,” Mr de Brenni said.
“The situation in New South Wales is a stark reminder of how much is at stake.
“We are all focused on working together to ensure construction sites stay open, powering Queensland’s economic recovery.
“Queensland construction sites have seen a range of measures introduced, including ensuring social distancing in crib rooms and using hand sanitiser to staggered start times, that have kept everybody at work.”
Master Builders Queensland chief executive officer Grant Galvin said it was critical to keep the building and construction industry open.
He said the situation in other states showed the success of Queensland’s COVID plan but also a warning to not to let our guard down.
“Everyone, on every site across Queensland has been working hard to keep our construction sector going during this trying period,” Mr Galvin said.
“We don’t want to see construction shut down, therefore it’s critical that we keep up the COVID safe practices.”
Electrical Trades Union State Secretary Peter Ong said “We have managed Covid in the construction industry for the last 18 months.
“We have had to change our work practices to make sure that we are managing the safety of all workers.
“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.”
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 COVID safe, keep people employed, keep apprentices coming through and projects going by being COVID safe on site,” Mr O’Halloran said.
“But we need to make sure we keep doing the right thing.”