Proposed changes to construction shutdown orders under Public Health (Covid-19 Temporary Movement and Gathering Restrictions) Order 2021 – Real Estate and Construction

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Proposed changes to construction shutdown orders under Public Health (Covid-19 Temporary Movement and Gathering Restrictions) Order 2021


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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.

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