No early lift to NSW construction ban

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says she won’t be ending a temporary ban on construction early after the state recorded 110 new COVID-19 cases.

“It would have been irresponsible for us not to have taken that pause,” she said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday the premier gave her “assurance” the two week ban across Greater Sydney would “definitely” be lifted on July 31, but on Wednesday she was less definitive.

“We’ll be able to do that as soon as we have a sense in the next week of what the impact … the harsh restrictions have had on the community,” she said. 

“We know any form of human interaction is spreading the disease and that’s why we just need to stop that human interaction.”

About 250,000 tradies have been forced to down tools this week and the building industry, unions, the Housing Industry Association and Business NSW are calling on the government to end the industry shutdown a week early “in a safe but reduced way”.

“It will give those businesses without a proper COVID-safe plan time to develop one, and give an opportunity for businesses to order and receive materials in time for a recommencement of trade,” NSW CEO Daniel Hunter said. 

The construction shutdown is costing the NSW economy up to $1 billion a week, on top of the $1 billion a week the broader lockdown is costing.

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