Federal government says construction shut down not fair or proportionate

The federal government has distanced itself from Victorian government’s public health decision to close the construction sector saying it is punishing many tradies and home builders because of the actions of a few.

“We don’t think that’s an appropriate or proportionate response,” federal housing minister Michael Sukkar said.

Mr Sukkar, a Melbourne MP, said there were many examples of the construction industry managing the health risk well

“Which is why it was such a shock that, in response to protests from CFMEU members yesterday, that we had a very rushed and seemingly chaotic announcement at 10:00 last night,” Mr Sukkar said

“Again, this punishes carpenters and bricklayers and other tradies who work hundreds of kilometres from the Melbourne CBD where this protest was.

Mr Sukkar said the shutdown was “punishing a really large group of law-abiding citizens”

“I don’t think, is fair. Punish the people who have broken the rules. Punish those who are irresponsibly engaging in violent protests. But don’t punish the law-abiding workers in the building and construction industry.”

Me Sukkar made his comments as thousands of construction workers, anti-vaxxers and some right-wing protestors have been marching around the city in protest to the shutdown and mandatory vaccination.

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