Capacity lifted but NSW construction rules still a work in progress

NSW building sites may be officially able to work at 100 per cent staff capacity after the state government lifted its 50 per cent cap on Monday, but the industry says that won’t become reality until physical distancing rules are further eased.

Major construction companies say the one person per four square metre rule means it is impossible for some sites to fully function until that is changed to one per two square metres, which is understood to be happening from December 1, although they still await clarification.

Multiplex regional managing director David Ghannoum welcomed the 100 per cent capacity but said social-distancing requirements were hurting productivity.

“We remain hamstrung by remaining restrictions on site and expect productivity to continue to suffer, particularly on our high-rise and constrained CBD projects,” he said.

“We have been working closely with NSW government throughout the course of this pandemic, and will continue to work with them to evolve a solution that acknowledges the very high rate of vaccination that now exists amongst our workforce.“

Brett Mason, chief executive and managing director of Built, said the one person per 4sq m rule meant staff site occupancy numbers were inconsistent.

“On a greenfield site where we’re digging holes there’s more than enough space for people to fit within that and on some tighter sites, some multi-storey stuff, it’s a bit tighter,” Mr Mason said.

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