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SA CFMEU and Master Builders fear shutdown impact on builders

The South Australian CFMEU and Master Builders SA are jointly calling on the SA Government to immediately work with the industry to avoid a prolonged shutdown of construction which would damage the economy and hurt businesses and workers as the state grapples with the coronavirus outbreak. Source: Timberbiz

CFMEU SA Construction Secretary Andrew Sutherland and MBA CEO Ian Markos say they understand the need to get on top of the coronavirus outbreak, however the construction industry around the country has clearly demonstrated it can safely operate during the pandemic.

They agree that the SA government must protect the livelihoods of the more than 75,000 South Australians directly employed in the industry.

“The industry understands the importance of getting the virus under control and since the pandemic began workers, unions and builders have worked collaboratively to put in place the hygiene and safety measures that ensure the industry can remain open and COVID-safe,” the pair said in a joint statement.

“We are calling on the Marshall Government to work with us to find ways to keep construction going, as the industry has done safely and successfully around the country throughout 2020.”

Even at the height of the pandemic crisis with hundreds of cases being reported daily, the construction industry in Victoria did not shut down completely. The Victorian CFMEU and MBA successfully worked together to keep sites safe and maintain the industry’s role as a backbone of the economy.

“The industry in South Australia has already put in place strong safety and hygiene measures to limit the risk of COVID exposure and spread on construction sites and we are ready to work with the State Government to keep the industry open and able to maintain its vital role to the SA economy,” they said.

“It can be done. It is critical that the industry is able to commence planning this weekend for a start next Wednesday – or sooner, so that construction work can start in a safe, planned and controlled way.”