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CFMEU calls to reopen Canberra construction

A Queensland company has been selected to redevelop a former heritage rail station into a mixed-use urban precinct.

The CFMEU is calling upon the ACT Government to end the shutdown of construction and allow the industry to reopen under strict COVID-safe condition.

CFMEU ACT Assistant Branch Secretary Zachary Smith said it is time for the ACT Government to give the industry the green light to return to work.

“We are now two weeks into a one-week shutdown of construction and there is still no plan from the ACT Government to reopen the industry,” Smith said.

“The ACT has adopted some of the hardest economic lockdown measures of any State or Territory, but it is now time to reopen construction, get people back to work and enable the industry to take up its role as a strong driver of the ACT economy once again.”

“Construction can open safely and should do so within the next week. It is our members that are bearing the economic pain of the strictest lockdown laws in the country. This pain on working people is only compounded by any further delay from the ACT Government.”

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Smith said the CFMEU has been meeting daily with the ACT Government and working closely with government officials, builders, and its members to ensure construction can reopen safely at the end of this lockdown.

“Construction has shown it is an industry that knows how to manage Covid risks effectively on worksites over the past 18 months,” he said.

“Since the start of this pandemic the industry has operated safely under the advice of public health officials and construction will be able to open safely again as soon as the current lockdown is lifted.”

“Once the lockdown is lifted the whole industry will need to be vigilant and builders will need to adhere to their Covid-safe management plans and implement all the safety measures we have put in place over the last 18 months.”

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