The New South Wales Government has introduced extended operating hours for construction sites to support the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, with sites now able to operate on weekends and public holidays.

New South Wales Planning and Public Spaces Minister, Rob Stokes, said this will  allow workers to abide by social distancing rules while keeping construction projects spread across more days of the week.

“The construction and development sectors, which make up almost 10 per cent of New South Wales’ economy, will be vital in keeping people in jobs and keeping investment flowing over the coming weeks and months,” Mr Stokes said.

“We’re doing what we can to support the industry in line with the current medical advice by extending weekday construction site operating hours to weekends and public holidays. 

“The extended hours allow the industry to facilitate social distancing on construction sites, while minimising the potential for lost productivity during the pandemic.”

The Environmental Planning and Assessment (COVID-19 Development – Construction Work Days) Order 2020 is now in place, and will continue until the COVID-19 pandemic is over or the advice of New South Wales Health changes.

“In New South Wales, there are almost 400,000 people employed in the property and construction industry and we are committed to doing everything we can to keep each of them in work, but most importantly, to keep them safe and healthy,” Mr Stokes said.

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 was amended on 24 March to enable Mr Stokes to issue orders that override normal planning controls during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the health, safety and welfare of communities.

Compliance with this Order will be monitored and reviewed if there any adverse impacts on the community or from a public health perspective.

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