The residential building industry has welcomed the news that they will be back to work on 10 September 2021, however, has warned that it is essential that the lockdown does not go beyond this date.
“This lockdown has been really tough on the residential building industry, and it is important that we get back to work as soon as possible,” said Greg Weller, HIA Executive Director ACT/Southern NSW.
“Unlike many in the community who are able to work from home, when building trades are not working, they are not getting paid. Equally when building trades are not out there onsite, the economic benefits of new home building and renovations for the ACT economy are lost.
“It is also important to recognise that the negative impact of a prolonged lockdown goes much further than hurting those employed and working in the industry day to day. The lockdown also means that hundreds of Canberrans have been unable to get into their new home, or to complete their home renovation.
“On average, over 100 detached homes are completed and handed over in Canberra every month, along with many more renovations. As a result of the extended lockdown, that means 100 families are having to service a mortgage on a new home they cannot move into, and continue to pay rent or a second mortgage where they live or impose on family and friends for longer than expected.
“It is another 100 rental properties or homes being sold that won’t be available for the next family, and 100 homes that didn’t get started this month.
“We simply cannot go past today’s (August 31 2021) foreshadowed reopening date.
“During the pandemic occupations have been classified as essential or non-essential, determining whether they can work or not. Putting a roof over the heads of Canberran families is surely an essential task.
“HIA now looks forward to continuing to work with the ACT Government to implement measures for the COVID safe operation of residential building sites from 10 September 2021.
“HIA acknowledges the resilience of the builders, trades and everyone in the industry who has stayed strong throughout this lockdown, and today’s (August 31 2021) announcement will bring welcome relief and give confidence to the industry and home owners,” concluded Mr Weller.