Letter to the construction and engineering sectors of NSW

NSW Government committed to vital infrastructure program

As governments and communities around the world grapple with the health and economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, I want to assure the construction and engineering sectors in NSW that our Government is resolved to continue delivery of its infrastructure program.

The NSW Government will always act on the advice of NSW health officials to ensure the community remains safe while where practical continuing the vital work of building for the future.

The NSW Government announced a major $2.3 billion Health Boost and Economic Stimulus package to protect the community and help protect jobs in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak over the next six months.

This package has two key components: $700 million in extra health funding and $1.6 billion in tax cuts to support jobs.

This package will support our formidable program of work that has been the backbone of our State’s economy for a number of years. And with many sectors now facing unprecedented challenges, our record infrastructure pipeline will continue to sustain tens of thousands of jobs over the coming months.

It will also continue to have critical downstream economic benefits, driving demand for materials and equipment from local and national manufacturers, and for goods and services in supporting sectors. The continuation of this vital economic contribution will be a lifeline for many in the months ahead.

Continuity challenges

We recognise the sector will face its own operational challenges, and Infrastructure NSW will work with the construction industry and line agencies to closely monitor emerging difficulties, such as supply chain related delays or temporary shutdowns, during this challenging time.

There are encouraging signs of production resuming in China and other countries hit in the early stages of the pandemic, however some disruptions are to be expected over the coming period.

Furthermore, we recognise the importance of the sector taking steps to implement social distancing, travel restrictions and hygiene measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The sector has extensive experience in dealing with work, health and safety matters and I have full confidence the necessary measures will be implemented in the course of hazard and risk assessment for projects and sites.

We will work flexibly with contractors

In cases where the delivery of projects are affected by these and other matters relating to COVID-19, the NSW Government will ensure all agencies work collaboratively with contractors where issues arise to keep projects on schedule to the greatest extent possible. I urge all operators within the industry to adopt the same approach whether dealing with Government and other organisations.

Our 10-Point Commitment to the Construction Industry sets out the collaborative approach we expect from all parties. The Government’s Construction Leadership
Group will monitor developments over the coming months, and Infrastructure NSW will facilitate industry-wide discussions over this period.

Together we can keep NSW moving forward

I encourage all contractors to speak with their client agencies as soon as they become aware of any potential issues so we can keep NSW’s critical Infrastructure program moving ahead.

This is a time for the Government and industry to work together to sustain our state and nation during this difficult time. Your continued contribution will be vital, and I look forward to engaging further with you as we rise to meet the challenges ahead.

Yours sincerely,
Dominic Perrottet MP