New South Wales residents should brace for weekends surrounded by the sounds of bobcats and backhoes as the government considers lifting a ban on Sunday construction, partly due to persistent wet weather.
The Sunday ban was temporarily relaxed in early February to ease the pressure in the industry caused by Covid-related staff shortages. The order expired in March.
“Now in terms of working on Sundays, we did that during the pandemic,” the premier, Dominic Perrottet said on Thursday.
“We’re looking at that again to deal with in a balanced and an appropriate way.”
As well as mitigating against Covid absences, construction work on Sunday allowed tradies to make up for time lost after persistent wet weather shut down building sites in recent months.
“It’s not necessarily about increasing hours during the week,” Perrottet said.
“It’s providing greater opportunity for people to go to work to provide for their families.
“I know that it’s a balancing act but we’ll get it right like we have in the past.
“We obviously want to bring the community with us on that but I want people in work, I want people in jobs.”
NSW opposition leader, Chris Minns, said Labor would not support the idea of a return to Sunday working without seeing a comprehensive case from the government.
“I’ve seen these sort of thought bubbles emerge before from the minister [planning minister Anthony Roberts],” Minns said.
“More often than not, they evaporate after 24 hours.”
He was also concerned about ensuring construction workers, who worked long hours operating heavy machinery, were able to rest and have days off.