In a statement AAPA CEO Carlos Rial highlighted that under many of the Essential Services Acts across the country it can be interpreted that roads and associated roadworks activities support the essential functions needed during emergent conditions.
The statement reads, safe reliable road access protects the community against the interruption and dislocation of essential services, which is the purpose of many of these acts.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack also said in a statement that vital infrastructure projects would go ahead despite the COVID-19 pandemic because of their long-term value to regional communities.
“We’re powering ahead with vital infrastructure projects like this because we understand just how important investments are to regional economies in this difficult time,” Mr McCormack said.
“Contractors will be complying with all relevant health advice to ensure their safety.”
Mr. Rial noted that roads are the nations arteries and they provide an essential service to support the following;
- The needed freight that supplies business and consumers in critical times.
- The need for safe access for emergency services, remote and vulnerable communities as well as the mines, ports and farms that keep the economy functioning.
- The need to keep people employed as roadworks provide a positive impact of additional employment for both skilled and semi skilled workers in both regional and metropolitan areas.
- The need for well maintained roads to help protect the lives of those using them.
To keep this essential service running, Mr. Rial noted it must be done in a safe manner and deliver the objectives of government to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
He said in the statement that he is proud to see the industry implementing best practice government advice through onsite directives that prevent the risk of transfering the virus.
Some of these measures include maintaining a safe social distance, maintaining good hygiene and having action plans to prepare for the event of flu like symptoms presenting on site.
“Our members do have contingency plans and business continuity plans with clear COVID-19 policies that are communicated to all staff and I commend them for this,” Mr. Rial said.
“COVID-19 is highly contagious, I am confident our industry will continue to implement best practice as defined by health authorities, to ensure our essential service can continue to be safely delivered for the community and also prevent the spread of COVID-19.”