The ACT's construction industry could face delays as the territory government cracks down on exemptions for workers from Sydney.
But the peak industry body for Canberra's building and construction industry has urged builders to follow health advice, telling builders that "slow construction work is better than no construction work".
ACT Health has begun spot checks at construction sites this week after restrictions were tightened on workers coming into the territory.
Under the new restrictions, construction workers who wish to travel to the ACT must have a signed application from the head contractor of the site where they will be working.
Fears were sparked after a painter who worked on the Goulburn Hospital's multimillion-dollar redevelopment tested positive to COVID-19.
Master Builders ACT chief executive Michael Hopkins said hundreds of workers travel between Canberra and Sydney in any one day.
"Any restriction on the movement of workers between Sydney and Canberra is definitely going to have an impact on local projects," he said.
But Mr Hopkins said the construction industry needed to do everything it possibly could to protect the ACT from Covid, as an outbreak could be disastrous for the industry.
"Our message, is that now is a time for the local construction industry to be listening to the ACT health advice and to be putting in place contingency plans so they're not relying on exemptions being granted," he said.
"While we understand that these restrictions are going to be terrible inconvenience for the local industry, and they are going to cause delays and disruptions to projects, the relatively small cost of dealing with that is far smaller than the economic impact if our entire industry was forced to be shut down.
"Slow construction work is better than no construction work."
Canberra-based construction contracting company Manteena Group has had to change its processes in responses to exemptions, general manager Mark Bauer said.
He said none the of the company's projects had been delayed at this stage but they have had to enact contingency plans, such as doing work on other parts of a project.
"We have some workers from interstate coming to our projects and they tend to be for specialist trades, which are not as common in the ACT," Mr Bauer said.
"We'll be trying wherever we can to have either other workers from locally undertake that work or communicate to the client and actually seek whether or not that work can be delayed.
"If it can't be delayed then obviously we'll go through that process of seeking the exemption."
READ MORE COVID-19 NEWS:
Mr Bauer said the only case where the company would seek an exemption would be if there were no other alternatives.
"It would only be in the case of where there were no other alternatives to source those workers or where we weren't able to reprogram the work to occur at a later time," he said.
ACT Policing and WorkSafe ACT have been conducting compliance checks across Canberra's construction sites since Monday.
"Compliance at construction sites visited by ACT Policing to date has been exceptionally high. No infringements have been issued," a spokesperson said.
ACT Health has given 80 exemptions to workers since strict two-week quarantine requirements came into place for people who had been in Greater Sydney.
A spokeswoman said the top categories of workers given exemptions included removalists and defence members. Construction worker exemptions were very small, the spokeswoman said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: