The effects of regulation (No. 2) amending regulation (No. 3) 2021 (Change order) consists in the fact that an “occupant” of a “construction site” in the greater Sydney area must have a COVID-19 security plan from July 31, 2021.

A “construction site” is broadly defined and includes a place where work is carried out to “erect, demolish, expand or modify a building or structure”.

An “occupier” in the context of a construction site is defined as “the person who has management or control over the construction site”.

The distribution of risk with regard to compliance with the Amendment Ordinance is based on the provisions of the relevant construction contract or the applicable development contract. As a rule, we expect from a construction contract:

  • require a contractor to be responsible for all work, health and safety matters related to the construction site / work;
  • authorize the contractor to take over the management and control of the construction site for the purposes that fulfill the obligations of the contractor as “main contractor” (if applicable); and
  • require the contractor to comply with all relevant laws.

If the building owner or developer has retained the management and control of the construction site in accordance with the provisions of the respective contract (ie counts as “occupier”), the building owner or developer is responsible for ensuring that a COVID-19 security plan is in place.

It is advisable to check for all existing and future construction contracts, development contracts and lease contracts whether the responsibility for the management and control of the construction site has been transferred or transferred to the main contractor.