State Governments respond to AUSJET/ADCVA's call for industry to be listed as an essential serviceMon, 11 May 2020
In late March, AUSJET/ADCVA Chairman Peter Jones wrote to the Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers throughout Australia with concern that apart from NSW, every other state and territory has not deemed our members' services as 'essential' especially during the COVID-19 crisis.
"AUSJET / ADVCA [ members provide] industrial cleaning, liquid waste management and asset maintenance services to government agencies and municipalities including but not limited to, Water Authorities, Power Authorities, Port Rail and Councils," Mr Jones wrote.
"In addition, our members also provide these services across Mining, Oil and Gas, Steel and Aluminium production, Civil Construction and across the wider community maintaining and cleaning essential infrastructure such as grease traps and septic tanks.
"We have a concern that apart from NSW there is no prescribed list of essential services legislated in other states and territories. As such our members activities could be deemed as “non-essential” in states outside of NSW, for the purposes of implementing control measures to restrict the movement of COVID-19 in the community.
"We are very concerned that if our industry businesses are deemed ‘nonessential’, that this would cause harm to the community and nation at large closing vital services that support vital infrastructure and help maintain public hygiene."
In response, the Queensland Government's Deputy Chief of Staff Denise Spinks said "the Queensland Government recognises, and appreciates, the valuable contribution business in your sector make to the Queensland economy".
The South Australian Government’s Treasurer, the Hon Rob Lucas MLC said “South Australia, under the State Emergency Management Act 2004 (SA) (the Act), has adopted the approach of specifying businesses and other activities which are banned rather than specifying businesses as essential.”