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Site allowances were originally created by piling together old payments for working in wet, cold, hot and dirty conditions into one deal, and then linking it to the value of the build– the higher the value, the greater the hourly rate.
It became a form of bonus, where construction workers were recognised and rewarded for the contribution that their hard work brought to a successful project completed on time.
Down, then out
But when the NSW industry faced a downturn, WorkChoices raised its ugly head and State Project Awards and Agreements were ditched, construction workers did their bit by foregoing this modest payment. While many contractors would have preferred this to remain the case when work picked up, CFMEU officials stepped in and now site allowances have been brought back.