The Construction sector in Victoria is set to reopen on Tuesday after the government in that state announced a roadmap for the sector’s reopening.
In its latest announcement, the Victorian Government says restrictions in the sector will ease from midnight on Monday.
Under the plan:
- All workers will need to carry an authorised worker permit and have had at least one vaccination dose
- All construction sites state-wide must have at least one fully trained COVID marshal whose job it will be to ensure compliance with Chief Health Officer directions
- Prior to reopening, operators will be required to attest that they have implemented the CHO directions and every site will need to have an up-to-date vaccination register available for compliance checks at all times. In order to make this process as easy as possible, an online portal will soon be available on the Service Victoria website so these documents are accessible for both the operator and compliance teams.
- Crib facilities may be used for the consumption of food and drink with strict density requirements and additional ventilation.
- Small construction sites will be able to have up to five workers plus a supervisor
- Large construction sites may have up to 25 percent of workers on site. This will be able to increase to 50 percent where crib rooms meet best practice and the entire workforce is vaccinated.
- Projects on the State Critical Infrastructure list will operate at 100 per cent as long as crib rooms follow best practice guidelines.
- Subject to continued high levels of compliance by the industry, workforce caps will progressively increase. At our 70 per cent double dose milestone, large scale construction can return to 100 per cent of its workforce.
- Caps will be removed when Victoria reaches its 80 per cent target, and in addition, all onsite workers must be fully vaccinated by 13 November.
- Fully vaccinated workers can travel between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria in order to work onsite.
- Workers on state critical projects or large-scale construction can also travel between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria if they have had a single dose, take an initial test before their first travel, then test twice per week until fully vaccinated.
- To allow all sites to remobilise, workers who have had at least one vaccination dose will be able to enter a site prior to 5 October in order to undertake crib facility improvements, participate in a reinduction or receive deliveries.
The government has provided further information on a frequently asked questions page.
In a statement, Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said the industry was expected to comply with the directions in full.
Teams of Authorised Workers will conduct checks to enforce directions whilst penalties will apply for builders and site operators that do not comply.
These penalties will include site shutdowns for significant or repeated breaches.
Building and property industry lobby groups welcomed the announcement.
Master Builders Victoria CEO Rebecca Casson said the past two-week shutdown had been extremely challenging for many of MBV’s members unable to work but most can now look forward to getting back on the tools next week.
Casson said the Master Builders had worked with other industry associations and unions over the long weekend on the plan’s development.
“It was a very positive meeting with excellent engagement from the Victorian Government and it appears that, despite yesterday’s high COVID-19 case numbers, our sector is on track to re-open on 5 October which is a win for our industry,” Casson said.
“Over the last week or so, we have had excellent engagement with the Victorian Government, including Treasurer Tim Pallas, Minister Jacinta Allan, and Minister Martin Pakula.
“They, like us, have had a sharp focus on re-opening our industry and getting our members back to work.”
“It’s a huge relief that the residential building industry will be back to work on 5 October as planned,” said HIA’s Victorian Executive Director, Fiona Nield.
“HIA has continued to work closely with the Victorian Government to prepare for the reopening of home building sites in metropolitan Melbourne and the other locked down regional areas such as Mitchell Shire and the City of Latrobe.
Property Council of Australia Victoria Executive Director Danni Hunter said the decision to reopen would enable 320,000 Victorians to return to work.
Hunter said it was now up to the entire industry to work to embed the best possible standards on site.