Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Master Builders Victoria has been proactively advocating for building and construction in Victoria to continue to operate, while prioritising safe work practices for the benefit of workers and the communities they serve.
In early April, we welcomed the Victorian Treasurer’s statement of commitment to our industry, and his confirmation that the current restrictions on activity do not apply to building and construction activity, deemed ‘essential activity’ and was aligned with the advice of the state’s Chief Health Officer.
This means that clients are still permitted to attend private appointments to view display homes and to meet with builders and consultants to make decisions, such as colours and fit-out details.
We have been promoting this message to home and property owners so they know they will not be breaking rules, or endangering anyone’s health, by scheduling visits to display homes or going ahead with their building or renovation jobs.
It’s reassuring to hear that Victoria Police will continue to enforce rules in accordance with this interpretation and we support their work, and that of the Department of Health and Human Services, to protect our community.
Essential service letters
As the current restrictions will remain in place at least until 11 May 2020, Master Builders Victoria is providing letters to our members to verify that their travel is related to an essential service. These are available exclusively to our members to issue to their teams and clients and can be obtained by calling (03) 9411 4501 during business hours, or by e-mailing MBAssist@mbav.com.au
Master Builders Victoria is also committed to tackling concerns that are arising on behalf of our members. We know that improved hygiene and social distancing can lead to slower progress on jobs and we are trying to address their impact on project costs.
We have asked both Federal and State Governments to announce publicly that they will not pursue liquidated damages in any supply contracts. We are also asking that private sector clients take a similar approach. This agreement must also be embraced by all subcontractors throughout the building supply chain.
What you need to know We have kept our members regularly informed of important updates during these unprecedented times with special bulletins, social media posts and our website at www.mbav.com.au Resources on the website includes guidelines on managing any potential threat of COVID-19 and related expert advice covering legal, OHS, industrial relations, building permits, financial services and frequently asked questions.
We all care deeply for the well-being of our community, and if we keep building sites operating safely, thousands of people will remain in work.
Thank you to all home builders for adapting to new ways of working through this challenging period. The entire building and construction industry will be central to helping Victoria to recover from the significant disruption caused by this pandemic and we look forward to brighter times ahead.
Master Builders Victoria can be contacted on (03) 9411 4501 or e-mail MBAssist@mbav.com.au
CEO – Master Builders Victoria