MBV – Covid Update
While today’s announcement of the extension of the 7-day circuit breaker lockdown for another week is disappointing, we recognise that the health and safety of all Victorians must be a priority, and this extension is a necessary precaution.
However, we are pleased to report that our ongoing advocacy on your behalf to the State Government has clearly reassured the decision makers that our industry can continue to work safely through the pandemic.
We welcome the State Government’s decision today to allow outdoor building and maintenance works to recommence in occupied premises, a positive move forward for thousands of our members.
The requirements state that work must be carried out by businesses with a registered ABN and must only be undertaken outdoors with a maximum of five people on site, together with an additional supervisor, and where appropriate COVID-19 physical distancing can be maintained.
Types of outdoor work on occupied premises typically covered by this decision include:
- Home renovations and installations, such as pools and decking.
- Outdoor maintenance, such as landscaping and painting.
- Home solar panels, including outdoor work and roof cavities.
In today’s announcement, Acting Premier James Merlino said that, with no community transmission in regional Victoria this week, it was proposed that regional restrictions would begin easing from 11:59pm tomorrow night. However, he said the State Government would use the next 24 hours to continue tracing and testing and confirm that these changes could go ahead.
MBV attended a high-level meeting with State Government earlier today and, because of that meeting, we foreshadow that (subject to tracing and testing) there could be confirmation from the State government that building and construction work may be permitted in regional Victoria, in occupied premises. We have also requested formal confirmation from the State Government that display homes, sales suites and colour selection centres can open in regional Victoria. Once we receive any news on these, we will update members ASAP.
Our thoughts and efforts continue to be focussed on small scale construction including those mum and dad builders and tradespeople with stalled indoor renovations projects who are still not permitted to work.
We know that our small businesses members are the lifeblood of the Victorian economy and have received no financial support. This is now vital, especially since the JobKeeper program ceased operating. MBV will continue to advocate to State and Federal Governments in the hope that they will consider supporting small building and construction industry businesses during this time of need.
Once again, we remind members that everyone must ensure that all necessary safety and COVID-19 requirements – including masks and physical distancing – continue to be adhered to across the building and construction sector.
We all need to stay safe, so that we can stay open.
We thank you for your patience during these difficult times and assure you that we will continue to work closely with State and Federal governments, on your behalf, to manage practical solutions to these ongoing challenges.
As mentioned above, MBV has sought additional feedback from State Government on a range of areas that remain unclear – we will continue to keep you updated as information about Victoria’s lockdown evolves.