In-home renovation work set to resume
Yesterday evening the Government provided advice that in-home renovation work can resume once the state reaches the 70 percent double dose vaccination milestone.
It is anticipated that Victoria will reach this milestone on or before 26 October 2021.
HIA has been actively over the past weeks and months calling for renovation work to resume and is pleased to see this reprieve for our renovation members who have been amongst the hardest hit by the COVID-19 restrictions. This decision will provide a much-needed boost to the residential building industry and help many families who have been waiting for their home renovation projects to either commence or resume.
There are thousands of small building businesses and workers that have been unable to work during the lockdowns and this has caused great financial hardship. There have also been many families who have been living with partially completed building work in their homes. This decision will provide some welcome relief for both builders, trades and home owners and see thousands in our industry get back to work.
This decision is also great for outdoor projects, together with maintenance works at recently occupied homes, which will also be allowed to resume ahead of schedule.
Will this apply across Victoria?
Yes, HIA expects that in-home renovation work will be able to resume in both metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.
Further information has been requested from Government and we have been informally advised that the announcement yesterday applies to all of Victoria.
What renovation work can resume?
Construction, building and non-essential maintenance work at occupied residential premises can resume once the 70 percent double dose target is met.
This means that internal renovation works such as kitchen and bathroom upgrades and repairs in occupied homes will be able to resume.
The existing restrictions on workers for external building work and landscaping at occupied homes in metropolitan Melbourne should also be removed. This means the current limit of one worker for this work, unless more workers are required for the job to be performed safely, will no longer apply when the 70 percent double dose target it met. Instead the current rules on reduced operations (see below) will apply.
Will vaccination requirements apply?
The mandatory vaccination rules that apply to the building industry generally will apply to building work at occupied homes. This includes the need to ensure only vaccinated workers attend the site but also that the vaccination status of workers is collected before they attend site.
HIA has been advised that workers must have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in order to resume in-home renovation works or have a medical exemption.
The second dose deadline is scheduled for 13 November 2021.
Will reduced operations on site remain?
Workers will be required to comply with reduced operations until otherwise advised. This means that renovation sites must comply with all COVIDSafe rules for building sites including:
- a maximum of five workers plus a supervisor on site – unless an additional worker is required for safety reasons;
- limits on worker movement – specialist trades will not be allowed to attend more than 3 sites a week;
- use of the Service Victoria QR code app for checking in; and
- COVIDSafe Plans prepared for each site and COVID Marshal available for each site.
Travel between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria
Members are reminded that all construction workers moving between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria must be fully vaccinated (two doses) in order to attend or resume building work such as renovation work.
Construction industry roadmap
Last month the Government released guidance which set out how the restrictions of the residential building industry would be eased. A construction industry roadmap was also made available to the public.
While the roadmap provides some indication of when certain works will resume, there remains a great level of uncertainty regarding when small-scale construction sites can return to 100 percent capacity.
HIA has requested further details on the reopening of the residential building industry as Victoria reaches its vaccination milestones. HIA continues to strongly advocate for the further easing of restrictions in order to enable the residential building industry to operate at full capacity while complying with COVID Safety measures.
HIA will continue to keep members informed as soon as more information becomes available.
Mildura’s lockdown extended
Today the Government announced an extension to the current lockdown in Mildura after a significant number of COVID-19 cases were reported.
The lockdown is now set to end at 11:59pm next Friday 22 October 2021 and there will be no changes to restrictions in Mildura during the extension.
Members can access HIA’s 9 October member alert for more information on construction restrictions during Mildura’s lockdown.