Building and Construction back to work, lockdown ends tonight – Message from CEO

COVID-19 Updates
Master Builders Association

It’s official. The Victorian Government today announced that the five-day lockdown will end at 11:59pm tonight (Wednesday 17 February). The full announcement can be read here.

We are pleased that our industry will be back working from tomorrow. Our sector’s safety record was proven throughout 2020 and this is something we will continue.

If everyone maintains this safety record, we cannot see any reason why our sector should be locked down again.
We will continue to work closely with the Victorian Government to plan for any future outbreaks and consider how our industry can assist in the State’s response.

Clearly, the impact of shutting down a site in, for example Mildura, with the closest COVID-19 case more than 500 km away is not proportionate. And we have made that strong case – and many others – to the Government.
We look forward to continuing to work with the Chief Health Officer and his team to determine future appropriate responses, in close cooperation.

Thank you all for your patience and collegiality during these challenging few days – our industry is much stronger if we all continue to work together and support each other as we seek to find the best solution in these rapidly changing times.

Thank you for your continued support of Master Builders Victoria.
Best wishes, Rebecca

Lockdown Lowdown:
Please note that there are some additional requirements as part of these lifted restrictions:

  • Masks are to be worn indoors, and outdoors when 1.5 metre physical distance cannot be maintained
  • Offices can operate at 50% capacity
  • Private household gatherings limited to 5 people
  • Further restrictions on entertainment and indoor gatherings apply
  • Some restrictions on hospitals and aged care

Full details of these requirements can be read here

Our industry:
All building and construction worksites can open back up at 100% capacity as of 11:59pm tonight. Members can prepare to be back on site on Thursday, as had been allowed prior to the circuit breaker lockdown. This applies to the whole of Victoria and all sectors of the industry (large and small scale, development, manufacturing and supply). It also includes display homes, land sales offices and display suites.

As outlined in last night’s bulletin, Master Builders Victoria has been working relentlessly to represent our industry since rumours of a lockdown emerged last week. This effort, and the strong support our members have provided over the last 5 days has played a major part in getting us all back to work from tomorrow.

There are some important things to note before we go back:

  • Version 10 of the industry guidelines that were released yesterday still apply and are intended to take effect immediately
  • Masks are required to be worn indoors and outdoors when 1.5 metre physical distance cannot be maintained. Masks must be carried on workers at all times
  • As we’ve seen over the last week, safety in the community is still crucial to our sector’s ongoing operation. Everyone must remain vigilant and observe all the safety measures that have been practiced throughout 2020
  • Please make sure your workers are aware of all the exposure sites, updated regularly on these, and get tested and isolate if relevant. Exposure sites can be viewed here
  • Make sure you have a COVIDSafe plan (information here), check the latest industry guidelines here and our COVID-19 resources page here

Border communities:
The NSW border remains open to Victorians, so from 11:59pm tonight, workers will be able to cross the border for work, from either side of it.  This reverts back to what had been in place prior to 11:59pm Friday 12 February, 2021.

Next Monday RDO:
For those businesses that have workers with a scheduled rostered day off on Monday 22 February, 2021, there has understandably been discussion on whether this will still apply. Our advice is:

Members who operate under the 2016-2018 or 2020-23 CFMEU Enterprise Agreements or those who informally implement the CFMEU on-site RDO calendar, may be aware that next Monday, 22 February 2021, (following the snap lockdown) is a scheduled RDO. We understand that as a result of the snap lockdown projects are facing unforeseen delays and productivity losses. In turn, Employers may need to consider working on the scheduled RDO. In those circumstances, we refer Employers to follow the applicable procedure in their Enterprise Agreement. For more information, you can call our Industrial Relations Team on 03 9411 4555.
A Reminder
Master Builders Victoria remains available to support our members. Your health and safety, as well as that of our team, sponsors and stakeholders, is of the utmost importance to us. While many of our team has transitioned to working remotely, we continue to deliver our services and products to you and have plans in place allowing this to continue as the effects of COVID-19 unfold. We will keep you notified of any changes that may affect the way we serve you.

Please also note that while our walk-in shops are closed, the online shop is still active and will deliver to your homes. To access the online shop, please click here.

At this time of uncertainty, we encourage members to take advantage of the numerous support resources available to them including:

The Victorian Government has also launched it’s Partners in Wellbeing Helpline for Victorian business owners, their employees and business advisers. The 1300 375 330 Helpline is available seven days a week from 9am to 10pm on weekdays and 9am to 5pm on weekends.

The Helpline offers free and confidential one-on-one access to wellbeing and mental health support. The telephone helpline has also been expanded to provide business owners under stress with free access to financial counsellors.
More information is available on the Business Victoria website, while the Victorian Government has other programs and resources to support the local business community through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which you can find on the Business Victoria website.

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