Industry News
Fiona Nield

Restrictions to Ease for Regional Victoria

This afternoon the Government announced a 7-day extension to the lockdown for Greater Melbourne. Also announced was some easing of restrictions in regional Victoria.  

Requirements for all of Victoria

General Requirements 

Members should continue to: 

  • Regularly review the DHHS list of exposure sites to make sure that they are not subject to a requirement to isolate until tested and cleared or other restrictions on leaving home.
  • Continue to wear facemasks indoors and outdoors on building sites. 
  • Maintain record keeping requirements through the Victoria Service App where required, third party QR code providers or manual records for workers and visitors attending the work premises. As soon as you enter a premises a record of entry is now required. 

Changes to electronic record keeping to retail settings 

The Government has expanded compliance with Victoria’s QR code requirements across Victoria making it mandatory in retail settings.

This means that display homes must use the Service Victoria app from 11:59pm tomorrow night, Thursday 3 June, with an expected 2 week amnesty. Click here to register to use the Service Victoria app.

Businesses that are open in regional Victoria must check the IDs of everyone they serve. This is intended to prevent Victorians residing in Greater Melbourne travelling to regional Victoria. 

Circuit Breaker Business Support Package 

The Government has extended additional support to businesses affected by the extension to the lockdown.

While it is not yet clear if businesses in the building industry will be eligible for the Business Support Package, HIA encourages members who have been impacted by the lockdown to register for more information.

Applications were to open on Wednesday 2 June, however today’s announcement reports applications will be open from tomorrow Thursday 3 June and remain open until Thursday 24 June. 

Businesses in Greater Melbourne and Regional Victoria that continue to remain closed will be eligible for the extension of the additional support package. 

Requirements for Regional Victoria

Restrictions in Regional Victoria will ease from 11:59pm tomorrow night, Thursday 3 June.

Victorians residing in Regional Victoria will no longer be subject to the five reasons to leave home and can open for business subject to COVIDSafe measures. 

Travel to Greater Melbourne from Regional Victoria is possible but must be for one of the five permitted reasons. Anyone travelling to Greater Melbourne must follow restrictions in place for Greater Melbourne while there.

Can building sites remain open in regional Victoria? 

Yes, building sites can continue to remain open during the restrictions in Regional Victoria. 

With the lifting of the restrictions in regional Victoria it is expected, but yet to be confirmed, that renovations in occupied premises will be allowed to resume from Friday.

Members must comply with all COVID restrictions when on site including: 

  • wearing a facemask at all times (unless exempted); 
  • using contact tracing records – such as QR codes;
  • complying with cleaning requirements on site; and 
  • maintaining social distancing as outlined in the HIA’s Making Space on Site Guidelines. 

Other Meetings with clients

HIA expects that members will be able to allow client inspections to occur at building sites with this easing of restrictions in Regional Victoria – consistent with COVIDSafe plans. Members should be able to meet with clients to sign contracts and discuss projects in Regional Victoria. It may not be possible for clients from Greater Melbourne to travel into Regional Victoria for these meetings. 

Offices 

There will be some capacity for workers to return to offices in Regional Victoria from Friday 4 June but there will be a capacity limit of 50% or 20 workers. 

Face masks will still need to be worn indoors unless an exemption applies. HIA understands that workers will be required to work from home unless there is a clear need to be at the workplace. 

Lockdown restrictions for Greater Melbourne

The extension to the lockdown will commence at 11:59pm Thursday 3 June and end at 11:59pm Thursday 10 June.

The extension to the lockdown requires Victorians residing in Greater Melbourne to stay at home unless they meet one of the five reasons to leave home. This includes:

  • To shop for necessary goods and services.
  • For caregiving or compassionate reasons.
  • To get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible to do so.  
  • To exercise for a maximum of two hours per day. 
  • For authorised work or permitted education.

Can building sites remain open in Greater Melbourne? 

Yes, building sites continue to remain open during the lockdown. This applies to renovation and maintenance activity where the home is unoccupied.

Critical repairs to any premises is permitted for emergency work. 

Members must comply with all COVID restrictions when on site including: 

  • wearing a facemask at all times (unless exempted); 
  • using contact tracing records – such as QR codes;
  • complying with cleaning requirements on site; and 
  • maintaining social distancing as outlined in the HIA’s Making Space on Site Guidelines. 

Building work at occupied premises 

From Friday 4 June, external building work will be permitted at occupied premises in Greater Melbourne when undertaken outdoors and where there is no contact with the client. This includes pools, landscaping, painting, fencing work and the installation of solar panels.  This also includes maintenance work when undertaken outdoors.

HIA understands that there will be a limit of 5 workers plus a supervisor at these occupied sites.

In-home renovations, however, is still restricted in Greater Melbourne. 

Remaining within 10km of home

Victorians residing in Greater Melbourne will now be able to travel 10km from home where permitted to do so. This means that they are no longer bound by the 5km rule.    

Site inspections 

Site inspections that are considered ‘critical’ to the progress of a building project may continue in Greater Melbourne during the lockdown.  

These are limited to site inspections involving building surveyors, architects, engineers and other working professionals.

We now have Government advice that site inspections involving a client or agent of a client may not occur in Greater Melbourne during the lockdown period.

Contract signing 

It is not possible to meet with clients to sign a building contract. Building contracts may only be signed online or by other means, e.g. by mailing the contract to the client. 

HIA continues to advocate for our members 

HIA has made a case to Government explaining why and how in-home renovation work should be allowed to continue with COVID safe measures place.

We have also asked the Government to permit client site inspections that are critical to the progress of a building project, such as final inspection and handover, during the lockdown. 

HIA will continue to keep you informed as more information becomes available about the restrictions on building work across Victoria. 

HIA appreciates that this is another extremely difficult period for our members and the industry. Our team remains available to assist members and we are working closely with the Government to seek the best outcomes over the coming week. 

Subscribe to the Bowens Newsletter

Name
*
Name
Email
*
Email
Postcode
Postcode