Latest COVID-19 VIC Update

The latest Victorian advocacy and policy updating including the latest COVID-19 restrictions update.

COVID-19 AT CONSTRUCTION SITES

On Sunday 12 September  at only two hours notice, Institute representatives including Chapter President,  Bill Krotiris,  were able to attend an online construction sector briefing by Treasurer Tim Pallas and Industry Minister, Martin Pakula whose portfolios include that of Minister for Industry Support and Recovery.

In summary:

  1. A large proportion of new Victorian Covid-19 cases are apparently occurring in construction sector workforce. 116 cases were linked to one construction site in Box Hill and more cases at other sites. For more information you can watch this ABC News piece on YouTube  
  2. As a consequence there will be 50 additional compliance officers out checking construction sites from today.
  3. There is a very real risk that the entire construction sector could be shut down in Victoria (that would be regional Victoria and Metropolitan Melbourne) if the situation does not improve.
  4. If you are visiting a construction site – please abide all requirements set for that site including masks, checking in etc.. Ensure your practice has its own CovidSafe Plan as mention was made that subcontractors visiting sites need to have their own plans as well.
  5. The construction industry is being strongly urged to get vaccinated. The Minister has forewarned that vaccination could be made mandatory on construction sites by the Victorian Government.
  6. There is now prioritised vaccine access over the coming week to Pfiser for people less than 60 and Astra Zeneca for 60+ who work in the construction sector. The Treasurer, when asked by the Institute, says that the priority access also includes Architects who visit construction sites. This prioritised access is taking place from 13 September to 19 September. When you ring the Covid vaccination booking line, please state that you are an Architect who works in construction and has to visit construction sites for inspections and certifications. If you experience any difficult, advise the booking staff that the Treasurer has personally advised your professional association of this. If you experience difficulties in doing so – please advise us via the Victorian Chapter email address vic@architecture.com.au and we will notify the health minister’s office.

 

Last week the Victorian Government had announced that lockdown restrictions will be lifted for regional Victoria from 11:59pm on Thursday, 9 September. While the Authorised Worker list will no longer apply in regional Victoria – we were advised at 8:00pm on September 8 by the Industry Coordination Centre of the Department of Jobs Precincts and Regions  that “There is no change to restrictions for the construction industry following today’s announcement of the end of lockdown in regional Victoria from 11:59pm on Thursday 9 September. The current restrictions for the construction sector will remain in place in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria“.

We also note that previous FAQs and references to Architects are no longer on the Construction Sector Guidance page and appear to have been removed since late last week.