There have been a series of significant announcements over the last 48-72 hour period, including the launch of an important industry initiative to help workers get relevant information regarding vaccinations. These announcements are summarised as follows:
Mandatory Vaccination (Specified Facilities) Directions
The Acting Chief Health Officer has issued the new COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination (Workers) Directions, which came into effect at 11:59pm on 7 October 2021.
It is extremely important, that principal contractors and employers are aware of their obligations under these directions, especially the obligation to prevent entry of unvaccinated workers, and to be aware of the relevant date for workers to have received the second dose by 13 November – Click Here.
There is a pro-forma Vaccination Status Register template that is available for principal contractors and/or employers to use to provide evidence of compliance – Click Here.
Authorised Officers to be allowed onsite
On Saturday, the Government restated its dedicated Industry Engagement and Enforcement Operation will continue to enforce workplace directions, targeting areas of high non-compliance or health risk, under its construction industry restart plan.
Authorised Officers performing onsite inspections at Victorian businesses will have evidence (in most cases a signed letter on official department/agency letterhead) confirming their vaccination status for workplaces to sight before they enter the premises.
Construction sites must allow Authorised Officers to enter the premises after sighting this letter. Businesses can expect a visit at any time from Authorised Officers, who can issue fines and enforce closures.
For more information visit the Construction Restart Plan webpage.
Mildura enters Snap Seven Day Lockdown
“Moorabool and Shepparton exit Lockdown”
Mildura Rural City entered a seven day “snap lockdown” from 11:59pm on Friday, 8 October 2021, with restrictions the same as those in Mitchell Shire and metropolitan Melbourne (excluding the curfew). At the same time, Moorabool Shire and Greater Shepparton exited lockdown.
The Mildura Rural City LGA now joins metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire as Restricted Areas (Under Stay-at-Home Directions). Authorised work (with a permit) is one of the six reasons to leave home in Restricted Areas.
Vaccinated Economy Trials – new details announced
On Sunday, the Victorian Government has announced further details for the reopening of Victoria’s vaccinated economy. Subject to consideration by the Chief Health Officer and a COVIDSafe Plan, several thousand people will be able to watch Victorian artists celebrate the return of live music at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Saturday, 30 October.
Days later, up to 10,000 racing fans will be at Flemington for the Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday in November. The final two days of the Melbourne Cup Carnival – Oaks Day and Stakes Day – will also welcome up to 10,000 patrons if the 80 per cent double-vaccination threshold has been passed. Attendees will be spread across several zones at Flemington in allocated seats, will be required to wear masks and must be fully vaccinated, or holding a valid exemption.
The Vaccinated Economy Trials will allow more people to safely attend venues and events when all patrons are fully vaccinated and the first stage begins today, Monday 11 October, at regional venues across Victoria.
Fourteen venues and events in six local government areas will operate with higher capacity and density limits under the 70 per cent double dose settings.
Victorians attending a Vaccinated Economy Trial business or event will be asked to show they are fully vaccinated with:
- a COVID-19 digital certificate displayed through the Service Victoria app, the Medicare app, or a smartphone wallet, or
- a printed version of their certificate or immunisation history statement, or
- provide evidence of a valid exemption.
From Tuesday 12 October, Victorians can add their COVID-19 digital certificate to the Service Victoria app through MyGov or the Express Medicare Plus App. Regionally based trial case managers from the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) will assist each business throughout the trials.
For more information, please visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccinated-economy-trials
New Industry COVID-19 Website Launched
“Working Together to Vaccinate the Building, Construction & Development Industry”
Last Friday, industry bodies and unions from Victoria’s building, construction and development sector launched a new website – www.constructionvaccinehub.com.au – to provide clear and concise COVID-19 vaccination information for their members.
The website provides details about vaccinations, links to where workers can get vaccinated, and multilingual resources for members to promote vaccinations in 16 languages.
As a collaborative group of industry bodies and unions, we are supportive of vaccinations for workers and committed to ensure all our respective industry members are able to access the latest vaccination information readily and conveniently through one central source.
The construction vaccination hub website is supported by the Building Industry Group of Unions and Industry Associations (known as the “BIG1”), comprises the CFMEU, Master Builders Victoria, Plumbing and Pipe Trades Employees Union, Master Plumbers, Electrical Trades Union, National Electrical and Communications Association, Australian Manufacturers Workers Union, Property Council of Australia, Urban Development Institute Australia, and Civil Contractors Federation.
A copy of the Media Release announcing the launch of the website is attached for your reference, and CCF encourages you to regularly reference to site for COVID-19 vaccination information and updates relative to our industry.
CCF Member COVID-19 Survey Results
Last weekend, CCF initiated a member survey to gain a better appreciation of the current status of vaccination levels (ie: fully / partially vaccinated and those who refuse to get vaccinated) and the impact the restriction of worker movement across restricted and unrestricted boundaries would have on civil construction works (currently listed under Early Stage / Greenfield Land Development).
The details of the survey results were tabled with DJPR and provided both CCF and the State Government valuable insights into our industry under the current COVID-19 restrictions imposed.
A copy of the survey results has been placed on the CCF Member Portal but in brief, we had a total of 212 respondents (12 received after the production of this report), with the survey being send to around 2,000 (circa 10% response rate).
This provides us with a sufficient survey data base and sample, to provide our initial findings. We also conducted additional calculations on the free text answers in the survey with the following conclusions drawn…
- Out of 212 responses, and a total of 5,741 workers, we estimate that as at 4 October 2021, 91% of this civil construction workforce having either their 1st or 2nd does of the COVID-19 vaccine;
- This covered direct employees only, not sub-contractors/labour hire, and the % split (fully, partially – prior and not prior to 13 November and refusal) is noted below;
|How many employees are fully vaccinated (double dose)||How many employees are vaccinated (single dose but have a booking for 2nd dose prior to 13 November||How many employees are partially vaccinated (single dose but cannot get a booking for the 2nd dose prior to 13 November||How many employees refuse to get vaccinated and are currently stood down|
|Total number of employees: 5,741|
- Over 41% of the respondents were predominantly engaged in Early Stage / Greenfield Development;
- 59% had depots or yards in restricted areas; and
- if changes had not been made to the Early Stage Development worker movement between restricted and unrestricted areas, a total of 166 sites would have been impacted or closed;
Some anecdotal comments from the survey and the impact regarding workers refusing vaccinations were also noted and provided to DJPR.
I want to personally thank all CCF members for their prompt response to this survey request and through our continued advocacy efforts, we were successful in obtaining concessions that allowed the movement of civil construction workers engaged in Early Stage Land Development works from restricted to unrestricted areas (and vice versa), subject to density quotients and vaccination status.
Please visit the Coronavirus website for more information for industry and workers regarding vaccination requirements.
The website includes Frequently Asked Questions for workers and Frequently Asked Questions for business and industry. This webpage will be updated as further information becomes available.
Not a CCF member and would like to access our valuable industry resources? Contact the team on 1300 DIAL CCF, or visit www.ccfvic.com.au/membership/why-join/