Message from the CEO
Thank you all for the positive comments that I have received in relation to my series of recent updates on the COVID-19 (C-19) Pandemic and what this means for our industry. It is important in these challenging times that we remain connected and you understand the work CCF is doing on your behalf, and where to go to get support when you need it most
STATE GOVERNMENT BUSINESS SUPPORT FUND
With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic impacting industries, including civil construction, the Victorian Government is responding with a $1.7 billion Economic Survival Package to support businesses and workers. Today one of the key programs in the package, the $500 million Business Support Fund, is officially open to applications.
The Business Support Fund will help small businesses highly impacted by shutdown restrictions. Those businesses can apply for a $10,000 grant towards operational costs and to help keep people in work.
To be eligible, businesses must already employ staff, have payroll of less than $650,000 and a turnover of more than $75,000. Full details on eligibility and how to apply are set out on the Business Support Fund webpage business.vic.gov.au/businesssupportfund.
The attached fact sheet provides further information about the Victorian Government’s Economic Survival Package. Businesses needing guidance on dealing with the coronavirus can also check the Business Victoria website business.vic.gov.au or call the Business Victoria hotline 13 22 15.
CCF ADVOCACY UPDATE
CCF continues to make representations at a Federal, State & Local Government levels.
We have sought a general exemption for ‘civil construction workers and industry related personnel’ to allow these workers to cross borders for the purposes of working and managing civil construction sites following recent state and territory border closure announcements.
The CCF is also advocating for additional monies to be invested into shovel ready, productive civil construction projects and for those monies to be distributed fairly across all jurisdictions including local government levels. It is therefore essential that these doors are kept “open for business”. I have personally written late last week to the Premier in this regard and also tabled CCF’s submission supporting the introduction of a proposed ‘civil construction procurement rescue plan’, similar to the one recently released and issued by the British Government’.
With stage 3 restrictions announced today by the State Government in Victoria, it is important that the Building & Construction sector continues to be classified as an “Essential Service”. It is also critical that we draw a distinction between civil construction (horizontal construction – road, rail, airport, bridges) and building construction (vertical construction – highrise buildings, commercial buildings and houses), such that government COVID-19 policy is clearly structured and defined according to each of these very different construction sectors. This distinction is critical as Civil Construction worksites lend themselves very well to compliance under the current social & physical distancing rules, i.e. the construction sites are typically large open Road or Bridge construction sites.
BEST PRACTICE FOR MANAGING BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION SITES IN THE COVID-19 ENVIRONMENT BY VICTORIA STATE GOVERNMENT
The Victorian State Government has issued a document on best practice for managing building and construction sites in the COVID-19 environment. Link below.https://www.ccfvic.com.au/best-practice-for-managing-building-and-construction-sites-in-the-covid-19-environment-issued-by-victorian-state-government/
We encourage members to review the document and follow this best practice on worksites. Our HSEQ Officer, Trevor Derham, is available to assist you in the interpretation and adoption of these guidelines. In the meantime, CCF Victoria will continue to work together with our members, other industry associations / employer groups and unions, in the review of these guidelines with Government.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT & ADVICE
In welcoming today’s announcement by the State Government with the launch of its Business Support Fund, the C-19 pandemic continues to threaten the financial viability and sustainability of many small businesses.
It is important that CCF members obtain relevant financial advice and support during these difficult and challenging times. A good source for assistance for those in financial need is the below “Finder” which is extremely comprehensive and covers the support being offered by financial banking institutions. https://www.finder.com.au/coronavirus-financial-help
CCF supporter and financial accountants, Matthews Steer, can also assist CCF members in regards to the current environment businesses are facing. Attached below is a recent communique forwarded by partner Adrian Misiano. https://www.matthewssteer.com.au/email/adbf054e-b905-439a-acc3-0fd759a8978d/45a5b687-35a5-441d-901d-3d1de60adbe4
The link contains many tips and useful links to recently announced stimulus packages. I am sure Adrian and the team at Matthews Steer would be only too pleased to assist and you can contact them on (03) 9325 6300.
ACCESSING HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT (HRM) MEMBER SERVICES
As a member or associate of CCF, you have access to the free HRM member advice line provided by our delivery partner, Ridgeline HR.
During the difficult period that we are all experiencing with COVID-19, you are no doubt going to have a variety of issues that present with respect to your employees. I encourage you to use this free advice line to get professional HRM advice on how to deal with any such issues that you encounter.
Call Peter Maguire on 0438 533 311 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
As I have previously stated, CCF is here to help and support you through this difficult period. If you need help, support or advice you can contact me personally, your MSO, or one of the BSC team members on 1300 DIAL CCF.