The Premier and State Government has made a series of announcements today, that impact on our industry.
At his Press Conference and subsequent Media Release, the Premier announced that in order to continue working, construction workers state-wide will need to show evidence to their employer that they have had a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 11:59pm Thursday, 23 September.
A copy of the Premier’s announcement and the revised Table of Restrictions are attached – CLICK HERE.
Limited medical exemptions and proof-of-booking exceptions will apply, in line with previous requirements for residential aged care workers.
The CCF strongly supports the Government’s initiative to fast-track vaccination for all construction workers and we urge members to move swiftly to comply with this important directive.
The Government has also announced that from 11.59pm tomorrow night (Friday 17 September), construction workers will now not be able to cross the metropolitan-regional boundary for work.
The nature and location of civil and infrastructure work, being outdoor-based and low density at 10 persons per hectare, is predominantly metro-fringe based resulting in many workers living marginally inside or outside of the metro/regional boundary.
The CCF will liaise with Government in the morning to seek clarification that workers on infrastructure and land development projects located on the fringe of Melbourne’s metro area can attend work on the basis that they comply with the vaccination mandate.
We will also be seeking guidance from the Government as to worksite status for workers that have had their second jab.
We have sought further clarification on these and other matters raised late today at our DJPR briefing and we will report back to members in the next 24 – 48 hours.
Vaccinations for Construction Workers.
As noted above, under the new Public Health Order Directions being drafted, construction workers now must have their 1st vaccination by 11.59pm next Thursday, 23 September. CCF Victoria is fully supportive of this Government initiative.
As previously advised, there are a range of priority booked, walk-up and general appointments available to those working in the sector, ie:
- Priority Pfizer bookings are available via the Coronavirus Hotline – 1800 675 398 or use the online booking system
- Open access to AstraZenica (AZ) jabs at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC).
# each afternoon from 3pm – 6.30pm
- “Walk-up” vaccinations for Pfizer and AZ are only available at four state clinics: Ford Campbellfield; Wyndham; Melton; and Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital.
# see website for access times: Vaccination centres | Coronavirus Victoria
- Appointments at a vaccination centre can be booked by calling the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 – You can also book a vaccine appointment at a participating doctor’s clinic, pharmacy or community health service.
In direct response to this announcement by Government today, CCF member – Company Medical Services (CMS) is offering priority access to their new Pfizer Hub just launched this week in Surrey Hills. There are limited available spaces and you can click on the link below and register an appointment for either yourself, or members of your family who are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine.
CMS address: 384-386 Canterbury Road, Surrey Hills VIC 3127
Referral code: hub123
Alternately, appointments at a vaccination centre can be booked by calling the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 – You can also book a vaccine appointment at a participating doctor’s clinic, pharmacy or community health service
While we are continuing to work collaboratively with Government, it is clear that this matter is evolving and there are more questions than answers at present.
We will continue to position civil works and infrastructure as Early Stage Development / Infrastructure works, carried out in the “open air” and with low associated risks. Also, the restrictions being proposed on movement for civil contractors between metro – regional areas will result in the closure of many major Government infrastructure works.
There is a critical distinction that must be drawn between construction (Large & Small Scale works) and civil contractor/infrastructure works (Early Stage – Greenfield Development and Government State Projects), which requires clarification from Government in the morning.
We have also requested late today a very clear definition of what constitutes a “construction worker and a construction site” as they are defined in the state-wide restrictions being imposed. Together with UDIA, we have strongly recommended to Government that the definition of Authorised Worker includes infrastructure workers (civil) in regards to the metropolitan/regional border. This will be particularly important for the delivery of state-funded essential infrastructure works.
CCF will continue to keep you abreast of developments and work tirelessly on your behalf in representing your interests in keeping civil construction sites “open and COVIDsafe”.