3pm Wednesday, 17 February 2021

To: CCF Victoria staff, members and stakeholders.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Circuit Breaker Lock-down Update – From the CEO’s Desk

Good afternoon.

On the advice of the Chief Health Officer, the Premier has announced this morning that as of 11:59pm tonight, the current 5-day circuit-breaker action will finish.  A link to the Premier’s Media Statement, Press Release and also the guidelines associated with community based restrictions is attached for your reference (at the bottom of the page).


Two key important points to note are:

  1. It is a full return to work for the building and construction industry (the 50% reference is for public and private offices).
  2. Face masks must still be worn outdoors (including at work) when you cannot maintain 1.5 physical distancing.

Other community and household restrictions as listed are in place until Friday week.

Advocacy in Action

This is good news for the civil construction industry and reflects the strong advocacy and representation to Government undertaken by CCF and other employer groups and unions, during the 5-day “circuit breaker lock-down” period since it was imposed last Friday.

Yesterday, I signed a joint submission to the Premier reinforcing:

  • the critical need for building and construction activity to re-start in a safe and responsible way from Thursday, 18 February 2021;
  • that our industry remains totally committed to the health and safety of our workers and the community in managing the challenges of COVID-19 and supporting the economic recovery for all Victorians;
  • the social and economic impact of a continued “lock-down” for the Building & Construction industry in this state, ie: it is projected that $455m is being lost in revenue, and $63m in wages lost, for every day that our industry is closed;
  • that during Stage 4 restrictions last year, the Building & Construction industry established an enviable track record of being able to operate responsibly and COVIDSafe through the long Melbourne lockdown period, as evidenced by the number of COVID-19 cases recorded and the pro-active measures introduced by the industry to achieve this;
  • there is no evidence to warrant the continued shutdown of the building, construction and development industry under such strict operating conditions;

Following the return to work announced today, our advocacy focus will now shift to ensure a “snap lock-down” like this does not occur in our industry again.  In particular, a greater understanding of the differences between sectors within the Building & Construction industry and the associated risks.  For the civil construction industry, this means a greater distinction between civil construction(ie: horizontal construction – road, rail, airport, bridges and utilities, ie: telecommunications, power, water & sewerage) and building construction (ie: vertical construction – high-rise buildings, commercial buildings and residential housing).   

Revision 10 of the Building & Construction Industry COVID-19 Guidelines

Yesterday, revision 10 of the Industry COVID-19 Guidelines was released.

These Guidelines are intended to take effect immediately for those sites that are continuing to operate today in compliance with the current “Circuit Breaker Action” and for sites returning to work upon the “lockdown” restrictions being lifted, subject to any other Directions issued by DHHS and the Victorian Government.

The Guidelines and an Explanatory Note are available here for your reference/viewing:

COVID-19 Building & Construction Industry Guidelines Victoria – Revision 10 CLICK HERE

COVID-19 Building and Construction Industry Guidelines Victoria – Revision 10 – Explanatory Note CLICK HERE

Until my next update …. keep well – keep safe.

Kind regards,