COVID-19 and Cross Border management
Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced yesterday that NSW will temporarily shut its border with Victoria to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and jobs of NSW citizens.
The closure will be effective from 12.01am Wednesday, 8 July and follows the concerning spread of COVID-19 in Melbourne. Special conditions will be in place for freight operations and essential services.
The directions on non-essential travel and gatherings now apply in all states and territories are from the NSW Government website. You need to personally assess and prove your need to travel and seek advice from the relevant state or territory. The following Penalties apply for non-compliance.
The New South Wales DPI COVID-19 web portal and advice will be updated as further information becomes available. Links to the NSW DPI portal are below:
NHVR Response – Border Restrictions
Please be aware there have been changes in border controls as Australia responds to the increase in COVID‑19 cases currently occurring. Drivers transporting freight are generally exempt from border restrictions but may still be required to fill out a form when crossing borders and follow certain quarantine procedures. You should also allow for delays at border crossings.
Please note: The border between NSW and Victoria will be closed from 12.01am Wednesday 8 July. We are just waiting on confirmation that freight movements will remain exempt and what the process will be for permit applications. Additional information (including travel restrictions and quarantine requirements) is available at:
- Australian Capital Territory – https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/news-articles/health-advice-on-covid-19-hot-spots-in-melbourne
- New South Wales – https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/travel-and-transport-advice
- Northern Territory – https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/stay-safe/quarantine
- Queensland – https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/government-actions/border-closing
- South Australia – https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/restrictions-and-responsibilities/travel-restrictions
- Tasmania – https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au/travellers-and-visitors/coming-to-tasmania
- Victoria – https://transport.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-disease-covid-19#freight
- Western Australia – https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/covid-19-coronavirus-travel-wa
Further COVID-19 Restrictions Announced in Victoria
On Saturday, 4 July, the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, announced a number of significant changes to restrictions to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
With 23 cases across more than 12 households being identified in the Flemington and North Melbourne public housing estates, these estates – encompassing nine sites – were closed and contained. Residents are required to stay inside their homes and similar to outbreaks in closely confined settings like aged care, the only people coming in and out are those providing essential services. This will be in place for at least until the end of this week, ensuring COVID-19 tests are conducted for every single resident. The lifting of this restriction will be determined by the success in testing and tracking this virus.
On the advice of our health experts, the number of “hot zone” postcodes was also be expanded to include 3031 and 3051. This was effective from 11:59pm last Saturday night. These postcodes are experiencing elevated community transmission.
Yesterday, the State Government announced a ramping up of services and support for tenants in the two public housing estates under lockdown – with thousands of meals, supplies and personal care packs delivered in the past 24 hours. Sunday night 500 packs of essential supplies and over 3,000 meals were delivered to residents. Many thousands more will be delivered today. A dedicated 1800 number has been set up, and every tenant is being contacted to check in and assess their needs – with teams already speaking directly with nearly 1,000 residents in less than 24 hours. So far 398 residents have been tested across the two estates, with testing to continue to be a priority over the next few days. To keep kids on the estate engaged and active, more than 400 activity boxes have been delivered, including crayons, Lego and puzzle books. Each household is also be eligible for a hardship payment of either $750 or $1500, as well as two weeks’ rent relief.
The Community Connector Program is already underway connecting Victorians to the Red Cross, who will link Victorians in impacted postcodes and throughout the state with local support organisations.
Medical and PPE supplier directories published to business.vic.gov.au
An issue raised by many as businesses emerge from COVID-19 restrictions is the equipment businesses need to help staff and customers address new operating requirements, including personal protective equipment (PPE).
Supplier directories relevant to our industry have been uploaded to a new page on the Business Victoria website Coronavirus (COVID-19) Medical Equipment and PPE Supplier Directories.
Businesses can use these directories to find medical equipment and PPE. Businesses supplying products in the categories can email their interest in appearing on future directories. Small Business Victoria are available if you would like to discuss these and other recovery supports to help Victoria’s small businesses emerge strong and prepared for the future.
MTIA, Building & Construction worksites – Communications Pack
The Minister for Transport & Infrastructure, The Hon. Jacinta Allan and Director General – Major Transport Infrastructure Authority (MTIA), Corey Hannett, have recently written to all MTIA construction partners promoting new ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, enable rapid identification of suspected or confirmed cases and improve systems to identify close contacts and isolate impacted work zones.
The correspondence highlights additional measures to be introduced that may include:
- Temperature screening of workers and visitors, noting this has now been included in COVID-19 Guidelines for the Building and Construction Industry Victoria Revision 4.
- Worker screening solutions to ensure dedicated responses to fitness for work questions at the commencement of shifts, as well as background contact tracing capabilities.
- Internal audits to validate COVID-19 prevention measures for subcontractors and peripheral contractors and suppliers, including cleaners, security, traffic management, drivers and off-site work locations.
- Targeted communications to promote COVID-19 safe behaviours – Major Transport Infrastructure Authority (MTIA) will soon provide a pack of communication materials that can be used on site to further promote COVID-19 site safety, with rollout the responsibility of each project.
- Dedicated zones or bubble employee groups to restrict staff contact and positive case impacts.
There are several resources already available to guide construction workplace safety, including www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au and WorkSafe guidance which provides the foundation for COVID-19 prevention measures as well as management processes in the event of a positive case being diagnosed.
A Construction COVID-19 Communications pack, referred to in the Minister’s correspondence and prepared by the Department of Premier & Cabinet, will be available for your use to assist contain the spready of the C-19 virus on construction sites. A copy of the pack will be placed on the CCF member portal for your reference once it is formally released.
CCF Training Courses still being delivered as an “Essential Service” for the industry
CCF is continuing to deliver scheduled training services at both Notting Hill and Holmesglen, together with on-site training outside the restricted postcode areas. As previously advised, we have no scheduled on-site training courses planned in the restricted suburbs and these will not be conducted until after the 29 July Stage 3 restrictions have been lifted.
All Trainers have been fully briefed on health & safety protocols to enable training to continue and we ask that you abide by their instructions in the organisation and conduct of accredited and non-accredited training courses. They have been put in place based on the advice of the Chief Health Officer and the Department of Education & Training for the VET sector.
So if you require training, contact the team at CCF on 1300 DIAL CCF, or email email@example.com for more details.
Keep well & Keep safe
We all need to do our part. Remain vigilant and please adhere to the Building & Construction Guidelines on worksites that have been developed to minimise risk and spread of Coronavirus. The latest release (version 4) is available on the CCF Victoria website via the attached link. https://www.ccfvic.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Explanatory-Note_Industry-Guidelines_Rev-4_240620.pdf
Until my next update ….
CEO, CCF Victoria