To: CCF Victoria staff, members and stakeholders.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update – From the CEO Desk.

Good morning.

The Premier yesterday afternoon announced that at 11.59pm, Sunday 27 September 2020, we will take the second step in our roadmap towards COVID Normal in metropolitan Melbourne.

For your ease of reference, please see the Premier’s media release and a table outlining the changes here (the table is linked at the bottom of the release):

Please also see the updated “How we work” roadmap here:

The major changes to the Roadmap to what was previously reported is that the Third and Last Steps will no longer be defined by dates in the calendar.  Instead, the “trigger point” for review by our public health team will be based solely on reaching our case number targets, with a minimum 3 week gap between changes.  

For the Building & Construction Industry, we will now move from “Heavily Restricted” to the “Restricted” stage in our Roadmap with workforce limits increased to 85% of baseline workforce, or 15 workers (large scale construction), contractors being able to move up to 5 sites per week / maximum 2 per day (small scale construction) and density restrictions eased on early stage developments allowing 20 workers per hectare.

I have received advice from the State Government, that the updated High Risk COVIDSafe plan for construction will now be introduced for our industry. It replaces the need for B&C employers to have a COVIDSafe Plan and High Risk COVIDSafe plan, and also integrates the 2 x guidelines that used to sit alongside those plans, ie: it is replacing what was previously 4 separate documents with this 1 integrated document.

We are still awaiting for this to be published on the FAQ’s on the Business Victoria website, which are not expected until later this evening.  As employers, you would have had to update your existing plans against the new “Restricted Directions” and I recommend you move this this template, which incorporates the new requirements. 

Number of Covid-19 cases in Victoria

There were 16 new positive cases reported in Victoria yesterday. The average number of cases diagnosed in the last 14 days for Metropolitan Melbourne is now <25 and under the government’s trigger for the introduction of Second Step reduction in restrictions which was subsequently introduced last night. We have been awaiting directions from the Chief Health Officer covering workplace directions to provide guidance to the industry including the use of COVIDSafe Monitors and other matters concerning the transition to “Restricted Level” as noted above. COVID Safe Monitors Employers should be gearing up for the requirement for COVIDSafe Monitors on each of their projects. The Federal Government online COVID-19 Infection Control Training is available via the following link and I encourage all HSE representatives to undertake this online course which will take about 20 minutes.

State Government Business Stimulus and Support Packages

The Victorian Government has recently announced a $3 billion Business Resilience Package to help businesses impacted by ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

It includes $822 million for a third round of the Business Support Fund which will help around 75,000 small and medium sized businesses that must remain closed or operate under restrictions in line with the Victorian Government’s ‘How we work’ roadmaps.

Eligible businesses will receive grants of either $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 depending on the business’ annual payroll. To be eligible, businesses must already employ staff and have a payroll of up to $10 million. Full details on eligibility and how to apply are set out on the Business Support Fund webpage .

Applications will remain open until funds are exhausted or 11.59pm on 23 November 2020, whichever is earlier. Small and medium businesses make an enormous contribution to the Victorian economy and the Business Resilience Package includes a range of cashflow support, payroll tax deferrals and fee waivers to help businesses through this challenging time.

For more information on the support available to Victorian businesses and how to apply, please visit Business Victoria.

Building & Construction Industry (CALD) As highlighted in our CCF Connect enewsletter last Friday, CCF Victoria joined other union and employer groups for a collaborative new campaign focused on workplace safety in the building, construction and development industry. Download the campaign resources.

The campaign coincides with the metropolitan Melbourne part of the sector moving to the ‘Restricted’ phase, with an aim to continue the great track record of safety the industry has had since March.  The campaign aims to influence all workers and will also see the messages translated into 15 different languages and cultural context, so workers of all backgrounds can easily access the important information on COVID-19 safety.

The campaign will cover different phases over the coming weeks and months, with today’s focus on safety and hygiene on the worksite, while next week will focus on the need for those practices to be observed away from work in the household, to help protect the safety of individuals, their work colleagues and their livelihoods.  The building, construction and development industry has been a leader in the implementation and adaptation of new COVID-19 safety protocols. Most of those protocols mandated in the Government roadmap have already been proactively implemented by the industry over the last seven months.

It’s these actions that have seen the building, construction and development industry keep infection and transmission rates at a fraction of the community average and have made onsite workers less-likely than the rest of the community to contract COVID-19.   
Posters, social media tiles and messages can be downloaded here.

The site contains messaging in the following languages: English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Punjabi, Arabic, Hindi,  Dari, Pashto, Vietnamese, Nepalese, Korean, Indonesian, and Croatian. Greek, Sinhalese and Farsi will be added later today.
List of unions and employer associations involved in the campaign:  CFMEU Victoria, Master Builders Victoria, Incolink, National Electrical and Communications Association, Electrical Trades Union, Master Plumbers,  Plumbing and Pipe Trades Employees Union, Property Council of Australia, Urban Development Institute of Australia,  AMWU, Civil Contractors Federation, AWU, Australian Institute of Building, AMCA, Australian Constructors Association, prefabAUS and National Fire Industry Association was conducted last Friday 11 September.

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

Kind regards

John Kilgour

CEO, CCF Victoria