To: CCF Victoria staff, members and industry stakeholders.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update – From the CEO desk.
Following a refreshing break on annual leave, my wife and I experienced first-hand the excellent work of DHHS in communicating to us the action to be undertaken following the outbreak of two positive cases late last week in Sydney. Fortunately, we had decided to cancel our travel plans to Sydney and return directly home to Melbourne. However, this incident highlighted to us the value of following regular communication and updates forwarded to us by DHHS, via the cross border licensing and registration system that we used.
There has been much happening at both a State Government & Building & Construction Industry level over the last month and the following are a series of important announcements and updates received during this period for you and your business.
Update on Positive Cases & News Round Up as at 7 May 2021.
There are currently 17 active cases of returning travellers in hotel quarantine in Victoria – no new positives. The news of the last two days has been from NSW where an unexplained locally acquired positive case has resulted in the identification of 19 ‘tier 1’ sites. This means that anyone who has been at those locations at the same time as the positive case must get tested and isolate for 14 days.
Genomic sequencing results from the COVID-19 case in Sydney have narrowed the field of public health concern. For now, all areas in New South Wales will remain green zones under Victoria’s travel permit system. People entering Victoria from a green zone require a permit. Permits take five minutes to obtain at Service Victoria. NSW Health has identified more exposure sites. If you are currently in Victoria and have been to any of the exposure sites on the New South Wales COVID case locations website follow the advice listed to test and isolate, and immediately contact the Victorian Department of Health at 1300 651 160.
Further Easing of Community Restrictions and Density Quotient.
Last Friday, 7 May 2021, the Victorian Government announced that density quotients of one person per two square metres will soon be lifted for small-to-medium sized venues across the state.
From 28 May, these venues can have up to 200 people per space without any density limit, provided COVID marshals are on site ensuring all patrons are checking in to each space. These changes will apply for spaces that are 400 sqm or below. Larger spaces still need to observe density limits. This means Victoria’s live music venues, restaurants, bars and nightclubs, will be able to welcome more patrons in a COVIDSafe way. It’s also an important step for places of worship, with people able to register their details and gather in greater numbers within spaces smaller than 400 square metres.
Also from 28 May, all venues and businesses required to undertake electronic record keeping must use the Victorian Government QR Code Service through the Service Victoria app. This is convenient for Victorians and gives contact tracers access to the best data quickly. The full announcement is available here.
Building & Construction Industry Working Group Update – Alternative Quarantine Accommodation (AQA) Project.
Whilst on leave, I continued to engage with the Chair of the B&C Industry Working Group, Rebecca Casson (Master Builder Association Victoria – MBAV) following the preliminary announcement made on 29 April by the Victorian Government about the development of a new quarantine hub in Melbourne’s north, as alternative quarantine accommodation for returning overseas travellers. An existing animal quarantine facility located at Donnybrook Road in Mickleham, more than 40 kilometres north of Melbourne’s CBD, was announced as the preferred site by Victoria’s Acting Premier, James Merlino.
Mr Merlino said Victoria would invest $15 million in the design work for a 500-bed quarantine facility. However, the project is dependent on Commonwealth funding, and according to Mr Merlino a final decision whether to go ahead would not be made until September. According to details released, the new quarantine hub would be designed with portable cabins and be able to accommodate 500 passengers at any one time, with the ability to scale up to 3000 beds. In his comments to the media, the Acting Premier said that the cost of constructing the complex would total $200 million, Mr Merlino said, and a 3000-bed facility would cost up to $700 million. The Acting Premier also said if the Commonwealth rejected the Mickleham proposal, the state would then investigate building the facility near the Avalon airport.
Discussions with MBAV have centred on a co-ordinated “call to action” and the preparedness of our industry to support “front-end” greenfield civil construction development works associated with this planned facility.
YOU ARE INVITED to have your say on the Alternative Quarantine Accommodation (AQA) Project.
As part of the State Government’s formal process on the AQA project and working in conjunction with Master Builders Victoria, CCF members are invited to an exclusive industry webinar with State Government representatives on the morning of Wednesday, 19 May 2021.
Members who wish to be a part of the AQA project are encouraged to save the date for this important event, where you will have the opportunity to provide input and find out more information about the initiative. This industry webinar will form part of the State Government’s formal process for the AQA, and we encourage all those interested in becoming involved with the project to attend. This event is free and is also open to non-members of CCF Victoria and Master Builders Victoria. However, registration will be essential. More details on this will follow.
In the meantime, please hold the following date and timeframe in your calendar:
Date: Wednesday, 19 May 2021
Time: AM – exact time to be advised shortly
Should you have any questions about the AQA, that you wish to be raised during the discussion, please send them to: email@example.com
New Victorian Government QR Code System introduced.
The Victorian Government QR Code Service, or an API compatible digital record keeping service, is mandatory in most customer facing industries, to help with COVID-19 contact tracing. The list of the sectors can be found at coronavirus.vic.gov.au. The list of API compatible services can be found at www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/visitation-api-connected-third-parties. If you already use the free Victorian Government QR Code Service for your record-keeping, you don’t need to do anything. This QR code system already integrates with the Department of Health’s contact tracing system.
If you need to change providers because your current provider is not connected to the Victorian Government Visitation API, the Victorian Government QR Code Service is easy to use and is free for all Victorian businesses and organisations. By using the Victorian Government QR Code Service, both you and your customers can be sure your data is secure. Data is deleted after 28 days.
Please make sure that visitors check-in with a QR Code. Checking-in allows contact tracers to quickly get the information they need to contain a COVID-19 outbreak. All businesses must have an active, up to date COVIDSafe Plan. Download and display the signage available to remind people of the need to check in and other safety measures.
Until my next update …. keep well – keep safe.