Master Builders Victoria and the Property Council have welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement to boost building and construction workforce vaccination rates and undertake a four-week compliance and enforcement blitz to ensure worksites are properly implementing COVIDSafe measures.

The Victorian Government will prioritise 20,000 Pfizer vaccines and an unlimited amount of AstraZeneca vaccines for building and construction workers to supercharge vaccination rates.  Directed by the Department of Justice and Community Safety, Authorised Officers and WorkSafe Inspectors will undertake a four-week enforcement blitz to audit and assess COVIDSafety on worksites and ensure all sites are complying with Government regulations.  It is expected that Victorian Building Authority officers will join the blitz later this week, using Public Health and Wellbeing powers.

Master Builders Victoria CEO Rebecca Casson backed today’s announcements, which had long been requested by industry.

“The building and construction industry is critical to jobs and the economy but it’s just as critical that our industry continues to enforce COVIDSafe measures,” Ms Casson said.

“While the Treasurer acknowledged that our industry has gone above and beyond to stay COVIDSafe and remain open, it was made clear that the risks in managing the Delta variant are now much higher. 

“We acknowledge that our industry’s obligation to continue to work comes with significant responsibilities.

“Everyone employed in the building and construction industry must take this warning very seriously, otherwise our sector’s permitted worker status will be at risk.”

Victorian Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia, Danni Hunter, also backed the new building and construction blitz.

“Higher vaccination rates and thoroughly diligent compliance with all COVID prevention measures will ensure building and construction can continue to make an overwhelmingly positive contribution to Victoria,” Ms Hunter said.

“That’s why we’ve supported the Master Builders Victoria campaign to increase vaccination rates and say to the whole building, construction and property sector `Let’s Get the Jab Done’ and get Victoria moving again.

“The Government has thrown down the gauntlet to the building and construction industry to reach a high threshold of 90 per cent first dose vaccination before it can re-open at 50 per cent capacity. But we also need a means to measure this vaccination rate so we have a clear roadmap to increase capacity of the industry.”

Ms Casson said prioritising vaccination access for building and construction workers was a vital step in keeping the sector open and safe.

“That’s why we have launched a campaign `Get the Jab Done’ to encourage every building and construction worker who is eligible to get vaccinated and ensure we can continue to protect jobs and deliver important economic activity for Victoria,” she said.

Ms Casson said the success of the sector in preventing the spread of COVID-19 until now showed precautions and measures have worked to keep building and construction sites safe and open.

“The recent outbreaks underscore the importance of everyone in the building and construction sector continuing to follow COVIDSafe protocols to keep sites safe and operating,” she said.

“Our industry will continue to work with the Victorian Government on a vaccination roadmap so that we can start to increase worksite capacities and get on with the job of building the infrastructure, homes and projects Victoria will need for decades to come.”