Master Builders Victoria (MBV) has welcomed today’s announcement by the Victorian Government to introduce mandatory vaccinations in the building and construction industry.

To continue working, construction workers state-wide will need to show evidence to their employer that they have had a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 11:59pm Thursday, 23 September.

Limited medical exemptions and proof-of-booking exceptions will apply, in line with previous requirements for residential aged care workers.

As several COVID-19 cases have emerged from the building and construction sector in recent weeks, MBV CEO Rebecca Casson said it has become evident that mandatory vaccination of the state’s building and construction workers is the only way to move our industry forward.

“Our sector is Victoria’s fourth largest, accounts for 46 per cent of our state’s tax revenue and employs more than 320,000 Victorians directly and many more indirectly,” Ms Casson said.

“Every single day that our industry is locked down, the projected figures suggest that's $455 million lost in revenue. And $63 million in lost wages as well.

“Our industry’s continued operation is the reason our state’s economy is not declining.

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

“That’s one of the reasons Master Builders Victoria’s Council of Management this week resolved to re-state our organisation’s support that COVID-19 vaccinations must be mandated by the Victorian Government. 

“This is essential to keep our workforce COVIDSafe and so that the building and construction industry can achieve the vaccination rate targets set by the Chief Health Officer (CHO).”

Without mandatory vaccinations, Ms Casson said it would be extremely challenging for building and construction industry employers to get all their employees back to work and for our industry to fully reopen.

To even get back to 50 per cent capacity on building sites, 90 per cent of our workforce must have had one jab by 23 September 2021. 

“This is an extremely high measure, which can only realistically be achieved through mandatory vaccination,” Ms Casson said.

“That's why MBV has been discussing mandatory vaccinations with Government - because our industry cannot survive on a pilot light forever.

“Nevertheless, our message has been very clear - get the jab done for you, your workmates, and for Victoria.”

An extensive industry campaign is now running, including Master Builders Victoria billboards across the city and in regional Victoria, to highlight this important message.

Over the weekend, Master Builders Victoria also worked with the Victorian Government to secure priority vaccination access for our industry. 

“This was a good win for our members and our sector - 20,000 priority Pfizer jabs and unlimited AZ,” Ms Casson said.

“However, taking advantage of priority access to vaccinations is now key.

“Incolink has already started an on-site vaccination program - the first of its kind in Australia and drive-in vaccination hubs for our industry will soon begin.”

Ms Casson said it was important to remember that any Victorian, including building and construction workers, can also book to get vaccinated with their local GP or selected pharmacists across the state.  

“So, please speak to your healthcare professional and consider getting the jab done - and then we can all get back to work,” Ms Casson said.