Master Builders Victoria (MBV) can confirm that there have been some cases of COVID-19 in Victoria’s building and construction industry and these are being efficiently managed, consistent with COVID-19 Industry Guidelines implemented at the start of the pandemic.

A Multiplex site is currently under Department of Health outbreak management after a consultant engineer visited three of its Melbourne CBD sites late last week.

As a result of the implementation of the COVID-19 Industry Guidelines including temperature testing, workplace mapping, and mandatory wearing of face masks, Multiplex was quickly able to provide key contract tracing information to Department of Health officials.

MBV CEO Rebecca Casson said given the limited interaction with other Multiplex staff and subcontractors, there is little to no likelihood of cross contamination from this outbreak to other subcontractors in the industry.

A positive COVID-19 case was also linked to the West Gate Tunnel Project, where a V/line employee who attended the project last Thursday has since tested positive.

This case is under review but again there is little to no risk of cross contamination to other projects.

Another construction site affected is Lendlease’s works at HMAS Cerberus where multiple work sites were declared exposure sites due to a serving naval person testing positive.

Ms Casson said all sites appear likely to be cleared to resume work today after quick and competent contact tracing and efficient outbreak management by the Department of Health and the companies involved.

Although the NSW Government has shut down all building and construction until 30 July 2021, Ms Casson said the Victorian building and construction industry has demonstrated that it has a good track record of managing COVID-19. 

“The Victorian building and construction industry has worked together like never before to keep our industry safe and open,” Ms Casson said.

“Strict protocols have been developed by all industry partners, which have allowed a quick response whenever there has been an isolated case.

“Nevertheless, these cases are a reminder that, to ensure our sector remains safe and open, everyone in the building and construction industry should follow the COVID-19 Industry Guidelines and make sure that the Victorian Government’s QR code is used.”

Incolink has also been commissioned to undertake asymptomatic testing by Cross Yarra Partnership at Melbourne Town Hall station (220 Flinders Lane) from 9am today.

Incolink CEO Erik Locke said asymptomatic testing has been a key part of its response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“More than 23,000 tests were done last year, and we’re ready to do more,” he said.

“We would prefer to be on site vaccinating workers as well and have been ready to do so since March when we wrote to the Federal Government.

“The Government has talked about working with trusted third parties on the vaccination rollout where it can be challenging to reach certain groups.

“Building and construction workers often work a six-day week and can be hard to reach in public health responses, and we have a big CALD community, which is why we have developed a bespoke approach to these groups. 

“Incolink can and will deliver 40,000 vaccinations on-site - all we need is supply from the Federal Government and a start date.”

Recent ABS data shows a significant number of workers want to be vaccinated at work, especially in Victoria.