Master Builders Victoria and the CFMEU VIC/TAS, along with employer associations, Master Plumbers, Neca, CCF, PPTEU, ETU and the AMWU have formally written to Premier Daniel Andrews calling for a trial of easing restrictions in addition to the deliverance of new stimulus to ensure the protection of the building and construction industry.

The United Group’s proposal comes in light of new modelling conducted by Master Builders Victoria, which prefaces that if current restrictions continue, productivity losses could result in an estimated annual fall of over $6 billion in activity across the building and construction sector, compared to 2018/19, with a further $2 billion reduction in property related Victorian State Government revenue.

As the government contemplates easing restrictions, the group has highlighted the successful manner in which the industry has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all construction workers, proving the ability to keep workers safe during this time. The proposed alleviation of restrictions comes as the group looks to the planning and strategising of returning the industry to increased production as soon as possible whilst not compromising or retreating from the primary responsibility of safety.

Master Builders Victoria CEO, Rebecca Casson said:

“The building and construction industry has proven the ability to deliver its essential work while following strict physical distancing and hygiene routines. We have demonstrated our sector’s capacity to help lead Victoria’s economy out of this crisis.”

Procedures that have been successfully put in place to ensure workers health and safety have included:

-Specifically developed industry guidelines for COVID-19
-A dedicated Industry Liaison Officer and COVID-19 1800 number for the industry
-The establishment of a high-level taskforce to oversee all direction
-The establishment of Incolink Buses to test for COVID-19 at building and construction sites across the state.

CFMEU VIC/TAS Secretary, John Setka said:

“We are committed to working with our united group of employer associations and unions to ensure our industry continues to operate, with the safety of workers being the upmost priority for all.”

The alleviations to certain restrictions are suggested in the following areas of the industry:

(1) within commercial construction to address productivity and
(2) within residential construction – such as through display homes and land-sales offices returning to normal trading hours

The Group stands united and committed to evidence-based decisions and advice from the health experts in order to maintain the utmost safety, whilst continuing to rebuild our states’ economy. We believe we can achieve both in a successful manner.