Master Builders Victoria (MBV) is disappointed by the Victorian Government’s decision to shut down the building and construction industry across metropolitan Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat and the Surf Coast and Mitchell Shires from 11.59pm on Monday 20 September 2021.

MBV CEO Rebecca Casson said it was a bitter blow for the vast majority of building and construction industry businesses which have done the right thing over the past 18 months, and particularly disheartening for those workers who have been vaccinated.

“We understand the position the Victorian Government is in. However, we can also see the frustration that this decision brings, especially shutting down our industry one day after announcing a roadmap to COVID-normal.

“Working with others, we have fought tirelessly since the beginning of the pandemic to keep our industry safe and open.

“However, our industry’s right to continue to work comes with significant responsibilities. And it’s disappointing that a minority of our sector has not taken this obligation seriously enough.

“We condemn the actions of the rioters we’ve seen in Melbourne in recent days. They do not represent our industry, nor do they speak for our workforce.

“We support vaccination and the protection that they will provide our workforce.

“Our industry’s continued operation has been a very significant reason why our state’s economy has not declined,” Ms Casson said.

“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.

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

“Once these two weeks are over, it is vital that our industry moves beyond shutdowns.

“The focus of Master Builders Victoria now is on the re-opening of our whole sector, and we will continue to work with the Victorian Government to develop a clear reopening plan.

“Our industry’s workforce needs to get back to work, and our projects need to get back online, as quickly as possible. We urge all workers to continue to get vaccinated as required by the Chief Health Officer so that our industry can open up again,” Ms Casson said.