Master Builders Victoria (MBV) has successfully advocated to the Victorian Government to amend the application process for its Business Costs Assistance Program Round Four – Construction grants ensuring hundreds more building and construction businesses can access the grant.

The Victorian Government’s Business Costs Assistance Program Round Four – Construction provides one-off payments to eligible employing and non-employing businesses in the building and construction sector that were operating in the following local government areas at the time of restrictions:

  • Metropolitan Melbourne.
  • The City of Greater Geelong.
  • Mitchell Shire.
  • Surf Coast Shire.

The grant’s qualifying period relates to the COVID-19 restrictions that were in effect from 21 September to 4 October 2021. To be eligible, businesses must have incurred direct costs that have not been and will not be partially or fully recovered or otherwise reimbursed because of the building and construction industry shutdown.

One-off grants of $2000 are available for eligible non-employing construction industry businesses. Based on payroll size, one-off grants of $2800, $5600, or $8400 are available for eligible construction industry businesses.

As part of the eligibility criteria to apply for the Business Costs assistance grant, non-employing businesses were asked to show proof that ‘the business owner holds a WorkSafe Construction Induction Training Card (White Card or ‘ticket’), or interstate equivalent issued by a comparable governing authority in another Australian state or territory.’ 

However, MBV has found that many of its members applying for the grant only held a Red Card. The Red Card is the Victorian Construction Induction Training Card from pre-2008.  Builders starting in the industry after 2008 hold a White Card; however, the Red Card is still acceptable under Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017.

With the funding program due to close on 9 November 2021, MBV CEO Rebecca Casson said the organisation advocated strongly to the Victorian Government for Business Victoria to accept the Red Card to save its members time and money. The Victorian Government has now agreed to this change.

“Currently, building and construction industry businesses must apply to upgrade to a White Card to access this funding, which is a major time and cost inconvenience,” Ms Casson said.

“The cheapest process is to redo the training, which takes up to eight hours and can cost up to $250, depending on where you do the training.

“MBV is the leading voice in the building and construction industry, and we are therefore pleased that the Victorian Government has listened to us and agreed to amend the criteria for this scheme to allow Red Cards to be accepted.

“With many of our members still struggling financially from the effects of prolonged lockdowns, we encourage all our members to apply for this grant.”

In addition to this, if the fund is undersubscribed by the deadline date, MBV will continue to work with the Victorian Government on the criteria to ensure that the grants can be provided to those businesses that need them the most.

“Many of our members that work in the renovations sector are excluded from the round four grant because they received the one-off COVID Hardship payment,” Ms Casson said.

“However, these businesses weren’t permitted to work inside occupied premises for more than 145 days over the past 18 months, and it is now vital that any undersubscribed grant money is directed to this sector – especially as they work to recover their business operations.”

For more information or to apply for this grant, visit


  • Businesses must have a worksite located in metropolitan Melbourne, the City of Greater Geelong, Mitchell Shire or Surf Coast Shire that was shut down due to the COVID-19 restrictions in effect from 21 September to 4 October 2021.
  • Businesses must have incurred direct costs because of restrictions placed on the construction industry between 21 September – 4 October, which have not been partially or fully recovered.
  • Businesses must not have been able to operate remotely between 21 September – 4 October.
  • Businesses must not have received a Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two or Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two July extension payment or Small Business COVID Hardship Fund payment.
  • The website and guidelines have been updated to clarify that the Red Card is an acceptable form of evidence for support under this program. 
  • The updated content within the guidelines reads as follows:

For non-employing businesses

  • The business owner must hold a Construction Induction Training Card obtained in Victoria (also known as a “White Card”, “Red Card”, or “Ticket”) or interstate equivalent issued by a comparable authority in another Australian state or territory.