Ahead of easing of restrictions that come into effect in Metropolitan Melbourne at 11:59pm tonight (Tuesday, 27 October) we thought it best to reiterate what we know so far about the changes. This is largely a recap on yesterday's announcement. Updated documentation is expected to be released by government for tomorrow morning, which we will send out through these bulletins as soon as we are able.
In recognition of our industry's exemplary safety record, building and construction will no longer be deemed a high-risk industry. This will have implications for the requirements for COVIDSafe Plans, and application of the various directions. While we wait for these details to be finalised, members should continue to use the High-Risk COVIDSafe plans they have in place. You should also continue to adhere to the latest version of the Industry Guidelines, which can be found here.
From 11:59pm tonight (Tuesday, 27 October 2020) the following changes come into effect:
Small Scale Construction (including renovations of unoccupied homes):

  • Worker number limits removed (no more 5-worker limit) 
  • Restrictions on movement among sites for workers and specialist contractors no longer apply
  • Pre-contract works on occupied homes (such as site measurements) can occur, where it is possible to create a physical barrier between workers and occupants, or the occupier can temporarily vacate the premises for the duration of the works
  • The opening of the retail industry will also assist clients in determining material selections.

Large Scale Construction:

  • Worker number limits removed (No more 85% limit)
  • Restrictions on movement among sites for specialist contractors no longer applies.

Renovations of Occupied Homes:

  • State Government has advised that renovations on occupied homes can begin from 11:59pm on Tuesday 27 October
  • Works must be done only where it is possible to create a physical barrier between workers and occupants, or the occupier can temporarily vacate the premises for the duration of the works  
  • State Government advised that they believed a risk-based approach may be applied by DHHS for this, with examples including a dust sheet taped across a door to prevent air circulation between occupants and workers
  • More guidance will be provided about the requirements for physical barriers in the coming days in this bulletin.

Early Stage Land Development:

  • Worker number limits removed.

Display Homes, Sales Suites and Land Sales Offices:

  • Open for up to two households and up to 10 people at a time for 30-minute appointments
  • State Government has advised that this will increase on 8 November to 10 people from any number of households
  • More guidance to follow on this.

The COVIDSafe Principles must also remain part of everyday operations:

  • Ensure physical distancing (1.5 m)
  • Wear a face mask
  • Practice good hygiene
  • Keep good records and act quickly if staff become unwell
  • Avoid interactions in close spaces
  • Create workforce bubbles.

It is important to emphasise that our industry opens up tomorrow because of success throughout our industry in following the guidelines and keeping each other safe. We have earned the right to open up further and must continue to do the things that have kept us safe until now. Please continue to reinforce this with your colleagues and any other organisations that you work with.

As always, our team is on hand to help you if you have any questions about how to implement the guidelines for your business. You can contact us on [email protected] or call (03) 9411 4555.