Master Builders Victoria is working hard on behalf of our members to ensure that we are ready and able to support your business in these uncertain times. We are communicating regularly with both the Victorian State Government and the Federal Government to ensure that they understand the impact of COVID-19 on the building and construction industry. We have impressed on Government that it is vital that they consider critical stimulus measures to support our industry, the Victorian economy and our community.
It is great that the Prime Minister, in his statement today, explicitly stated that construction sites are an essential service and will remain open. Master Builders Victoria met with the Deputy Chief Health Officer (Communicable Diseases) of the Victorian State Government this afternoon, and she also supported this approach.
Recognising this is a time like no other in recent memory-- one requiring both a spirit and a demonstration of cooperation to grapple with a major, shared challenge to our industry-- Master Builders Victoria and the CFMEU have taken a joint approach to highlight the importance of giving special consideration to the building and construction industry when it comes to enforcing restrictions during the COVID-19. Master Builders Victoria and the CFMEU joined a united delegation including the AMWU, CCF, ETU, Master Plumbers, NECA, PPTEU this afternoon to meet with the Premier’s office, and other Minister’s offices, to put this case forward.
Throughout this time of co-operation, Master Builders Victoria will maintain its robust position regarding enterprise bargaining agreements or any other industrial negotiations or policy.
The following is the text of the media release from 18 March, 2020, 'Collaborative partnership pathway for construction industry' available as a PDF here.
The leadership duopoly of John Setka, Secretary CFMEU VIC/TAS branch and Rebecca Casson, CEO Master Builders Victoria (MBV) agree that during these challenging times, in the spirit of industry co-operation, it is critical that all stakeholders work together to ensure the protection of both workers and the building and construction industry.
The MBV and CFMEU VIC/TAS are committed to working together to ensure there is a pipeline of work in place for the building and construction industry, to guarantee jobs are kept, as far as is reasonably practicable and businesses remain solvent. Additionally, considerable measures must be made by the State Government to consider the protection of the building and construction industry, which contributes to 45% of tax revenue for the state.
It is essential that decisions made in relation to building and construction sites are done so in the context of a rigorous understanding of the environment in which people work, and that the controls that are currently in place are being implemented. The building and construction environment is significantly different from many others, with the ability to socially distance on sites and isolate groups.
Mr Setka and Ms Casson also agree that special consideration be given to the building and construction industry in regard to blanket closures related to COVID-19. Both parties are committed to not only protecting community health, but also limiting the broader community impact if the industry is brought to a standstill. However, if there is a requirement for a site closure, or closures, due to community health reasons, the MBV and CFMEU VIC/TAS should be jointly consulted to enable forward planning.
Mr Setka and Ms Casson will continue to work with all relevant leadership and government bodies – including following the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer - to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their collective memberships and the community.
The CFMEU and MBV joined a united delegation including the AMWU, CCF, ETU, Master Plumbers, NECA, PPTEU this afternoon to put this case forward to the Premier’s office. A detailed copy of the recommendations is available upon request.