As the industry-leading body for building and construction in Victoria, MBV has continued to strongly advocate to the Victorian Government over the plight of our renovation members, who – for many, many weeks now - have not been permitted to work inside occupied premises and have been severely limited to only one person working outside.
Whilst MBV has had much success in being listened to by the Victorian Government, it has been a challenge to be heard by the Department of Health on this specific issue, especially whilst they have been in the throes of managing the public health crisis.
Nevertheless, we haven’t for one minute forgotten about our important renovation members.
In fact, MBV cares deeply about all our members. Whether they are a home builder or a commercial builder, small-scale or large-scale, tradesperson, supplier, specialist contractor, based in regional Victoria or metropolitan Melbourne – and we care about their clients too.
Earlier this week, MBV provided a private briefing to a range of Government Ministers on why our renovation members should be permitted to re-open in a COVIDSafe manner – and sooner than originally slated in the roadmap i.e., Victoria reaching the 80 per cent target of people over 16 being fully vaccinated.
In our discussions with the Victorian Government, we called on them to immediately act on this important issue.
We are delighted to advise that, because of our advocacy, and as we foreshadowed in the media yesterday (click here), the Victorian Government has now formally advised that home renovations can re-open from as early as next week, once Victoria passes the 70 per cent double dose target and moves to Phase B on the Roadmap.
This will mean:
- Workers will be able to work both indoors and outdoors at occupied premises
- Workers can work in occupied premises where the work must take place in the home, for example, cleaning, maintenance and renovations
- A maximum of five workers plus a supervisor will be permitted, unless additional workers are required for safety reasons
- Workers must have received at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (the second dose deadline is 15 November) or have a valid medical exemption.
Here’s the formal wording from the Victorian Government’s Q&A section:
When can construction, building, and non-essential maintenance work recommence at occupied premises in metropolitan Melbourne?
Once Victoria passes the 70 per cent double dose vaccination target, workers will be able to work both indoors and outdoors at occupied premises. Workers can go to work in occupied premises where the work must take place in the home (for example, cleaning and renovations). A maximum of five workers plus a supervisor will be permitted, unless additional workers are required for safety reasons.
Workers must have received a least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (the second dose deadline is 15 November) or have a valid medical exemption
For further information about work at occupied premises and workforce limits, read the Construction sector page – Frequently asked questions
Whilst this is a great win for the renovation sector, it’s important to note that MBV cannot undertake effective advocacy without input from our wonderful members.
Since the pandemic started, a dedicated group of MBV renovation members have pro-actively and constructively assisted us with our occupied premises advocacy.
Like all our renovation members, these members have been incredibly frustrated with the lockdown and completely devastated by its impacts.
However, despite this, they channeled their frustrations by stepping up to make a positive impact on our work. This group continually provided us with suggestions, data, and case studies and helped us to navigate the many unprecedented challenges that this pandemic has presented.
This group also provided extra legitimacy to our advocacy by consistently having their names appear in print, be seen on TV, and speaking on the radio, to further highlight the issues being faced by the renovation sector. The most recent example being Neil Gardiner, who spoke on 774 ABC Radio Melbourne this morning – click here for the transcript.
Whilst it’s impossible to name everyone who has assisted with our advocacy, we are exceptionally grateful to the following group of members who have continuously banded together and taken the time to provide us with positive input and exceptional support. We especially thank:
Richard McCoid, Pat Keenan, Tim Hoare, John Gaffney, Craig Hille, Chris French, Michael Cameron, Rob Drechsel, Wayne Hinton, Neil Gardiner, and Matt Howard.
We hope that this advance notice of the re-opening of renovations will allow members the time to plan, gear up and line up trades or re-deploy staff.
We also hope that this means many Victorians will have kitchens and bathrooms finished by Christmas and will be able to celebrate the New Year in comfort.