News & Views

20th September 2021

Construction throughout Victoria will shut down from midnight tonight

In a snap decision, the Government has moved this evening to close Construction across parts of Victoria from midnight tonight for two weeks. 

Formal information will be shared with Industry overnight, however based on a verbal briefing with Treasurer, Tim Pallas, Minister Pakula and Minister Allan, NECA wants to share with Members a real time update based on what we know, specifically noting that: 

  • Construction work will cease across:

    • Metro Melbourne

    • City of Ballarat 

    • Greater City of Geelong

    • Surf Coast Shire

    • Mitchell Shire

  • The lockdown is expected to last two weeks, during which time Government intends to negotiate with Industry on the opening up plan and protocols;

  • It was suggested that the two weeks applies to Metro Melbourne, and potentially shorter in other LGA’s aligned with their anticipated timeframes for coming out of lockdown.  This is yet to be formally confirmed by Government and Health Authorities

  • The expectation is that all works will cease across all sites, other than:

    • Making safe and ongoing site safety related activities

    • emergency repairs at sites and dwellings, noting the definition of ‘emergency repairs’ is expected to be very restricted;

  • These closures will not impact the building and construction industry supply chain, such as those manufacturing businesses supporting the building and construction sector.

  • Apprentice training at approved RTO’s is expected to be allowed.

The Government has confirmed that it will examine any business support that may be made available to our industry – especially given the previous ANZSIC code issues that our industry has faced.  In addition, workers will be able to access the Commonwealth Government’s disaster payment scheme.

This is a very unfortunate result, and I’m sure many of our Members will argue disproportionate to the risk, with most of our Industry doing the right thing. 

NECA will continue to keep you abreast of the developments in this space, once more formal detail is released by the appropriate Government Departments.  The NECA team will also continue to work with various Government and other industry stakeholders to try to influence pragmatic opening plan which balances positive health outcomes and measures with business realities for our sector.