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Reopening of economy - Vic

August 31, 2020

The Premier has flagged that the Victorian Government will be releasing its reopening roadmap this Sunday, 6 September, in an effort to providing further certainty and clarity around the situation moving forward. 

HIA is part of the Government’s consultation this week which will inform the final development of Victoria’s roadmap to COVID Normal.  Based on the current environment in stage 4 restrictions, some of the matters HIA is now working on to have addressed for housing in the first stage of lifting restrictions are:

  1. Return towards stage 3 on site arrangements - (ie removal of the 3 site per week rule and list of specialist trades who are permitted to visit 3 sites per week, but continue with 5 workers on a site, COVID safe plans in place and wearing of face masks) 
  2. Renovations  - as per above stage 3 on site arrangements 
  3. Return to display home visits by appointment 
  4. Return to product and colour selections by appointment 
  5. Return to contract signing by appointment 
  6. Consumers allowed to attend final inspections subject to complying with all COVID safety requirements
  7. Consumers/agents of consumers allowed to attend other inspections if necessary for building work to continue and subject to complying with all COVID safety requirements

Extension of state of emergency

The Victorian Government will introduce legislation into Parliament today to allow for an extension of the current state of emergency.

The current exposure draft of that Bill indicates that the new legislation, if passed by Parliament, would allow for the existing state of emergency for COVID-19 to be extended by 6 months to 12 months in total.

The draft Bill requires that any extension of the state of emergency beyond 6 months must be justified in a report that must be tabled in Parliament outlining the reasons for the extension, the public health risk powers and emergency powers exercised. It must also include a copy of the advice of the Chief Health Officer about the extension.

These late changes appear to justify some of the concerns that have been raised by HIA and others about the extension of the state of emergency and the powers associated with it.

Improvements to stage 4 restrictions

HIA has continued its work with the Victoria Government around some further flexibility for commencement and finishing trades during stage 4. Members have asked for more flexibility for many single trades working at the commencement and finishing of building work beyond the current 3 sites a week rule. These trades, many of whom work alone, are vital to keeping residential sites and projects moving.

Without some changes the industry will grind to a standstill. This is problematic not only for members but also for many home buyers who had planned to move into their finished new homes during this time. Over the weekend we provided more information to the Government and hope that some refinements to the stage 4 restrictions will be introduced.

HIA will continue to update members on the status of stage 4 restrictions and all other matters as further information becomes available.

For further information please call us on 1300 650 620 Monday to Friday, 8am - 5pm, or email us at enquiry@hia.com.au.