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HIA has welcomed the Victorian Government’s confirmation today that the shutdown of the construction industry will end next week.
“It’s a huge relief that the residential building industry will be back to work on 5 October as planned,” said HIA’s Victorian Executive Director, Fiona Nield.
“HIA has continued to work closely with the Victorian Government to prepare for the reopening of home building sites in metropolitan Melbourne and the other locked down regional areas such as Mitchell Shire and the City of Latrobe.
“Whilst the shutdown of all construction sites in metropolitan Melbourne has been difficult for our members to manage – the return for building work to COVIDSafe settings similar to those that were in place prior to the shutdown will provide some welcome relief for builders and their trades.
“This lockdown has also been extremely tough on the thousands of Victorian families waiting for their project to be completed. 30,000 plus housing sites have been closed for two weeks and the chance to get back to sites and restart work for each of these customers is incredibly significant.
“HIA is extremely pleased to see the Government acknowledge and take on board the specific issues we have raised for home building sites. Today’s reopening plans include some changes and clarifications of the new restrictions that will assist with managing housing sites going forward.
“However the return to sites will not be without its challenges. The restrictions in place from next week are even tighter than those the industry was operating under prior to the shutdown. The new worker travel requirement between metro and regional Victoria will allow more workers to keep working, but it applies another new layer on the industry. It will also reach into the thousands of supporting businesses by capturing the delivery of materials to site, which means more workers now need to be fully vaccinated.
“The new rules for all authorised workers to be vaccinated will also be challenging for off-site workers and their employers. “The industry will manage these challenges once again, but it will mean that clients may find their home building projects take some time to recommence and ultimately be completed.
“It is important that the sector can get now get back to work. “HIA looks forward to continuing to work with the Victorian Government to implement these measures for the COVID safe operation of residential building sites next week. “HIA will continue to advocate for a timely return to work for the remaining sector of our industry that has been hardest hit over the last 12 months – renovations in homes need to be the focus moving forward so that we can genuinely reopen the whole home building industry.
“Our builders, trades and the broader industry has shown significant resilience, many struggling through without financial support during this time. So today’s announcement will bring welcome relief and give confidence to the industry and home owners that their projects will recommence in the days and weeks ahead,” concluded Ms Nield.