Weekly wrap: Back at 100%, new Development Facilitation Program, legislation for DBs & more.

29 Oct 2020

, covid-19, news, policy


Industry back at 100%.

This week, metropolitan Melbourne joined regional Victoria in the Third Step towards COVID Normal.

Key information for Metro Melbourne, effective now:

  • The construction industry can operate with 100% workforce capacity – that means no worker number limits for small-scale construction, large-scale construction and early stage land development.
  • Work-site visit limit on specialist contractors removed.
  • Building, construction and development industry is no longer considered high risk, therefore the Workplace (Additional Industry Obligations) Directions do not apply and we do not require a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan. We do however need a COVIDSafe Plan.
  • Four reasons to leave home removed, but 25km limit remains until 11.59pm 8 November.  
  • Real estate inspections are allowed in accordance with record keeping requirements and density quotients, up to a maximum of 10 people from two households; excluding the real estate agent; for a 30 minute appointment.
  • If you can work from home, you must. The existing requirements for worker permits remain.

Next step is due to come into effect 11.59 8 November 2020. This step is expected to see: 

  • Intrastate travel allowed, with the border separating regional Victoria and Metropolitan Melbourne removed.
  • Real estate inspections will increase limit to 10 people from any number of households, subject to density quotient and COVIDSafe requirements.
  • Government will release a plan for the remainder of 2020.

Key links.


Advocacy win: Development Facilitation Program to speed up priority projects.

The Minister for Planning has established a Development Facilitation Program to speed up the assessment and determination of identified priority projects that deliver investment into the Victorian economy; keep people in jobs; and provide a substantial public benefit like affordable housing and emissions reduction.

Read more…


Advocacy win: Legislation to keep energy distribution businesses accountable. 

New legislation is being introduced that will address lengthy delays in connecting new housing developments to the power grid.

The Energy Legislation Amendment (Licence Conditions) Bill 2020 will enable the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change to set conditions that energy companies must meet, including timeliness for connection. This is expected to reduce housing construction timeframes and costs.

Additionally. the Government is overhauling and significantly increasing penalties for energy companies that do the wrong thing as part of its Energy Fairness Plan, as well as strengthening the Essential Services Commission (ESC) enforcement powers so it is able to more effectively regulate the energy sector.

UDIA Victoria will work closely with Government through the implementation of this legislation to ensure we see a meaningful reduction in timeframes and costs associated with distribution businesses connecting electricity to new developments. 

Read more…


Have your say: ESC greenfield connections survey.

In another advocacy win, the ESC has released its timely connections decision, increasing requirements for distribution businesses (DBs) connecting power to greenfield developments to improve efficiency and timeliness. 

DBs will be required to establish a customer service standard setting out what they expect to deliver over the next two years in relation to negotiated connections.

To assist the DBs develop their standards, the ESC is asking you about your experiences in undertaking electricity connections in greenfield areas. The survey is anonymous and the ESC will de-identify responses before forwarding to the appropriate distribution business.

Click here to read more…

Click here to take the survey…

The survey closes at 5.00 pm on 13 November 2020.


Advocacy win: New water entity to support Melbourne’s growing west.

Melbourne’s fast-growing outer west will be better off with a new water provider – Greater Western Water – resulting from the integration of Western Water and City West Water.

This comes as Government recognises that with population growth booming in the west, more infrastructure will be needed to serve the growing community, and without intervention, Western Water would see annual bills increase by up to $500 over the next ten years.

Integrating the two water corporations will mean current WW customers not only avoid these price rises, but by 2029 their annual bills will be on average $160 cheaper than they are today. City West Water customers will also see savings of up to $110 on their annual bills compared to where they are now.

The new entity will have the financial resources and staff to cope with the growth and demand for new water infrastructure in the region – supporting jobs and economic activity.

The integration will occur on 1 July 2021 and the transition will be overseen by a committee with an independent Chair and board members from both Western Water and City West Water,

Read more…


Multilingual COVIDSafe industry resources.

We’ve developed multilingual communication materials to keep EVERYONE in our industry engaged and safe. Download them, share them and spread the word to keep our industry open. 

This message provides reassurance that the industry and Government will support individuals taking time to get tested.

This COVIDSafe message is available in 16 languages to help keep everyone in our industry engaged and safe.

Help us spread the word and keep worksites safe and open; multilingual posters, social media tiles and messages can be downloaded here.


COVID-19 SERIES PART 3 WITH COLIN KEANE, RESEARCH4.

Join our next Greenfield Market update to learn what’s happening between production and sales, including an assessment as to the likely impact of further restriction on sales activity.

Register now.



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