Weekly wrap: Stage 4 lockdown, new restrictions, Chief Medical Officer legally enforceable Directions, and a tremendous week of advocacy in action.

7 Aug 2020

, News

Chief Medical Officer legally enforceable Directions.

The Chief Medical Officer has released legally enforceable Directions that implement the guidance and detail of Stage 4 restrictions on the building, construction and development industry – these come into effect at 11.59pm TODAY, Friday 7 August 2020.


The Directions are detailed, and you need to read them thoroughly.  Here’s a summary of the key points we think you need to know right now:

  • All sites must have a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan.
  • All employees, supervisors and onsite specialists are prohibited from car-pooling, and are required to limit movement between multiple sites and use enhanced PPE measures.
  • A SMALL-SCALE construction site is defined as:
    o   A small-scale construction site is a construction site that does not meet the definition of a large scale construction site.
  • Small-scale construction sites must:
    o   reduce the number of people on-site to five people plus a supervisor at any one time 
    o   limit movement of workers between different sites where possible, and only with appropriate guidance 
    o   supervisors can move between sites and specialist contractors can move between up to three sites per week, subject to enhanced COVID safe practices. 
  • A LARGE-SCALE construction site is a site that is:
    o    Permitted to be (at completion) more than three storeys high (excluding basement), or 
    o   Larger than 1,500m2 floor size, or 
    o   Any office or retail fit-out, or 
    o   Industrial, large format or retail use.
  • Large-scale construction sites must be limited to a daily maximum of workers on site calculated as the higher of:
    o   25% of their baseline workforce; and 
    o   5 workers. 
  •  All workers count towards the applicable daily worker limit with the exception of workers specifically dedicated to oversight of COVID safe functions in the workplace. 
  • Baseline workforce is the average daily number of workers on site across the project lifecycle, as derived from the project’s resourcing plan as at 31 July 2020. The resourcing plan and calculation are subject to audit. Project lifecycle commences from the date of on-site mobilisation and ends at handover. 
    o   An early stage residential land development project comprises all civil works undertaken on open air, large greenfield sites that are associated with and preparatory to construction of multiple individual residential dwellings on that site (including site remediation and site preparation works, construction of utilities and construction of roads, bridges, stormwater/flood management works and trunk infrastructure). 
    o   Once subdivision occurs, the construction of that dwelling on that part of the site is regarded as a small-scale construction project. For large scale residential development (e.g. retirement village) with a single entity responsible for construction, once dwellings are commenced, it will be considered large scale construction.
  • An early stage residential land development project must:
    o   Follow density restrictions of no more than 10 workers per hectare. 
    o   All workers count towards the density restrictions.
    o   Limit movement of workers between different sites where possible, and only with appropriate guidance. 
  • The rule for CIVIL CONSTRUCTION is:
    o   All civil works and all building and construction activities (whether publicly or privately funded) are subject to the large scale, small scale and early stage residential land development project tests and restrictions, unless those activities: 
    –   constitute construction of critical and essential infrastructure (see above); or 
    –   constitute critical repairs to any premises where required for emergency and safety (as provided for by the Stage 4 Restrictions “Permitted Work Premises” published on the DHHS website (here https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/business-industry-stage-4-restrictions-covid-19)). 
  • Critical and essential infrastructure is:
    o   Construction of critical and essential infrastructure is not subject to business operating reductions. It means: 
    –   (a) construction or maintenance (including civil works and building activities) of critical and essential infrastructure that is urgently required for the purposes of sustaining human health, safety and wellbeing, regardless of whether those activities are privately or publicly funded; 
    –   (b) activities prescribed by government from time to time as “State Critical Infrastructure Projects”; 
    –   (c) construction and maintenance for the purposes of national security and defence; and 
    –    (d) activities that are deemed by Government to have satisfied the test in (a) and endorsed by the Chief Health Officer on a case by case basis. 
  • What about architects, surveyors, auditors, building inspectors and engineers? 
    o   Workers that provide architecture, engineering, surveying, building inspection or compliance services or statutory functions must work from home where possible.
    o   Where these workers are required to attend sites for inspection and safety purposes, they are counted as workers. Workers in this category who need to move between sites should visit no more than three times a week, except where those visits are required to meet a minimum statutory obligation or requirement.
  • SPECIALIST CONTRACTORS that need to move between sites should visit no more than three sites per week. All workers moving between multiple sites must observe enhanced PPE and hygiene measures. 
    o    Mobile Cranes – Operators and dogman 
    o    Concrete trucks
    o    Concrete pump operators
    o    Electricians
    o    Plumbers
    o    Tile layers
    o    Concreters
    o    Gold Class riggers
    o    Steel fixers
    o    Post Tensioners
    o    Truck Derivers
    o    Vertical access Riggers 
    o    Welders
    o    Precast installers
    o    Corkers
    o    Floor layers
    o    Scaffolders
    o    Internal glaziers
    o    Asphalters
    o    Carpenters
    o    Plasterers
    o    Carpet Layers
    o    Sprinkler Fitters
    o    Solar Installers 
    o    Security System Installers

Weekly Wrap from our CEO, Danni Hunter. 

In the media. 

In the media, we’re making clear that we know why we have to scale down and play our part to beat this virus, but that Stage 4 restrictions will have serious consequences for industry and must not exceed the 6 week time-frame. 

Read our media release here.