With a major source of transmission in Victoria’s latest outbreak now linked to construction sites, a massive compliance blitz is starting to ensure the sector remains open and COVIDSafe.
To ensure we can slow the spread of coronavirus and protect the Victorian health system, a four-week blitz will be carried out by the Government’s Industry Enforcement and Engagement Operation, in partnership with Worksafe and the Victorian Building Authority.
Many people working in construction are young, highly mobile and unvaccinated. Given the increased public health risks, the joint operation will have a ‘zero tolerance’ approach and will apply fines and prohibition notices to fix any serious non-compliance.
The blitz will be supported by additional engagement with the construction industry, including targeted engagement with small to medium size construction businesses to support sub-contractors in understanding their obligations under the CHO Directions.
To increase vaccination coverage among construction workers, Victoria will open the doors of four major vaccination centres to walk-ups without a booking, every day from today until 26 September. We will also release thousands of further priority Pfizer appointments for the sector, and provide unlimited access to AstraZeneca.
The Ford Campbellfield site, the Heidelberg Repat, Eagle Stadium in Wyndham, and the former Bunnings in Melton will open for walk-ups for construction workers from 8am until 11am over the next fortnight.
The Ford and Repat sites will open again for walk-ups daily between 5pm and 8pm, with the Wyndham and Melton sites open for walk-ups between 5pm and 6pm on Thursdays and Fridays. Pfizer will be offered to attendees under the age of 60.
Some 20,000 further priority Pfizer appointments will made available to construction workers at all sites across Victoria (excluding drive-through sites). All workers should book via the Coronavirus hotline only between Monday and Friday this week to ensure they receive priority access. These priority appointments will be available through to Sunday this week.
AstraZeneca walk-ups will be available for construction workers at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre each afternoon from 3pm, for a fortnight. The Government will also provide Incolink, an industry fund supporting construction workers, with unlimited supply of AstraZeneca for its COVID-19 construction vaccination program.
Anyone who works at a site where civil works, building or construction activities take place, including contractors and architects working onsite, will be eligible. It’s important to remember any Victorian, including construction workers, can also book to get vaccinated with their local GP or selected pharmacists across the state.
Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas
“Our construction industry is critical to our state, but what is even more important is vaccinating each and every Victorian so we can slow the spread of the virus.”
“The construction sector’s ability to remain open is on a knife’s edge, and to ensure they can keep building, people need to get vaccinated and follow the rules.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley
“Ensuring easy access to vaccinations for this industry will help slow the spread of the virus and prevent further infections in the long run.”
Reviewed 13 September 2021