construction barricade
MBA Victoria warns a lockdown lasting longer than five days would have “catastrophic economic ramifications” Image: Matthew Hamilton, Unsplash
  • MBA Vic President says new restrictions are above the Stage 4 ones seen in 2020
  • Only a handful of projects allowed to continue
  • Warns there would be ‘catastrophic economic ramifications’ if lockdown lasts for more than five days

AMaster Builders Association Victoria President (MBAV), Rebecca Casson, has remarked the current restrictions in place have resulted in the vast majority of construction work being halted in Victoria.

Only a handful of worksites are exempt. This includes critical projects such as the M80 Ring Road and Monash Freeway upgrades along with emergency housing repairs.

Ms Casson says the lockdown is the most strident the industry has been faced with.

“This represents the harshest lockdown our industry has experienced during the pandemic,” she said.

“And, for the first time, our wider industry will be almost completely stopped. It’s a step beyond the Stage 4 restrictions we endured through much of 2020.”

She remarked the restrictions are disappointing given the industry’s strong safety record. She has also warned there would be “catastrophic economic ramifications” if the lockdown was to last greater than the five days it is currently scheduled for.

In a personal message to MBA members, Ms Casson acknowledged the combination of high-mobility worksites and the faster moving UK-strain wouldn’t be ideal and agrees in principle with the quick lockdown.

Additionally, she encourages all fellow members to follow the rules citing not just health concerns, but that individuals and the greater industry’s reputation would be at stake if it was clear stakeholders weren’t following restrictions.

“We urge everyone in our industry to follow the rules over the coming days, so we are best-placed to open back up on Thursday,” said Ms Casson.

“In the meantime, Master Builders Victoria is working with our members through this difficult period.”

Compliance officers will be patrolling sites and along with on-the-spot fines of up to $9913, fines as high as $100,000 could be issued to businesses once it goes through court.

It should be noted that unlike previous lockdowns, restrictions are statewide – the million-plus residents in regional Victoria face the same rules as Greater Melbourne for the first time.

At the time of publication, the lockdown is scheduled to end at 11:59PM on Wednesday.

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