The Victorian Government has launched a COVID compliance blitz to target the spread of the virus in the construction sector and ensure that sites can remain open.
Construction sites have been identified as a major source of transmission, and the four-week blitz will see a ‘zero tolerance’ approach, applying fines and prohibition notices in response to any serious non-compliance.
Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas, said, “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.
“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.”
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 14 September until 26 September. Thousands of further priority Pfizer appointments for the sector will be released, and unlimited access to AstraZeneca will be available.
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 be 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 Victorian 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. Any Victorian, including construction workers, can also book to get vaccinated with their local GP or selected pharmacists across the state.
The blitz will be carried out by the Victorian Government’s Industry Enforcement and Engagement Operation, in partnership with Worksafe and the Victorian Building Authority.
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.