“Builders of all sizes need to know with certainty that they can return to work on 4 October and government needs to provide financial support to suppliers to the construction industry affected by the lockdown,” according to Tim Piper, the Victorian Head of the peak employer association Ai Group.


“Businesses have no confidence at the moment that the two week shut-down will be adhered to given the state’s history of very lengthy ‘short sharp’ lockdowns and they need to be certain that the Government will stick to its word.


“The Government can do this by unequivocally announcing by Monday 27 September that the industry can definitely re-open on Monday 4 October.  The industry needs time and certainty to plan for getting underway from day 1.


“Financial support should be widely available to both builders and supplier businesses standing-down employees.  They should not suffer financially because of a decision made by government due to the behaviour of a relative few in the industry not following COVID-safe rules.


“The next steps should involve the Government – including the Department of Health – consulting with industry about the best way to re-open.


“The construction, manufacturing, logistics and related service industries work together to keep the sector moving and safe and if one stops they all stop.


“Despite parts of regional Victoria remaining open to the building industry, the shutdowns are now spreading from metro to regional areas because of the interconnectivity of city and country supply chains.


“Some manufacturing businesses, for example, have 90 per cent of their customers in the city and once the city locks-down they lose economic scale and shut down fully themselves which in turn cuts off supplies to the regions.


“The Government needs to appreciate the wide harm caused by the blunt industry shutdown. It should not let anger with thuggish protestors spill over into decision making that negatively impacts the lives of hundreds of thousands of Victorians,” Mr Piper said.


Further comment

Tim Piper – 0411 430 301