The Property Council of Australia has welcomed the Victorian Government’s decision to reopen the construction industry from next Tuesday, October 5 and to increase capacity to 50 per cent for large scale sites that are COVIDSafe compliant with a fully vaccinated workforce.

The decision to reopen the construction industry, which employs 320,000 Victorians, followed the Government’s two-week shutdown, at a cost to the Victorian economy of $1.1 billion per week.

Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations Tim Pallas announced that construction across Metropolitan Melbourne and key lockdown areas, will resume at a minimum of 25 per cent capacity and up to 50 per cent for those large scale sites where workers are fully vaccinated and amenity rooms are well ventilated and COVIDSafe compliance is at the highest standard.

Victorian Executive Director of the Property Council Danni Hunter said: “We are pleased that the Government has listened and that 320,000 Victorians can get back to work. The property and construction industry is critical to Victoria's economy and it's vital that the industry is back open and operating, even at a reduced capacity.

“Representing Victoria’s largest industry, the Property Council has worked closely with the Government, employer groups and unions to ensure construction could reopen as quickly and safely as possible, and this has been achieved.

“We also welcome the decision to allow amenity rooms on constructions sites to reopen under strict safety guidelines and to lift the restriction on the movement of construction workers between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne if they are fully vaccinated.

“The decision to bring forward of a full reopening of the sector in line with the Victorian Roadmap so that the industry can increase capacity to 100% as soon as the population is 70% double vaccinated, reflects the confidence Government has in the property and construction industry and its importance to our economy.

“It is now up to the whole industry to ensure the highest compliance standards possible to ensure the sector remains open and continues to increase capacity as we emerge from lockdown and progress along the Government’s reopening roadmap.

“With COVID cases likely to increase over the coming weeks and it’s imperative that those who are not vaccinated already roll up their sleeves and get the jab done. It’s our greatest protection for ourselves, our jobs, our industry and the wider community.

“Jobs and investment will be critical to our economic recovery and we acknowledge the Government’s efforts to work with the industry and listen to the concerns raised by employer groups and unions as we navigate what are still very challenging times for Victorian business and workers.”

Ms Hunter said the Property Council would work closely with members to ensure they were ready for next week’s reopening and implementing their COVID safe plans including mandatory vaccination of all those working on construction sites.

Media contacts: Eric Allilomou M: 0448 291 236 E: [email protected]