Construction sector to keep working through proportionate response to Victoria-wide 7-day COVID lockdown

Acting Premier James Merlino has announced Victoria will be entering a seven-day lockdown from 11.59pm tonight, Thursday 27 May, until 11.59pm, Thursday 3 June. 

Property Council of Australia Victorian Executive Director Danni Hunter supported the appropriate and proportionate response from the Victorian Government to enter a state-wide circuit breaker lockdown. 

Ms Hunter said, "the property and construction industry will continue to work closely with the Victorian Government to ensure the building and construction sector can continue to operate safely and responsibly, to keep Victorians in work and projects from coming to a standstill."

"Victoria’s largest industry has ensured the health and safety of our workforce throughout the pandemic, by having industry-wide COVID-safety guidelines implemented on worksites, which have assisted in delivering our strong track record of no outbreaks on worksites."

"The Victorian Government’s decision today to keep the construction sector open during this seven-day circuit-breaker lock down, is a vote of confidence in our industry, our capability to manage COVID-safety and our ability to keep our workforce safe and our industry open," said Ms Hunter.

Ms Hunter said the Victorian Government’s response, while reasonable, would inevitably impact businesses and the community and would set back Victoria’s economic recovery.

Ms Hunter called on the Government to work with the property and construction industry, and the broader business community, to make sure Victoria’s economic progress did not stall because of the latest lockdown.

"Whilst this is a necessary response to the rapidly evolving situation, the lockdown will definitely jolt Victorians' confidence and the ability of businesses to continue their recovery. It will be vital on the other side that we boost all efforts even further to reactivate Melbourne’s CBD and ensure this is merely a small blip in Victoria’s sustained economic recovery." 

"The Andrews Government must recognise that our sustained economic recovery is still very fragile and uncertain. Within this context, major structural tax changes proposed by the Andrews Government, including increases to land tax and stamp duty, and a new tax on investment, must be completely thrown out," said Ms Hunter. 

"The Victorian property and construction industry stands ready now, and on the other side of this, COVID outbreak to continue to lead Melbourne and Victoria's economic recovery as we work our way out of this pandemic, into a situation where widespread vaccination is locked in and we are able to achieve a COVID-clear future."

 Media contact: Eric Allilomou M: 0400 403 730 E: eallilomou@propertycouncil.com.au