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Building Industry Consultative Council Statement – COVID-19

The Building Industry Consultative Council (BICC) is a high-level advisory council to the Minister for Industrial Relations. It is made up of employers, industry associations, unions and Government. The BICC advises the Minister on economic, workplace and industrial relations issues affecting Victoria’s building and construction industry.

Yesterday at a specially convened meeting the Council endorsed a comprehensive set of Guidance Notes for the Building Industry for COVID-19 that have been developed by industry participants and the Department of Health and Human Services and WorkSafe.

The Guidelines deal with safety, work organisation, physical distancing, responding to positive COVID-19 cases, cleaning and disinfection of worksites and other related matters. The Guidelines represent a single point of reference for all employers and workers across all sectors of the building and construction industry.

The Chair of the BICC, Peter Parkinson, said the industry needs to be focussed on the safety of its people as a first priority and keeping people employed safely. He said “We can only do that if we all commit to the new way of working. These guidelines provide the best way to achieve that.”

He said there had been tremendous collaboration between all parties, focussed to keep this industry and the community safe. “All the leaders in this industry are committed to delivering vitally important infrastructure and buildings safely”.

He said the Council welcomed and endorsed comments from the Prime Minister and the Premier in recognising the industry as an essential service.

Mr Parkinson said “the Council members have been assured by the relevant health and safety authorities that by complying with these guidelines the industry can keep people safe, employed and contributing to the economy. If employers or workers do not comply with the Guidelines, they are being unsafe to themselves and to the wider community, and these sites will need to be shut down. There should be no compromise. The safety of workers, their families and the community must come first.”

Mr Peter Daly, CEO of Master Plumbers and Council member said the Guidance Notes were available to all businesses through the Master Plumbers website and other industry associations.

Mr Daly said “Our industry warrants remaining open, based on the advice of the Chief Health Officer, who has recognised the effort and dedication of so many to keep our workforce safe. Everyone involved in the building and construction industry respects their community, their industry and is doing all they can to protect their livelihoods and those of their mates by following the measures put into place so far. Today, our industry is going even further and we call on everyone to play their part.”

Council member PPTEU Secretary, Earl Setchers, said “the safety of our members is paramount to us, so we will continue to follow the advice of the experts to ensure their safety. There is a lot of misinformation going around, we cannot act on these - we can only listen to the experts, and that is what we will continue to do. Our members deserve to be supported and respected during these unprecedented times for the vital role they are playing in the construction industry.”

Yesterday at a specially convened meeting the Council endorsed a comprehensive set of Guidance Notes for the Building Industry for COVID-19 that have been developed by industry participants and the Department of Health and Human Services and WorkSafe.

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Yesterday at a specially convened meeting the Council endorsed a comprehensive set of Guidance Notes for the Building Industry for COVID-19 that have been developed by industry participants and the Department of Health and Human Services and WorkSafe.

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