CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) GUIDELINES FOR THE BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY VICTORIA – REVISION 8 RELEASED

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidelines for the Building and Construction Industry Victoria (Revision 8) are now released together with an Explanatory Note.

Please note that these updated Guidelines have application immediately and are not conditional upon moving to Third stage. They apply from now.

It is anticipated that Revision 8 can remain in place now for some time, however it will of course remain under regular review.

As per advice from the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions at the Industry Working Group meeting yesterday it is anticipated that the outstanding corrections/updates to the FAQ’s for Construction and the High Risk COVIDSafe Plan for Construction will be uploaded shortly.

Presentations made at  yesterday’s meeting from The Department of Justice, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions and WorkSafe will be distributed once we receive them.

Also below is a brief summary prepared by DHHS of the main features for each sector once Open is declared.

At this point we have no knowledge of what announcements might be made on Sunday.

Industry Guidelines Rev 8 Final 16 October 2020

Explanatory Note for V8 16 October 2020 pp final

Open Requirements once declared – 161020

 

FASTER RAIL: TO WHERE = VERY FAST TRAIN (VFT?)

AIB Executive Director’s response to Transcript of House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities – Options for Financing Faster Rail.

Australian Institute of Building (AIB), the professional body for building practitioners, assist the construction industry to advance through learning. The AIB, through its members, strive for continuous improvement and in doing so, learn from mistakes of the past and  ensure they are not repeated. Most importantly, that government, private enterprise, and industry bodies plan the future collaboratively.

As a society and economy, we cannot afford to waste the opportunity to plan and maximise the significant investment due to short-term thinking. A “Faster Rail” is short-term thinking when the bigger picture is a VFT. Currently, each state is doing its own thing in relation to rail and infrastructure projects, with, in AIB’s view, no master plan. The last time this happened, Australia ended up with three different rail gauges.

History shows that short-term thinking in Infrastructure and projects has led to inadequate public transport, housing, and health facilities. More so, not cognisant of socio-economic and environmental factors that have been mounting for decades.

Australia is expected to be home to 30.0 million in 2031, an increase of 4.4 million on today’s number of 25.6 million. Where these Australians be living, working, traveling to and from, learning and accessing health services will depend on how government, enterprise, and professional industry bodies such as AIB, work together.

A VFT network can underpin a de-centralisation policy that delivers social and economic benefits by way of affordable housing and restricting the urban sprawls, and consequences, of Sydney and Melbourne.  Examples may include Goulburn in NSW and Seymour in Victoria where travel on a VFT to respective hubs in Parramatta and Sunbury is less than an hour away.

These hubs are growth corridors for a range of transport, manufacturing, and service industries and subject to current and planned investment. With significant support from state and federal governments across a range of construction activities, the AIB warns of an impending labour shortage by 2022.  In both instances, construction and investment is going west for reasons mentioned and will be restricted if the labour pool is too shallow.

The warning signs are there. Over-crowding in Sydney and Melbourne with increases in cost of housing as a percentage of household income for renters and owners. Most importantly, a lack of social housing (low income and the homeless) when a solution is in sight. All that is required is an understanding of the broader socio-economic factors inherent in a national, collaborative approach to the VFT and forward thinking.

Geoff Dart
AIB, Executive Director

WESTERN AUSTRALIANS FLOCKING TO TAFE FOLLOWING MASSIVE CUTS TO COURSE FEES

Thursday, 17 September 2020
  • Training enrolments up by 20 per cent as a result of heavily reduced course fees
  • TAFE fees for 34 courses reduced by up to 50 per cent from January 1, with an additional 39 courses reduced by up to 72 per cent in July
  • Biggest enrolment growth in priority industries including electrician, civil construction and hospitality
  • $57 million investment in training driving demand to TAFE and private providers

Training enrolments in priority courses have increased by more than 20 per cent since the start of the year as a result of the McGowan Government’s huge cuts to TAFE fees.

The McGowan Government reduced TAFE fees for 34 priority courses by up to 50 per cent from January 1.

As part of the WA Recovery Plan, fees for an additional 39 TAFE courses were reduced by up to 72 per cent and 15 free TAFE short courses were announced in July.

With training now more affordable, an additional 4,600 local students have enrolled into the 34 first courses, an increase of more the 20 per cent compared to this time last year.

There have been more than 27,700 enrolments in the first batch of 34 high priority courses included in the Lower fees, local skills (LFLS) program since it was rolled out at the start of the year.

Courses seeing the largest enrolment growth include the Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician (3,250 enrolments), the Certificate III in Individual Support – Disability and Aged Care (more than 2,700 enrolments), and the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (over 2,500 enrolments).

The Certificate III in Civil Construction Plant Operations has seen good results with around 1,500 enrolments, followed by the Certificate III in Hospitality with more than 1,400 enrolments.

The first batch of slashed-fees courses has been especially popular with younger students, with just under half of all enrolments undertaken by students aged 24 or under.

Around 35 per cent of enrolments have been by students living in the regions, with the strongest growth in the Great Southern, which is up 422 students compared to last year.

Since July 2020, when the program was expanded as part of the WA Recovery Plan, there have been 3,150 enrolments in the additional 39 half price courses that were added to the initiative.

These figures reflect all training delivery by Western Australia’s TAFE colleges and contracted private providers.

For more information on Lower fees, local skills and a full list of half price courses visit http://www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au or contact your local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64.

Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

“My Government has made TAFE a priority and these enrolment figures for our 50 per cent cut to TAFE fees are showing our investment in training is delivering good returns.

“It’s particularly encouraging to see young people are returning to training and TAFE, which was a key target of the Lower fees, local skills initiative.

“We expect more Western Australians to enrol in TAFE, following the additional reductions in course fees of up to 72 per cent announced as part of the WA Recovery Plan.

“TAFE is a major part of WA’s recovery from COVID-19 and our training-led plan will prepare Western Australians to get back into jobs to meet the economy’s immediate workforce needs following the impacts of the pandemic.”

Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:

“Training is vital to develop a skilled workforce to support the State’s economic recovery and people are clearly getting the message that now is the time to get a qualification.

“We will continue to invest in training to ensure Western Australia is well positioned to bounce back as the economy recovers.”

Premier’s office – 6552 5000

Education and Training Minister’s office – 6552 5700

——————————————————————————————–

Construction industry facing a labour shortage by 2022

Geoff Dart Executive Director of the Australian Institute of Building flags the upcoming labour shortage as a real concern for the industry and the communities we serve.

Whilst the construction pipeline is strong for the commercial and infrastructure sectors, we are impeded by failure of the Reserve Bank and major banks, to pass on the $300b allocated the “Road to Recovery” (ACIF), dating back to the bushfires.

With population growth expected to return to pre-COVID 19 levels in late 2021 and uplift in business activity, we need to be prepared.

“Biggest enrolment growth in priority industries including electrician, civil construction and hospitality.”

The initiative by WA is a great step forward and timely, as the construction students should be graduating at various levels in eighteen months to two years.

Government policy may also consider the re-training of the 100,000 people to lose their jobs in the retail sector over that period. Along with construction, the other industry facing a shortage is agriculture, also in need of infrastructural development.

Let us keep pushing other states and territories to invest in the support required for construction to be a major driver to socio-economic recovery over the coming decade.

A MESSAGE FROM THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT

9 September 2020

President’s Update for Members

It has been a busy month for AIB activities with our National judging of our 2020 Professional Excellence Awards nearing completion. Our Chapter Awards book will be available shortly to all finalists and we have resolved Chapter award presentations while managing State regulations for COVID restrictions.

At this stage ACT, QLD, WA and SA are planning face to face events and some shortened programs will see a mix of dinner and cocktail. Virtual presentations will be used for NSW / Hong Kong, VIC / TAS and the National Awards and the current timetable is:

• ACT Chapter – cocktail gathering format (TBA date)
• NSW / HK Chapter – virtual presentation 16/10/2020
• WA Chapter – cocktail gathering format (TBA date)
• QLD Chapter – cocktail gathering format (TBA date)
• VIC / TAS Chapter – virtual presentation 23/10/2020
• SA Chapter – annual dinner and awards at the National Wine Centre 30/10/2020
• National Awards – virtual presentation 20/11/2020

We will get final venue details out to entrants directly, as well as Chapter Members so you can all celebrate your outstanding projects for 2019. We will still see all Professional Excellence Awards presented before the end of 2020.

Our 69th Annual General Meeting has been scheduled as a zoom meeting for 24 September at 6:00pm. Follow the link to the meeting notice, register your attendance and view the meeting agenda.

I have directly contacted members regarding finalising your 2020 / 2021 membership subscription or confirming your student membership status. Most importantly those members who which to register for the AGM and participate in the business of the meeting will need to be financial to be issued the meeting link.

So, don’t let your membership lapse before this important meeting when we introduce the incoming National President and National Committee to take the AIB into its 70th year of operations. If you need help to confirm your membership status simply contact the office by phone on 02 6253 1100 or by emailing membership@aib.org.au to request a copy of your lost invoice or allow us to assist you by finalising a payment directly over the phone.

Finally, our role as your representatives advocating on behalf of ‘Chartered Building Professionals’ to Government and Building Regulators in all jurisdictions has not stopped.

We are active across a number of jurisdictions providing valuable information to departments and ministers on the pathway forward for building recovery around the nation as COVID responses are formulated.

Have a great day and stay safe wherever you are working at the moment.

David Burnell FAIB
National President, Australian Institute of Building

A MESSAGE FROM THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT

24 August 2020 

AIB Update for members 

This week I am saddened to advise the passing of one of our very significant foundation members. George W Dore – OAM LFAIB passed away last week and a live stream of his service at 11:30am on 25 August will be available tomorrow at www.davidwbull.com.au

George was indeed a long-standing member of the AIB having commenced as member #226 on the 13th of March 1954. He was an enthusiastic AIB member and served as Victorian Chapter President from 1993 – 1995. He also championed the connection between the AIB and Holmesglen Institute through his passion for education and training.

The work of both George and his late wife Margaret (passed in 2012), has included many valuable and lasting contributions to the AIB over many years. George was recognised for this outstanding service with the awarding of a Life Fellowship in February 2009. We are saddened to lose such a loyal and committed friend and we mark our respect for George by acknowledge his enormous commitment to the profession over more than 65 years. We are very grateful for the contributions that the Dore family and G.W Dore Builders have made over the years.

A short article from 2007 records the esteem of Holmesglen Institute regarding George’s work in the education and support of students is attached. Holmesglen Institute: End of an Era

It has been a busy month for AIB activities with National judging of our 2020 Professional Excellence Awards now under way. Our Chapter Awards book is nearing completion and will be available shortly to all finalists. Our work on securing award presentation solution is continuing and the dynamic landscape in some States regarding COVID restrictions is a challenge that we will resolve shortly. Some Chapters and National office have been working hard over the last month to secure new venue dates where live presentations can be held however a virtual awards solution is also part of our response where we are still facing restrictions in Victoria and New South Wales for larger group gatherings.

We will get details out to entrants directly, as well as Chapter Members so you can all celebrate your outstanding projects for 2019. Our desire is to still see all awards presented before the end of 2020.

Our Annual Chapter Meetings have now occurred and we welcome some new committee members in most Chapters so look out for events and new chances to engage with your local AIB Chapter. To those Chapter Presidents and committee members who have just completed their term of service we thank you for your contribution and look forward to celebrating with you when we next meet.

I have contacted members directly regarding finalising your 2020 / 2021 membership subscription or confirming your student status if you have been on our books for over 6 years. This is the time we are required to lapse members who are not financial so this is a final reminder for members who want to remain connected. Simply contact membership@aib.org.au and request a copy of your lost invoice or allow us to assist you by finalising a payment over the phone.

Finally, our role as your representatives advocating on behalf of ‘Chartered Building Professionals’ to Government and Building Regulators in all jurisdictions has not stopped.

We have completed a submission to the ABCB – National Registration Framework for Building Practitioners Paper. Our response focused on qualifications and experience required for a number of Practitioner categories:

  • Building Level 1 – Open / Commercial
  • Building Level 2 – Restricted / Commercial
  • Building Level 3 – Limited / Residential
  • Project Management Level 1 – Open / Commercial
  • Project Management Level 2 – Restricted / Commercial
  • Building Surveying Level 1 – Open / Unrestricted
  • Building Surveying Level 2 – Restricted

We also provided supporting commentary on the standard and basis for professional level course accreditation and the need for a National Register as the repository for credentials and licencing information so that it is truly open to all jurisdictions    as a single source repository regarding professional qualifications for all licence holders using a National Registration model.

Have a great day and stay safe wherever you are working at the moment.

David Burnell FAIB

National President, Australian Institute of Building

BUILDING AUSTRALIA MODEL TO UNLOCK INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT, AND KICK-START ECONOMY

Industry super owned IFM Investors has today proposed a new way of financing infrastructure construction that would help kick-start the economy, create jobs, and better meet the needs of governments, regulators and the community, while driving investment and returns for millions of workers.  IFM Investors is ready to unlock billions of dollars for Australian infrastructure projects to support the post-Covid-19 economic recovery.  With industry super capital already set to contribute $19.5 billion over the next three years and create 200,000 jobs, the additional billions would “supercharge” the existing stimulus pipeline already committed by industry super.

READ HERE

‘HOMEBUILDER’ PROGRAM TO DRIVE ECONOMIC ACTIVITY ACROSS THE RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION SECTOR

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP
Prime Minister

The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP
Treasurer

The Hon. Michael Sukkar MP
Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Housing

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

The Morrison Government is supporting jobs in the residential construction sector with the introduction of the new HomeBuilder program.

From today until 31 December 2020, HomeBuilder will provide all eligible owner-occupiers (not just first home buyers) with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home. Construction must be contracted to commence within three months of the contract date.

HomeBuilder applicants will be subject to eligibility criteria, including income caps of $125,000 for singles and $200,000 for couples based on their latest assessable income. A national dwelling price cap of $750,000 will apply for new home builds, and a renovation price range of $150,000 up to $750,000 will apply to renovating an existing home with a current value of no more than $1.5 million.

The program is expected to provide around 27,000 grants at a total cost of around $680 million.

This increase in residential construction will help to fill the gap in construction activity expected in the second half of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In doing so, HomeBuilder will help to support the 140,000 direct jobs and another 1,000,000 related jobs in the residential construction sector including businesses and sole-trader builders, contractors, property developers, construction materials manufacturers, engineers, designers and architects.

HomeBuilder complements existing state and territory First Home Owner Grant programs, stamp duty concessions and other grant schemes, as well as the Commonwealth’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme and First Home Super Saver Scheme.

This year, the Government delivered the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme to help eligible first home buyers to purchase their first home with a deposit of as little as 5 per cent, allowing them to get into the market sooner. HomeBuilder will create even more opportunities for first home buyers to enter the property market, as well as support other eligible Australians to build a new home or renovate an existing home.

The HomeBuilder program will be implemented via a National Partnership Agreement, signed by the Commonwealth and state and territory governments.
More information on HomeBuilder, including eligibility, can be found on the Treasury Coronavirus Economic Response website.

FACT SHEET – ECONOMIC RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS : HOMEBUILDER

Media Contacts:
Prime Minister’s office: Press Office, (02) 677 7744
Treasurer’s office: Leanne Jones, 0401 006 866
Minister Sukkar’s office: Andrew Hudgson, 0428 697 041

$3 BILLION BOOST CREATES $100 BILLION INFRASTRUCTURE AND JOBS PIPELINE (NSW)

The NSW Government has announced a new $3 billion acceleration fund to go towards job-creating projects, increasing the Government’s infrastructure pipeline to a guaranteed $100 billion.

The new $3 billion Infrastructure and Job Acceleration Fund will be used for smaller, shovel-ready projects touching every corner of the state, injecting up to an extra 20 thousand jobs back into the NSW workforce.

The Government will no longer proceed with the refurbishment of Stadium Australia, redirecting around $800 million towards the new fund for job-creating infrastructure projects.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said infrastructure would provide a path to employment, and economic recovery, firing up the economy.

“This guaranteed pipeline of $100 billion will be our best chance supporting the hundreds of thousands of people who have already lost their jobs in NSW,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We are now not only guaranteeing our infrastructure pipeline, we will be looking for opportunities to fast-track projects to provide jobs as early as we can.

The Government said the Stadium Australia rebuild was a sensible project backed by the people of NSW at last year’s election, but in the current health and economic climate it no longer makes sense.

The promised Parramatta Powerhouse museum will still be delivered through the infrastructure pipeline.

This project alone will create more than 1,100 construction jobs in Western Sydney, 2,400 indirect jobs, and keep hundreds employed once it opens. The Government is also looking at options to support the Arts community at Ultimo.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the fast-tracking of projects would support jobs across the entire State and the Government was in the process of identifying them.

“The communities of NSW have been through an incredibly tough period with continued drought, horrific bushfires and now COVID-19 and the best path to recovery is creating jobs,” Mr Barilaro said.

“An unprecedented crisis calls for an unprecedented recovery and redirecting funding from Stadium Australia to job-creating infrastructure builds is the right thing to do for the people of NSW.”

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the clear advice from the Reserve Bank of Australia was that governments should do everything they can to create jobs and stimulate the economy as we emerge from the shadow of COVID-19.

“With around 500,000 people out of work in NSW we are focused on creating as many jobs as possible to shorten the lines outside of Centrelink,” Mr Perrottet said.

“NSW was an infrastructure led economy heading in to the pandemic, and now we will help drive the State forward by creating more jobs for the people who have been hit hardest with an infrastructure led recovery coming out.”

MEDIA: Kari Keenan | Premier | 0448 865 311
Georgina Kentwell | Deputy Premier ǀ 0427 206 308
Ian Paterson | Treasurer | 0438 748 501

BUILDING MINISTERS’ FORUM COMMUNIQUE – 23 APRIL 2020

Australian Government
Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

BUILDING MINISTERS’ FORUM COMMUNIQUE – 23 APRIL 2020
The Building Ministers’ Forum (BMF) met in late April to discuss the impacts of the current
COVID-19 crisis on the building and construction industry, and agree the way forward for
the design, construction and certification of complex buildings. The Australian Building
Codes Board (ABCB) updated Ministers on the key achievements with implementing the
recommendations in the Building Confidence Report.

Download Full Communique Here

 

You can find all the communiques (2014 – 2020) here.

MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

As we push through with the imposed, ongoing COVID -19 restrictions and generally living what resembles little of what was some four or five months ago, I think we must continually put things into perspective and consider ourselves ‘lucky and fortunate’ in so many respects.

While many of us are feeling the effects of reduced or even a loss of jobs in some instances, nothing compares to the utter devastation and importantly, significant loss of life that others in various parts of the globe have endured with the pandemic. I know I speak on behalf of the National President in expressing our positive thoughts with regard to the way that the building and construction industry continues to keep moving forward.

With some sites now working over more days of the week to minimise interaction as well as the practising of safe distancing, we sense that the industry will pull through this. I can say that the Institute in concert with the Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) has attended numerous Industry Roundtable meetings with relevant government and Federal Government Ministerial staff. The purpose of the meetings is to discuss any new sector specific supply chain issues that may have arisen.

Government staff are also keen to gain a sense of when particular industries might expect to encounter significant difficulties, if they haven’t already, and the nature of these issues. The meetings also discuss numbers of COVID-19 cases in the construction industry, and what practical social distancing and other COVID-19 health measures are being undertaken. In the meantime if you have any feedback in this area, please be sure to let me know at ceo@aib.org.au and I will pass this on and through the meetings.

Finally in the same vein this week, ACIF has released its ‘Update Report’ for April 2020. The document contains thoughts and perspectives from key industry stakeholders on the uncertain situation with regard to COVID -19. It provides information about what has been happening in different sectors of the construction industry over the past few weeks, and what may be expected over the next few weeks as Australia and the world deal with the pandemic

There is expert comment across the informative document including input from AIB National President, David Burnell.

As a member of ACIF, this is free to all AIB members and I encourage you all to read this. Click here to download. 

Have a great weekend ahead everyone.

Greg Hughes