Vic Treasurer and MP Tim Pallas letter to the Victorian construction industry

Vic Treasurer and MP Tim Pallas letter to the Victorian construction industry

July 9, 2020

Treasurer of Victoria, Mr. Tim Pallas, highlights the State Government’s support of the collaborative commitment of building and construction industry partners in a formal letter written to the industry.


As Victoria and the world continue to respond to the impacts of coronavirus, it is critical we
work together to ensure a strong and stable construction industry.

I thank the industry for their continued support in making workplaces safe and reducing the
risk of coronavirus. This is integral to ensuring the ongoing operation of the construction
sector as we move into the economic recovery phase.

This Government has always considered the construction sector pivotal to the economic
success of our State. Even through these uncertain times, we remain committed to our
infrastructure program and to the construction sector as a trusted partner.

A range of measures have been implemented to support businesses, including the recently
announced Building Works package which will provide $2.7 billion towards shovel-ready
projects to get thousands of Victorians back to work. The package will create 3 700 direct
jobs, while supporting thousands more across our State’s supply chains.

I know the construction sector continues to feel the effects of this unprecedented event and
that more action is required. As a key step, the Victorian Government has agreed a
framework for responding to the impacts of the coronavirus across its infrastructure
program. This framework provides a consistent approach across projects and authorises
departments and agencies to implement a range of responses.

An extension of time is one option available to provide relief for projects in delivery,
allowing work practices and programmes to be adapted in response to public health
requirements. Departments and delivery agencies may also implement expediated payment
arrangements to help alleviate impacts on project cashflows. This response will benefit
constructors but also assist sub-contractors, suppliers and project consultants as project
payments are passed through.

I encourage companies impacted by coronavirus to reach out to the relevant departments
and delivery agencies to discuss the options available to support projects during this time.
Importantly, departments and delivery agencies can apply the approved responses in a
flexible manner, ensuring that the right assistance is provided depending on individual
project characteristics and contractual arrangements.

As the Government looks forward, it is also requiring departments and delivery agencies to
consider coronavirus impacts on the planning and development of projects. Now more than
ever, information exchange with the construction industry is key to understanding if there
has been any change to the appetite and capacity of the sector to deliver projects.
Wherever possible, the State will consider how project procurements might be structured to
ensure optimal outcomes for the State whilst maintaining a viable and strengthened
construction sector.

We are committed to working flexibly and the successful delivery of the infrastructure
program is dependent on continued transparency and cooperation between the Government
and the construction sector. It is only through ongoing trust and collaboration that we will
continue to successfully manage coronavirus impacts.

As circumstances evolve, the Government will continue to assess the impacts and steps
required to ensure a robust construction sector. This is vital to driving economic recovery
and delivering lasting impacts on the Victorian economy for the long term.

Again, I would like to thank the construction sector for working so collaboratively through
this challenging period.

Yours sincerely

01 July 2020


Incolink Statement: Keeping Construction workers safe: 6,000 COVID-19 tests delivered over 100 site

Incolink Statement: Keeping Construction workers safe: 6,000 COVID-19 tests delivered over 100 site

July 8, 2020

Construction workers across Victoria and Tasmania can be proud of their contribution to the massive COVID-19 testing operation with over 6,000 tests, on over 100 sites.

Incolink CEO Erik Locke said the initiative has been stepped up with a focus on hot spot suburbs in Melbourne. 972 tests across 14 clinics have been run in the last week.

“The health and safety of workers is paramount and that’s why we acted so quickly to roll out testing. We’re pleased asymptomatic workers are voluntarily agreeing to be tested, protecting themselves and their colleagues,” Mr Locke said

“This strong testing regime, with almost 1,000 tests conducted in just the last week, has added confidence in the industry allowing work to continue throughout the pandemic.

“Without the construction industry operating there would have been less income going to tens of thousands of households putting more pressure on Governments to support families. The industry can be proud that by standing together they have increased confidence in the operation of the construction sector.

“A shutdown of the construction industry would cost the State $25 billion and result in the loss of 166,000 jobs” Mr Locke said

Testing has been undertaken in partnership with Incolink’s existing healthcare partner the Australian Prostate Centre (APC). Their team of GPs and nurses has supervised the nasal and mouth swabs approved by Victorian and Tasmanian State Governments.

Builders and workers can register to have Incolink visit their workplace at


Victoria fast-tracks new tranche of stimulus projects

Victoria fast-tracks new tranche of stimulus projects

June 26, 2020

By Michael Bleby, Australian Financial Review (AFR)

Victoria has approved the the first two towers in Lendlease’s five-building Collins Wharf project in a further bundle of six projects the state government is fast-tracking in a bid to stimulate the second-largest state’s pandemic-hit economy.

The approval of the 668-apartment, two-tower development at 938 Collins Street, in Melbourne’s Docklands, was a necessary step following the 2017 plan amendment that gave a green light to the five-tower scheme, the final component of the vast Victoria Harbour precinct on the Melbourne CBD’s western edge.

The move follows earlier approvals of projects in April – which included the country’s tallest residential towerand a further tranche of eight projects last month, such as Far East Consortium’s planned 850-apartment tower on Melbourne’s Bourke Street.

‘‘These projects help grow our building and development industry, they create jobs and they build the things Victorians need,” Treasurer Tim Pallas said.

Residential projects feature strongly in the list of stimulus approvals and it is unclear whether there will be the demand to enable them to kick off in the short time frame authorities hope.

High-rise residential apartments, particularly, are dependent on investors and offshore buyers, whose numbers have sunk in recent years. Melbourne’s population growth could plummet from the 105,839 extra people predicted pre-COVID-19 in 2021 to as few as 34,432, economist Terry Rawnsley predicts.

But despite this, the latest approvals included developer UAG Holdings’ sixbuilding project at 346-350 Macaulay Road in inner north-western Melbourne’s Kensington, a project with a construction cost of $70 million that will develop 426 dwellings as well as retail space. There were also Orb Property Partners’ two multi-storey apartment buildings in North Melbourne with retail and office space.

But not all focus on build-to-sell residential accommodation.

Other projects given the nod yesterday were developer BPG Caulfield Village’s $250 million mixed-use development at 31 Station Street in the south-eastern suburb of Caulfield, which includes a build-to-rent scheme.

Another was the Geelong Civic Precinct, a joint venture of Quintessential Equity and City of Greater Geelong to develop a civic centre and office tower.

A nine-storey mixed-use development at 285A Burke Road, Glen Iris, was approved. It will develop 11 dwellings by Deal Corporation (Gardiner) Pty Ltd funded under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Also getting the nod was a $200 million solar farm for supplier South Energy at Kennedys Creek, north-east of Benalla.


John Setka Channel 7 Interview on Construction Blitz

John Setka Channel 7 Interview on Construction Blitz

May 27, 2020

CFMEU VIC/TAS Secretary, John Setka speaks with Channel 7’s Mike Amor to discuss the $2.7 billion building blitz Daniel Andrews has announced for Victoria


For further information: | 03 9421 2886


Victoria to launch $2.7b construction blitz to stimulate State’s economic recovery

Victoria to launch $2.7b construction blitz to stimulate State’s economic recovery

May 18, 2020

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a $2.7 billion construction blitz, including more than $1 billion to upgrade schools, to stimulate the Victorian economy and create thousands of jobs.

Key points:

  • The package will include refurbishment of 23,000 public housing units and 168 new homes
  • $1.2 billion will be spent on new schools and school upgrades in regional and metropolitan Victoria
  • $382 million will also go towards tourism infrastructure

Incolink Buses to test for COVID-19

Incolink Buses to test for COVID-19

April 29, 2020

CONSTRUCTION workers across Victoria will get access to COVID-19 tests through Incolink’s mobile buses  in a bid to keep a lid on the virus as the economy rebuilds.

Incolink chief executive Erik Locke said construction was a critical part of the economy as Australia recovered from the pandemic, and up to 1200 tests a month could be done with one bus.

CFMEU VIC/TAS Secretary John Setka stresses the importance of this momentous initiative in supporting the health of workers and the construction industry during this time: 

“CFMEU VIC/TAS will continue to support any initiative that further protects the safety of construction workers whilst our industry continues to help rebuild the country’s economy. We are proud to support Incolink to extend the use of their health buses to test for COVID-19 and I encourage all members to utilise this great tool to ensure their safety” 


Construction jobs to be central to Victoria’s post-coronavirus recovery

Construction jobs to be central to Victoria’s post-coronavirus recovery

April 15, 2020

Construction projects are set be a key component of Victoria’s recovery from the economic shock of the coronavirus pandemic, Premier Daniel Andrews says. 

Construction will be key to helping Victoria recover from the economic shock of the coronavirus pandemic, premier Daniel Andrews says.

The Premier said on Monday big construction jobs across the state would become more important than ever.

These construction jobs have always been important to me, and now they are more important than ever for every single Victorian,” he said.

We have the biggest construction program in the state’s history, and it will need to get bigger once this crisis is over as we push out of what is a really significant shock to our economy.

Mr Andrews said while the state had suffered “unavoidable damage” to the economy “construction will be a very big part to the recovery from the coronavirus crisis.



Premier Daniel Andrews Confirms Construction is an Essential Industry

Premier Daniel Andrews Confirms Construction is an Essential Industry

April 6, 2020

“You can still be in the construction sector and observe some of the social distancing practices. It’s safe, that’s the medical advice.”

“Beyond that, if you were to shut down some of these jobs, public and private, it’s not just flicking a switch. You’ve got to decommission equipment, you’ve got to do all sorts of things. So it becomes often very difficult to restart those jobs.”

“But ultimately it’s safety that’s driving it.”

“You can operate construction sites, albeit they’re all different. You can have that sector functioning and observe social distancing, increased hygiene. That’s the medical advice.”

“If the advice changed, then the status of that sector would change.”

“We can expect plenty of new projects to come on once we get through this crisis.”

“So give each other space. Wash your hands. Stay home if sick. And let’s keep each other in work and out of trouble.”

*The discussion on construction begins at the 9 minute mark


For further information: | 03 9421 2886


Prime Minister Scott Morrison Speaks on the Importance of the Construction Industry

Prime Minister Scott Morrison Speaks on the Importance of the Construction Industry

April 3, 2020

Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks on FOX FM detailing the importance of the construction industry especially during COVID-19. 

‘Social distancing can be practised on construction sites whether they are residential or commercial- this keeps the economy going, it keeps people in work, it keeps supporting people through this…this is an important part of the economy’


CFMEU VIC/TAS Construction & General Secretary John Setka speaks with 3AW’s Tom Elliott

CFMEU VIC/TAS Construction & General Secretary John Setka speaks with 3AW’s Tom Elliott

April 1, 2020

• “Health and safety is our priority…that’s first and foremost”

• “We’re guided by regulations and the Chief Medical Officer’s advice and that’s what we go by”

• “Disinfecting amenities on a regular basis, practising social distancing on site…staggered lunch breaks”

• “It’s actually not business as usual: a lot of things have changed on building sites…staggered starting times to avoid that rush and congregation of large groups of people”

• “As an industry, we got together with all the employer organisations, ourselves, all the construction unions and all the health and safety experts… with recommendations from the Chief Medical Officer on how we combat this”

• “We’d rather go the extra mile and be safer…”

• “We haven’t put the economy or profits ahead of health and safety. If we thought this wasn’t good enough or was dangerous to any of our members, we’d shut it down ourselves.”