12,000 onsite COVID-19 tests completed so far

12,000 onsite COVID-19 tests completed so far

July 23, 2020

The CFMEU & Incolink have now hit the massive milestone of delivering over 12,000 onsite COVID-19 tests, with ONLY 4 positives results from this testing.

That’s just 0.00033% of positives on sites.

As an industry, we will continue to drive testing, supporting the community to get through this together.

Further to this, these results show that construction will remain operational. Our members are doing the right thing by each other and following all safety guidelines.

We thank them for that.

How is COVID-19 testing delivered?

  1. Employers or site representatives complete an expression of interest via the Incolink Bus form on this page.
  2. Test delivery date is organised with the site
  3. Individuals on site are scheduled for testing and attend their appointment
  4. Individuals will receive a result within 48 hours.

Any worker showing symptoms of COVID-19 must not attend work.

Call 03 9668 3067 or email to get a testing bus at your site. 


If you’re sick, stay home. If you’re not, your boss needs to provide you with a mask.

If you’re sick, stay home. If you’re not, your boss needs to provide you with a mask.

July 23, 2020
A face mask is PPE.
Your boss must provide you with PPE.

If they don’t, contact us straight away.

New COVID-19 guidelines for Victorian building and construction industry

New COVID-19 guidelines for Victorian building and construction industry

July 14, 2020

An updated version (V5) of the Guidelines For The Building And Construction Industry Victoria was released on July 14, 2020 and is available for download.

The updated Guidelines include policies for the following areas:

Temperature Testing

The best protection from COVID-19 is to keep it off building and constructions sites. All sites are to undertake a risk assessment to determine if temperature screening is a reasonably practical/suitable control for the site.
Face Masks
The Chief Health Officer and the DHHS has now recommended that adults in the Melbourne metropolitan area and the Mitchell Shire wear a face mask when outsideof their home if it is difficult to keep 1.5 meters apart from other people.
For building and construction sites the practicality of this new advice is simple. Use masks when: 
  • Travelling to and from work where you cannot physically distance and on public transport
  • Travelling in a hoist or lift
  • In a confined space. Any uncertainty should be clarified with a health and safety representative
  • Travelling in a vehicle with other people
  • Operating an item of plant with  another person.

More details are available in the Guidelines.

About the Guidelines

The Guidelines were created by the CFMEU along with other relevant unions and industry groups.

The Guidelines provide direction to employers and workers for the steps required to be taken to best provide a safe and healthy environment, and the actions available in the event of interruption to building and construction work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These Guidelines have been adopted and agreed between the unions and the industry associations involved in their development, and incorporate the “Best practice for managing construction sites in the coronavirus environment” issued by the Victorian state government on 29 March 2020.

We have endeavoured to take a whole of industry approach and the Guidelines should not be limited to any particular sector.

Click Here For Download (Version 5, July 14)

Click here for the further detail on face masks and temperature testing 

NOTE: These Guidelines were correct at the time of publication (July 14, 2020). As the situation with Coronavirus is changing every day, please be sure to refresh this page for updates and to also check our home page, Facebook page or dedicated portal.


CFMEU VIC/TAS to Expand On-Site COVID-19 Testing

CFMEU VIC/TAS to Expand On-Site COVID-19 Testing

July 13, 2020

While early adaptation of on-site hygiene practices, including safety, physical distancing rules and staggered break times were implemented on construction sites to provide safer workplace practices – the increase in community virus transmissions has necessitated further safety measures.

Michael Paynter, Liaison Officer, Building and Construction Industry, will brief up to 200 construction Health and Safety (H&S) representatives to ensure they are armed with all guidelines for safe work practices.

The briefing initiative will help ensure H&S representatives have the capability to assist the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) with workplace mapping of close and casual contact of workers who have tested positive to COVID-19.

Mr Paynter said, ‘By briefing on-site H&S representatives, we will be better positioned to assist with workplace mapping, all of which will further strengthen the health and safety platform for building and construction workers – and in turn – keep our Industry operational.’

CFMEU officials closed a site in Melbourne’s inner west where 11 positive COVID-19 cases have been confirmed. The CFMEU in conjunction with site management immediately shut the site after the first case was confirmed (four days prior to the DHHS instruction) preventing any further opportunities for the virus to spread amongst workers.

Yesterday, DHHS contacted the relevant site management to perform further contact tracing, instructing the job to remain shut for the next two weeks, with no workers to return to the site without proof of a negative test result.

John Setka CFMEU Secretary Vic/Tas said, ‘Our commitment to the health and safety of our workers has always been paramount and we’ve done a great job so far; but we need to do more to look after each other, our families and the community. So, if you or anyone in your household is unwell, stay home and get tested.’

The CFMEU remains committed to the implementation of COVID-19 safety procedures to ensure the protection of all construction workers. The current industry guidelines are first class, with daily on-site virus testing clinics. To date, well over 6,000 workers have been tested at more than 100 construction sites around Melbourne.

It is critical that the industry continues to move forward with health and safety testing clinics for all construction workers and expanding safety measures where and when required.


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”