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.
VICTORIA’S CONTINUED COMMITMENT TO THE CONSTRUCTION SECTOR
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
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.
TIM PALLAS MP
01 July 2020