4 September 2020 / COVID-19

National Cabinet - Media Announcements

The following announcements have just been made at a press conference with the Prime Minister and Acting Chief Medical Officer:

Australia can’t be taken for granted, its federation is a happy work in progress with National Cabinet being part of that.

This year with the COVID pandemic and the COVID recession, has been one of the hardest in many generations.

If each National Cabinet state & territory just went their own way at the beginning of the pandemic, Australia would have fallen short in getting on top of the virus.

National Cabinet was set up to find a way to work through issues, challenges & disagreements.

All states and territories now have different priorities based on where they are in the pandemic so 100% consensus is not achievable and should no longer be the aim. Agreement should be the goal but “not everyone has to get on the bus”, but it is important that “anyone not getting on the bus knows it has to leave”.

7 out of 8 states & territories agreed to getting back to a cohesive plan by December (WA was the exception).

Currently fashioning a new plan to determine both health and economic outcomes that will work moving forward, e.g. how testing should work & surveillance testing arrangements (like sewage testing). 

As Australia opens up, it means making sure people can move around. National Cabinet agreed that central to this is the hotspot plan – which is a big part of the overall plan. Hotspots need to be more specifically defined and this is what is now being worked on.

Australia needs to move beyond a situation of hard borders, but instead look to creating a national hotspot definition and use that instead. States & territories will have some bilateral movement and multi-lateral movement plans that will form part of this plan.

VIC-NSW-SA borders – each of these states is keen to get them open to each other as soon as possible. 

TAS wants its border down by December. 

WA has said they won’t join in the journey of plan but will continue to work with the group. However, they have their own priorities and are quite different – there is virtually no large border towns along WA border and WA economy very different to states like SA/TAS.

More sustainable system is required as the world may not have a vaccine for years. No one is asking border closures to come down right now, but all need to be looking ahead to further stages in months and years to come. Need to get to an agreement on this.

Agricultural Code – five out of the eight states are on board. QLD, WA, TAS didn’t join onto this but will continue to listen in on discussions. VIC, SA, NSW will put immediately in place.

NSW has been doing all the heavy lifting on international arrivals with Australians coming home. Trying to now get flights to go into other states as well to spread the load.

Spoke to PM Ardern – Australia will be looking at applying national hotspot approach to NZ as well. NZers will be able to come to Australia at right time. If no COVID in QLD and no COVID in Christchurch, they should be able to come to Sydney, for example. 

Update from BOM – upcoming weather season, emergency processes should be seamless with prospect of bushfires, cyclones and floods – need for quick movement of firefighters and defence personnel across states/borders without imposing quarantine. 

Benchmark report on mental health was received – mental health supports and DV supports are being put in place as best as possible recognising the stresses people are facing right now.

Current case data: ~26,000 cases total in Australia and 737 deaths. This is in comparison to the total cases worldwide which is 26 million. That means Australia has 1 / 1000th of world cases.

Halved the number of cases in VIC in recent times which is great to see.

Less than 100 cases nationally declared today with no cases in 6 states. Particularly – no cases in QLD which is good to see whilst the state remains on high alert. 

~67,000 tests were conducted nationally yesterday.

In a separate news conference, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced he will detail the Victoria Roadmap to Recovery this Sunday including details specific to industry (which we will provide an update of immediately after announcement). 

The Premier stated that the primary objective of the roadmap is to ease out of the current restrictions in a safe and controlled manner, so that case numbers do not immediately jump up again (meaning everything done so far would have been for nothing). 

The Premier reiterated that keeping Coronavirus numbers down is to preserve health care not only for Coronavirus patients but for any and all emergency health care required (heart attacks, motor accidents, strokes etc). 

The Victorian Treasurer also gave details about extensions and relaxation of criteria to rental residents and landlord circumstances in light of the strict lockdown measures. 

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9 September / Observation

A conversation could change a life.

Today is a reminder of the importance to check in on each other and ask R U OK?

Each of us have experienced the COVID-19 pandemic differently, but it has had an impact on us all. Some of us have been unexpectedly caught behind interstate travel bans, some in extended lockdowns, some living in hotspots, some at home with their families and some away from them.

It has been a challenge for each of us to adjust to new rules and restrictions which we have never had to deal with before.

We have all adapted in our own way to help ourselves and others. We have all done our best despite much of what we knew before having changed in so many ways.

For anyone struggling, know that there are genuine mates and the broader Hutchies’ crew around, people that care about you and are ready to listen and understand.

Now, more than ever, it’s a time to connect openly – a conversation could mean a lot to someone right now.

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25 August / Update

In response to feedback and ongoing reviews of Hutchies' systems, we've updated the Work Health & Safety Management Plan.

These updates better reflect the arrangements to manage health and safety on our projects. Hutchies' WHS Management Plan is used to identify project risks and the controls to be employed on site to manage those risks. 

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31 July / COVID-19

Lockdown announced

On Saturday morning the Queensland Government announced a 3 day lockdown period for the local government areas (LGAs) of South East Queensland (incorporating Brisbane, Gold Coast, Noosa, Sunshine Coast, Ipswich, Logan, Redlands, Moreton Bay, Scenic Rim, Somerset and Lockyer Valley).

The lockdown has now been extended to 4pm Sunday, 8 August at this stage. It has been announced in response to a growing cluster which started with a high school student at Indooroopilly State High School.

The lockdown is also mandatory for anyone who has been in any of the 11x LGAs since 1am this morning and is now elsewhere.

The construction industry is still considered an essential service. Sites will remain open throughout the lockdown period at this stage. Read on for further information.

Stricter lockdown measures

The Queensland Government announced the strictest lockdown measures that the state has experienced so far, due to concern of the rapidly spreading Delta variant.

There are only four reasons to leave home during the lockdown:

  • To buy essential goods / groceries, but only within 10km of your usual place of residence. Supermarkets will be open during the lockdown period. 
  • To go to essential work / school. Childcare is open but only for children of essential workers.
  • For exercise outside, but only within 10km of your usual place of residence. Only allowed to do so with one other person from a different household.
  • For health care. You can leave to get medical care and you can provide care to someone. You can also leave home to get a COVID test or vaccine.

Additional stricter measures have also been introduced to help stop the spread:

  • No visitors allowed at home. The only exception is to care for someone who needs help, but it is recommended to delay if possible.
  • Funerals and weddings limited to 10 people.
  • Mask wearing continues to be mandatory across the 11x LGAs. You must wear a face mask at all times when you leave home, including outdoors and for exercise, unless you have a lawful reason not to.
  • Mask wearing will now be mandatory for everyone at high schools, including students, teachers and visitors in the 11x LGAs.
  • Non-essential businesses must close (eg gyms / hairdressers etc).
  • Restaurants, cafes and other hospitality venues can open but only to provide takeaway.

Hutchies' COVIDSafe sites

Construction remains essential in South East Queensland and it is important to ensure we are all working as hard as possible to keep it open in the face of ongoing outbreaks. All sites should urgently review the latest Hutchies' COVIDSafe Plan and ensure that their site is implementing the following at a minimum:

  • Regular cleaning of all site / office areas and high touch points
  • Mask wearing except when not safe to do so
  • Good hand hygiene
  • Maintaining 1.5m distance from others, including limiting numbers in hoists / lifts and crib / lunch rooms
  • Signing in using your sites' regular sign in process to provide contact details if required for contact tracing
  • Using video / teleconference software to hold meetings

Hutchies' offices in South East QLD

Everyone who works in Hutchies' offices across South East Queensland should be wearing a mask if they are working in an office during the lockdown period.

The Queensland Government has specified that people who can work from home should do so.

All face to face meetings in offices should be cancelled and replaced by video / teleconferences.

Hutchies' Toowong office

These instructions are particularly important in relation to the Toowong office.

The Toowong office is in very close proximity to the current outbreak.

If you can do your job from home, you must. You can go to the office to collect computer gear and anything else you might need to work from home during the lockdown period.

If you do need to go into the Toowong office, you must sign in using the Queensland Government QR code.

You must be wearing a mask at all times, including whilst seated. This is an important measure to stop the spread of airborne particles.

Exposure sites

The Queensland Government has provided an extensive list of exposure sites based on the movements of people who are linked to the Indooroopilly State High School cluster. More venues are expected to be added.

It is very important that anyone who is in, or has been in South East Queensland recently, checks the list daily.

If you have been to any of the venues of concern at the date and time identified, inform your Team Leader, get tested and follow the direction listed by Queensland Health.

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29 July / Update

Edition 1

Recent company snapshots have identified some pinch points in HammerTech utilisation. To assist, additional resources are available so watch this space for regular updates on all things HammerTech.

In this update you'll find:

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28 July / Training

Play the video below to see who has been crowned winner and runner up of Apprentice of the Year, Cadet of the Year and Future Leader of the Year.

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22 July / COVID-19

Keeping people safe

We've made some updates to our COVIDSafe Plan to incorporate the latest requirements across Australia.

All of Hutchies' sites and offices must continue to implement the key COVIDSafe measures we've had in place over the last 12 months, in addition to the latest local state / territory requirements listed below.

Some of the critical aspects of our COVIDSafe plan being focsued on include:
  • Regular cleaning of all site / office areas and high touch points
  • Good hand hygiene
  • Maintaining 1.5m distance from others
  • Signing in to provide contact details if required for contact tracing

The updates we have incorporated into our latest plan (version 4) includes:

Mandatory Check In & Sign In 

It is a requirement for everyone entering a Hutchies site or office that they sign in using our own process (ie HammerTech or Visitor Register) and if mandatory in your local state, must also check in using the government issued QR code system to assist with contact tracing if required.

Mandatory Masks

Masks are mandated in several areas across Australia presently, including New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and parts of South East Queensland. Hutchies' preference is that everyone in these areas, or if you cannot socially distance, wear a mask at all times, when it is safe to do so. 

This plan must be available on your project and to your clients. You should familiarise yourself with the necessary measures and continue to implement all requirements, including completing our weekly COVIDSafe inspection checklists for sites and offices.

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