1 May 2020 / COVID-19

National Cabinet Meeting

The PM just addressed the media:

  • There is more than one curve Australia needs to flatten – they don’t want Australia kept “under the doona” in economic terms
  • Australia has 1,000 active cases around the country today
  • Treasury is estimating unemployment rate to rise to 10% - its important that Australians can take confidence that there has been a clear plan to get those supports in place early to ensure that Australia can be cushioned from an even more significant blow that has occurred in many other parts of the world, not just on the health front, but on the economic front as well
  • 1.5 million people have applied for JobSeeker payments with Centrelink
  • 650,000 businesses have applied for JobKeeper with ATO
  • 150,000 applications for early access to super totalling $7.9 billion
  • Net overseas migration expected to fall by a third this year
  • National Cabinet today considered from the expert medical panel advice to bring forward the decision making around easing restrictions to next Friday’s National Cabinet Meeting (with 2 extra meetings between now and then to work through requirements) – there are 15 conditions of precedent required to be satisfied to start easing them, 11 items have already been met, 1 remaining condition in particular that needs to be satisfied – Australians need to download the COVIDSafe app to help (currently 3.5 million downloaded, but need millions more – its like not putting on sunscreen to not go out into the blazing sun – coronavirus is still out there, numbers might be low, if Australians are allowed back out to a more open economy / environment without the COVIDSafe app, we need that tool to open up the economy)
  • If you know someone who hasn’t downloaded the app, encourage them to do so, it will help National Cabinet make decisions around easing restrictions
  • When the move is made to start reducing restrictions, National Cabinet is adamant to keep moving forward – they don’t want start / stop / reverse to happen (because the virus potentially gets another run – it is important that all required protections are in place to prevent this from happening)
  • Other National Cabinet decisions and issues discussed today:
    • The new National Mental Health Plan coming together and hopefully reviewed next Friday
    • National Principles for sport and recreation agreed, it will be released today
    • Also adopted the Aged Care Code – strongly welcomed by the National Cabinet – the Commonwealth will also provide a one off $205M payment to facilities over the country to support them and costs they are incurring as a result of COVID (now totalling $850M put into aged care during COVID)

The Chief Medical Officer’s comments:

  • Total of 6,675 cumulative cases so far in Australia
  • Less than 20 new cases on average per day in Australia
  • 93 deaths so far
  • Extensive testing – 570,000 so far
  • The medical panel has presented the Pandemic Health Intelligence Plan to National Cabinet (which contains a table of conditions precedent) – some areas of criteria that has / still needs to be satisfied is:
    • Surveillance – have a plan, sufficient mechanisms (tracking and identification of outbreaks)
    • Community adherence to public health measures (people are doing what they have said, reducing their mobility and interactions as required)
    • Modelling – prerequisite and important – regularly changing
    • Testing capacity – expansion of testing is important and we have a framework for testing
    • Public health workforce has to be mature and large enough to meet any response (all States / Territories have done well to respond to the situation so much so that they’ve now been able to stand down some expanded workforce for if / when they are needed)
    • Contact tracing capacity had to be really good and is proving to be working with the new methodology – but the COVIDSafe app uptake must continue (it needs to be higher to satisfy the final piece in the jigsaw puzzle)
    • Good health workforce training to prepare the health system and they’re confident this has been done
  • New presentation of data and plans shown (will circulate when released)
  • Pretty convincedly the curve has been flattened
  • Australia is doing better with new case numbers than predicted by the forecast model
  • Effective reproduction rate number is now only really visible in NSW and TAS – falling just below 1 (all other states and territories are so small, the modellers cannot use the data realistically to produce a forecast)
  • New measure for adherence to social distancing measures based on data from Apple and Google using maps / transit info (dramatically dropped – showing good compliance of people following rules)
  • The panel has now introduced the ‘Pandemic Health Intelligence Plan’ to analyse each case (instead of trying to work with the effective reproduction rate which is now too small to use) – thanks to the significant reduction in cases – this new plan now enables each cluster to get a detailed epidemiology assessment on what is happening more closely to see what we need to do control
  • Done a lot of work on the testing strategy – they need to test more people to stay on top of the small outbreaks – cannot afford to have an outbreak that takes off and creates a second wave after restrictions potentially eased
  • Most important thing in testing is anyone who has any respiratory symptoms, runny nose, sore throat, cough cold etc – get tested – it’s easy – can be done by GP etc – don’t go to work and don’t go near vulnerable people
  • Any contact with someone with COVID is now going to be tested and chased down to ensure no potential community transmission
  • Active surveillance – which was the testing of asymptomatic people in the community – given the current, very low positivity in testing, AHPPC doesn’t this this is effective
  • Instead, they are going to introduce “cohort tests” to sample smaller areas of the community to ensure there isn’t asymptomatic transmission (ie testing elective surgery patients etc to ensure no people going into hospitals etc spread it, aged care workers to reassure everyone they aren’t carrying the virus, healthcare workers, teachers if it gives them reassurance etc)
  • Still confident most transmission of the virus is from people with symptoms, so it is imperative anyone with symptoms gets tested
  • Download the app and stick to what the health authorities and government are asking everyone to do

Further PM comments during questions:

  • The Gov’t is not canvassing any particular easing of areas yet – National Cabinet will review all restrictions to ensure health mitigations are in place if reopened and economic opportunities that extent to particular activities – that’s the basis on which the assessment will be made
  • Regardless of the potential easing of restrictions, several other measures will remain for longer – there will continue to be limits on gatherings, social distancing must still be practiced (this is a long-term adjustment everyone has to make) and good hand hygiene will remain something everyone will do for the rest of their lives after this crisis
  • The government knows we need growth related policies to stimulate the economy and boost confidence for businesses and individuals
  • The Gov’t isn’t considering new restrictions – its about getting more people using the COVIDSafe app so there is confidence to relieve existing restrictions

Other Recent Activities

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4 April / Observation

Daylight Saving Time ends at 2am (which is 3am DST) on the first Sunday in April, when clocks are turned back one hour. Daylight saving is not observed in Queensland, the Northern Territory or Western Australia. Please remember this time change when arranging travel etc.

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1 April / COVID-19

The Queensland Premier has announced that the 3 day lockdown in the Greater Brisbane region will end at 12 noon today (Thursday).

Some restrictions will remain in place for another 14 days until Thursday, 15 April 2021 – please read the below carefully. It is important to continue to implement and follow all of Hutchies’ COVID-19 measures across our sites and offices.

Restrictions for Queensland

The below requirements have been taken directly from the Queensland Government directions.

From 12pm today, until 15 April 2021 for all of Queensland:

> you must carry a face mask at all times and wear indoors, unless you have a lawful reason not to

> gatherings in people’s homes are limited to 30 persons in total, including the people you live with

> you can leave your home for any purpose. You can travel anywhere in Australia. Please note other states and territories may have restrictions in place that prevent you from travelling to them

> visitors to aged care facilities, disability accommodation services, hospitals and correctional facilities are restricted across the state

> restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs can only open for seated eating and drinking, no standing allowed

> hospitality businesses must keep an electronic customer register > customers must check into venues and provide their contact details in case you need to be contacted – download the Check In Qld App to get setup before you visit venues

Masks for Queensland

The below requirements have been taken directly from the Queensland Government directions.

You must carry a face mask with you at all times when you leave home, unless you have a lawful reason not to.

> you must wear a mask in indoor spaces

> it is strongly recommended you wear a mask when outdoors if you are unable to stay more than 1.5m distance from other people, such as busy walkways and thoroughfares

> masks do not need to be worn in some circumstances, including children under 12 years, if you have certain medical conditions, and in workplaces where it is not safe to do so > you can remove your mask to consume food or drink

Other Requirements

Anyone who has visited Brisbane since 20 March

> must still observe the above rules (including wearing a mask as required) regardless of where you are now in Australia

Anyone visiting Queensland in the next 14 days 

> must also observe the above rules (including wearing a mask as required) throughout the entire state

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30 March / COVID-19

Latest COVID-19 case locations in QLD

Please note this is a public announcement – not an announcement from Hutchies.

Updated: 30 March 2021

A large amount of new venues have been added to contact tracing alerts since the list emailed this morning, including in Byron Bay, **UPDATED** Gold Coast & Toowoomba.

Please take the time to review the lists below and if you have been at one of the venues at the time identified, inform your Team Leader and make arrangements to follow the Queensland Government directions below.

Check the QLD Government website daily for updated information. 

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29 March / COVID-19

Latest COVID-19 case locations in SE QLD, Gladstone & **UPDATED** Byron Bay

Please note this is a public announcement – not an announcement from Hutchies.

Updated: 29 March 2021

This morning the Queensland Government announced another 3 day lockdown period for the Greater Brisbane region. The lockdown will be in place from 5pm AEST today (Monday) through to 5pm AEST Thursday, 1 April 2021. This lockdown has been put in place as a result of a growing COVID-19 cluster of the UK variant in Brisbane.

If you have been in Brisbane at any time on or since Saturday 20 March, you should read the latest Hutchies’ Toolbox update and apply the lockdown provisions to yourself as though you were in Greater Brisbane region from 5pm today.

Hutchies has confirmed that the construction industry is still considered an essential service. Sites in Greater Brisbane will remain open throughout the lockdown period. In accordance with government directions, office based people should work from home where practicable during this period.

As these latest cases visited a number of locations including in South-East Queensland, Gladstone and Byron Bay, we are notifying all company members and urge anyone who has recently visited these regions to review the below list.

If you have been at one of the venues at the time identified, inform your Team Leader and make arrangements to follow the Queensland Government directions below. Check the QLD Government website daily for updated information.

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29 March / COVID-19

Implementation & Maintenance Guide

Hutchies has developed the following practical guide to assist our sites to implement and maintain our COVIDSafe requirements. Communicating these important preventative measures will help to keep everyone safe, prevent the spread of coronavirus and keep construction sites open:

  1. Get your COVIDSafe resources
  2. Implement Plan & Checklist
  3. Keep stock of supplies
  4. Stay on top of the measures
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25 March / New

Hutchies has a new company calendar available in Outlook. You’ll be able to see all of our regular events in one easy place.

We’ll be inviting all company members via email to add the calendar to you Outlook through the click of a button in the next few days. Please click ‘Accept’ to join.

Accept via Email Invitation

Please keep an eye out shortly for an email invitation from Hutchies’ Company Calendar to join the calendar in Outlook.

When you receive the email:

> On your computer, open the email

> Click the blue ‘Accept’ button in the top left corner of the email > It will then add the shared calendar to your regular Outlook calendars

Add via Shared Calendars

If you can’t wait to add it, or miss the email, you can add the new calendar via Shared Calendars in Outlook.

On your computer:

> Click the calendar icon in the bottom left corner

> Click the ‘Add Calendar’ button in the top ribbon

> Select ‘Open Shared Calendar’

> Type in ‘Hutchies Company Calendar’ > It will then open and save as an option under Shared Calendars


The new calendar enables real-time updating of events in a format everyone is familiar with (Outlook). We are specifically only including events in this calendar that are relevant to all of Hutchies nationally to avoid overloading it with irrelevant information.

Annual updates will be made for the year ahead roughly in October / November for:

> Company meetings (budgets, board meetings etc) by Matilda Fowke to assist the regions in their local calendar planning

> Payment cutoff dates for middle and end of month runs by AP

> Public holidays / social events / observations by the Comms Team If there is an event applicable to all of Hutchies that you think should be included in the company calendar, please let us know.

Other Formats

Previously we published some key dates on Toolbox and through the annual meetings document (published on the Doc Library).

These two formats will no longer be used for these dates – instead this new company calendar will be available via Outlook.

Hutchies’ Toolbox Activities will remain your central go to point for all key company announcements / alerts.

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22 March / Weather Alert

There are currently a number of weather warnings for New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria as a result of extensive rain and now risks of flooding. 

Please follow all directions of authorities, stay in the loop with ABC Emergency and ensure Hutchies' site preparation procedures are followed.

Summary of weather

You can also monitor the live radar below for a national summary on the latest weather forecasts.

General advice in storms

  • Move cars under cover or away from trees. 
  • Secure loose outdoor items. 
  • Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees. 
  • Avoid using the telephone during a thunderstorm.
  • Beware of fallen trees and powerlines. 
  • For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.

This includes checking that the sediment and erosion controls are in place and effective for any projects where we have open ground and soil stockpiles that have the potential to cause negative environmental impact.

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11 March / Notice

Falls and falling objects are hazards which can occur on construction sites. Constant proactive attention is required to manage the risk of these hazards due to the dynamic nature of site.

Site management and all workers have a duty to provide and maintain a safe workplace for all everyone that puts ‘people before program’.

By working together on Hutchies’ sites with good communication and planning, we improve the safety of ourselves and everyone around us. This extends to visitors to site and members of the public who may interact with our projects. 


All Site Management Teams are to:

> Download and display the Big 10 poster on your site to raise awareness

> Deliver a toolbox talk (download template) at the next prestart to the site teams / workers to communicate the Big 10 as well as the below actions for workers

> Complete a Weekly Inspection – Big 10 in HammerTech every week to monitor and review the effectiveness of implemented control measures and identify areas that require attention or rectification

specifically review the falls and falling object control measures:

  • Housekeeping
  • Scaffold
  • Penetrations 
  • Edge protection

> Raise any issues or observations that are identified with the relevant trades to achieve an effective and timely close out

> View the short videos below as a refresher for the required risk controls

All workers should are to:

> Follow Hutchies’ site rules & obtain relevant permits to work 

> Follow approved Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS

> Consider changes to the work environment that may affect approved SWMS as work progresses

> Install required and approved exclusion zones correctly prior to starting work

> Do not enter an exclusion zone unless you have approval from the trade in control of the area

> Do not alter scaffold on site unless you are a licensed scaffolder and have been instructed to by Hutchies

> If required to use height safety equipment, be competent and suitably trained before and use it in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines

Remember, your Hutchies’ site management team is available if you need any help or you see something that is potentially unsafe.

By working together effectively, we can improve the safety for everyone on site and reduce the risk of incidents

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8 March / Observation

Each of us has a choice in everything we do to make a difference.

To change the way we see things, and the way things have been. To truly understand respect.

Together we can achieve better.

So let’s all choose to challenge — we already know we can change.


Challenge the meaning of respect.

Challenge bias and inequality.

Challenge how we act and speak.

Challenge others for careless behaviour.

In so many ways we are industry trailblazers. We can harness diversity and difference in everything we do to be leaders of equal opportunity.

We are Hutchies. We choose to challenge.

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