29 March 2020 / COVID-19

National Cabinet Meeting - Additional Restrictions

The Prime Minister just made the following announcements following today’s National Cabinet Meeting:

  • 2020 will be a tough year – this week has shown this
  • 100s of thousands of people have lost their jobs this week
  • Thousands of businesses have closed
  • 16 people have lost their lives to COVID-19
  • Rate of increase has been falling as reported this morning, but we must continue to do things we have committed to do
  • Working through the night again to bring together the next tranche of support measures to help keep people in jobs
  • As announced this morning another $1 billion for services in the health sector to boost telehealth, crisis services etc
  • 1,600 people went into quarantine today (particularly in NSW) under the new arrangements of isolation in hotels
  • New technology to help communicate the messages – WhatsApp message service (291,000 people have already connected to it), new Coronavirus App for iOS and Google (482,000 downloads today) – every Australian should download this app to keep informed
  • Coronavirus App has a new ‘registration’ feature if you have support for access to essentials etc (ie for older people staying home)
  • Tonight the National Cabinet met to specifically discuss public gatherings – currently restricted to 10 persons except for members of your households, employment and education – working from home where possible and following social distancing – 10 person limit now enforceable in most States and Territories – the new advice is restricted to 2 people anywhere other than inside your household – up to States and Territories if it is enforceable
  • Outside play grounds and skateparks will be closed from tomorrow
  • Bootcamps will be limited to 2 people
  • Individuals – strong advice that is being endorsed following health advice – essential to reinforce – everyone must stay at home:
    • Shopping for things you actually need (food and other essential supplies – infrequently as possible) – jigsaw puzzle example considered essential
    • Medical care or compassionate needs
    • Exercise in compliance with the 2 person rule
    • Work and education if you cannot work or learn remotely
  • Strong advice for people aged 70+ should stay at home and self-isolate for their own protection for the maximum time possible to limit interactions (can still go outside with a support person for fresh air etc but limit contact with others as much as possible) – utilise the available home based services and delivery options for groceries etc (you can access via new Coronavirus App) – this is not a strict rule, it’s a recommendation for their own protection
  • The same advice applies for people with a chronic illness, people aged over 60 and Indigenous people over 50 should stay home with minimal interactions with others
  • Commercial and residential tenancies:
    • The States and Territories will have a Moratorium to prevent evictions of persons as a result of financial stress if they unable to make their commitments for the next 6 months
    • More work to be done here and will come in days
    • Message to commercial tenants and landlords – you need to talk to each other and work this out – look at the businesses that have closed or had significant reduction – they need to sit down and come up with arrangements to come out the other side with a tenant at the end and a business that can employ
    • Banks need to help everyone achieve this outcome too
    • The Aus Gov will work on measures to encourage everyone to do this
    • If you don’t cooperate, the support you might expect to receive, you will not receive – this is part of the hibernation approach – bespoke to circumstances – sit down and work it out fairly
    • The goal is a landlord has a tenant to continue into the future – who are businesses that aren’t drowning in debt from unpaid rent – and banks that keep and help their customers
  • Businesses congratulated for innovation – rethink business models to survive – everyone should be adapting to unusual circumstances that will run for at least 6 months (examples of restaurants changing to delivery only etc used as examples of change adoption)
  • More to say on commercial tenancies in the days ahead – the States and Territories have been working hard on this – they will be engaging with businesses, landlords and banks to get the provisions in place – but everyone should sit down tomorrow and start working through it – everyone needs to carry a bit – including the Government
  • Further closure of businesses may come if social distancing not possible or not complied with

Chief Medical Officer brief:

  • 3,929 cases at the moment (460 new ones)
  • Evidence that public health measures and social distancing having a good effect
  • One of the lowest positive test rates in the world even though we have one of the higher testing rates
  • Reasonably confident that most significant cases are being detected
  • Slow down in cases, but we must slow it down further
  • Biggest worry at the moment is community transmission (spread without a known source)
  • The measures in place will have enough effect to bring the curve right down
  • We all have to change the way we interact with each other – stay home unless you absolutely must go out for an essential requirement
  • Vast majority of Australians complying – some silly behaviour of non-compliance, everyone must do the right thing for these measures to work (90% minimum required)
  • Hopefully the early signs of flattening will help continue to see a reduction in cases

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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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