16 April 2020 / COVID-19

PM & CMO Announcements

Scott Morrison just made the following announcements following a National Cabinet Meeting this afternoon. Summarised key points only and will send new modelling once it has been released.

  • Australia has made some real progress with data reflecting the progress but many difficult considerations and lots of issues to consider on ground. Attention now turning to the road out and recovery on the other side, which will be a different world on the other side
  • Economic measures on other side to be pro-growth, to get jobs back. Businesses are at front and centre of our economy so revitalization of economy with policies that encourage growth and investment.
  • Health and economic responses have to both be considered and understood together. Australia’s fiscal response is one of the best in the world.
  • Today’s unemployment rate showed only a modest change, but data from before Coronavirus restrictions came in. Figure is welcome but it is the best figure we’ll see for some time. RBA / IMF reporting have similar views re unemployment rates going forward.
  • Australians to prepare ourselves for sobering news about the economy in the months to come
  • In regards to health, Australia remains in the suppression phase. We are not in an eradication (NZ) or herd immunity (Sweden) phase.
  • Our approach shows we are doing very well, in comparison to other locations
  • Road out will mean meeting important benchmarks, that will inform the National Cabinet and decisions about easing restrictions. 3 things to get in place:
  1. More extensive surveillance testing regime, broader testing. Aus has one of the most extensive regimes but we need to do better so we can move to a less restricted world
  2. Tracking using technology as soon as we possibly can (privacy issue needs to be worked on before a new app can be launched – but PM stresses people should sign up to help)
  3. Local response capability to contain any future outbreaks as they happen, every state needs the ability to move very fast to lock down an area very quickly
  • Baseline restrictions to remain until those 3 goals achieved, which will be reviewed over the next 4 weeks with no plans to change anything over next 4 weeks
  • Elective surgery – to be discussed next Tuesday
  • 6 months direction that was talked about originally is to end of September, which was to buy time with economic packages
  • Restrictions in some form will continue after this 6 months but depends on health/economic advice as time goes on
  • Schools are a state and territory issue, they are run by state govts, they set the rules, but with 7 principles to guide them (will be released today)
  • Teachers are more at risk in the staff room than in the class room and proper arrangements should be in place to protect them, but same rules don’t apply to students because they don’t have same level of risk (virus behaves very differently with children)
  • Trial week of parliament of May – normal business of parliament, and hopefully return to regular basis but need to see how it works with new arrangements and logistical challenges like less flights and border closures.
  • Australia is well ahead of where it thought it would be. The more we do the right thing now, the easier it will be for everyone in the long term. Patience can’t wear thin - look to experience overseas, if we ease off too quickly, both health and economic consequences will be a lot worse.
  • CMO Brendan Murphy summarised latest data with modelling on screen (which will be sent when released)
  • Numbers are looking very encouraging, less than 50 people over the last few days. Most cases are from people returning from overseas, very little community transmission
  • Unless we are prepared to detect outbreaks early, and get on top of them quickly we could end up in the same situations as other developed countries are in currently, struggling with outbreaks
  • Importantly, we are detecting about 92% of all symptomatic cases across Australia – we are ranked the highest of this rate in a huge list of countries
  • All states’ surveillance and detection highly effective, epidemic is reducing across all states
  • Response is good but has to get stronger to relax distancing

Questions from media had some additional points from PM:

  • Virgin bailout – govt appreciates the value of two viable airlines, but any response will be on a sector-wide basis, not specific to Virgin
  • Construction sector, particularly infrastructure likes roads – PM wants this stimulated as construction can still go on now whilst in a COVID economy

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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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