7 August 2020 / COVID-19

Prime Minister & CMO, QLD Deputy Premier, VIC Premier Updates

The following announcements were made today (in order of appearance) by various governments regarding coronavirus.

Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles and Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young conference

  • Case update QLD: 0 New Cases, 11 active cases, 17,000 tests, 5 cases related to the returning women from Melbourne
  • Active Cases in AUS: 1 SA, 270 NSW, 7449 VIC (averaging 519 daily)
  • QLD Borders shut Saturday 1am 8 / 8 /2020, expecting great delays over the weekend as people rush back
  • Border pass exemptions comes in three forms X Pass, F Pass and S Pass which are required to be on the person at all times
  • X Pass – People living in the surrounding suburbs of the borders will be allowed to cross freely in a travel bubble. Queenslanders are allowed to still travel within QLD as long as they don’t leave the travel zones in NSW. NSW residents who live in the NSW travel zone will be allowed to travel freely within the designated QLD travel zones but no further.
  • F Pass – For freights, trucks and goods to cross the border
  • S Pass – Essential workers that meet the criteria to cross the border
  • The border pass website will come on this afternoon, however it could be glitchy and slow due to demand on the site. Regardless of this no exemptions will be made on the border without these passes.
  • Anyone wishing to return to Queensland after Saturday 1am without a border pass will be required to fly in through Sydney Airport and will be forced into hotel quarantine at their own expense. There are minimal exemptions to this.
  • Protests have been planned for the Story Bridge in QLD this Saturday, this is labelled unlawful and immediate Police action will be taken on anyone tempting to protest
  • If Queensland maintains no community transmission into the next week more restrictions may be lifted including visiting nursing homes

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews

  • 450 new cases 181 passed away (11 extra in the past 24 hours).
  • 2,500 unknown transmission, 66 new unknown cases
  • Health care workers account for around 1,500 active cases
  • Year 12 VIC Students: VCE students will be individually assessed and any adverse impacts from COVID-19 will be reflected in their ATAR ranking. This includes Mental Health, days off, additional responsibility. ATAR will be a fair reflection of their past year.
  • A further $28.5 million in funding for mental health and wellbeing support in schools, saying they had seen higher absence rates for vulnerable kids and a sharp increase in mental health reports in government schools. This comes in the form of additional mental support and mental health training for 1500 school staff. Health practitioners will also be rolled out to additional schools and the Navigator program will increase 33% to help support students who have disengaged from school.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison

  • Familiarity of Premiers in Nat Cab working together is really helping working relationships and productivity
  • The following federal measures have been implemented on the back of the Victoria situation:
    • Pandemic leave disaster payment for Victorians
    • Childcare keeping places arrangement for Victorians
    • Easing restrictions and extending JobKeeper to make sure that Victorians and any other parts of the country doing it tough can access:
      • Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has announced businesses will only need to show that their GST turnover had fallen over one quarter, instead of multiple, to be eligible for the scheme's extension.
      • Workers will also qualify if they were employed on July 1, rather than March 1.
  • Very dark times – the governments are working together, very clear and strong plan for the road out. Continue to work together to provide support businesses and jobs. National effort to support Victoria.
  • Stress testing national preparedness - in quarantine arrangements and aged care
  • Quarantine review being undertaken to track lessons and experience as well as the need to ensure we conduct QA processes in each state. Welcome to hear that people are being treated like hotel guests in hotel quarantine, making the process as positive as possible. Little things make a big difference.
  • Ongoing auditing of aged care preparedness around the country, and also helping to stabilise the aged care situation in Victoria
  • International travel restrictions on arrivals to stay. This inbound ban will continue for months to come indefinitely.
  • Freight protocol is now a Code, as of today and will be enforced around country from today
  • 340,000 training places via JobTrainer program will be made available this year
  • Vaccine progress – never been a global effort like this, positive signs
  • Whoever finds the vaccine needs to share it without restraint, otherwise they’d be looked upon terribly in history. Australia pledges to share vaccine if it develops it, all other countries should too.
  • Can’t count on a vaccine, but we need an economic plan in place that accommodates life without a vaccine
  • National Preparedness Plan coming in next two weeks – keenness from all Premiers to engage in this plan

Acting Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly

  • ACT/TAS have no active COVID-19 cases
  • Particularly older people who have higher rates of death
  • Younger age groups are the most infected and are spreading the virus
  • Very good engagement across the board helping Victoria
  • Acute response phase is about preparing for the worst so it can be handled the best
  • Vaccine – strong optimism, can’t promise when it will occur. Many in clinical trials at the moment, it needs to be safe and of a high quality
  • National stockpiles have been increased including lifesaving medication
  • The virus can be a severe long-term illness in some, including young people
  • Person in their 30s who died had co-morbidities, but confirms it is not just an old person’s virus
  • QR codes are being used in venues. We are in a pandemic so the quicker that people can do contact tracing the better. Put down real addresses/names because that will help you.
  • Suppression strategy is working well in other states

Other Recent Activities

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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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