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July

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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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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17 - 28 July / COVID-19

The NSW Government introduced additional restrictions across Greater Sydney, including the closure of all construction sites from Monday at 12.01am (19 July) through until 30 July 2021.

Given the number of infectious cases in the community, the following changes will be made to further limit the spread of the COVID-19 Delta strain.

On the basis of updated health advice, the following additional changes (including others outlined in this email below) will come into effect until 11.59pm Friday, 30 July across the below areas:

  • Greater Sydney
  • Central Coast 
  • Blue Mountains
  • Wollongong
  • Shellharbour

From 12.01am on Monday, 19 July for Greater Sydney

  • All construction to be paused; and
  • Non-urgent maintenance, including cleaning services, and repair work on residential premises to be paused.

Today's announcement is evolving and we understand industry stakeholders are working with the NSW Government to detail plans for the shutdown period over the next two weeks.

As soon as we know more, we will communicate this to you.

Hutchies must continue to comply with all NSW Government requirements.

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15 July / COVID-19

At 4.45 pm today, the Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews announced that the whole of Victoria would be entering into a 5 day hard and fast lockdown in order to prevent and control the spread of the ‘Delta Variant’ of COVID-19 from 11.59pm tonight, 15th July to Tuesday 20th  July 11.59pm.

Under these lockdown restrictions that come into force at midnight tonight there will only be five reasons for Victorians to leave home:

  1. 1 person per household to complete shopping for essential items within a 5km radius
  2. authorised work or permitted education
  3. exercise for up to two hours a day with people from your household within a 5km radius
  4. caregiving, compassionate and medical reasons
  5. To get vaccinated

Circuit Breaker Breakdown

  • There are to be no visitors to your home other than an intimate partner.
  • Single bubbles will be permitted. If you live alone, you can make a bubble with another person.
  • And there’s to be no public gatherings.
  • In terms of what remains open, so restaurants, pubs, and cafes can provide takeaway only.
  • Essential retail, so supermarkets, food stores, petrol stations, banks, bottle shops and pharmacies, other retail stores can provide click and collect.
  • Childcare and kinder’s will be open as per the last circuit-breaker lockdown earlier this year.
  • Approved professional sporting events will proceed but proceed without crowds.
  • Authorised workers and workplaces – in terms of what will be closed or changed, schools will move to remote learning, except for vulnerable children, and children of authorised workers. Higher education will move to remote learning only.
  • Community support and recreation, accommodation, but there will be some exemptions that apply.
  • Hotels, clubs, TABs and the casino will be closed, indoor and outdoor entertainment venues, swimming pools, spas, saunas, indoor and outdoor springs, community venues, drive-in cinemas, amusements parks, creative studios, art galleries and museums, tourism, tours, and transport, and auctions can only happen online.
  • In terms of our health settings, aged care facilities: no visitors except for limited reasons.
  • In our hospitals, visitors only for end of life, to support a partner during birth, or a parent accompanying a child. In terms of ceremonies, funerals: a maximum of 10 people, plus those running the service.
  • Weddings cannot proceed unless end-of-life or deportation reasons apply.
  • And religious activities will not proceed other than through broadcast with a maximum of five people.

What does this mean for Building and Construction?

The difference with this Circuit Breaker is Construction has been added as an Authorised Provider and Authorised workers. 

All Hutchies’ Sites remain OPEN. NO WORKER PERMITS REQUIRED.

At this point there is no further information on extra measures that are required such as density quotients (however expect that they will increase to 1 person per 4SQM). I will provide you further information as it comes to light.

We have been here before and no doubt we will again, but the thing that goes unspoken about is the stress and the pressure that these lockdowns bring with them to our everyday work life and our home lives. Please remember that you are not alone, you can pick the phone up and call anyone, anywhere at any time. Hutchies also have a confidential EAP service that is available and the details are attached for your information.

I have also attached the Circuit Breaker Table of Restrictions and the Premier Statement.

If you have any questions or if I can be of assistance please do not hesitate to contact me.

Regards,

Candece Frazzica-Kara HSE Manager (VIC)
T 03 9282 9554 | F 03 9681 6977 | m 0411 022 839
E Candece.Frazzica-Kara@hutchinsonbuilders.com.au  

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15 - 18 July / COVID-19

Yesterday the NSW Government announced an extension of the Greater Sydney lockdown for an additional 2 weeks through until at least 11.59pm, Friday 30 July 2021.

Based on the additional new requirements announced regarding surveillance testing of workers who reside in specific areas of concern (currently Fairfield LGA but may be expanded to other areas), a number of stakeholders in the NSW construction industry have met in an attempt to develop a consistent approach to implementing these measures.

Strict compliance from the whole industry will help keep people safe on sites and the construction industry remaining as an essential service. 

Below is the approach Hutchies is adopting, which we understand will be aligned with other head contractors and industry stakeholders.

This information is subject to change as the situation evolves.

It is imperative that Hutchies' teams have fully implemented these new requirements on their job sites to ensure compliance with all NSW Government requirements.

Key topics in this update

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14 - 17 July / COVID-19

Construction is under intense scrutiny by the New South Wales Government following the detection of COVID-19 cases in the industry. The entire industry is working hard to ensure we continue to remain classified as an essential service. Everyone must do what is required to minimise risk of COVID-19 spreading on job sites. 

There are a number of key areas that we must follow across the industry, including on Hutchies' jobs:

  • Face masks must now be worn at all times on sites and in offices, unless it is not safe to do so
  • Maintaining stringent COVIDSafe measures including social distancing, good hand hygiene, and cleaning on all sites
  • Full compliance with all NSW Government directions at all times, including stay at home orders if you can work from home, and regular testing of specific local government areas in Greater Sydney as directed by the government
  • Checking in every time you enter a site using the Service NSW's QR code check in

Please ensure you follow the directions from the NSW Government as detailed below.

Once further details are confirmed over the coming days, we will provide further specific instructions with updated procedures to follow on site. This will include information tailored towards subcontractors.

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9 July / COVID-19

This morning the Queensland Government announced a 3 day lockdown for the local government areas (LGAs) of Cairns Regional Council and Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council. 

The lockdown will be in place from 4pm today (Sunday) through to 4pm Wednesday, 11 August. It has been announced following a positive case detected in a Cairns taxi driver who has been infectious in the community for at least 10 days.

If anyone has any symptoms, no matter how mild, get tested on day 1 — this helps prevent further restrictions.

Anyone who has been in these areas since the start of the lockdown must also observe these restrictions wherever they are now. 

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

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2 - 16 July / COVID-19

The Queensland Premier has announced some changes to lockdowns across the state.

The council areas of Brisbane and Moreton Bay regions will remain in lockdown for at least another 24 hours (until 6pm Saturday, 3 July).

Lockdowns will end for the other remaining 11 local government areas (LGAs) from 6pm tonight. This includes Gold Coast, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Noosa, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Sunshine Coast, Townsville and Palm Island. Face mask wearing and gathering restrictions will continue to apply in these areas.

It is important to continue to implement and follow all of Hutchies’ COVID-19 measures across our sites and offices.

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June

29 Jun - 2 Jul / COVID-19

This morning the Queensland Government announced another 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) as well as Townsville, Magnetic Island and Palm Island.

The lockdown will be in place from 6pm today (Tuesday) through to 6pm Friday, 2 July 2021. This lockdown has been announced in response to 4 separate outbreak incidents in Queensland of varying concern.

We’re continuing to receive information about the requirements, but the below is the current information to follow at the time of this update. If we receive any further updated information regarding the construction industry, we will provide another update.

The construction industry is considered an essential service. Sites will remain open throughout the lockdown period.

However, it is vital that Hutchies’ people are fully implementing the necessary social distancing, hygiene and cleaning measures (detailed here).

In accordance with government directions, office-based people should work from home if their work can be done from home. Talk to your Team Leader to make appropriate arrangements.

You may leave your home to attend work (if it cannot be done from home) but you must limit movements and stay within your local area whenever possible until the lockdown period has ended. Masks must also continue to be carried outside of your home and worn indoors.

If you do leave home to go to an area outside of those subject to the lockdown restrictions for essential reasons, you must continue to abide by the lockdown rules wherever you go.

Please ensure you read and follow all directions from the Queensland Government (detailed below). Also continue to implement and follow all of Hutchies’ COVID-19 measures.

Hutchies will provide any other relevant updates to you via email or text message if necessary regarding the situation.

Get tested If you have any symptoms at all, get tested immediately and quarantine at home until you receive a negative result.

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28 June / COVID-19

We've embedded the 'COVID-19 Near Me' map on Hutchies' Coronavirus information page. 

This is a really easy and visual way to see all current venues of concern around Australia where a known positive case may have visited around you.

Given the heightened situation across the country with this latest Delta variant outbreak, please ensure you are monitoring exposure lists daily and following all authority directions if you have attended an exposure site at the same time as positive case.

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24 June / COVID-19

Updated Guidance for Hutchies’ People

As Australia continues to grapple with coronavirus outbreaks and the new highly contagious Delta strain, Hutchies has updated its travel advice for at least the rest of 2021.

This approach is to ensure Hutchies’ people, our families, homes, offices and sites are kept as safe and undisrupted as possible.

In the first instance, Hutchies’ people should always follow any State or Territory Directions in place at the time.

However, we are now requesting that everyone take greater precautions in relation to travel, particularly given recent outbreaks involving the Delta strain. 

The Delta variant was able to spread between strangers in Westfield Bondi Junction within seconds of them passing each other. As a result, it has become recognised as the most concerning strain of the pandemic so far. 

Unfortunately Australia is not yet in a position to go back to business as usual and changes must be made to the way we operate. It would be devastating for Hutchies and the community if any of our actions contributed to the unnecessary spread of the virus.

Work-related travel is to be minimised to the greatest extent possible for the foreseeable future. 

Simply think the situation through – could my actions unnecessarily introduce COVID into Hutchies! Or expose our family! If so, don’t risk it.

Please carefully consider the following prior to making any bookings:

>

Is the travel absolutely essential?

>

Can the reason for travel instead be facilitated via video conference?

>

Do I need to be physically present for works to progress?

>

Can the outcome be achieved in any other way?

>

Am I risking the health of others by being at an office or site after travelling from a hotspot or other COVID-affected area?

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10 June / COVID-19

Latest COVID-19 case locations in QLD

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

Updated: 10 June 2021

A new locally acquired case was confirmed on the Sunshine Coast yesterday. The case recently travelled from Victoria via NSW into QLD and has been out in the community while infectious.

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

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9 June / COVID-19

Latest COVID-19 case locations in QLD

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

Updated: 09 June 2021

A new locally acquired case has been confirmed on the Sunshine Coast this afternoon. The case recently travelled from Victoria via NSW into QLD and has been out in the QLD community while infectious since 5 June 2021.

Please take the time to review the list 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 immediately.

Check the QLD Government website daily for updated information. 

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May

24 May / COVID-19

Latest COVID-19 case locations in VIC

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

Updated: 25 May 2021

New venues have been added to the below list following the announcement of four new locally acquired cases in Melbourne yesterday.

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

Check the VIC Government website daily for updated exposure sites. 

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6 May / COVID-19

Latest info & COVID-19 case locations in NSW

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

After the discovery of a local COVID-19 case in Greater Sydney yesterday, and the partner of that case today, the following measures will be enforceable from 5pm today, May 6 until 12:01am Monday, 10 May for the Greater Sydney region (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains):

> Visitors to households will be limited to 20 guests – including children

> Masks will be compulsory on in all public indoor venues & public transport, including retail, theatres, hospitals, aged care facilities and for front-of-house hospitality staff (except in a hospitality venue when eating or drinking)

> Drinking while standing up at indoor venues will not be allowed

> Singing by audiences at indoor shows or by congregants at indoor places of worship will not be allowed

> Dancing will not be allowed at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs however, dancing is allowed at weddings with a strong recommendation that no more than 20 people should be on the dancefloor at any one time

> Visitors to aged care facilities will be limited to two people.

Please review the latest contact tracing list below. Get tested immediately and self-isolate for 14 days if you've been to any of these locations.

If you have been to any of these locations during the time and date indicated you should:

  1. immediately self-isolate until 14 days after you were last there
  2. get tested even if you have no symptoms
  3. watch for COVID-19 symptoms and get retested should any symptoms recur
  4. even if you get a negative test, you must stay in isolation for 14 days as it can take 14 days before you may show symptoms or test positive.
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April

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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March

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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February

16 February / COVID-19

Dear All,

Today the updated COVID-19 Guidelines for the Building and Construction Industry Revision 10 was released.

I have made the appropriate changes to the Victorian COVID-19 Management Plans and have attached it to this email along with the following:

  • Updated Appendix 01 – Self Assessment Flow Chart
  • COVID-19 Guidelines for the Building and Construction Industry Revision 10
  • Explanatory note of changes

*Changes have also been made to the sign in devices to include the updated daily COVID Declaration.

Please ensure that you print our updated COVID-19 Management Plan and have all team members on site sign and acknowledge as we have done with all previous 8 versions. I also ask that you add the amendments as a subject in pre-starts and or toolboxes on your next working day.

Do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or if I can be of assistance to you.

Regards,

Candece Frazzica-Kara
HSE Manager (VIC)

Mobile 0411 022 839
Email Candece.Frazzica-Kara@hutchinsonbuilders.com.au 

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10 February / COVID-19

Latest info & COVID-19 case locations in VIC

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

Updated: 10 February 2021

Please take the time to review the latest location list below and if you have been at one of the venues at the time identified, inform your Team Leader and make arrangements to be tested.

Check the VIC Government website daily for updated exposure sites.

Anyone who has visited these Tier 1 exposure
sites during these times must immediately isolate, get a coronavirus (COVID-19)
test, and remain isolated for 14 days.

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10 February / COVID-19

Updated Guidance for Hutchies’ People

With interstate border restrictions continuing to vary as coronavirus outbreaks occur in various part of the country, Hutchies has updated its advice for anyone intending to travel during 2021. This approach is to ensure Hutchies’ people and workplaces are kept as safe as possible.

In the first instance, Hutchies’ people should always follow any State or Territory Directions in place at the time. A summary of current status and useful links can be found on Hutchies’ Toolbox. 

When borders are open and travel is unrestricted, please carefully consider the following prior to making any bookings:

  • Is the travel absolutely essential?  
  • Can the reason for travel instead be facilitated via video conference?
  • Do I need to be physically present for works to progress?
  • Can the outcome be achieved in any other way? 

Work-related travel must be minimised to the greatest extent possible for the foreseeable future. This is especially important given ongoing changes to border restrictions and the risk of further outbreaks – particularly with the highly-contagious new strains of COVID-19.

All travel bookings continue to be monitored. There may be instances where more information is requested about reasons for travel. You may also be asked to get tested after travelling depending on the status of outbreaks.

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4 February / COVID-19

Late last night Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews held a press conference as a result of a new potential community transmission case.

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

New restrictions from 11.59pm Wednesday (last night):

  • Reinstate the New Years Eve / Black Rock settings
  • Private gatherings have been limited to 15 people
  • Masks are mandatory in indoor settings
  • The plan to bring back 75% of workers to offices is now paused

Other notes about the case:

  • Worker working in the Australian Open Quarantine Program
  • Now in health hotel and household contacts have been isolated
  • Lasted worked 29 January at the Grand Hyatt, was tested recently with negative results, but developed symptoms
  • 500 Australian Open players and staff have been classed as casual contacts of the worker
  • Still investigating the source of infection, but due to the new strain, being extra precautious
  • New list of exposure sites below – anyone who has been at an exposure site during the time frame, must get tested and isolate for 14 days

Exposure Sites

Anyone who has been at an exposure site listed during the time frame, must get tested and isolate for 14 days:

  • Club Noble in Noble Park from 2:36pm — 3:30pm on January 30
  • Aces Sporting Club (Driving Range) in Keysborough from 10:00pm — 11:15pm on January 30
  • Northpoint Café in Brighton from 8:10am — 9:30am on January 31
  • Kmart in Keysborough from 4:00pm — 5:00pm on January 31
  • Kmart in Brandon Park from 4:35pm — 5:10pm on January 31
  • Coles in Springvale from 5:00pm — 6:00pm on January 31
  • Bunnings in Springvale from 11:30am — 12:15pm on February 1
  • Golf Academy in Heatherton from 5:19pm — 6:30pm on February 1
  • Lululemon, DFO in Moorabbin from 5:00pm — 5:45pm on January 29
  • Woolworths in Springvale from 6.30pm — 7.30pm on January 29
  • Nakama Workshop in Clayton South from 11:15am — 12:00pm on February 1
  • Sharetea in Springvale from 6:45pm — 7:30pm on February 1
  • Kebab Kingz in West Melbourne from 11:24pm — 00:15am on February 1
  • Exford Hotel in Melbourne from 11:00pm — 11:35pm on February 1
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January

29 March / COVID-19

This morning the Queensland Government announced another 3 day lockdown period for the Greater Brisbane region. The lockdown will be in place from 5pm today (Monday) through to 5pm Thursday, 1 April 2021. At this stage, it is similar to the lockdown in January.

We’re continuing to receive information about the requirements, but below is the best information we have at the moment. As the Government releases more direction, we will provide you further updates.

There are also new restrictions in place for other parts of Queensland along with directions for anyone who has travelled from the Greater Brisbane region since 20 March 2021. Please read carefully below.

Hutchies has confirmed that the construction industry is still considered an essential service. Sites will remain open throughout the lockdown period.

However, it is vital that Hutchies’ people are fully implementing the necessary social distancing, hygiene and cleaning measures (detailed here).

In accordance with government directions, office based people should work from home where practicable during this period. Talk to your Team Leader to make appropriate arrangements.

If you live in Greater Brisbane and travel to a site or office outside of the region, the travel must be direct (no stops), and you must observe the same measures in place across Brisbane (summarised below).

When travelling into Greater Brisbane to a site or office (regardless of where you live), if returning home you must follow the same lockdown rules when you are home. Only leave for the four essential reasons and wear a mask when outside your home.

Everyone in Queensland must carry a mask at all times when you leave home and wear them in indoor spaces (including workplaces, except where not practicable on construction sites). It is also strongly recommended masks are worn outside when you cannot maintain 1.5 metres from other people.

Please ensure you read and follow all directions from the Queensland Government. Also continue to implement and follow all of Hutchies’ COVID-19 measures.

Hutchies will provide any other relevant updates to you via email or text message if necessary regarding the situation.

Get tested If you have any symptoms at all, get tested immediately and quarantine at home until you receive a negative result.

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21 January / COVID-19

Restrictions easing from 1am Friday 22 January

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

As there has been no community transmission for a continuous period of 14 days, restrictions for those in Greater Brisbane will be eased as of 1am tomorrow (Friday) morning. 

Restrictions will revert to those in place in December. In summary:

> Masks will no longer be mandatory anywhere, except in airports and on flights. Masks are still encouraged in any situations where physical distancing is not possible

> Gatherings increased to 50 in homes and 100 in public spaces

> Weddings and funerals will be allowed up to 200 people

> Standing up as well as dancing will be allowed across all venues and events so long as they follow the one person per 2m2 rule

> 100% capacity will be allowed at allocated seating venues (such as stadiums)

Please continue to remain vigilant and get tested when symptoms occur.

For more information, check out the updated Queensland Roadmap:

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13 January / COVID-19

Hutchies has created a new national poster demonstrating the benefits of face masks with COVID-19.

Please print this sign at A3, laminate if possible and display across all sites and offices.

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12 January / COVID-19

Latest COVID-19 case locations in QLD

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

Updated: 12 January 2021 

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.

If you have visited any of the locations listed in the table below during the date and time indicated you are considered a close contact. You must get tested immediately and quarantine for 14 days.

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12 January / COVID-19

Latest COVID-19 case locations in NSW

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

Updated: 12 January 2021

Please take the time to review the contact tracing lists below. If you have been at one of the venues at the time identified, inform your Team Leader and make arrangements to follow the steps required by the NSW Government below.

Get tested immediately and self-isolate for 14 days if you've been to any of these locations.

If you have been to any of these locations during the time and date indicated you should:

  1. immediately self-isolate until 14 days after you were last there
  2. get tested even if you have no symptoms
  3. watch for COVID-19 symptoms and get retested should any symptoms recur
  4. even if you get a negative test, you must stay in isolation for 14 days as it can take 14 days before you may show symptoms or test positive.
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11 January / COVID-19

The QLD Premier has just announced that the 3 day lockdown in the Greater Brisbane region will end tonight (Monday) at 6pm as planned.

Some restrictions will remain in place from 6pm tonight until 1am, January 22 (which marks 14 days since the case was detected in the community).

From 6pm tonight, until 1am on January 22:

> Masks will be mandatory in indoor public places including shopping centres, retail outlets and supermarkets, gyms, churches / places of worship, libraries, indoor recreation venues like cinemas and art galleries, public transport, and taxis / rideshare vehicles.

> Masks must be worn in indoor workplaces if social distancing isn’t possible and it is safe to do so.

> Masks will not need to be worn in your own private vehicle, while outdoors at a safe distance from other people or if you’re doing strenuous exercise outside.

> Businesses and venues can have one person per 4m² indoors and one person per 2m² outdoors. Smaller venues up to 200m² can have one person per 2m² up to a maximum of 50. You must be seated to eat and drink, and no dancing is allowed except at weddings.

> Gatherings are restricted to 20 people in homes and public spaces. Weddings and funerals can have up to 100 people, and dancing is allowed at weddings without restrictions.

> Indoor concert venues and theatres can operate at 50% capacity or one person per four square metres, whichever is greater. Outdoor stadiums can operate at 50% capacity with COVID-safe plans.

> Restrictions on visits to hospitals, aged care, disability accommodation and prisons will remain.

> Anyone who has been in Greater Brisbane since January 2 must carry a mask with them, and wear them at all required indoor venues (even if they are no longer within the Greater Brisbane region)

> The Fourth Test at the Gabba is going ahead, at 50% capacity with COVID restrictions in place such as wearing masks on entry/exit and whilst moving around the stadium.

Please ensure you read and follow all directions from the Queensland Government. You can also check the website for more information regarding restrictions post lockdown. It is important to continue to implement and follow all of Hutchies’ COVID-19 measures across our sites and offices.

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9 January / COVID-19

Latest COVID-19 case locations in NSW

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

Updated: 9 January 2021

Please take the time to review the contact tracing lists below. If you have been at one of the venues at the time identified, inform your Team Leader and make arrangements to follow the steps required by the NSW Government below.

Get tested immediately and self-isolate for 14 days if you've been to any of these locations.

If you have been to any of these locations during the time and date indicated you should:

  1. immediately self-isolate until 14 days after you were last there
  2. get tested even if you have no symptoms
  3. watch for COVID-19 symptoms and get retested should any symptoms recur
  4. even if you get a negative test, you must stay in isolation for 14 days as it can take 14 days before you may show symptoms or test positive.
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8 January / COVID-19

The Queensland Government has announced a 3 day lockdown period for the Greater Brisbane region. The lockdown will be in place from 6pm tonight through to 6pm Monday, 11 January 2021.

The restrictions imposed by the lockdown are similar to those that were in place in March 2020, except now with the addition of mandatory masks.

Hutchies has confirmed that the construction industry is still considered an essential service. Sites and offices will remain open throughout the lockdown period.

However, it is vital that sites and offices are fully implementing the necessary social distancing, hygiene and cleaning measures (detailed below).

Team Leaders will work with their people to ensure they are home in time for the commencement of the lockdown and encouraging working from home arrangements where practical on Monday, 11 January 2021. Take your laptop home with you to be safe.

If you live in Greater Brisbane and travel to a site or office outside of the region, you must still wear a mask and observe the same measures when at that location.

When travelling into Greater Brisbane to a site or office (regardless of where you live), if returning home you must follow the same lockdown rules when you are home. Only leave for the essential reasons and wear a mask when outside.

Face masks are mandatory outside of your home (including at work) as of 6pm tonight (Friday) when leaving home (unless a medical condition prevents you from wearing it). Children under 12 are exempt.

Please ensure you read and follow all directions from the Queensland Government. Also continue to implement and follow all of Hutchies’ COVID-19 measures across our sites and offices.

Hutchies will provide any other relevant updates to you via email or text message if necessary regarding the situation.

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7 January / COVID-19

Latest COVID-19 case locations in NSW

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

Updated: 7 January 2021

Please take the time to review the contact tracing lists below. If you have been at one of the venues at the time identified, inform your Team Leader and make arrangements to follow the steps required by the NSW Government below.

Get tested immediately and self-isolate for 14 days if you've been to any of these locations.

If you have been to any of these locations during the time and date indicated you should:

  1. immediately self-isolate until 14 days after you were last there
  2. get tested even if you have no symptoms
  3. watch for COVID-19 symptoms and get retested should any symptoms recur
  4. even if you get a negative test, you must stay in isolation for 14 days as it can take 14 days before you may show symptoms or test positive.
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7 January / COVID-19

Breaking news

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

The QLD Government has just made the following announcements at a press conference:

> 1 new local case detected over the last day from 15,000 tests conducted 

> The case is a female in her 20s. She is a casual cleaner for the QLD hotel quarantine program who worked at Hotel Grand Chancellor and lives in Algester

> She was out in the community from January 2 to January 6 whilst infectious (see below for more info)

> No new restrictions for Brisbane / QLD are being imposed at this stage

> Urgent call out for Brisbane people to get tested, particularly in relation to the below venues and suburbs

> QLD will remain closed to Greater Sydney until at least the end of January

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7 January / COVID-19

Latest info & COVID-19 case locations in VIC

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

Updated: 7 January 2021

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 be tested.

Check the VIC Government website daily for updated exposure sites.

If you have visited any of the locations listed in the table below during the date and time indicated you must get tested immediately and quarantine for 14 days from the exposure.

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8 January / COVID-19

Breaking news

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

The QLD Government has just made the below announcements at a press conference.

We are currently seeking further details regarding the construction industry. We will provide another update shortly.

For now please read the following announcements from the QLD Premier and follow all QLD Government directions:

> 3 day lockdown for the Greater Brisbane region starting from 6pm tonight (Friday) through to 6pm on Monday

> Greater Brisbane extends to Metro North, Metro South, Moreton, Logan, Ipswich, and Redlands

> 9 new cases reported overnight from 13,000 tests conducted yesterday

> Hotel quarantine worker who was detected yesterday has the new more contagious UK strain of COVID-19

> If this isn’t done now, it could end up being a 30-day lockdown

> Last night aged care facilities, hospitals and some disability services have restricted access to visitors

> Greater Brisbane residents can leave home for four reasons:

>> Essential work – if you can work from home, do so

>> Healthcare or support of a vulnerable person

>> Essential shopping

>> Exercise in your local neighbourhood

> Masks are also being mandated across Greater Brisbane when leaving home (6pm tonight through to 6pm Monday in those council areas) – you must wear a mask – children under 12 do not need to. 

Masks, sanitiser and other supplies are available from Company Services and Reception.

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5 January / COVID-19

Keeping COVIDSafe

The new year brings a renewed focus of staying vigilant in our fight against COVID-19. The measures Hutchies adopted last year remain the best ways to keep everyone safe and continue to be implemented across our sites and offices.

Different states and territories have also introduced new restrictions as a result of clusters that formed in New South Wales and Victoria. An overhaul of the Hutchies’ Toolbox coronavirus page has been completed, including summaries of each state and territory for your convenience. Please monitor and comply with any local requirements that may be applicable to you, including potential impacts to interstate travel.

Your individual effort contributes to keeping case numbers low. Part of our collective responsibility is ensuring that we each recognise coronavirus symptoms and get tested if we experience any of these (regardless of how mild they may be). 

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December 2020

18 December 2020 / COVID-19

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

Please take the time to review the Public Health Alert as well as the lists below. If you have been at one of the venues at the time identified, inform your Team Leader and make arrangements to follow the steps required by the NSW Government below.

Public Health Alert: Northern Beaches Local Government Area

To assist contact tracing and to contain any potential spread of COVID-19, NSW Health asks that from Friday 18 December to Sunday 20 December 2020, people living in the Northern Beaches Local Government Area take the following steps.

  • Work from home and remain at home as much as possible.
  • Do not visit friends or relatives in aged care facilities or hospitals unless essential.
  • Avoid unnecessary gatherings.
  • Keep to your household group.
  • Avoid visiting high-risk venues including clubs, restaurants, places of worship and gyms.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel outside the Northern Beaches area.

People from outside the area should avoid unnecessary travel to the Northern Beaches during this time.

See the public health alert for more details.

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November 2020

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19 November 2020 / COVID-19

Reminder to be vigilant

In light of the latest coronavirus cluster that has developed in South Australia, this update is a reminder to everyone to remain vigilant and not become complacent in the fight against COVID-19.

We must continue to listen to the health advice in each State and maintain the various measures we have put in place to help keep everyone safe and prevent the spread of the virus.

From midnight last night, South Australia starts a 6-day lockdown period. This includes the closure of the local construction industry. These new restrictions are the result of an outbreak in the state where they hadn’t seen any cases of community transmission for seven months.

Each person’s individual effort contributes to keeping case numbers low, particularly given that outbreaks are likely to continue in Australia until a vaccine is available.

Part of our collective responsibility is ensuring that we each recognise coronavirus symptoms and get tested if we experience any of these (listed below). 

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10 November 2020 / COVID-19

QLD Border Pass System Changes

Information from the Queensland Government

From Tuesday 10 October:

The Queensland Government has announced imminent changes to the online QLD border pass declaration system.

These changes are due to be implemented from today, however they have not yet been put in place at the time of sending this update. Keep an eye on the official website for more information.  

If you don’t already have one and require a border pass for travel into Queensland within the next few days, you should apply as soon as possible using the current system. These passes will continue to be accepted even after the new system is live, provided they have not expired.

Please feel free to send this update on to anyone it may be relevant to. It will also be published on the Toolbox for reference.

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6 November 2020 / COVID-19

Travel Restrictions

Guide for Hutchies’ People Intending to Travel

Hutchies’ company-wide restriction on all interstate travel in place since July has now been revised. This update is intended to detail Hutchies’ expectations around travel moving forward. As indicated by Greg Quinn in his email to all company members on October 30, Hutchies will continue to review the situation and send a further update after our Christmas shutdown period. 

State and Territory governments have now either opened borders to other states, or are intending to do so shortly. An overview of current border status is provided below. 

Hutchies’ general position has not changed. We must remain cautious, and continue to employ the measures Hutchies and other Constructors have put in place since the start of the pandemic.

We are also introducing some additional measures relating to travel to ensure that Hutchies’ people and workplaces are kept as safe as possible as border arrangements change. Read on for more information. 

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October 2020

30 October 2020 / COVID-19

Latest COVID-19 case locations in VIC

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

Updated: 30 October 2020

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 be tested.

Outbreaks

There are currently a number of cases linked to the Chadstone, Shepparton and Kilmore outbreaks and Northern metro region community outbreak. If you have visited any of the sites, or are a close contact please get tested.

Case alerts – public exposure sites

If you have visited any of the locations listed in the table below during the date indicated for the next 14 days you should:

  1. Watch for coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.
  2. If symptoms occur, immediately get tested and stay at home while you wait for your results.
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30 October 2020 / COVID-19

Latest COVID-19 case locations in NSW

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

Updated: 30 October 2020

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 be tested and work from home until you receive a negative result.

Areas with increased testing

If you live in or have visited these local government areas (LGAs) or suburbs in the past 2 weeks, get tested if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, even if mild, and self-isolate until you get your test result.

  1. Camden LGA
  2. Lakemba (suburb)
  3. Liverpool LGA

Find your local government area (LGA)

Self-isolate and get tested immediately if you've been to these locations

If you have been to any of these locations during the time and date indicated you should:

  1. immediately self-isolate until 14 days after you were last there
  2. get tested even if you have no symptoms
  3. watch for COVID-19 symptoms and get retested should any symptoms recur
  4. even if you get a negative test, you must stay in isolation for 14 days as it can take 14 days before you may show symptoms or test positive.
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26 October 2020 / COVID-19

Victorian Premier Media Announcements

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

The following announcements have just been made:

In metropolitan Melbourne, from 11:59pm on Tuesday October 27:

> Construction industry: 100% workforce capacity. Site visit limit on specialist contractors removed. Other additional obligations remain in place. 

> All retail will reopen. 

> Restaurants, hotels, cafes and bars will reopen as well.

> In indoor venues, there will be a maximum of 20 people, seated, with 10 people per space subject to density requirements (1 per 4m2).

> In outdoor venues, a maximum of 50 people with one person per two square metres.

> Beauty, personal services and tattooing, provided you can wear a mask, will reopen.

> Outdoor community sport for under 18 and outdoor noncontact sport for adults will recommence as well. 

> The four reasons to leave home will be removed.

> The 25 kilometre travel limit remains in place and the regional metropolitan border remains in place.

> Gatherings will no longer be limited to just two households to can be more than two households but the group cannot exceed 10.

> Weddings will increase to a maximum of 10 people. Funerals will increase to a maximum of 20 mourners.

> For religious gatherings, indoor there will be a maximum of 10 people plus a faith leader. Outdoor there will be a maximum of 20 people plus one faith leader.

In metropolitan Melbourne, from 11:59pm on Sunday November 8:

> 25 kilometre travel limit will lift.

> The metropolitan Melbourne regional border will lift.

> Gyms and fitness studios will open, with a maximum of 20 people per space, one person per 8 square metres.

> Restaurants, hotels, cafes and bars will move to an indoor maximum of 40 with 10 people per space, an outdoor maximum of 70 people with one person every 2 square metres.

> Religious gatherings will allow a maximum of 50 people, plus one faith leader, outdoors; indoors will be 20 people maximum plus one faith leader.

> Funerals: 20 mourners indoors; 50 mourners outdoors.

> Indoor community sport, non-contact sport for under-18 and sports capable of 1.5-metre social distancing can operate.

> Indoor pools will open for up to 20 people.

> Accommodation will reopen.

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22 October 2020 / COVID-19

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 be tested and work from home until you receive a negative result.

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22 October 2020 / COVID-19

Latest COVID-19 case locations in VIC

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

Updated: 22 October 2020

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 be tested.

Outbreaks

There are currently a number of cases linked to the Chadstone, Shepparton and Kilmore outbreaks. If you have visited any of the sites, or are a close contact please get tested.

Case alerts – public exposure sites

If you have visited any of the locations listed in the table below during the date indicated for the next 14 days you should:

  1. Watch for coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.
  2. If symptoms occur, immediately get tested and stay at home while you wait for your results.
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20 October 2020 / COVID-19

Dear All,

On the 16th October Version 08 of the COVID-19 Industry Guideline was released (Guideline attached including the note on changes made).

I have attached our updated Management plan and attached copies of the following appendices that have changed which will need to be reviewed and completed as required:

  • Appendix 02 – Site Compliance Checklist also known as the High Risk COVID Management Plan
  • Daily Prestart template with updated declaration. (For those using a sign in device, I have also amended this)
  • COVID Management plan – Section 6 item 10. You must include the name of the cleaning business and contact number you have nominated should there be a positive case on your project.

One change that is Industry specific that is worth highlighting can be found under section 5.1 Fit For Screening please see below:

  • Initial declaration is to be conducted by all workers (this includes any person who attends site), including current and new starters. Each worker must provide a declaration that they to the best of their knowledge:
  • have not been diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19) in the last 14 days, or
  • are not in a period of 14-day quarantine as directed by a health professional, or
  • have not been overseas in the last 14 days, or
  • have not been in contact with anyone who has coronavirus (COVID-19), or
  • have not been in contact with anyone who is currently being tested for coronavirus (COVID-19), or
  • do not have anyone in their household who has symptoms consistent with COVID-19
  • If a worker declares any of the above, they will not be granted access to site and will be required to produce evidence of a negative COVID-19 test within the last 5 days, prior to commencing work.

  • Once the initial declaration has been made by the worker, ongoing screening (phase 2) should be conducted for every worker prior to the start of their shift, asking to the best of their knowledge:
    • have they been overseas in the last 14 days,
    • have they been in contact with anyone who has coronavirus (COVID-19),
    • have they been in contact with anyone who is currently being tested for coronavirus (COVID-19),
    • do they have anyone in their household who has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or works in a high-risk industry
    • have they been directed to self-isolate for a 14-day period? (in which case, they must not be permitted to work)
  • If a worker declares any of the above, they will not be granted access to site and will be required to produce evidence of a negative COVID-19 test within the last 5 days, prior to commencing work.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or if I can be of assistance to you.

Regards,

Candece Frazzica-Kara
HSE Manager (VIC)

Mobile 0411 022 839
Email Candece.Frazzica-Kara@hutchinsonbuilders.com.au 

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13 October 2020 / COVID-19

Latest COVID-19 case locations in VIC

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

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 be tested.

If you have visited any of the locations listed in the table below during the date indicated for the next 14 days you should:

  1. Watch for coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.
  2. If symptoms occur, immediately get tested and stay at home while you wait for your results.
View More
9 October 2020 / COVID-19

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 be tested and work from home until you receive a negative result.

View More
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8 October 2020 / COVID-19

Staying Alert

As case numbers continue to fall around the country, it is important to keep up all of the practical step that have been employed since the start of this pandemic. Each person’s individual effort contributes to keeping case numbers low, particularly given that outbreaks are likely to continue in Australia until a vaccine is available.

Part of our collective responsibility is ensuring that we each recognise coronavirus symptoms and get tested if we experience any of these (listed below). 

This is especially important if we have visited a venue or location of concern at the same time as a confirmed case. Each state / territory publishes a list that is updated as outbreaks occur.

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2 October 2020 / COVID-19

Queensland Media Announcements

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

From Thursday 1 October at 1am:

> Stage 4 of the QLD Roadmap is now in effect

> the New South Wales border zone (PDF) was extended

> the Queensland border zone no longer exists

> Queensland residents are able to travel anywhere in the New South Wales border zone for any purpose, provided they have a border pass on re-entry

> New South Wales border zone residents are able to travel anywhere in Queensland for any purpose, provided they have a border pass on entry

> more people can go to outdoor events or businesses (venues with COVID Safe Plans can now have one person per 2 m2) 

> up to 1000 people per day permitted at outdoor events with a COVID Safe Events Checklist

> 75% seating capacity in outdoor stadiums and amphitheatres

From today at 4pm (Friday 2 October):

> Standing eating and drinking: Standing whilst eating and drinking permitted at indoor and outdoor venues with a COVID Safe Plan or Checklist 

From 1am, Sunday 1 November (if COVID Safe Check Point met):

> Borders reopening to all of NSW: Visitors and returned travellers from New South Wales can enter Queensland with a valid Queensland Border Declaration Pass without having to compete mandatory quarantine, provided community transmission is under control (including whether there have been any unlinked cases in the previous 28 days).  

> Gatherings: Gatherings of up to 40 in homes and public spaces across Queensland.

> Weddings: Up to 40 people can dance at a wedding with a COVID Safe Plan.

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September 2020

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30 September 2020 / COVID-19

We Clean Here

Staying on top of regular cleaning on your site or in your office will help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Below are some practical tips:

  • You should have in place regular, scheduled cleaning of your site or office
  • Frequently touched areas should also be cleaned regularly with detergent and water, or spray and wipe products – use all products as directed by the instructions provided on the product’s label
  • Cleaners should also undertake daily disinfecting after cleaning
  • Immediately clean and then disinfect areas that may be exposed to respiratory droplets (ie after someone has coughed) (see below to understand the difference between cleaning and disinfecting)
  • When undertaking cleaning and disinfecting, you should:
    • Wear PPE including disposable gloves, surgical mask and eye protection – securely dispose of gloves and mask after each use
    • Avoid touching your face, especially nose, eyes and mouth
    • Wash hands or use alcohol based hand sanitiser before and after wearing gloves and other PPE
  • Install touch free appliances (including hand sanitiser stations) where possible
  • Discourage sharing of equipment and tools where possible
  • Have bins available for disposing of used cleaning products and tissues, and ensure they are being emptied regularly
  • When disinfecting surfaces, make sure you use an appropriate antiviral disinfectant solution (such as bleach / chlorine-based disinfectant) as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Ensure that the disinfectant is appropriate for the targeted surface
  • Always make up a fresh batch of disinfectant each time
  • Wipe down areas and surfaces with disinfectant solution using disposable paper towels / disposable cloth and throw in a bin after use
  • Have a contact handy that can provide deep cleaning / decontamination services for your site or office, if required

Regular reminders and communication of these important preventative measures will help to keep everyone safe, prevent the spread of coronavirus and keep construction sites open.

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24 September 2020 / COVID-19

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

QLD-NSW Border Zone Update

From 1am Thursday 1 October, Queensland will relax its requirements around the previously declared QLD-NSW border zone. The QLD Government has recognised the reduced risk of COVID-19 transmission in northern New South Wales and made the following changes:

> The New South Wales border zone (PDF) will be extended. 

It will incorporate the following postcodes: 2360, 2361, 2372, 2398, 2399, 2400, 2401, 2402, 2403, 2404, 2405, 2406, 2408, 2409, 2410, 2411, 2470, 2471, 2473, 2474, 2475, 2476, 2477, 2478, 2479, 2480, 2481, 2482, 2483, 2484, 2485, 2486, 2487, 2488, 2489, 2490, 2832, 2833, 2834, 2838, 2839, 2840, 2880, 4373, 4383, 4385.

It will also partially incorporate these postcodes. Refer to the border zone map or Direction No. 15 for specific areas: 2371, 2463, 2347, 2359, 2365, 2369, 2370, 2386, 2387, 2388, 2390, 2397, 2460, 2469, 2472, 2648, 2829, 2831, 2836, 2879.

> The Queensland border zone will no longer exist

> Queensland residents will be able to travel anywhere in the New South Wales border zone for any purpose

> New South Wales border zone residents will be able to travel anywhere in Queensland for any purpose

Please be aware that the following requirements will remain in place for both Queensland residents and New South Wales border zone residents:

> You will require a border declaration pass for all travel into Queensland. Passes are valid for 7 days from the date it is completed online. Please note, the border declaration pass website has not yet been updated to incorporate the coming changes from 1 Oct 2020. 

> You must provide evidence that you are either a QLD resident or NSW border zone resident by providing your residence details on the border declaration pass. 

> You must commit to getting tested for COVID-19 if you develop symptoms within 14 days of entering Queensland (as part of the border declaration pass). 

> You must not leave the NSW border zone if you wish to re-enter Queensland within 14 days. Leaving the border zone will be considered by QLD Government as “entering a COVID-19 hotspot” as all locations in NSW besides the border zone are still currently considered a hotspot.

> If you leave the NSW border zone and enter other parts of NSW at any time within 14 days prior to entering Queensland, you are only allowed to re-enter QLD by air and you will be subject to mandatory hotel quarantine at your own cost. 

> There have been unconfirmed reports that QLD Police are verifying traveller whereabouts by checking phone data (such as online banking transaction details). The official Border Restrictions Direction No. 15 states evidence that the person resides in QLD or the border zone will need to be provided and, if requested, evidence the person has only travelled within the border zone.

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21 September 2020 / COVID-19

We Wash Here

Cases of influenza (the flu) and other similar illnesses are much lower than average across Australia this year. This is believed to be as a result of the COVID-19 preventative measures we’ve all made part of our daily habits. Central to this is social distancing, which we covered last week, and practising good personal hygiene.

The below practical measures are central to maintaining good hygiene and continuing to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds – including before and after eating or using the bathroom
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitiser when you can’t use soap and water – especially after touching a shared surface (ie door handle)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth – or other people
  • Cover a cough or sneeze – use your elbow or a tissue
  • Dispose of tissues safely in the bin and wash your hands after
  • Wash body, hair (including facial hair), clothes and reusable masks daily
  • Don’t use alcohol-free sanitiser – there is no medical evidence it works against viruses like COVID-19
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Try to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from others and avoid crowded places, or wear a mask if in a crowded space such as public transport
  • If you are unwell, stay home and get tested
  • Ensure Hutchies’ hygiene posters are displayed around sites and offices to encourage regular hand washing
  • Place Hutchies’ stickers on the backs of cubicle doors, on walls in bathrooms or around kitchens as visual reminders
  • Provide facilities around sites and offices to enable good personal hygiene – such as access to sinks with soap or hand sanitiser stations (ie in meeting / crib rooms, work areas etc)

Regular reminders and communication of these important preventative measures will help to keep everyone safe, prevent the spread of coronavirus and keep construction sites open.

View More
16 September 2020 / COVID-19

Media Announcements

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

The following announcements have been made by QLD Government:

  • There have been 4 consecutive days of zero new cases connected to the Wacol cluster in QLD. 
  • Restrictions will be eased as of 8.00am this Thursday, 17 September for the Darling Downs and Gold Coast LGAs. Under the changes, gatherings of up to 30 people, instead of 10, indoors and outdoors will now be allowed within the two areas.
  • The current contact tracing list now only contains 15 venues of concern and can be found listed here or in the table below. There have only been two recent additions. 
  • However, there is an active Public Health Alert for the suburbs of Goodna, Redbank and Redbank Plains:

    Anyone who has been to these suburbs in the last 14 days should monitor their health and if they develop any COVID-19 symptoms, even mild, get tested and isolate until they receive their test result.
  • The same applies to the following if you have visited any of these venues of concern at the time and date listed:
DatePlaceSuburbArrival timeDeparture time
2 September 2020Russell Island PharmacyRussell IslandMorningMorning
2 September 2020Orion Springfield Central Shopping CentreSpringfield Central 12.25pm 1.19pm
2 September 2020Orion Springfield Central shopping centre - Big WSpringfield Central 12.33pm 12.42pm
2 September 2020Orion Springfield Central shopping centre - City BeachSpringfield Central 12.42pm 12.59pm
2 September 2020Orion Springfield Central shopping centre - WoolworthsSpringfield Central 1.02pm 1.13pm
2 September 2020Orion Springfield Central shopping centre - Stacks Discount VarietySpringfield Central1.14pm 1.19pm
2 September 2020Orion Springfield Central shopping centre – Peter McMahon’s Swim FactorySpringfield Central4pm4.30pm
3 September 2020Super IGA SupermarketRussell Island12.00pm 2.00pm
4 September 2020Super IGA SupermarketRussell Island8.00am 8.30am
4 September 2020ColesKaralee9.30am 10.15am
4 September 2020Westfield Garden City - PandoraMount Gravatt11.20am 11.31am
4 September 2020Westfield Garden City - Taylormade MemorabiliaMount Gravatt11.45am11.59am
4 September 2020Ipswich Garden CentreRaceview12.30pm1.30pm
7 September 2020St Edmund's College IpswichMorningAfternoon
8 September 2020Hungry Jack's Town Square Redbank Plains Shopping CentreRedbank Plains8.00pm1.00am
View More
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14 September 2020 / COVID-19

We Social Distance Here

Until there is a vaccine for coronavirus, the medical advice is that social distancing is the best weapon we have in preventing the spread against COVID-19.

The below practical steps are the best ways to maintain social distancing:

  • Keep 1.5 metres distance from others where practicable
  • Don’t shake hands to greet others (elbow tap instead)
  • Avoid non-essential face-to-face meetings (hold meetings via video conferencing or phone calls instead)
  • Hold meetings outdoors (ie pre-starts / inductions / toolboxes etc)
  • Reduce the number of people in shared areas (lunch rooms, amenities etc) – remove chairs and mark out positions to keep people 1.5 metres apart
  • Reduce the number of people in hoists
  • Promote good hygiene for hands, sneezes and coughs
  • Eat lunch in your work space or outside rather than in the lunch room
  • Don’t congregate in shared areas unless 1.5 metres of space between each other can be achieved (or wear face masks instead)
  • Increase ventilation through open doors / windows or adjust air conditioning (with more regular maintenance of filters etc)
  • Don’t share food, lighters or pens etc with each other
  • Regularly disinfect surfaces that people touch (including handrails, bathrooms, shared tools etc)
  • Implement one way travel around sites where possible (ie up / down stairs, one way signage in tight corridors etc)
  • Clearly mark out queuing areas (such as entries, hoists etc) with lines or ‘X’ to spread people out
  • Mark out lunch room tables and remove excess chairs to avoid too many people in the crib room
  • Avoid crowds – if you see a crowded space, don’t enter (or wear a mask if you need to be there)
  • Stay at home if you are unwell with any cold or flu symptoms (and get tested) – notify your Team Leader 

Regular reminders and communication of these important preventative measures will help to keep everyone safe, prevent the spread of coronavirus and keep construction sites open.

View More
10 September 2020 / COVID-19

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 be tested and work from home until you receive a negative result.

View More
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7 - 14 September 2020 / 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

Note

Due to the Stage 4 Restrictions currently in place in Victoria, there are additional and specific requirements for our Victorian sites – including a state specific COVIDSafe plan. Hutchies’ people in victoria should continue to use those resources and contact Candece Frazzica-Kara with any questions.

View More
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7 - 14 September 2020 / COVID-19

Implementation & Maintenance Guide

Hutchies has developed the following practical guide to assist our offices 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 the construction industry open:

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

Note

Due to the Stage 4 Restrictions currently in place in Victoria, there are additional and specific requirements for our Victorian sites – including a state specific COVIDSafe plan. Hutchies’ people in victoria should continue to use those resources and contact Candece Frazzica-Kara with any questions.

View More
6 September 2020 / COVID-19

The following announcements have just been made at a press conference:

Current VIC case data

19,538 confirmed aggregate total cases, 63 new cases overnight

666 deaths so far, increase of 5 since yesterday (2 of these occurred prior to yesterday)

283 in hospital, 19 in ICU, 16 on ventilators

2.9 million+ total tests in Victoria so far, 18,338 tests yesterday

Regional Victoria only has 98 active cases under Stage 3 restrictions

Victoria’s Road to Recovery

Difficult decisions to be made in the job of Premier. It is not a 50/50 choice, the modelling indicates if Victoria opens up too quickly, it will be in and out of lockdown many times before the end of the year. 

We can’t run out of lockdown, we have to take steady and safe steps to find the COVID normal. Make sure in opening up that we can stay open.

There is no choice but to ease out of restrictions safely.

More than 1000 scenarios have been put into a super computer which has been very helpful and is a significant piece of work [modelling document is available below]. 

Health and scientific advice is what is being followed to guide any changes. 

Metro Melbourne Roadmap (all easing of restrictions will be subject to health advice and numbers at each proposed date)

STEP ONE, FROM 11.59PM 13 SEPTEMBER:

The current Stage 4 restrictions will be extended for 2 more weeks.

Curfew will be eased by one hour to 9pm – 5am.

Exercise will be increased to two hours per day.

People who live alone will be able to partner up with someone else and visit each other. The five kilometre rule will not apply, but the curfew will. This will work similar to intimate partner arrangements now.

Playgrounds will reopen.

Public outdoor gatherings of two people will be allowed or a household for up to two hours, and/or for exercise.

STEP TWO, FROM 28 SEPTEMBER:

Average cases from the previous two weeks need to be between 30-50 cases.

Public gatherings will be increased to five people from two households.

Staged returns to school for Prep-Year 2. VCE and VCAL and specialist schools will be open for term four (Some Year 10 and Year 11 & 12)

Childcare will re-open.

Outdoor pools will open.

Outdoor training for two people with a personal trainer will be allowed.

Outdoor religious gatherings of 5 people plus one faith leader will be allowed.

Public gatherings increased to 5 people, from 2 households.

Some industries will reopen (some 101,000 workers will be able to return to work):

[A list was referred to by the Premier – link & publication below]

Construction – but will have some limits still

Warehousing and distribution, postal services

Childcare

Manufacturing

Outside garden maintenance, working alone outside, landscaping etc

STEP THREE, FROM 26 OCTOBER:

If the daily average of cases over the previous 14 days is less than five new daily cases at this time, then the curfew will no longer apply.

There will be changes to restrictions on leaving home reasons or distances travelled.

Public gatherings will increase to 10 people outdoors. 

Five visitors at home in a household bubble (your home and another home). 

More information will be shared on schools for those in Years 3 to 10. 

Retail and hairdressing will reopen.

Hospitality will recommence, predominantly outdoor seated service.

There will be a staged return of outdoor noncontact adult sport

STEP FOUR, FROM 23 NOVEMBER:

Gatherings of 50 people outdoors. 

Up to 20 people at home.

All retail will be open.

Real estate will open with safety measures.

In hospitality, indoor groups with a limit of 20 people with seated service, and a limit of 50 can be served more broadly per venue.

Weddings and funerals will be back to normal.

After that, a return to a COVID Normal will be the priority by Christmas. Most restrictions will drop, phased return for people working from home back to their workplaces.

An example of why it is important to do this in such a controlled, safe manner was given: 1 person in Colac (regional VIC town) infected 24 people in less than a week. It spreads like fire and until it is contained, Victoria can’t fully open.

Modelling shows we can’t open fully now otherwise all that will happen is a third wave with further restrictions. 

[Modelling was shown and talked through by Dr Allen Cheng at this point. Modelling document is available below]

REGIONAL VICTORIA ROADMAP, FROM 11.59PM 13 SEPTEMBER:

Regional Victoria will essentially jump straight to metropolitan Melbourne’s step two.

This will be reassessed after 2 weeks, and then will likely be able to move faster to reopening and be living in relatively normal circumstances compared to Melbourne. 

Geelong corridor is some concern and will be watched closely. If cases jump in Geelong corridor, they will join metropolitan Melbourne in terms of restrictions (rather than all of regional Victoria). 

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4 September 2020 / COVID-19

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. 

View More

August 2020

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28 August 2020 / COVID-19

Update on Hutchies’ Approach

When the coronavirus pandemic hit Australia in March this year it was imperative for all industries to introduce social distancing and hygiene measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Some of these measures may have been challenging to implement however they were essential in order to keep people safe, and in the case of construction, to keep sites open.

It is now very clear that many of these measures are not going to be temporary and we must operate with the expectation that they will be in place for some time. This means that they need to become custom and practice on sites and in offices, and ingrained into our everyday actions and behaviour.

This alert is intended to remind all Hutchies’ people of the resources available and also to bring specific focus to the fundamental and practical measures that must be in place on our sites and in our offices.

Naturally as states move through different stages of restrictions there will be state, city and region specific requirements, such as the recent stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne where Hutchies’ people have done a remarkable job implementing all of the necessary requirements.

Regardless of any state specific requirements, there is a need for everyone to take personal responsibility to do their part in limiting the spread of the virus.

This includes washing hands regularly, maintaining social distancing, no shaking hands or hugging, avoiding unnecessary work related travel, utilising video conferencing to limit face to face meetings, and getting tested if you have any coronavirus symptoms.

Moving forward we will be sending weekly updates which will include reminders, case studies showcasing best practice measures, and relevant news alerts.

Particular items to note from this alert are:

1. Hutchies’ updated COVIDSafe Plan, site and office checklists, template induction slides and examples of good social distancing and hygiene practices

2. New COVIDSafe Declaration signage that must be displayed at every entry on job sites and offices

Note DUE TO THE STAGE 4 RESTRICTIONS CURRENTLY IN PLACE IN VICTORIA, THERE ARE ADDITIONAL AND SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS FOR OUR VICTORIAN SITES – INCLUDING A STATE SPECIFIC COVIDSAFE PLAN. HUTCHIES’ PEOPLE IN VICTORIA SHOULD CONTINUE TO USE THOSE RESOURCES AND CONTACT CANDECE FRAZZICA-KARA WITH ANY QUESTIONS.

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25 August 2020 / COVID-19

Dear All,

Please see attached updated COVID-19 Management Plan and Appendices. You will note that we now have a further 5 documents for reference within this management plan.

These further changes are in line with the Industry Guideline released on Friday 21st August. A list of the changes are as follows:

  • Induction and Acknowledgement Section – You MUST sign into this document on site to acknowledge that you have been inducted, read and understood it.
  • The term ‘Casual Contact’ has changed to ‘Contact’. (Appendix 01 – Self Assessment Flow Cart)
  • Updated Declaration. (Appendix 03 – Daily Prestart)
  • Temperature Testing threshold reduced to 37.5 degrees from 38 degrees. (Appendix 04 - Temperature Screening Procedure)
  • Further information on the wearing of masks (Appendix 05 - How to Wear a Face Mask)
  • DHHS Risk Assessment ( Appendix 07 – Risk Assessment Part 1 & 2)

I have also attached an Infographic poster ‘ How to put on a mask’ to be displayed on site (for those who have not already).

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or if I can be of assistance to you.

Candece Frazzica-Kara
HSE Manager (VIC)

Mobile 0411 022 839
Email Candece.Frazzica-Kara@hutchinsonbuilders.com.au 

View More
24 August 2020 / COVID-19

All,

Over the last four days there have been 12 confirmed cases of COVID19 in Queensland which has prompted the Government to reintroduce some restrictions on social gatherings.

The cases have included those linked to the Youth Detention Centre at Wacol where the Rohan Barry Team has an active construction project completely separate from but adjacent to the facility. While none of the Hutchies’ people working on the Wacol project have been identified as a ‘close contact’ the team made the responsible decision to get tested over the weekend and will not be attending site until they receive a negative test result – most of which were returned last night and confirmed as negative for COVID19.

Queensland Health has been completing contact tracing of all of the positive cases and has been releasing details of venues that people who have been diagnosed with COVID19 attended while infectious. I have included the current list below and the link here: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/contact-tracing

There are a couple of people from the Brisbane office who were at one of the venues at the relevant date and time and they made the appropriate and responsible decision to be tested last night. They will be working from home until they receive a negative result.

Please take the time to review the list below and if you have been at one of the venues at the time identified make arrangements to be tested and work from home until you receive a negative result.

These cases in South East Queensland over the last few days have highlighted the need to remain vigilant with all of those social distancing and hygiene practices that will reduce the chance of spreading the virus.

Consistent with this approach and out of an abundance of caution we have made arrangements to further increase the cleaning regime in the Toowong office, which you will notice from today.

Additionally, while this cluster of cases is bought under control, from this morning we are again reducing numbers at the Toowong office and are promoting working from home for those that are practically able to so.

During this critical period, please reinforce social distancing and hygiene measures on all sites and in all offices so we are able to do our part in preventing the spread of the virus and in turn keeping people safe and sites operating.

Thanks,

Ben

Venue Alert Locations

These are also available on our hotspot map below

Date

Place

Suburb

Arrival time

Departure time

9 August 2020

IGA Express

Forest Lake

~6.30am

~6.40am

9 August 2020

Anytime Fitness, Village Square

Browns Plains

11am

12:10pm

9 August 2020

Woolworths, Browns Plains Grand Plaza

Browns Plains

11am

12pm

10 August 2020

Spotlight

Browns Plains

~9:30am

~9:45am

10 August 2020

Coles, Forest Lake Shopping Centre

Forest Lake

~10.00am

~10.15am

10 August 2020

Anytime Fitness, Village Square

Browns Plains

10:15am

11:25am

10 August 2020

Woolworths, Browns Plains Grand Plaza

Browns Plains

~11am

~12:30pm

10 August 2020

Greenbank Takeaway

Greenbank

5:30pm

5:40pm

10 August 2020

Woolworths, Forest Lake Shopping centre

Forest Lake

unknown

unknown

11 August 2020

BP Wacol (Cnr Boundary & Progress Rds)

Wacol

~6am

~6:15am

11 August 2020

Mt Gravatt Swimming Pool, Wecker Rd (updated)

Mt Gravatt

11.25am

12.05pm

11 August 2020

Dami Japanese Restaurant

Mt Gravatt

~12pm

unknown

12 August 2020

Lakeside Fruit Barn, Forest Lake Shopping Centre

Forest Lake

4pm

~4.30pm

12 August 2020

Woolworths, Forest Lake Shopping centre

Forest Lake

~4:30pm

~5pm

12 August 2020

Thai Antique

Carina Heights

6pm

6:15pm

12 August 2020

Coles, Browns Plains Grand Plaza

Browns Plains

~7:15pm

unknown

13 August 2020

Australian Nails, Forest lake Shopping Centre

Forest Lake

11am

~12am

13 August 2020

Forest lake Shopping Centre

Forest Lake

11am

3pm

13 August 2020

Fig Tree Bakehouse, Forest Lake Shopping Centre

Forest Lake

12pm

unknown

13 August 2020

Nandos, Forest Lake Shopping Centre

Forest Lake

after 12pm

unknown

14 August 2020

OfficeWorks

Browns Plains

~10am

~10:10am

14 August 2020

Coles, Browns Plains Grand Plaza

Browns Plains

After 10am

before 11am

14 August 2020

Ikea

Slacks Creek

11am

2pm

14 August 2020

Woolworths, Marsden on Fifth shopping centre

Marsden

~11:15am

~11:30am

14 August 2020

Anytime Fitness, Village Square

Browns Plains

2:20pm

3:30pm

14 August 2020

Bunnings

Browns Plains

~2:30pm

~3pm

14 August 2020

Aldi, Forest Lake Village Shopping Centre

Forest Lake

~4pm

~4.30pm

14 August 2020

Coles, Forest Lake Shopping Centre

Forest Lake

~4pm

~4:30pm

15 August 2020

K-Mart, Browns Plains Grand Plaza

Browns Plains

~9:30am

~9:45am

15 August 2020

Anytime Fitness, Village Square

Browns Plains

10:25am

11:35am

16 August 2020

Woolworths, Marsden on Fifth shopping centre

Marsden

~10am

~10:15am

16 August 2020

Coles, Browns Plains Grand Plaza

Browns Plains

~10:30am

~11am

16 August 2020

Anytime Fitness, Village Square

Browns Plains

1:20pm

2:30pm

16 August 2020

Riverlink Shopping Centre

Ipswich

Morning

Morning

16 August 2020

The Reject Shop

Ipswich

Morning

Morning

16 August 2020

Jamaica Blue coffee shop

Ipswich

Morning

Morning

17 August 2020

Indooroopilly Shopping Centre

Indooroopilly

11:00am

1pm

17 August 2020

BUPA

Indooroopilly

11:00am

1pm

17 August 2020

Origin Kebabs

Indooroopilly

11:00am

1pm

17 August 2020

Greenbank Takeaway

Greenbank

~6:30pm

~6:40pm

17 August 2020

Costco Bundamba self-service fuel station

Bundamba

Afternoon

Afternoon

18 August 2020

BCF

Greenslopes

~12:30pm

~1pm

18 August 2020

Rock and Roll Butcher (Formerly Brisbane Bulk Meats), Logan Rd, Greenslopes

Greenslopes

1pm

Unknown

18 August 2020

Chemist Warehouse (Waratah Dr)

Crestmead

Afternoon

Afternoon

18 August 2020

Uncle Bill's Takeaway

Brassall

5:45pm

6:15pm

18 August 2020

BP Wacol (Cnr Boundary & Progress Rds)

Wacol

Evening

Evening

19 August 2020

12 RND Fitness

Birkdale

8am

9:30am

19 August 2020

Woolworths, Browns Plains Grand Plaza

Browns Plains

~9:30am

unknown

19 August 2020

The Jam Pantry

Greenslopes

10:30am

11:45am

19 August 2020

Red Cross Op Shop, Sherwood Rd

Sherwood

12.30pm

~1pm

19 August 2020

Westfield Carindale Shopping Centre

Carindale

~1pm

~3pm

19 August 2020

Indooroopilly shopping Centre

Indooroopilly

1pm

4pm

19 August 2020

Myer

Indooroopilly

1pm

4pm

19 August 2020

David Jones

Indooroopilly

1pm

4pm

19 August 2020

Touch of Indian

Indooroopilly

1pm

4pm

19 August 2020

Sweets from Heaven

Indooroopilly

1pm

4pm

19 August 2020

Bras 'n' Things, Westfield Carindale

Carindale

~1pm

~3pm

19 August 2020

Ghanda clothing, Westfield Carindale

Carindale

~1pm

~3pm

19 August 2020

Myer, Westfield Carindale

Carindale

~1pm

~3pm

19 August 2020

Newsagent in Sherwood, ? Sherwood Rd

Sherwood

1.10pm

~1.20pm

19 August 2020

Baskin Robbins, Camp Hill Market Place

Camp Hill

~5:30pm

~5:40pm

19 August 2020

Pho Inn, Camp Hill Market Place

Camp Hill

~5:30pm

~5:40pm

19 August 2020 - 20 August 2020

Ipswich Hospital ED

Ipswich

11:00pm

6:19am

20 August 2020

Woolworths, Marsden on Fifth shopping centre

Marden

~10am

~10:15am

21 August 2020

Woolworths, Forest Lake Shopping centre

Forest Lake

~10:30am

~10:45am

21 August 2020

The Chop Shop (Butcher), Forest Lake Shopping Centre

Forest Lake

~10.45am

~11.15am

21 August 2020

Best & Less, Forest Lake Shopping Centre

Forest Lake

~10.45am

~11.15am

View More
21 August 2020 / COVID-19

Dear All,

This afternoon MBAV have released Industry Guideline 07.

Please find attached updated COVD-19 Management Plan, Risk Assessment Template, Industry Guideline 7 and the update from our Industry Liaison, Michael Paynter, that provides on overview on the changes. I have highlighted the changes in yellow in the index and

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or if I can be of assistance to you.

Regards,

Candece Frazzica-Kara
HSE Manager (VIC)

Mobile 0411 022 839
Email Candece.Frazzica-Kara@hutchinsonbuilders.com.au 

View More
17 August 2020 / COVID-19

Update from Queensland's Premier, Deputy Premier & Chief Health Officer

  • No new cases in QLD
  • 8 active and in hotel quarantine / hospital
  • 16 days since known community transmission case in QLD
  • No intention of full reopening of borders while there are community transmission cases in NSW and Victoria

Update from Victoria's Premier

  • 282 new cases
  • 25 deaths
  • 657 cases currently in hospital
  • 15,728 tests conducted since yesterday’s update

Update from New South Wales' Premier & Chief Health Officer

  • 7 new cases (6 locally acquired, 1 in hotel quarantine, 3 local cases are close contacts linked to the Chops Stix restaurant in western Sydney, 2 are close contacts of the Lady of Mercy College cluster – close contacts are being contacted now)
  • 10,806 tests conducted yesterday up to 8pm
  • Case numbers are declining, but accumulation of cases (clusters) is still spreading it in areas of western Sydney (which is how Victoria’s big outbreaks occurred)
  • Gladys apologised for the findings of the Ruby Princess Commission that found deficiencies in the NSW Department of Health in handling the situation
  • This morning NSW Health provided new guidelines on school requirements in dealing with COVID-19 (including further restrictions to prevent the spread)
  • CHO said some people are thinking their symptoms are influenza and brushing off potential test for COVID, NSW are saying they have very low cases of the flu so if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it is a higher chance that is COVID
  • Anyone in the western Sydney areas in particular with potential symptoms must come forward for testing so that community transmission can be managed as quickly as possible
  • The latest NSW Venue Alerts have been updated on Hutchies' COVID-19 Hotspot Map below
View More
11 August 2020 / COVID-19

The New South Wales Government has issued a new list of venues that have had confirmed COVID-19 cases across the state. 

These venues have been added to Hutchies' Hotspot Map below to make it easier to see these locations in proximity to our offices and current projects.

Please follow all directions of authorities if you have been to any of the flagged venues.


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7 August 2020 / COVID-19

Dear All,

Someone said to me earlier this week ‘what a time to be alive’, and I completely agree, you would have never thought it would be a requirement to carry a permit to have to go to work.

This pandemic is something that none of us could ever have planned for and we believe that as a team and united front everyone has done an exceptional job in dealing with the continuous change’s to daily operations.

We understand that there are many stressors involved with this pandemic whether they be work related or personal, please know that you are not alone. You can pick up the phone and talk to anyone, anywhere at any time. Hutchies’ also offers a comprehensive Employee Assistance Program that offers confidential, support. 

At 11.59pm tonight the construction industry moves into further restrictions, to ensure that we are meet these requirements I have attached the following documents that are vital as we move into this new phase:

Note: It is critical that have the following documents in either hard copy or digital on your person at all times:

  • Permitted Worker Permit
  • Essential Employee letter
  • COVID Management plan
  • Licence or photo ID

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or require any support. The Team Leaders and I thank you for your continual support and efforts to date.

Candece Frazzica-Kara
HSE Manager (VIC)

Mobile 0411 022 839
Email Candece.Frazzica-Kara@hutchinsonbuilders.com.au 

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7 August 2020 / COVID-19

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

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7 August 2020 / COVID-19

20/08/20: Queensland Health has expanded the list of exempt border communities. Check out the map for details. You can also check your address via the Border Pass portal.

Original Notice

Queensland Health has provided the following additional information regarding Queensland’s border restrictions.

What are the changes from 1.00am Saturday 8 August?

Hotspots

All of Victoria and Greater Sydney are currently listed as COVID-19 hotspots. All of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory will be considered COVID-19 hotspots from 1am Saturday, 8 August 2020.

COVID-19 hotspots are updated regularly here.

Residents of hotspots cannot enter Queensland, except in very limited circumstances. Queensland residents may enter, but must undertake mandatory hotel quarantine if not exempt.

An exemption applies to residents of border communities, as below. However, there are still restrictions and a number of different scenarios will apply to Hutchies’ people living or working in these locations.

These scenarios are detailed below.

Border residents

A border zone resident is someone who lives in a community on the Queensland New South Wales border. See the map here (PDF). This includes both sides of the border – people who live in Queensland but work or go to school in their neighbouring border town, or people who live in New South Wales but come to work or school in their neighbouring border town in Queensland. Border zone residents can cross the border for any purpose.

Queensland border zone residents cannot travel outside the border zone in New South Wales and New South Wales border zone residents cannot travel outside the border zone in either Queensland or New South Wales.

Travel by air

You can only enter Queensland from a hotspot if you travel by air. You cannot travel by road through a hotspot.

The only people allowed to enter Queensland by road are:

  1. truck drivers
  2. workers related to the transport of freight and logistics
  3. people performing essential activities
  4. border zone residents.

Children and mandatory quarantine

Everyone, including children, must quarantine in government arranged accommodation. You will need to quarantine with your child in the accommodation, at your expense. If you have other children that you are caring for, they will need to quarantine with you unless you can make other arrangements for them to be cared for.

You will have to apply for an exemption from the Chief Health Officer in order to send your child to Queensland from a hotspot by themselves. This is to ensure that no one under the age of 18 is unaccompanied in government arranged quarantine.

Further updates regarding construction as an essential activity

We have heard reports that construction may be considered an essential activity again, but this is unconfirmed, so we will continue to update you as more information becomes available.

Applying for a Queensland Border Declaration Pass

Anyone who requires a border pass (including as described in the scenarios below) must apply for a new pass from 1am, Saturday 8 August.

Previous passes will no longer be accepted.

No exceptions will be made for anyone who is not carrying a new border pass. 

The new pass system is accessible here: https://www.qld.gov.au/border-pass

Scenarios that may apply to Hutchies’ people

Hutchies is seeking urgent clarification from the QLD Government around essential worker exemptions and we will provide an update as soon as possible.

I am a NSW resident. I live in an exempt NSW border community, but my project is outside the border communities in NSW (e.g. Byron Bay)

You can work in NSW, but you cannot enter QLD with the border zone resident declaration pass as your project is outside of the permitted border community zone. This means you cannot go to any Hutchies offices or yards that are within QLD (e.g. Coolangatta) whilst the QLD border restriction is in place.

I am a NSW resident. I live in an exempt NSW border community and I work in QLD at a Hutchies’ office/yard/project within the border community zone (e.g. Southport)

You must apply for a border zone resident declaration pass (Pass X). With the pass, you are permitted to cross the border by road and can continue to work in QLD. However, you must not travel outside the exempt NSW border community, and you must not travel outside the QLD border community. You are only permitted to travel within the border community zone.

I am a NSW resident. I don’t live in an exempt NSW border community and I work in QLD at a Hutchies’ office/yard/project within the border community zone (e.g. Yatala)

You cannot enter QLD as you do not live in an exempt NSW border community and do not currently qualify for an exemption.

I am a NSW resident. I live in an exempt NSW border community and I work on a project outside of the QLD border community zone (e.g. Loganholme)

You must apply for a border zone resident declaration pass (Pass X). With the pass, you are permitted to cross the border by road and travel to a construction site by vehicle. You are permitted to drive anywhere in QLD for the purposes of working on a construction site. On return to NSW, you must not travel outside the exempt NSW border community. You are only permitted to travel within the border community zone except for the purposes of going directly to and working on your project.

I am a NSW resident and I want to go to Hutchies’ Toowong office

You cannot enter QLD for this purpose. Exempt NSW border community residents can only go as far as the permitted QLD border communities, unless driving to perform work on a construction site. Other NSW residents (who live outside of the border zone) are banned from entering QLD entirely and will be turned back at the border. Use Hutchies’ teleconferencing / video meeting facilities instead.

I am a NSW resident and I want to move/work to somewhere in QLD permanently

You can enter QLD with a ‘moving to QLD’ border declaration pass but you will still be subject to mandatory hotel quarantine, even if you are permanently moving to QLD for work.

I am a QLD resident and I live in a QLD border community. My project is in NSW inside the exempt border community zone (e.g. Casuarina)

You must apply for a border zone resident declaration pass (Pass X). With the pass, you are permitted to cross the border by road and can continue to work in NSW. However, you must not travel outside the exempt NSW border community, otherwise you will be subject to mandatory hotel quarantine on your return to QLD.

I am a QLD resident and I live in a QLD border community. My project is in NSW outside the border community zone (e.g. Lennox Head)

You can enter NSW but you will not be permitted back in QLD without undertaking mandatory hotel quarantine as you do not currently qualify for an exemption.

I am a QLD resident. I don’t live within the QLD border community zone (e.g. Toowoomba) but my project is in NSW (either inside the exempt border community zone or anywhere else in NSW)

You can enter NSW but you will not be permitted back in QLD without undertaking mandatory hotel quarantine as you do not currently qualify for an exemption.

I am a QLD resident. I live in a QLD border community zone and I work in QLD at a Hutchies’ office within the border community zone (e.g. Southport)

You can continue to travel normally around QLD. If you wish to enter the exempt NSW border community zone for any purpose, you must apply for a border zone resident declaration pass (Pass X). With the pass, you are permitted to cross the border by road and can go into NSW. However, if you do enter NSW, you must not travel outside the exempt NSW border community, and you must not travel outside the QLD border community. You are only permitted to travel within the exempt border community zones.

I am a QLD resident. I don’t live in the QLD border community zone but I work in QLD at a Hutchies’ office within the border community zone (e.g. Coolangatta). I would like go to NSW for a meeting

You can enter NSW but you will not be permitted back in QLD without undertaking mandatory hotel quarantine as you do not currently qualify for an exemption. Use Hutchies’ teleconferencing / video meeting facilities instead. Hutchies is seeking urgent clarification from the QLD Government around essential worker exemptions and we will provide an update as soon as possible. 

For Further Clarification

Please contact the Online Team / Harleigh Venables & Tabi Ward 

Phone 0427 059 569 / 0400 046 090 

Email online@hutchies.com.au

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6 August 2020 / COVID-19

Prime Minister & Minister for Home Affairs

The following announcements have just been made:

  • Mental health of Victorians is an great area of concern, additional mental health support is being provided
  • Another $5M to Headspace, $2M to Kids Helpline, $2.5M to Lifeline, $2.5M to Beyond Blue – these boosts to funding will add resources, deliver training and more availability
  • Additional Medicare subsidised mental health sessions will be available via GPs for people across Victoria
  • GPs and other mental health practitioners are available to Victorians via Telehealth
  • Resources available immediately include Beyond Blue, Head to Health, Headspace, Black Dog Institute and Suicide Call Back Service
  • Important to have difficult conversations openly about mental health during the pandemic
  • Additional restrictions in Victoria in August and September is estimated to reduce the size of GDP in the September quarter by between $7 billion and $9 billion
  • National unemployment rate is now expected to peak closer to 10 per cent, with effective unemployment rate expected to be in high 13 per cent range.
  • Announcing today a new Cybersecurity Strategy to keep the people, government and businesses of Australia safe
  • $1.67bn strategy over next decade primarily targets the dark web, paedophiles and terrorists and includes another 100 more cyber detectives
  • $2M has been provided to Lebanon by way of initial support for the terrible accident that occurred yesterday

Victorian Premier

The following announcements have just been made:

  • 471 new cases, 8 more deaths since last update
  • It’s an imperfect process closing/restricting businesses because it’s never been done before, and changes may need to be made based on further discussions with industries/businesses
  • Primary aim is to drive down movement across Victorian communities
  • Regarding the second category of businesses/industries which are required to reduce workforce, further documentation coming in the next few hours [we will provide when available]
  • The restrictions for the construction industry – the settings already outlined will be delivered:
    • Large govt jobs – down to 50% already but will be further reduced down to 25% if possible
    • Projects above 3 storeys (private sector jobs) – down to 25% staff on site
    • Domestic building – as arranged, no more than 5 staff on site, limited movement is allowed to other sites but permitted in some cases
    • Building supervisors are allowed to move between sites too
    • Strict COVIDSafe plans in place for the industry
    • Only 25% of workforce on site allowed, not 25% per shift. There cannot be 25% per shift because that does not reduce the aggregate daily movement and pushes it to 50% or even 100% if delivered in shifts.
  • These restrictions have to be made to limit movement
  • These specific plans are about striking a balance between reducing movement and cases, but not compromising stock being on shelves
  • You may not be able to get exactly what you want, but you will still be able to get what you need. No need to buy bulk qtys of anything
  • Further mental health supports will be announced in coming days

New South Wales 

NSW residents returning from Victoria must go into mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days at their own expense from 12.01am Friday, 6 August

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6 August 2020 / COVID-19

The Queensland Police Chiefs just made the following announcements regarding the border closure processes (note – still more to come – but a brief overview):

  • The existing passes are being expanded to include new passes:
    • F for freight
    • S for specialist (as directed by CHO)
    • X for border communities which will be allocated to those persons who live in declared cross-border communities along the NSW / QLD border
    • G pass remains as “general” and they are expecting this to drop off over time as people get the message they shouldn’t be trying to enter Queensland
  • The new passes will not have photos on them as had been reported
  • You do need to provide identification however to apply for them
  • When the new pass website is ready users will be told what identification is required for these new passes (we will advise when this is available)
  • The Queensland Police are still working through the geographical locations on the border and will be “generous enough for genuine cross border travel”
  • Returning Queenslanders from a hotspot and not considered travelling for an essential activity will be required to quarantine for 14 days at your own expense in a hotel
  • Queenslanders should return asap before 1am Saturday otherwise they will be returning to quarantine requirements

There was also discussion around a protest planned on Saturday for the Story Bridge. Police are saying people should not attend this protest and they will be doing everything possible to stop it from proceeding.

We are expecting some more information later today from the Premier and CMO but if not it will be tomorrow.

Will keep you informed.

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5 August 2020 / COVID-19

Queensland borders will close to New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory from 1am this Saturday, August 8.

All visitors will be denied entry except for rare exemptions and returning Queenslanders will have to pay for 14 days mandatory hotel quarantine.

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has declared all of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory as hotspots.

Only residents of border communities and essential workers, such as truck drivers, will be able to cross the border.

Exemptions – including for compassionate reasons – will be limited.

Passes for border communities will be for those with proof of address and photo ID.

The border closure will be reviewed at the end of the month.


Annastacia Palaszczuk held a press conference this morning regarding the border re-closure:

  • Current situation in NSW, ACT and VIC is of great concern to Queensland
  • Queensland Disaster Management Group met extensively yesterday and today to look at tough border measure
  • CMO Declaring NSW and ACT a hotspot and borders closing to these locations
  • Immediate effect from 1am Saturday
  • Right thing to do – tough for Queenslanders – but your health comes first – we also need to protect families and the economy and avoid what’s happening in Victoria
  • Very important Queenslanders stay in Queensland – now is not the time to travel to NSW or VIC – not risking QLD’s people and economy
  • Victoria not getting better and not waiting for NSW to get worse
  • ACT closed because of examples of people from NSW hotspots traveling via ACT to QLD

Deputy Premier’s comments:

  • 1 new case today in West Moreton (total active cases – 11)
  • Queensland went 63 days without any community transmission
  • Only takes 1 case to see a wide spread outbreak
  • The current cases are putting pressure on our health system
  • 85,000 tests in the last week
  • Cannot afford to risk our progress

Currently no detail on the exact details around border communities – actively monitoring the news / QLD official channels of announcements and will let you all know as soon as we know.

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5 August 2020 / COVID-19

The Victorian Premier has just announced at a press conference:

  • 725 new cases and 15 more deaths (including the death of someone in their 30s)
  • Further permit system for childcare being introduced – many families won’t be allowed to access childcare right now
  • Permitted workers – regardless of working from home or at a workplace, will be able to access childcare if there is no other person able to look after the children in the household – this is also applicable to kinder and primary school children who will be able to go to school with this permit.
  • This is an additional permit to the permitted worker permit which will be available on the DHHS website soon. This will apply from 11.59pm tonight and there will be no grace period for this change.  
  • All non-urgent surgery beyond category 1 or emergency surgery will be put on hold (across Victoria and public/private) to preserve sufficient capacity for future Coronavirus cases
  • If you are at your partner’s house, curfew and rules apply to you when you are at their house. So, if you are there after 8pm, you must remain there. If you are there at 4pm, only 1 of you can go to the shops and only within 5km of that residence.
  • These rules need to work to drive down case numbers

Note The Permitted Worker Permit can be found below (completed with Hutchies' details). The template is also available on the DHHS website here with other information. We will provide the new Childcare Permit once it is available.

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2 August 2020 / COVID-19

The VIC Premier just announced the following at a press conference:

  • 671 new cases and 7 more deaths overnight
  • From 6pm tonight, a State of Disaster will apply in VIC, and Stage 4 restrictions will come into place for Melbourne:
    • People will only be able to shop and exercise within a 5km radius from home
    • Only 1 person per household will be able to shop once per day
    • No recreational activities allowed, like golf or tennis
    • 1 hour of exercise only per day, no further than 5km from home
    • No group bigger than 2, regardless of whether in family or home
    • Intimate partner visits allowed outside of 5km
    • A curfew will be in place from 8pm tonight, curfew will run 8pm to 5am every day in metropolitan Melbourne
    • Only reason to be out outside these curfew hours is to get care / give care / go to or from work / be at work
  • From midnight this coming Wednesday, the rest of Victoria (all regional areas) will move to Stage 3 restrictions. These will be the same restrictions in place for Melbourne currently, and not the additional Stage 4 restrictions above.
  • Tomorrow the VIC Premier will announce more changes regarding industries and workplaces:
    • 3 categories of businesses will apply
    • Category that will remain open – supermarkets, bakeries, butchers, takeway food etc
    • Category that will remain open with restrictions and less output
    • Category that will move to work from home only, or if work from home isn’t possible, will have to shut
  • In regard to schools, from midnight this coming Wednesday, flexible and remote learning for all students in all schools across Victoria
  • Children will be able to go to school if their parents are ‘defined industry’ workers or vulnerable children
  • These measures will last for 6 weeks (from today for the Stage 4 restrictions and from Wed midnight for other restrictions)
  • More about fines/enforcements tomorrow

These are the local government areas under stage four restrictions from 6:00pm tonight

The new directions begin at 6:00pm today and continue for six weeks until 11:59pm on Sunday, September 13.

The areas moving to stage four restrictions include 31 metropolitan Melbourne LGAs.

They are:

  • Banyule
  • Hume
  • Moreland
  • Bayside
  • Kingston
  • Mornington
  • Peninsula
  • Boroondara
  • Knox
  • Nillumbik
  • Brimbank
  • Manningham
  • Port Phillip
  • Cardinia
  • Maribyrnong
  • Stonnington
  • Casey
  • Maroondah
  • Whitehorse
  • Darebin
  • Melbourne
  • Whittlesea
  • Frankston
  • Melton
  • Wyndham
  • Glen Eira
  • Monash
  • Yarra
  • Greater Dandenong
  • Moonee Valley
  • Yarra Ranges
  • Hobsons Bay
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1 August 2020 / COVID-19

The QLD contact tracing list has been updated: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/contact-tracing

If you have been to any of these locations in the date and time periods mentioned, please contact 13 HEALTH.

Location

Suburb

Date

Time

Parklands Christian College*

Park Ridge

22-23 July 2020

9.30am-6pm

Madtongsan IV Restaurant*

Sunnybank

23-Jul-20

7-9pm

Heeretea - Bubble Tea Shop

Sunnybank

23-Jul-20

evening

YMCA Chatswood Hills Outside School Hours Care*

Springwood

23-24 July 2020

All

Primary Medical and Dental Practice

Browns Plains

24-Jul-20

3.30-4.30pm

Thai Peak Restaurant*

Springfield

26-Jul-20

6.30-9pm

Caltex Goodna

Goodna

26-Jul-20

11.30am-11.35am

Sleeman Sports Complex*

Chandler

26-Jul-20

12.30-2.10pm

Garden City Shopping Centre

Mount Gravatt

26-Jul-20

4-7pm

K Mart at Garden City Shopping Centre

Mount Gravatt

26-Jul-20

4-5pm

JB HiFi at Garden City Shopping Centre

Mount Gravatt

26-Jul-20

4.30-5pm

MOS Burger at Garden City Shopping Centre

Mount Gravatt

26-Jul-20

Around 5pm

Chatime Garden City

Mount Gravatt

26-Jul-20

Around 6pm

Café 63

Redbank Plains

27-Jul-20

10-10.30am

Bunnings Springfield

Springfield

27-Jul-20

11am-1pm

Bunnings Oxley

Oxley

27-Jul-20

3.15-4pm

Cowch Dessert Cocktail Bar

Southbank

27-Jul-20

3.15- 4.15pm

P’Nut Street Noodles

Southbank

27-Jul-20

4.00-6.00pm

Basketball Court Springfield Lakes*

Springfield Lakes

27-Jul-20

6-8.30pm

Nando’s Kenmore

Kenmore

27-Jul-20

8.45-8.55pm

African Grocery Shop

Woodridge (Station Rd)

28-Jul-20

All

Primary Medical and Dental Practice

Browns Plains

28-Jul-20

12.25-12.30pm 13.00-13.15pm

Chatime Grand Plaza

Browns Plains

28-Jul-20

12.30-1.00pm

Origin Kebabs Grand Plaza

Browns Plains

28-Jul-20

12.30-1.00pm

Caltex Wacol

Wacol

28-Jul-20

8.40-8.45am

Richlands Medical Centre Richlands Plaza

Richlands

29 July 2020

Around 10.45am

SNP Collection Centre Forrest Lake

Forrest Lake

29 July 2020

Around 11.35am

Flight Number

Airline

Origin

Destination

Date of arrival

Arrival time

VA863*

Virgin Australia

Melbourne

Sydney

21 July 2020

Arrived 5.55pm

VA977*

Virgin Australia

Sydney

Brisbane

21 July 2020

Arrived 8.00pm

The venues with * have been contact traced by QLD Health.

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July 2020

21 July 2020 / COVID-19

The PM and Treasurer just spoke to the media regarding upcoming changes to the JobSeeker and JobKeeper Programs:

  • Original system was simple and quick, and level of income support was provided to everyone that needed it desperately as quick as possible
  • JobKeeper – is being put in place for another 6 months, to March 2021, but reducing in value. $1200 per f/n but with two tier payment system to account for people earning less than the program or part time or casual workers.
  • JobSeeker – is being reduced to $250 per f/n with an increase to income free threshold to $300, meaning that people can earn $300 and still get the $250 JobSeeker payment. This will take effect at end of Sept, and run until end of Dec. JobSeeker mutual obligations will start again from 4 Aug.
  • Penalties to JobSeeker payments will kick in if jobs aren’t taken when they are offer to people receiving JobSeeker
  • More changes to JobSeeker flagged, and possible need to keep support ongoing past December or even announced in Oct Budget
  • Plan for people on JobSeeker - get them in a job or train them in a job
  • Current JobKeeper and JobSeeker arrangements will run until end of September as proposed
  • Coronavirus has hit Australian economy hardest ever in the last 100 years
  • 2 million Australians either lost their jobs or had hours reduced. 11.3% effective unemployment rate (lost their job or hours reduced to 0).
  • These payments are single largest economic measure ever – helped 960,000 businesses, 3.5 million workers so far. JobKeeper has stabilised losses.
  • To retain JobKeeper past September, employers will need to demonstrate reduction of turnover, of 30% or 50% depending on size, and show reduction for each previous quarter
  • The JobKeeper wage subsidy will continue until March next year, but payments will fall from $1,500 to $1,200 a fortnight after September. People working fewer than 20 hours a week will receive $750.
  • The payments will fall again to $1,000 a fortnight, and $650 a fortnight for people working fewer than 20 hours, for the first three months of 2021.
  • The JobSeeker coronavirus supplement will continue for another three months but fall from $550 to $250 a fortnight, meaning people on the program will receive $800 a fortnight after September (as opposed to $1,100 at the moment).
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20 July 2020 / COVID-19

The Deputy CMO, Dr Nick Coatsworth, has just announced at a press conference that mask use is advised in the Melbourne and Mitchell local government areas that are currently locked down, when people are in a situation where they cannot maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from other people.  

He said this is only applicable to those areas due to the current community transmission occurring in those areas.

The VIC Premier has just announced that mask use when outside of one’s house will now be mandatory for all people over the age of 12 living in all Melbourne and Mitchell LGAs as of this Wednesday 22 July, at 11.59pm.

Fines of $200 will be given out to people not wearing one outside of their house. However, it was noted that in some circumstances it will be impractical to wear one so “common sense will guide the rules”.

Masks do not have to be hospital grade – any facial covering including scarves will do.

The VIC Premier also noted that 80% of new cases in recent weeks have been due to transmission at workplaces. It is hoped that this new rule of mandatory mask wearing will drive down workplace transmission.


NSW Health has echoed the below sentiment regarding mask use.

That is – for anyone outside of their home and won’t be able to adequately socially distance, it is advised to wear a mask.

At this point in time it is advice only but may change to a direction if community transmission increases.

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14 July 2020 / COVID-19

QLD has put out a new Direction that will take effect as of this Friday (tomorrow) noon, 10 July 2020.

In brief:

  • It allows people from other states and territories to enter the state without having to undertake mandatory quarantine, provided they:
    • Have a valid Queensland Border Declaration Pass (must be applied for within 7 days of the travel to QLD), which will include:
      • A declaration that they have not been overseas / a COVID-19 hotspot / had contact with a confirmed case / had symptoms consistent with COVID-19 / been diagnosed with COVID-19
      • Providing personal details including name, date of birth, phone number, address and email address, and where the person intends to stay while in Queensland
    • Provide an undertaking that the person will present for a COVID-19 test if the person develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within 14 days of entering Queensland

Regarding any travel from any part of Victoria (or other COVID-19 hotspots as they are identified by the QLD Govt):

  • The QLD Govt has hardened their approach with this new border declaration, stating that anyone who has been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the 14 days prior to entering Queensland must not enter Queensland unless they are exempt. Exemptions are specified in the Direction and include QLD residents.
  • QLD residents who have been to VIC may enter the state, provided they undertake mandatory quarantine at a quarantine hotel at their own cost
  • The new Direction appears to have removed construction from what QLD considers ‘essential activity’, meaning that QLD residents who return to QLD after performing construction-related work in VIC would also have to enter mandatory quarantine.
  • This is a significant change to all previous QLD Directions throughout the pandemic in which construction has been considered essential and exempt from mandatory quarantine. I will confirm this once the Border Pass Declaration has been updated with the new particulars as of noon tomorrow.

Queensland Health will declare coronavirus hotspots in several areas of New South Wales, namely Liverpool and Campbelltown, from midday today.

The below strict quarantine rules that QLD has applied to VIC at present will apply to people travelling from these NSW hotspots.

It is expected that QLD will continue to clamp down on any areas like this where community transmission starts to occur.

Just to confirm below, there is now no provision for ‘construction’ or ‘FIFO’ under the exemptions list for people travelling from VIC into QLD. The wording of ‘time critical specialist’ has also been updated which no longer broadly covers people in the construction industry.

People from other states and territories may enter QLD without needing to quarantine now, provided they have a valid border pass and have not been in VIC in the last 14 days (or any of the reasons listed below).

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10 July 2020 / COVID-19

The PM and CMO just spoke to the media following today’s National Cabinet Meeting, followed by the VIC Premier at a separate press conference.

PM

  • News from VIC remains very concerning, but key here is all states and territories fully supporting VIC with resourcing
  • We all have to be very careful to protect against complacency everywhere in Australia, particularly behind closed doors, not just out in the open
  • When at home - still practice social distancing, no hugs and handshakes still
  • Social distancing is the norm now, not the exception, will be with us for a very long time – no change until vaccine found
  • Social distancing needs to be a habit, and just because everything is ok in other states, doesn’t mean you go back to the way things were before social distancing
  • Community has a role to play in terms of social distancing, and particularly the younger population
  • QLD border reopened today, except to VIC
  • Nat Cab has agreed in a reduction in number of inbound arrivals into Australia, will be cut by just over half across all ports that residents are returning to Australia – will drop to 4000 people per week allowed back in, no one to Victoria at the moment
  • Hotel quarantine is going to move towards charging people returning, some states already
  • A nationwide review of hotel quarantine is going to be undertaken - working with states and territories, important step to look into how each state is managing this, to have confidence around all arrangements in all states
  • PM / Nat Cab endorsed the advice on all Melbourne/Mitchell local government area residents to wear masks when they leave the house when they know they will be potentially entering a situation when 1.5 metre distancing can’t be maintained

CMO

  • Very clear that there is community transmission issue in Melbourne
  • Confined to Melbourne at the moment, but we are all at risk – modelling shows this
  • Physical distancing, cough hygiene, hand hygiene, everyone needs to continue to do these to stop the transmission across Australia
  • We’re all in this together

Victoria Premier

  • 288 cases recorded overnight (but record amount of daily testing, over 37,000 tests done in one day)
  • 2 million reusable masks are being made to distribute to residents, along with 1 million additional disposable masks
  • If you are out, and you don’t think you are going to be able to maintain 1.5 metres from others – wear a mask
  • Masks can be any face covering including scarfs – no type of mask protects from the virus 100% but are better than nothing when in close distance to others
  • Not compulsory but recommended now, and is backed by AHPPC
  • Anybody who is sick – only one reason to leave home, to get a test, otherwise stay home
  • If behaviour like gathering in numbers at houses continues, Melbourne is going to have to be locked down for longer than 6 weeks
  • Stay at home. The four acceptable reasons for leaving home are not an indication to leave, they are only to allow people to leave for reasonable circumstances – don’t go shopping for things you don’t need
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8 July 2020 / COVID-19

The Prime Minister just spoke to the media at a Press Conference, alongside the Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck.

  • This is a global pandemic and there are no guarantees in a global pandemic. Dealing with virus is a national coordinated effort, and this time is particularly hard on Melbourne
  • Our success depends on the success of each state, and Victoria is getting support it needs from Govt / states
  • Aged care – one of the most significant areas of concern. Additional 6100 in-home aged care places have been added, bringing it up to an additional 50,000 and will be tabled further in Budget in Oct.
  • Advice regarding travel – if in VIC / NSW, don’t travel around the state, particularly those in border communities
  • There will be further phase of financial support after September based on need and will include VIC, but support will continue nationally based on need – it won’t be location based. PM and Treasurer have been preparing next phase with this in mind.
  • International arrivals load will be reduced across Australia to reduce burdens on states given VIC. More on this in Nat Cab on Friday.
  • All other states in very strong position re handling the virus. Reopening to go ahead as planned.
  • Consideration around people paying for quarantine as opposed to state-paid. This is on each state and territory and this would be supported by Commonwealth, people have had a lot of opportunities to return.
  • Masks – there is constant medical advice provided, and the Govt will continue to follow the advice.
  • PM hopes that the lockdown in Greater Melbourne doesn’t go on for 6 weeks, but he supports Victoria – not his job to second guess Premiers, it’s to support them as PM
  • The measures we have taken as a country need to continue no matter what age/job/income you have, it’s about supporting other Australians which we all have a responsibility to do. How we respond is what we have control over, we don’t have control over the virus. We thank Melbournians for their response to this despite how heartbreaking and frustrating it is, especially as things just started reopening.
  • National Cabinet will meet again this Friday.
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7 July 2020 / COVID-19

The Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, has just announced a lockdown of all of metropolitan Melbourne as the state recorded its largest daily increase in COVID cases (191) today since the start of the pandemic.

Stay-at-home orders have been reintroduced for 6 weeks, placing Melbourne local government areas and the shire of Mitchell back into Stage 3 restrictions from midnight tomorrow.

Stage 3 restrictions mean only 4 reasons to leave home:

  • Shopping for food and supplies
  • Care and caregiving
  • Exercise
  • Study and work – if you can’t do it from home
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6 July 2020 / COVID-19

The Victorian border with New South Wales will be closed from Wednesday following talks between Premiers Daniel Andrews and Gladys Berejiklian and Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

This decision comes as Victoria recorded 127 new coronavirus cases overnight.

The closure will take effect from 11:59pm on Tuesday.

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June 2020

30 June 2020 / COVID-19

The QLD Premier and Deputy QLD Premier just spoke to the media regarding QLD restrictions & border closures:

  • Moving toward some aspects of Stage 3 as of this Friday, 3 July (brought forward by one week)
  • Weddings, funerals, gyms and private gatherings will be allowed 100 people
  • Ordering at bars, pubs, clubs, cafes etc allowed - no limit on numbers for venues provided they have space for 4m2 per person
  • Contact sports and spectators, no limits with social distancing if outdoors
  • Stadiums – 50% of capacity or 25,000 max, whichever is lower
  • 1 person per 2m2 for smaller businesses (cap of 50)
  • 1 person per 4m2 for casinos / concert venues / theatres
  • Need to ensure social distancing is maintained everywhere – 1.5m between groups of people
  • Borders – QLD is concerned about Victoria, 250 cases in the last 7 days, there is community transmission
  • QLD border will remain closed to Victoria with tougher measures in place from this Friday, 3 July
  • Anyone travelling from VIC (even Queenslanders) from this Friday, 3 July will have to quarantine on arrival for 2 weeks in a hotel at own expense or be turned back
  • QLD is helping VIC get the virus under control but doesn’t want the risk coming here - overall message: Queenslanders do not go to Victoria, Victorians do not come here
  • From Friday July 10, people from TAS, WA, SA, NT, ACT, NSW will be able to travel into QLD again
  • Everyone travelling to QLD will have to fill in a border declaration and obtain a border pass to ensure they haven’t been in VIC in the past 14 days
  • People lying or falsifying info will face significant fines
  • If the Chief Health Officer identifies hotspots with community transmission, they will take similar actions towards those states/areas

The VIC Premier has just announced the following:

  • Lockdowns back in place for 10 postcodes as of Wednesday 11.59pm – 3012, 3021, 3032, 3038, 3042, 3046, 3047, 3055, 3060, 3064 – for 4 weeks
  • People in those postcodes will only have four reasons to leave their homes: for work or school, for care or caregiving, for daily exercise, or to get food and other essentials
  • People outside these postcodes should not enter them unless it is work and only work that needs to be done in person
  • Door-to-door testing will continue throughout suburbs
  • Police will be actively enforcing lockdown in these suburbs in boozebus style set ups and randomly/frequently asking people who are out what they are doing
  • People not following orders will be fined on the spot
  • Businesses and people will be supported by the government in these postcodes
  • VIC Premier has asked to divert all international flights away from Melbourne for 2 weeks, for the purpose of not having any more people entering hotel quarantine in Victoria for the next 2 weeks
  • The outbreak is predominantly linked to staff in hotel quarantine breaching well-known and well-understood infection control protocols. A judicial inquiry will take place to investigate
  • This needs to be done to ensure other areas do not have to be locked down (eg. Melbourne CBD)

Full list of suburbs:

  • Postcode 3012: Brooklyn, Kingville, Maidstone, Tottenham, West Footscray.
  • Postcode 3021: Alban Vale, Kealba, Kings Park, St Albans.
  • Postcode 3032: Ascot Vale, High Point City, Maribyrnong, Travancore.
  • Postcode 3038: Keilor Downs, Keilor Lodge, Taylors Lakes, Watergardens.
  • Postcode 3042: Airport West, Keilor Park, Niddrie.
  • Postcode 3046: Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park.
  • Postcode 3047: Broadmeadows, Dallas, Jacana.
  • Postcode 3055: Brunswick South, Brunswick West, Moonee Vale, Moreland West.
  • Postcode 3060: Fawkner.
  • Postcode 3064: Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickleham, Roxburgh Park and Kalkallo.

The Border Restrictions Direction No. 5 (effective 01 May 2020) remains in place as is for QLD.

Currently, under this Direction, QLD residents flying to VIC for work and then returning to QLD are exempt from border restrictions and forced quarantine.

However, the QLD Government may update this and provide a new Direction in the coming days, to reflect the QLD-VIC border closure. This could change the exemption rules but there is no further information available at this time.


QLD has put out a new Direction that will take effect as of this Friday (tomorrow) noon, 10 July 2020.

In brief:

  • It allows people from other states and territories to enter the state without having to undertake mandatory quarantine, provided they:
    • Have a valid Queensland Border Declaration Pass (must be applied for within 7 days of the travel to QLD), which will include:
      • A declaration that they have not been overseas / a COVID-19 hotspot / had contact with a confirmed case / had symptoms consistent with COVID-19 / been diagnosed with COVID-19
      • Providing personal details including name, date of birth, phone number, address and email address, and where the person intends to stay while in Queensland
    • Provide an undertaking that the person will present for a COVID-19 test if the person develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within 14 days of entering Queensland

Regarding any travel from any part of Victoria (or other COVID-19 hotspots as they are identified by the QLD Govt):

  • The QLD Govt has hardened their approach with this new border declaration, stating that anyone who has been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the 14 days prior to entering Queensland must not enter Queensland unless they are exempt. Exemptions are specified in the Direction and include QLD residents.
  • QLD residents who have been to VIC may enter the state, provided they undertake mandatory quarantine at a quarantine hotel at their own cost
  • The new Direction appears to have removed construction from what QLD considers ‘essential activity’, meaning that QLD residents who return to QLD after performing construction-related work in VIC would also have to enter mandatory quarantine.
  • This is a significant change to all previous QLD Directions throughout the pandemic in which construction has been considered essential and exempt from mandatory quarantine. I will confirm this once the Border Pass Declaration has been updated with the new particulars as of noon tomorrow.

Just to confirm below, there is now no provision for ‘construction’ or ‘FIFO’ under the exemptions list for people travelling from VIC into QLD. The wording of ‘time critical specialist’ has also been updated which no longer broadly covers people in the construction industry.

People from other states and territories may enter QLD without needing to quarantine now, provided they have a valid border pass and have not been in VIC in the last 14 days (or any of the reasons listed below).

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26 June 2020 / COVID-19

The Prime Minister just spoke to the media following today’s National Cabinet Meeting:

  • Nat Cab met again today after a fortnight.
  • 1 million cases a week around the world.
  • Australia remains on track with flat curve despite localised outbreaks in Victoria. Nat Cab staying firm on the 3 Step Plan.
  • Outbreaks will happen, and Victoria is a reminder of that - what matters is the response. Australian public should be reassured by such a strong response which is brought to the homes of the affected areas.
  • Smaller venues which are under 100m2 are now able to have 1 person per 2m2. Previously it was 4m2.
  • A roadmap is being developed for the entertainment industry to allow for better planning – 3, 6,9 and 12 month intervals.
  • A public health workforce resource is being organised to move around the country as outbreaks occur to help with testing and tracing.
  • 14 day quarantine will stay at 14 days.
  • PM and Treasurer meeting with CEOs of all major banks to discuss broadly where everything is at, including talking about loan deferrals and approvals for HomeBuilder
  • Cybersecurity also a main agenda right now
  • Today is CMO’s last day as CMO, will move into Secretary of Department of Health role. Deputy is taking over.

CMO

  • Virus accelerating around the world, fortunate being an island but we will remain at risk from virus via people returning home from overseas
  • Hotel quarantine is not going to be perfect and can’t be absolutely sure every case is detected
  • What is happening in Victoria is exactly what was modelled and planned for and it is being handled by the public health response – go to area, test, isolate and quarantine
  • Likelihood of outbreaks remains high, and we will likely see this in other parts of the country too
  • Testing of those in hotel quarantine will take place during quarantine and before they leave quarantine. It is a burden but it is helping keep it contained / Australians from risk.
  • Collective achievement by group, great result for Australia, everyone has worked very well together with best experts and govt has taken advice which has made our response successful

Responses to questions from media

  • Panic buying is not necessary, outbreaks will happen and it does not mean there is a problem, Australians should have confidence in the public health response
  • All states to reopen in July (except WA). Possibility of states being opened fully but quarantining people from hotspots which PM is in full support of. PM said this was a much better, tailored way of handling the situation than broad state border closures.
  • Music events are being brought considered in stadiums so social distancing can be observed but music festivals are likely to remain off the cards for a little while longer.
  • Unlikely for international travel return for some time – could be late next year, but it is very uncertain as to when so no point speculating.
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1 June 2020 / COVID-19

QLD has updated its roadmap out of COVID with a considerable amount of changes as of 12 noon today. No news on QLD state borders opening yet though. All other states are following a similar path with many restrictions being eased as of today (if not already). More info per each state.

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May 2020

26 May 2020 / COVID-19

Scott Morrison has just spoken at National Press Club and announced the following (in particular around skills / training and industrial relations):

  • Treasury forecasting 850,000 jobs restored once 3 step plan completed by states / territories
  • Budget later this year is part of the “reset” for the economy and it will be one of the most challenging ones seen
  • Consumer confidence climbed back to 80% in past 8 weeks since the dramatic fall
  • Introducing ‘JobMaker’ plan to restore jobs – based on liberal principles
  • Guided by principles to secure Australia’s future and put people first in our economy

Main areas of ‘JobMaker’:

  • We will remain an outward looking, open and sovereign trading economy
    • We will be part of global supply chains that deliver prosperity for jobs, income and business building
    • We will ensure out industries are highly competitive, resilient and able to succeed in a global market
    • Caring for country
  • Responsible management and stewardship to sustainably manage inheritance for future generations (not borrow from the future)
  • Governments must live within their means so debt isn’t piled on future generations
  • Must leverage and build on our skills – modern competitive advanced manufacturing / agriculture / financial / research / technology sectors
  • Opportunity in Australia for those who have a go to get a go
  • Doing “what makes the boat go faster” – skilled labour

PM’s focus today on skills and industrial relations:

  • Complexity of a vocational training system that is clunky and unresponsive to skills demand
    • Lack of clear information on what the skills needs are now and into the future
    • Funding system with inconsistencies and little accountability on results
    • 1400 qualifications / 17,000 units of competencies and wide range of student fees / subsidies across the country
    • The Gov’t has embarked on a range of skills organisation pilots designed for industry to take responsibility for (3 trials so far for human services, digital technology and mining)
    • National Skills Commission has been established – will provide real time data, trends, reporting, analysis and helping students with their career and training via National Careers Institute (based on skills gaps in industries etc)
    • Current funding from the Commonwealth flawed ($1.5 billion untied) on existing programs with no end date, no requirements etc
    • Simplifying system, achieving greater consistency, increasing funding and transparency and performance monitoring, better coordination of loans, subsidies and funding – must go where it needs to go – national pricing and activity based funding models (as used by the National Hospitals System)
  • Genuinely heartened of constructive approach from employers, employees, unions and ACTU to find practical solutions to keep Australians in jobs
    • Current system is not fit for purpose – scale of jobs challenge we face
    • IR system settled in to complacency – unions seeking …
    • System lost sight of its purpose – need to get it right so businesses can succeed
    • System retreated to tribalism, conflict and ideology posturing
    • Must change or more Australians will lose their jobs – or kept out of jobs
  • This process is expected to run through to September – make use of time we have and get through it quickly
  • Participation of the groups is being invited without prejudice for good honest cooperation
  • Explore and hopefully find a pathway to sensible reform – one goal – make jobs and maximise genuine opportunity and cooperation that is vital to create jobs and return to economic prosperity
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15 May 2020 / COVID-19

The PM just addressed the media following today's National Cabinet Meeting:

  • Today marks 2 months since National Cabinet first met
  • Leaders have met more often in 2 months than in the last 10 years dealing with the pandemic and a lot has been accomplished
  • 600,000 Australians have lost jobs as per results yesterday
  • Supports in place for health and economic to help Australians through this difficult time
  • Framework announced last week - 3 steps to reopen Australia, now need to get Australians back in jobs and re-build confidence and get momentum going
  • Today NC briefed by Treasury, RBA and APRA on yesterday's unemployment figures, impacts across the country and opportunity for how Feds and NC can work together to get people back into jobs
  • Stability had returned to financial markets - still fragile but very functional
  • Banking system has stood up well, but we all must be concious that there are limits
  • Its essential as we move forward that we enable that credit to flow from our banking systems to reopen to rehire and move ahead
  • Insolvencies are running below average - a direct result from temporary measures in place protecting businesses from collapse
  • Super system responding well - $11.7 billion in claims - consistent with treasurey estimates - no liquidity issues according to APRA
  • $90.1 billion Aus Gov securities raised since March 20 - markets are investing in Australia and is reliable in an uncertain time
  • This finanicial rasing is essential to provide economic support and lifelines to the Australian economy
  • Positive boost to tourism this morning with net tourism imports at $20 billion per year up for grabs by operators internally for Australians unable to travel internationally right now
  • Focus and advice from economic advisors is to opening the economy safely
  • 1 week down, States & Territories are overwemingly moving through step 1 of the roadmap
  • Welcome sign from yesterday's unemployment numbers shows Australia is back
  • Our economy will look very different on the other side
  • NC has reaffirmed its commitment to work together to make the necessary changes required to make the economy again
  • Today NC has made agreed to start reopening all elective surgery at the paces states / territories set
  • NC also adopted the National Health & Wellbeing and Pandemic Plan - $48.1 million of additional support for impelementation of the plan from feds and others from states / territories at local level
  • Telehealth now getting mental health consultations back to levels seen prior to the pandemic
  • Biosecurity Act extended for emergency response powers for regional communities in partnership with States, Territories & Indigenous Leaders to continue keeping communities safe

Update from the CMO:

  • Happy about the release of the important new Mental Health & Wellbeing Plan
  • Reinforced the requirements for new ways of life with social distancing, hygiene etc
  • Mentioned extremely rare cases of children infected with COVID-19 and X condition
  • No tests will relieve people out of quarantine
  • 50 current COVID related patients in hospitals around Australia - only 12 on ventilators
  • Hospital capacity around 50-60%
  • Room for further expansion in elective surgery back to full service depending on states and territories
  • Important that Australians don't neglect their general health and mental health requirements

Minister Hunt:

  • Stress of health, loneliness of isolation, stress of finances have all created specific mental health challenges
  • Everyone would have seen the pressures in place right across Australia
  • One of the most important things is to provide more mental health support
  • A range of financial supports already in place
  • Wanted to work with NC on a mental health and wellbeing plan to support the pandemic requirements
  • Supports whats happening with data in real time
  • [Sorry missed the end of Minister Hunt's speech with a call]

Deputy CMO for Mental Health and Wellbeing:

  • Mental health is an integral part to everyone
  • Engaged with people to respond to the needs of mental health and wellbeing which resulted in some key things:
    • Diversity of mental illness, health and wellbeing
    • Particular vulnerable groups and need to meet the needs
    • We need to look at things we engage in that are risky (substance abuse, gambling, violence)
  • Committed to being there for anyone that needs help - call it out, reach out
  • Always on the look out for those at risk to suicide
  • Stay connected - gives people hope - which everyone needs
  • 957,000 mental health services delivered over the last 4 weeks (up on next week)
  • Need more engagement from people on mental health
  • This plan is to address gaps in the existing support - data will drive this and collection is so important to better understand what to expect and moving to services where they are needed
  • The plan must reach into community to allow people to access these services - where they live, learn, work and the jurisdictions have all signed up to this
  • The plan also ensures that if you come into a service you can access exactly what you need
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8 May 2020 / COVID-19

The Prime Minister just spoke to the media following today’s National Cabinet Meeting:

  • Every job matters no matter what you do – every job is essential
  • We’ve been fighting the virus and we’re winning
  • The Gov’t has put place and delivering the economic lifeline to get us through this and buy time
  • Thirdly, particularly today, moving ahead with reopening our economy with a clear plan, a clear framework
  • The next step beyond this is the plan to grow momentum to get the economy back up and running with confidence and plan for growth in the years ahead
  • Today National Cabinet agreed to a 3 step plan to be adopted as part of a national framework to achieve a COVID safe economy and society
  • Plan to move through all of these steps in July
  • We must walk before we run
  • We need be careful to preserve our gains
  • There will be risks, more cases and setbacks – not everything will go to plan
  • There will be inconsistencies – states / territories must move at their own pace and will cut and paste out of this plan to suit their circumstances
  • No one is perfect – everyone is doing their best and we cannot expect otherwise
  • We cannot allow our fear of going backwards stop us going forward
  • plan will get us back where we need to be as quickly as we can
  • Treasury is forecasting 850,000 jobs will be restored in months ahead
  • The Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Australia:
  1. Step 1
    1. greater connections with friends and family
    2. gatherings of 10 people in businesses and public places
    3. 5 people at home
    4. working from home if it works for you and your employer
    5. kids back at schools
    6. local playgrounds and outdoor boot camps (with social distancing and in max group of 10)
    7. retail and small cafes / restaurants reopening (with social distancing)
    8. interstate recreational travel
    9. 30 people allowed at outdoor funerals
    10. 10 people at weddings
  2. Step 2
    1. Gatherings of up to 20 people
    2. Reopening of cinemas, galleries, more retail, organised community support, beauty parlours
    3. Subject to change as things evolve from Step 1 / expert medical advice
  3. Step 3
    1. gatherings of up to 100 people
    2. clearer after first 2 steps
    3. more work to do on this step after 1 and 2 better known
    4. hoping most workers will be back in the workplace
    5. interstate travel likely to resume
    6. pubs clubs and possible gaming venues will reopen
  • National Cabinet has agreed that in July we would have moved through these 3 steps across the country
  • Reinforced that this plan is completely up to states / territories to implement on their own timetable and they are responsible for communicating it to their local people
  • The other 3 criteria to enable the early announcement of easing of restrictions remain the same:
  1. Further medical evidence that the plan would not produce undue risk
  2. Tracing capability
  3. Ability to control any outbreaks
  • Downloading CODVIDSafe app is the most important tool moving forward for people as they start coming into more contact with others from the easing of restrictions (total downloads now at 5.3 million users)
  • For industry and businesses – its all about getting COVIDSafe plans in place for your workplaces and your premises, Safe Work Australia doing excellent work in this area
  • National Cabinet will be reviewing progress of the 3 Step Plan every 3 weeks and implement changes as needed

The CMO’s comments:

  • Updated slideshow shown demonstrating Australia’s flattening of the curve – a small increase in last few days, related to clusters at Meat Works in VIC and Newmarch House aged care in NSW
  • Very low case numbers despite these two clusters
  • Still need to be cautious and wary on our next steps
  • Good news on testing – 730,000 tests to far, just shy of 6900 cumulative cases at the moment, 6 of our 8 states have had several days of no new cases
  • Slide shown with a chart of various measures introduced vs the case numbers to show the impact
  • Roadmap to COVIDSafe Australia Step 1 – Cautious, gentle, not doing too much at once – we are in unchartered territories – not many countries like Australia in the position to start relaxing measures with such low case numbers – we don’t want to lose control – need to make sure cases are managed – everyone must keep practicing social distancing, hygiene, staying home when unwell no matter how mild your cough or sore throat is and every single person with potential symptoms is to have a COVID test
  • Roadmap to COVIDSafe Australia Step 2 – looking at larger gatherings, may be bigger in some states with good COVIDSafe plans, gyms, indoor fitness, cinemas, beauty therapy etc – still a bit of work to be done
  • Roadmap to COVIDSafe Australia Step 3 – much more relaxed, still lots of work to be done – we have more certainty on step 1, but each state / territory will define and how they implement that – hoping for more travel around the country
  • The Gov’t asking the community to keep those personal responsibilities up – distancing and good health – every Australian must do these things
  • If we do the right thing, we can get through the next few months to gradually get us into a COVIDSafe Australia

Answers to media questions:

  • There will be outbreaks moving forward – but we must keep going ahead – that’s why we need to have the plans in place (testing, tracing and controlling) and to ensure Australian’s are doing the right thing (COVIDSafe app, social distancing, hygiene, workplaces with plans)
  • Border restrictions – interstate travel – they are not part of the national baseline – decisions of States / Territories – each will decide when it is prudent to
  • International travel – intl students – there is a possibility in step 3 to look at how students can come back into Australia under strict conditions (still to be worked through, but open to anything to help the economy back and firing again)
  • The Gov’t is acting on bringing projects plans forward to help the economy – they wanted to get through the issues around reopening the economy and now there is a clear plan in place for businesses to prepare – it is now important for states / territories to communicate and implement local plans build confidence
  • Moving forward there is likely going to be a permanent change in the cavalier attitude going of work with a cold or flu – probably two permanent changes – 1) regular good quality hand hygiene and 2) staying at home if you’re unwell mentality – it will help keep others protected
View More
6 May 2020 / COVID-19

The PM just addressed the media:

  • Joined by IR Minister, Christian Porter & Chair of the COVID19 Commission, Nev Power
  • No matters to report from a health point of view today. That will come on Friday at next Nat Cab meeting. CMO will hold normal press briefing though (not sure if this meant today)
  • Today’s focus if briefing – getting Australia back to work.
  • Hundreds of thousands of Australians have been protected in terms of health and lives have been saved.
  • Decisions made that have managed to curb the health and economic impacts – costs would be greater if they weren’t made, but still these decisions have come at a cost
  • To get Australians back to work, their workplaces have to be COVID safe, National Cab is working on what a COVID safe economy will look like.
  • More than 1 million JobSeeker applications processed, 5 million on JobKeeper, 1 million accessing super, 384,000 businesses receiving $1B cash flow assistance
  • [ScoMo then showed slides regarding impacts on economy (jobs/activity) – will circulate when available online]
  • Economic activity and job availability falls in all states (particularly VIC/NSW/QLD)
  • Not seeking to delay getting economy back on track but must be taken carefully, with COVID safe workplaces.
  • Numbers/outbreaks will occur when restrictions are eased.
  • Businesses, employers and employees need the tools to operate a COVID safe workplace.
  • Downloads of COVID app – 5 million today, 16 million targeted, Govt is about 1/3 of the way there.
  • App’s job is to keep people safe. If you come into contact with someone, you will be able to be contacted and you can make decisions around this. First job of the app is to keep ‘YOU’ safe – best reason to download. Reiterated people needing to keep downloading.
  • Restrictions costing $4B a week.

Christian Porter

  • Health and safety strict legal requirements, all employers have to comply to manage risks, and will need to do so with COVID
  • Monitoring and enforcement occurs in each state/territory
  • Nat Cab has adopted safe workplace principles – consistency in approach across Australia
  • COVID Safe App – very important to get back to normal
  • COVID19 Planning Toolkit – being worked on
  • SafeWork Australia COVID19 website - 1 million visits, a lot higher than normal hits to SafeWork website
  • SafeWork website will provide consistent detailed granular level information as a head start to every business in Australia, so as to the best way to cope with the new COVID safe environment
  • It will describe what measures will mean for a particular jurisdiction, type of business – how you will engage social distancing/hygiene/cleaning/PPE – how this will apply to different types of business
  • It will help to safely reanimate businesses

Nev Power

  • Working with everyone across industries, working with businesses to help with issues, on how to operate and how to get businesses ready
  • 4 key issues
    • Reconfiguring and restructuring work sites, business by business
    • How to respond if there is an incident
    • How do we return that workplace to a safe place to work
    • Communication process, ensuring everyone knows what to do
  • With SafeWork, we will have a complete COVID19 toolkit available.
  • Some businesses already operating in reconfigured workplace, some not yet there, some need help.
  • Want to get people back at work, but while keeping work safe.
  • Configure workplace to introduce social distancing / hygiene measures as a higher level of activity is introduced and as the economy gets back on track again.
  • We don’t want to introduce restrictions again, we want to be able to deal with outbreaks as they occur instead.
  • Looking forward to a more relaxed restriction world but we still need to do the right thing.

Q&A

  • ScoMo wants students back to school and is based on health advice as it consistently has been.
  • Friday will be a roadmap session which shows Australia the path back to normality.
  • PM Ardern joined today, first time NZ PM has joined for a very long time. PM invited her. They discussed a safe travel zone but still some time away – but wanted to flag so it can be done in future.
  • ScoMo doesn’t want open/shut, open/shut of businesses.
View More
1 May 2020 / COVID-19

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
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April 2020

24 April 2020 / COVID-19

The PM just made the following statements:

  • National Cabinet today was able to note good progress that has been made on those core requirements that are in place to enable our road back – to help us be in a confident position to ease restrictions
  • On the wearing of masks – the medical expert panel advice says it is not recommended they are worn and important to note that wearing masks doesn’t protect you from infection, but if you have symptoms, it is a good measure to protect others
  • On schools – medical advice confirmation that 4sqm rule and 1.5m distancing between students during classroom activities is not appropriate and not required
  • It is agreed to develop National Principles for sport and recreation for consistency in next phase:
    • Elite and professional level (major sporting codes, Olympics etc)
    • Community competitive level
    • Individual passive level (hiking, surfing etc)
  • National Cabinet also agreed on new COVID-19 Safe Workplace Principles which will be released shortly – this will:
    • Ensure Australians can go back to work
    • Make families feel safe going back to work
    • Provide helpful tools / procedures and advice to stay at work

·                 Aged care – there is a meeting this evening that CMO and Minister for Aged Care will participate – the Federal Gov’t is flagging that should they not see an improvement in this area under the voluntary arrangements in place the Cth would require aged care facilities to apply exemption from the Fed Gov’t if they don’t want to follow the guidance from health authorities (ie to stop isolating elderly people – this is being put back on the industry to make the right decisions before intervention)

·                 Casting modelling that CMO is going to present – some notes:

o        We have moved through many phases of the virus:

1.               “Export phase” – when the virus first exported and transmitted to other countries – Aus implemented fast response to protect people

2.               “Repatriation phase” – bringing people home which brought the virus into Australia

3.               Currently in the “Community phase” – virus now moves within our own community – requiring different tools building on what is already in place (tracing, rapid response etc)

·                 Working towards decisions over the next few weeks under guidance from medical experts and using data to provide guidance on the measures required – States / Territories will continue to make their own changes also

·                 National Cabinet is meeting again next Friday

CMO’s comments:

·        As at today – total of 6,673 cases – 78 lives lost

·        Number of people in intensive care units – 43 at the moment, 29 on ventilators – progressively have fallen

·        5,000 cases have recovered

·        Big risk is new clusters appearing (Victoria reported one this morning)

·        Presented advanced versions of Pandemic Intelligence and Surveillance Plan – to test extensively and detect nay clusters that may appear in coming weeks

·        Every state / territory has broaden testing criteria from today so anyone with symptoms can get tested – this will significantly expand population of testing and broad reach of passive surveillance (also looking at active surveillance of people to proactively identify potential clusters)

·        Nation Cab want to be absolutely confident that we are in a good position before easing any restrictions

·        Reinforced masks are not recommended – generally not good quality – provides false sense of security

·        [Modelling presented] – will provide this when released – as at 6am this morning only 13 cases reported in 24 hours

·        Effective reproduction has dropped significantly based on last week’s data methodology (mostly just below 1 in all States / Territories)

·        Forecasted case numbers are at the lower end of what was originally predicted (based on data we have – new science, not reliable, but still advancing)

View More
23 April 2020 / COVID-19

The PM has just made the following comments:

  • 5,000 additional staff have been added to Services Australia with another 3,000 redeployed within Services Australia and public sector to assist the effort
  • So far 587,686 JobSeeker and related applications have been processed
  • Treasurer has been meeting regularly with the banks – they understand there are frustrations with accessing bridging finance from banks etc and the Gov’t is working through it with them to ensure availability
  • Business feedback to the Gov’t is important to keep banks on the mark
  • The Gov’t is looking at the recovery phase with fresh eyes with any previously proposed reforms over the last decade to see how they can help:
    • Important reform documents being reviewed (ie from Productivity Commission, the Shifting the Dial Report etc)
    • Looking at all important policy options to have an effective and sustainable impact on the recovery
    • Engaging with the many partners (National Cabinet, ACTU, all good relationships forged and continuing to do this)
    • Not a matter of dusting off old reports and putting them in place, looking at them for today to see how they can best help Australians get back on their feet

The Treasurer’s comments:

  • Firmly in the implementation phase following parliament’s sign off of new reforms and support packages
  • ATO has approved 456,000 applications totalling $3.8 billion for early access to superannuation (avg. withdrawal is around $8,000)
  • ATO has also paid out $3 billion to 177,000 businesses employing 2.1 million Australians as part of the cash flow boost measure (min $20K and up to $100K)
  • ATO has brought in extra resources to process extra claims demand ahead of the original start date (28 April)
  • $750 cash payment has gone to 6.8 million people totalling $5.1 billion
  • 900,000 businesses have registered interest for JobKeeper payments (275,000 have already filled in the application in 2 days)
  • Very conscious of the important role banks are playing in bridging payments to help them pay staff – today there was a telephone hookup with 4 bank CEOs and Tax Commissioner to emphasise the need for banks to provide support and have agreed to establish a dedicated hotline for customers to call to receive bridging finance ahead of money from JobKeeper available – they have also agreed to expedite all those applications to the front of the queue for processing

Relevant questions from the media:

  • Construction companies are laying people off in certain areas of their businesses / groups and aren’t eligible for JobKeeper
    • o        The Gov’t acknowledges issues where some projects might be finishing in areas of group businesses, if this is the case businesses should speak to the ATO to see what can be done
    • o        Current Fed, State / Territory gov’t construction jobs are being maintained and still underway
    • o        Looking to put the pedal down to keep gov’t funded construction work coming out
View More
21 April 2020 / COVID-19

The Prime Minister just held a media conference:

  • Two thirds of the cases in Australia have now recovered (less than 2,500 active cases right now)
  • Need to maintain efforts and not become complacent to ensure we don’t end up with an increase like other countries (ie Singapore)
  • View of National Cabinet today is to stick to our plan – its working, its saving lives and livelihoods and we need to maintain it across the country
  • Baseline restrictions remain in place – but in terms of easing restrictions – it was made clear last week what the markers are:
    • There needs to be an effective rate of transmission consistently less than 1
    • Putting in place the testing and tracing and response capabilities that are necessary for us to stay on top of any outbreak or any risks that could emerge
    • Some states / territories may ease their own restrictions at their own discretion depending on suppression / no new cases
  • Elective surgery restrictions will be lifted after Anzac Day – gradual restart of services
    • All Category 2 procedures or equivalent procedures in the private sector
    • Selected Category 3 procedures (IVF, screening programs, post cancer reconstructions, some basic dental procedures, all procedures for children under 18, all joint replacements (knees, hips and shoulders), all cataract and eye procedures, endoscopy and colonoscopy)
    • A review ill happen 11 May 2020 to determine if all surgeries and procedures can then recommence more broadly
  • Estimate that this will reactivate around 25% of activity in elective surgery in public and private hospitals
  • Priority will be given on the basis of clinical determinations by the relevant health professionals for both public and private systems
  • On aged care – after reviewing recent events in facilities – the Gov’t is very concerned about restrictions over and above what was recommended – resulting in isolation for elderly people – National Cabinet agreed that a strong reminder that residents are still able to have maximum of 2 visitors per day (close residents and support people in the resident’s room), sit in common areas and not be confined to their rooms
  • Further restrictions in aged care facilities could apply when there is an outbreak in the facility or the area where the facilities are located
  • Vulnerable and elderly people in the community also should not be isolated at home and it is acceptable for people to visit them in a safe and controlled manner to provide care and assistance
  • On schools – National Cabinet reinforced that there is no requirement from the expert medical panel for 4 sqm rule in classrooms – smaller class sizes is the recommendation, and this is practically assessed at an individual school level
  • Briefed National Cabinet today on the new tracking app that is under development and it has received in principle support but still requires a bit more work – it:
    • Protects Australians in their own health
    • Helps other Australians to keep them safe
    • Ensures we can get back to a more normal setting where more uptake on the app is undertaken
  • 517,000 JobSeeker claims have been processed (normally this is the number of claims in a year processed in 6 weeks)

The Health Minister also made some comments:

  • Australia has recorded less than 1% growth in new cases for 9 days straight
  • We’ve achieved our national goal of 7,500 ventilators with new ones arriving this week
  • 60 million masks have arrived in Australia with 22 million already distributed and another 11 million over the coming week
  • We’ve already secured another 100 million masks over the next 6 weeks
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16 April 2020 / COVID-19

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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16 July 2020 / COVID-19

Please see below advice regarding Virgin reinstating a domestic flight schedule. In short, Virgin is now available again for some domestic routes.  

As a side note, for people who cannot avoid flying in this time, Tabi can provide you with personal bottles of sanitiser and KN95 masks for wearing on planes & in airports. The risk in these circumstances comes from people with COVID-19 flying on planes or being at airports – not the environmental conditions of the plane or airport itself.

Please forward to anyone that needs this information.



BUSINESS NEWS

16 April 2020

Reinstated Minimal Domestic Schedule

Virgin Australia is pleased to respond to a request from the Australian Government to resume flying an underwritten, minimal domestic schedule, to transport passengers and keep important freight corridors open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The schedule will commence tomorrow (Friday 17 April 2020) and run for a period of eight weeks, until 7 June 2020. Flights will progressively go on sale today, so please refer to your Travel Manager or visit www.virginaustralia.com

The minimal domestic schedule is in addition to the international repatriation flights to Los Angeles and Hong Kong that Virgin Australia is operating at the request of the Australian Government. Virgin Australia continues to transport cargo internationally and domestically and provide charter services to our resources and adhoc guests.

From Friday 17 April, Virgin Australia will operate 64 return services each week as per the following schedule:

Route

Frequency

Adelaide - Melbourne

3 x weekly

Melbourne - Adelaide

3 x weekly

Broome - Perth

3 x weekly

Perth - Broome

3 x weekly

Brisbane - Cairns

3 x weekly

Cairns - Brisbane

3 x weekly

Brisbane - Melbourne

7 x weekly

Melbourne - Brisbane

7 x weekly

Brisbane - Mackay

5 x weekly

Mackay - Brisbane

5 x weekly

Brisbane - Rockhampton

3 x weekly

Rockhampton - Brisbane

3 x weekly

Brisbane - Sydney

7 x weekly

Sydney - Brisbane

7 x weekly

Brisbane - Townsville

3 x weekly

Townsville - Brisbane

3 x weekly

Canberra - Melbourne

3 x weekly

Melbourne - Canberra

3 x weekly

Kalgoorlie - Perth

2 x weekly

Perth - Kalgoorlie

2 x weekly

Kununurra - Perth

2 x weekly

Perth - Kununurra

2 x weekly

Karratha - Perth

2 x weekly

Perth - Karratha

2 x weekly

Melbourne - Perth

7 x weekly

Perth - Melbourne

7 x weekly

Melbourne - Sydney

7 x weekly

Sydney - Gold Coast

7 x weekly

Gold Coast - Sydney

3 x weekly

Sydney - Gold Coast

3 x weekly

Perth - Port Hedland

2 x weekly

Port Hedland - Perth

2 x weekly

Perth - Newman

2 x weekly

Newman - Perth

2 x weekly

Like all Virgin Australia services, guests will continue to earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points and Status Credits whenever they fly.


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14 April 2020 / COVID-19

As you are likely aware there has been some recent significant changes to QLD border restrictions.

Below is intended as a general update. Please forward to anyone who needs this information and contact me if you have any questions.

General information

  • A QLD resident is a person who ordinally resides in QLD (as evidenced by a drivers’ licence or other ID)
  • All QLD residents moving between QLD and other states require a border pass on re-entry to QLD: https://www.qld.gov.au/border-pass
  • This applies to people both flying in and driving in, as well as border community residents
  • As QLD Government defines construction work as essential, QLD residents undertaking construction work are allowed to travel interstate (including hotspots) and will not have to self-isolate on re-entry to QLD. More info on this below.
  • Virgin Australia has grounded all domestic flights (except one SYD-MEL route). If you had flights booked with Virgin, CTM will be in touch to discuss options
  • The attached documents have been updated and supersede all other versions
  • You should avoid travel if possible. If you cannot avoid travelling, please read on and prepare yourself for working from home in QLD on re-entry (as a precaution only)

QLD residents leaving QLD for construction work purposes

  • Construction work in NSW/VIC
    • These states’ borders are open.
    • You may still be asked what you are doing in the state on arrival into the airport / if pulled up by Police so it’s important to be carrying a letter (template attached) as evidence.
  • Construction work in NT/TAS/ACT/WA
    • These states/territories’ borders are restricted.
    • Construction workers should be able to enter without being asked to self-isolate, but each state has different requirements for providing evidence of this.
    • Please contact me to discuss your options further.

QLD residents returning to QLD after being in another state for construction work purposes

  • QLD residents who have been in another state for construction work purposes should not have to self-isolate for 14 days on entry back into QLD, as construction is defined by QLD as essential work.
  • On re-entry, you must be carrying a:
    • QLD Border Pass (filled out shortly before re-entry so the information provided is accurate)
  • It is important that you are also carrying the attached with you on re-entry to QLD (either flying/driving in):
    • Hutchinson Builders’ letter (filled out with relevant information about your travels)
    • Hutchinson Builders’ Health Plan (filled out with relevant details. Note: only fill in the grey highlighted fields. If you need any amendments made to this plan based on another state or territory’s requirements, please contact me first)
    • Hutchinson Builders’ COVID-19 Plan (latest version available on Toolbox here)
  • The above extra documentation (besides the Border Pass) is precautionary and to be carried in case QLD Police request it on your re-entry.
  • The purpose of doing this is to avoid being forced to self-isolate for 14 days as you were in another state carrying out essential construction work.
  • If you develop symptoms, do not come to work and immediately seek medical assessment.

QLD residents flying within QLD for construction work purposes

  • As you are not travelling to another state, the above should not apply
  • However, as a precaution, you should be carrying the above documents (Letter, Health Plan and HB COVID-19 Plan) as evidence in case you are pulled up by QLD Police

Advice regarding Queensland Government declared hotspots

  • The QLD Government has now published a list of areas it considers ‘COVID-19 hotspots’ here: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/hotspots-covid-19
  • However, as QLD Government defines construction work as essential, QLD residents undertaking construction work are allowed to travel to hotspots and will not have to self-isolate on re-entry (as per above)
  • This is not recommended. If travel to hotspots cannot be avoided, you should prepare yourself for having to work from home on return to QLD. For example, this could mean ensuring you have a computer set up at home that is connected to Hutchies’ network before you leave QLD. This is purely a precaution in case you develop symptoms or something changes whilst you are interstate and you are then required to self-isolate.

Please contact Tabi Ward if you have any questions.

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7 April 2020 / COVID-19

Scott Morrison just made the following announcements following a National Cabinet Meeting this morning:

  • Less than 10% of COVID-19 cases in Australia are through community transmission at this point – avoiding many tens of thousands of cases that could have occurred by this point
  • This Easter long weekend – everyone must stay at home. If they don’t, it will undo all the things that have been successful so far.
  • Australia’s modelling by the Doherty Institute will be released today – its theoretical – its not based on Australian case data or measures and does not predict what will happen in Australia – its based on international data – it proves up the theory of flattening the curve through the measures Australia has in place – further modelling will be undertaken to incorporate Australian cases and responses
  • Mandatory Commercial Tenancy Code will be legislated and regulated by each State and Territory and will apply to tenancies where the tenant or landlord are eligible for JobKeeper and have a turnover of $50 million or less
  • It is based on good faith leasing principles – landlords must not terminate the lease or drawer on the tenant’s security and likewise tenants must honour the lease
  • Landlords will be required to reduce the rent to take into account the reduction of business through a combination of waivers of rent and deferrals of rent – waivers must account of 50% at least of the losses
  • Deferrals must be covered by the lease term (spreading out the costs over the period) or extension to the lease if it expires in under 6 months to spread the costs out
  • The Leasing Code will be underpinned by a binding mediation process by States / Territories

Professor Murphy presented the modelling and how influential it is to help Australia with measures and tools to remain on the front food with COVID. This reports will be available later today – I will circulate once released.

PM showed the Safe Work Australia process for instructions of dealing with a COVID-19 case.

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3 April 2020 / COVID-19

The Prime Minister just addressed the media following a National Cabinet Meeting:

  • New phase for the National Cabinet Meetings now – having established the many baseline supports and measures in place already
  • Now it’s about reviewing data and measures on a regular basis to adjust as necessary
  • If the virus was still growing at the rate it was 10 days ago Australia would have 10,000 cases today based on modelling (we have just over 5,000) – new cases are down to 5% a day at the moment
  • We must continue to do keep the pressure on and abide by all measures to stop the spread
  • We are now at the suppression phase and need to put the pressure down on the virus with the controls ready for the recovery phase
  • Some modelling work is underway to look at scenarios of how the virus will pace under current measures and data
  • At the current rate doing what we’re doing and with upgrades to ICU capacity and ventilators, the trajectory is promising and encouraging (but there are no guarantees)
  • Agreed today by National Cabinet:
    • Launch of a new daily national dashboard of key statistics with simple summary of the Chief Medical Officer in the afternoon (on health.gov.au)
    • Places of worship will now be considered ‘workplaces’ for Easter and religious services (to enable streaming to the public) – Churches / places or worship are not open to the public, but this will enable priests etc to conduct streaming events
    • Holiday working visa holders in Australia must self-isolate for 14 days prior to any movements within Australia out to a work placement (ie fruit picking
    • Commercial leases – very close to finalising an approach
    • Industry code for commercial and retail tenancies has been developed with industry stakeholders and will be released in the next few days
    • Each industry is to complete their own code and the code would be made mandatory for tenancies of turnover of less than $50M and participant of JobKeeper program (30% loss of revenue) will be covered under the Code (Landlord and Tenant will be supported) – both parties must negotiate in good faith, there is a proportionality principle is simply – the turnover decrease of the tenant must be reflected into the rental waiver of the landlord – Gov’t does not wish to be prescriptive about this – but landlords and tenants need to work through it together – banks need to come to the party but the Gov’t recognises they are not parties to this landlord + tenant agreement – both tenants and landlords will be protected under the terms
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2 April 2020 / COVID-19

The Prime Minister just made the following announcements:

  • The measures Australians are adapting to in our daily lives will be in place for at least the next six months – we need to be prepared for that
  • The rate of growth has fallen on a daily basis to single digit numbers – but it’s not enough – community transmission is being monitored closely
  • Childcare and early childcare education is critical – particularly for those Australians who rely on it so they can go to work every day – if you have a job in this economy, then that is an essential job – its important that parents have access to childcare for the many months ahead and the government wants to see centres remain open
  • The Australian Government is making child care support free for people who need it as of Sunday night (April 6) under a new system which will provide this relief
  • They will pay 50% of the sector’s fee revenue up to the existing hourly rate cap based on a point in time before parents started withdrawing their children
  • JobKeeper wage subsidy will be synchronised to support the childcare sector’s wages to reduce costs, keep people employed and centres open
  • Schools will be the same to keep Australia running
  • While we have to be isolated, we can remain connected and Australians are finding innovative ways to do this

Industrial Relations update from the Attorney-General for Australia:

  • Series of reforms to Modern Awards and IR System undertaken in the past few weeks
  • It has been done quiet and cooperative
  • 10s of thousands of jobs saved from these changes
  • Change the equivalent of 30 years
  • Temporary reform to last the length of the pandemic
  • 121 Modern Awards – very significant changes
  • Restaurants, hospitality and Clerks are most significant awards affected
  • Key changes:
    • Individual worker performing 1 type of duty in 1 classification
    • Can now be reallocated to another classification under the Award
    • Allowed for working from home abilities (this was previously unlawful under the Award)
    • Allowed for taking longer durations of annual leave at half the pay
    • The idea is to introduce more flexibility to help secure jobs and prevent the failure of businesses
  • Next steps to be undertaken:
  • 103 Modern Awards will be changed to allow for:
    • Two weeks of Unpaid Pandemic Leave
    • Allowing for the taking of double the length of leave at half the pay
  • These changes are critical to protecting the supply and logistics chain workers in Australia
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March 2020

30 March 2020 / COVID-19

The VIC Premier released this statement earlier today. It is in line with what the National Cabinet announced last night.: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/statement-from-the-premier-35/

Key messages:

  • National Cabinet has agreed to significant new restrictions on public gatherings and will also enforce that where people can stay at home, they must stay at home.
  • My message to every Victorian is that there are only four reasons to leave your home: food and supplies, medical care, exercise, and work or education.
  • That’s why we are also restricting gatherings to no more than two people except for members of your immediate household and for work or education.
  • If people breach these directions, they face on-the-spot fines of $1,652 for individuals and $9,913 for businesses. Larger fines can also be issued through the courts.
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30 March 2020 / COVID-19

The Prime Minister just made the following announcements:

  • The Australian Government is delivering a plan to provide Australians with an economic lifeline for the many months ahead
  • They are trying to protect and preserve the economy
  • Many countries in the months ahead and perhaps beyond that may see their economies collapse or hollow out
  • In the very worst situations some countries may fall into chaos
  • This will not be Australia
  • It will be dealt with using very Australian solutions
  • Using Australian systems to address these situations
  • Keeping Australians in jobs and businesses in jobs
  • Cushioning the blow for those who will be significantly impacts
  • The latest package will come at a cost of $130 billion over the next six months is in addition to the $70 billion of support already announced by the Australian Government (plus $15 billion of support by the States and Territories)
  • Support the jobs and livelihoods of more than 6 million Australians estimated to need the life line
  • The Federal Government is today introducing $1,500 JobKeeper fortnightly payment to keep Australians in their jobs
  • The Government will pay employers who will pay their employees and to make sure they do using the Single Touch Payroll system
  • To keep them in the businesses that employ them and bounce back on the other side
  • Want to keep the engine of our economy running through this crisis
  • Businesses large and small across the entire economy will share this with the welfare system to provide this income support
  • Sees every Australian worker the same way no matter what you earn
  • Extending arrangements for JobSeeker to those who are receiving payments / seeking to receive where they have a partner pay income test will be changed to annual income of $79,620 per annum to broader access to the payment (previously it was $48,000)

The Treasurer announced:

  • The Government is working closely with banks, utility and insurance companies to help customers get to the other side
  • Focused on keeping Australians in jobs and businesses in business
  • The JobKeeper payment is $1,500 flat payment per fortnight (about 70% of the median wage) and applies to everyone full-time and part-time, sole traders (casuals who have been with their employe for more than 12 months)
  • Employers and sole traders can apply to the ATO from today and back dated to 30 March 2020
  • If someone has been stood down since 1 March 2020, they are still eligible
  • Support applies to businesses with a fall in revenue of 30% (I missed the revenue for this category, but will update once I know)
  • and to businesses with a turnover of more than $1 billion with a revenue fall of 50%
  • There is no superannuation guarantee on the payment
  • Employers can top up the payment if an employee is paid more than $1,500 per fortnight
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29 March 2020 / COVID-19

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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28 March 2020 / COVID-19

Due to all the rules and regulations that the government have put in place, all social gatherings have been suspended.

The decision has been made to cease all social club deductions until further notice.

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24 March 2020 / COVID-19

The Prime Minister just made the following announcements post National Cabinet Meeting this morning:

  • Over the course of the past week 2/3 of decrease of movement across Australia … 80% over last week alone – significant change on the way people are taking this message and supporting each other
  • Thank you from the Commonwealth, States and Territories, Australia – keep doing it – you’re saving lives and you’re saving livelihoods – this has been a significant shift
  • Need to keep seeing it taking place - let’s keep doing it Australia
  • Washing hands, staying 1.5m away, only going out when you absolutely have to and just doing simple things like not going to the pub etc
  • Even though we have to be isolated no Australian has to go through this alone
  • Australia has the highest testing rates in the world today
  • Efforts at commonwealth and state levels are all making a difference
  • It is a vital time and we are all getting on top of it and we need to keep on top of it
  • This weekend the challenge will be there but keep doing the right thing to save lives and livelihoods
  • Business are being agile and adapting even under significant change and distress
  • Others it has been devastating which is being seen as people try and access our safety nets
  • We’re in 2 fights – battling it on two fronts – both important – all the measures implemented and the economic crisis caused as a result
  • Both will take lives and livelihoods
  • Commonwealth, States and Territories will all be doing more to provide whatever assistance they can
  • No decision on the health front is being taken lightly
  • Every day someone is in a job for just another day is worth fighting for
  • Keeping things running everyday matters – it matters for the jobs, businesses, their families hence it matters to the PM, Prems & CM
  • The Govt will not take them for convenience … every decision has very real deep personal impacts it can place on them at the most difficult of times
  • Further actions – targeted against our greatest area of concern:
    • Enables us to deal with the increasing pressure of Australians coming home
    • We can now focus on that because of the work Australians have done over the past week on behaviours
    • 2/3 of new cases are still Australians who have returned home – very different to the rest of the world
    • As time has gone on – the risk of those returning from other parts is increasing because other countries have the virus too
    • Strengthening the enforcement of self-isolation for people returning – Isolation Declaration Card has been used so far – this is now enforceable by law at a State and Territory level now with strong penalties for non-compliance
    • In addition to the arrival declaration card – as of midnight tomorrow (11.59PM Saturday) all States & Territories will be quarantining all arrivals in hotels and other accom for 2 weeks in mandatory isolation before they can return home (if home is SA, Perth, Sydney etc and they arrive in Melbourne – Melbourne is where they will do their quarantine)
    • Each State will be doing the heavy lifting themselves to enforce this measure in a reciprocal arrangement with each other and the Cth
    • Cth will be supporting them with Defence personnel to assist in compliance with the arrangements – they are not authorised as enforcement agents – only there to support the local authorities
    • Cth will be supporting with enforcing the existing isolation arrangements – ADF will support with compliance checks of residences etc
  • Economy – Dr Kennedy briefing of the impacts to States & Territories – PM + Treasurer will announce more in coming days
  • Third tranche coming with additional support for Australians over difficult months ahead
  • They are trying to maintain as much as possible for the economy
  • Part of the plan will be to seek to ‘hibernate’ Australian businesses – innovative approach – more to say about this soon
  • Businesses who will have to close their doors and keep them closed either because of necessity of the measures or lack of business
  • They want these businesses to start again
  • Don’t want next 6 months to be saddled by debt, rental payments or other liabilities so they can’t start again on the other side
  • Employees come back, opportunities come back, the economy comes back
  • Support by States & Territories of managing complex commercial and residential tenancies
  • We have to stick together and support each other – day by day it is becoming a tougher job – but the Gov’t is encouraged by the
  • Next few weeks particularly vital in the battle
  • Still seeing a lot of returning Australians still developing into cases
  • AHPPC recommended single most – stop any capacity for any return traveller who may develop the virus because of other country’s very large outbreaks
  • Third Tranche (from a question ‘Who will lose out to these new measures?) Answer - Landlords will suffer, banks will wear some of it, Councils will contribute, States will contribute – more in coming days
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26 March 2020 / COVID-19

SA and QLD have announced in both states:

  • Schools will be ‘pupil free next week’ for those who want to keep their kids home
  • Schools will remain open for anyone who wants kids to stay at school
  • SA will be moving to online learning in Term 2 (not clear if they are opening schools back up in Term 2 or it will be remote)
  • Children who are kept home at to stay at home – they should not be out and about in shopping centres
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24 March 2020 / COVID-19

The Prime Minister just made the following announcements after tonight’s national cabinet meeting:

  • States and Territories are keen to be as consistent as possible and will be trying to be uniform in their approach nationally to avoid confusion
  • From midnight tomorrow night these activities will no longer stay open / take place (these are in addition to the activities announced on Sunday) – all retail premises must display how many people can be insider under 4sqm rule:
    • Food courts (takeaway only)
    • Auction houses, open house inspections
    • Outdoor and indoor markets (unless considered an essential food supply – states / territories will define shortly)
    • Large gatherings brought together for particular organised events – states / territories again will specify local effects
    • Personal services (beauty, therapy, waxing, tanning, nail salons, tattoo parlours) - excl physio and allied health, hair dressers and barbers with strict social distancing measures)
    • Amusement parks and arcades
    • Play centres indoor and outdoor
    • Community and recreation centres, yoga, health centres
    • Bootcamps and personal training limited to maximum 10 people with strict social distancing
    • Social based sporting activities (large groups ie team sports)
    • Swimming pools
    • Galleries, museums, libraries, historic centres
    • Community facilities, clubs etc
    • Places of worship now extends to weddings (no more than 5 people) and funerals (no more than 10 people)
  • Further rules we must follow as part of social distancing measures (states and territories will police):
    • Stay at home unless it’s absolutely necessary to go out
    • Going out for the basics and exercise in a small group in your house is ok
    • Providing care or support for others is ok
    • Going to work is ok – where you cannot work from home (strongly encouraged to do this though)
    • Visits of others to our houses should be kept to a minimum and with a very small number of guests (use common sense)
    • No more family gatherings or house parties
    • Do not go outdoors and gather in groups
  • School advice has not changed – it is still safe to send kids to school
  • Will meet with relevant teacher bodies tomorrow to work through issues
  • Schools will open after the term break
  • All jobs are essential – hence schools must stay open for kids to go to school to help job stability for parents
  • Ban on international travel (previously was a ‘Do Not Travel’) – comes into effect
  • New penalties for profiteering of large quantities of things being sold / taken overseas
  • Next National Cabinet Meeting tomorrow night to discuss other measures (including leases). Will provide another update then.
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19 March 2020 / COVID-19

The Prime Minister and Treasurer just announced there will be a travel ban to Australia introduced from 9pm tomorrow night for non-residents and non-citizens

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19 March 2020 / COVID-19

Tasmania to enforce 'toughest border measures in the country' amid coronavirus pandemic

From midnight on Friday, all "non-essential" travellers into the state will have to go into 14 days' quarantine, he said. Mr Gutwein said "essential" travellers included people required to keep the state's health system and trade operational. All others, including returning Tasmanians, will be required to go into quarantine.

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