Builders push for max vax
Victoria’s building and construction workers are being urged to ‘Get the jab done’ so everyone can get back to work as part of a new industry-led vaccination campaign launched this week.
An extensive billboard campaign, together with co-branded social media material including videos featuring personalised messaging from members, mail outs, and other communications has been arranged as part of the drive.
The campaign, co-ordinated by Master Builders Victoria, has gained support from across the building and construction sector, with Multiplex and Metricon leading the charge.
The MBV board and council of management last month voted unanimously to support MBV’s vaccination strategy, recognising the important role that the organisation plays in leading the industry through the next phase of the pandemic recovery.
Industry research has confirmed that when building and construction sector workers seek COVID-19 related information, they look to company notices and material provided by employer associations.
MBV CEO Rebecca Casson said it has become clear that one of the keys to Victoria’s recovery is the vaccination of the broad community and, more specifically, Victoria’s 320,000 building and construction workers.
“Our sector is uniquely placed to deliver an industry roll-out of vaccination initiatives,” she said.
“Our industry must remain united and do everything it can to support our workers to get vaccinated, where they can, particularly those in our culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
“Getting as many Victorians informed about the vaccines as quickly as possible so that there is no longer any reason for lockdowns, border closures, or other restrictions is vitally important for our sector and our community.”
Graham Cottam, regional managing director for Multiplex, said the company has nine projects in Australia under construction with 2500 workers currently missing from those sites because of COVID-19 restrictions.
“Over the past two years, COVID-19 has nearly destroyed our families, way of life, and businesses,” he said.
“The Victorian Government has given our sector the opportunity to lead and show the community and businesses how to overcome COVID-19 by being the first industry to achieve a 90 per cent vaccination level.
“Working in collaboration with Master Builders Victoria and the unions, we have been industry leaders throughout the pandemic, especially with the COVID-19 industry guidelines, and our sector must continue that trend.
“It is evident that governments now see vaccination as the only way to get back to normal life quickly.
“And in Victoria, 90 per cent of our workforce must have had one jab by 23 September so that 50 per cent of employees can be back on building sites.”
Peter Langfelder, director and general manager – Victorian housing – of Metricon Homes, said that despite the devastating impacts of COVID-19, the Victorian building and construction industry continued to show its extraordinary strength and resilience.
“However, our sector cannot survive on a pilot light forever,” he said.
“Many small building and construction businesses that are not permitted to work indoors are struggling, alongside the hundreds of Victorians awaiting the completion of their kitchen or bathroom renovations.
“So, it doesn’t matter if you work in the commercial or residential sector, it’s vital that our workforce gets the jab done and then we can all get back to work.”