Construction Industry in Victoria Pushes Council for 6am Starts


Image source: Probuild

Builders across Victoria have agreed that 6am starts are necessary to support the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Builders have begun pushing the idea to councils despite the Municipal of Victoria warning the noise can be disturbing to residents working from home. He has said that these requests to extend hours need to be mindful of “adverse impacts” on surrounding residents. 

Eight councils have been written to by Master Builders Victoria and the Victorian branch of the Urban Development Institute of Australia. Their request suggested a temporary extension of worksite hours.

Their request made mention of the COVID-19 pandemic having severe impacts on the industry, disrupting productiveness of the sector. Their request suggested that construction hours should be extended from  6am — 8pm on weekdays, 7am — 5pm on Saturdays and 10am — 4pm on Sundays.

They also claimed that due to the social distancing precautions in place this meant that fewer construction workers could be on the worksite at the same time, slowing down productivity and delaying project timelines. 

Extending hours was said to be a critical measure that will allow staggered start times and shift work for builders to ensure social distancing was still being followed. 

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Master Builders Victoria chief executive officer Rebecca Casson said, “In these unprecedented times, it is imperative that industry and local government work together to find improved ways of operating.” 

Two local councils have already raised concerns about construction noise affecting residents. They mentioned that this year there has been an elevated number of complaints about building activity due to more people needing to work from home.

Stonnington Mayor Steve Stefanopoulous has been clear on his position, saying that his council is unlikely to proceed with the request. “If you extend hours further it would cause more grief for people at home,” 

According to The Age, construction work outside of normal times in the City of Melbourne increased by 25 percent in March and 50 percent in April, when compared to November 2019.

“Requests should be decided on a case-by-case basis so the needs of residents can be properly considered, said Municipal Association of Victoria president Coral Ross. 

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