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ASGA seeks clarification over installation rules in Melbourne 

“If your business is manufacturing products (Print, signage and so on), then you may return to work but only up to 90% of your peak workforce,” says ASGA Victoria chair Mick Harrold on Melbourne’s Step Two announcement. In terms of signage installation work, Harrold said: “We have been in contact with the Government and we are being told that there will be further clarification around this.”

roadmap for reopening

asga logo ofgMick Harrold, ASGA Victoria chair, writes:

Today Monday 28 September, we have entered Step 2 of the lockdown. Well actually, it might be tomorrow that we enter step 2 depending on which Government information source you get your advice from. And we enter this Step 2 with the following advice from the Government.  

More information on Industry Restriction Levels under the Second Step for metropolitan Melbourne will be provided soon at vic.gov.au/roadmap

Soon ... I am sorry, but we do deserve more than that. I get that they want to leave it to the last minute to provide information to us, but we then have to adapt our businesses to this advice. And last time I checked, "the last minute" was quite a few days ago. 

So what do we actually know about what we can do? I will preface this by saying that you should keep your own counsel here. Read the advice from Business Vic and speak to them if you need to (NOTE: you may end up on hold for an hour or more only to get no specific advice).  

Manufacturing  

This is fairly straight forward. Almost all manufacturing moves to the Restricted Class. If your business is manufacturing products (Print, signage and so on), then you may return to work but only up to 90% of your peak workforce. There are additional rules around face covering and social distancing. You must also have a Covid Safe Plan.  

More information can be found here  

https://www.business.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-safe-business/manufacturing-sector-guidance

https://www.business.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/1938211/Industry-Restart-Guidelines-Manufacturing.pdf

https://www.business.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-safe-business/covid-safe-plan

Construction  

Are we allowed to do installs? Well yes... some.  But here is where it gets a little more messy and I guess right now I am loath to give any advice. Here is what we have been told.  

Early State Construction - Moves for 10 to 20 workers per hectare.   

Small Scale Construction - Still only 5 staff on site. Now allowed to work on more sites.   

Large Scale Construction - Allowed 85% of their workforce or 15 workers (whichever is less)   

But what is a construction site? Can we start new construction sites? Can we do outdoor work?  Who knows. You will find a FAQ at the bottom of the following link discussing the Step 1 regulations which in theory still apply here. But we don't fit nicely into their boxes.  

https://www.business.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-safe-business/construction-sector-guidance

  For the record, it all seems to hinge around the site being vacated by the tenant and the only thing I can say is to remember this if you are playing in the grey. If no-one is on site except you, your argument is going to be a lot stronger than if you are working on a currently trading business. I wouldn't be going anywhere near high-rise office towers even if the floor I am working on is vacated.  

We have been in contact with the Government and we are being told that there will be further clarification around this and that there may be a relaxation on woks on vacated properties or non- contact installations. We have also been trying very hard to have our installers listed on the list of "Specialist Contractors" that will allow them to move to more sites. But so far we have not succeeded and have been told that Step 2 will help us when the details are given. There is a stone wall up around the people at the upper levels who make the real decisions and we (along with most other industry bodies) are finding it hard to get through to even have a rational conversation with them.  

So we wait... Many businesses (Signage and others) will find a lot more white in the grey this week than they did under step 1 and without any real guidelines - can you blame anyone right now.?  

Business Grants  

Just quickly on the Business grants. Some people have said that we fall under different categories. The ASGA represents a wide range of businesses, so always keep your own counsel.   

The ANZSIC code is something that was chosen when you set up your business. You (or your accountant) chose it and it is linked to you now. If you don't know what yours is, you can log into your account and check or ring your accountant. You can also update it while you are there.  

https://www.abr.gov.au/business-super-funds-charities/updating-or-cancelling-your-abn/update-your-abn-details

  People have suggested that they try under the code "6924 Other specialised design services.”  If your code is currently listed as this, then you can certainly apply. If this isn't your code, you will need to log in and change it to this code. Unless you are certain you fall under this category, then I don't suggest doing it or you might find yourself being given the money only for it to be clawed back later when someone decided you should be under a different category. Changing your ANZSIC code right now is sure to raise a red flag, so I suggest talking to your accountant.  

Keep positive.  

Mick Harrold 
ASGA Chair