Most heavy industry manufacturing to keep going in Victoria amid COVID-19 restrictions

Most heavy industry and critical manufacturing sectors will continue to operate in Victoria despite Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions.

While Premier Daniel Andrews has announced state lockdown measures, and certain manufacturing sectors such as woodworks, textiles, clothing and appliances have been shut down for six weeks, most sectors will still go ahead with safety measures in place.

These include food and beverage, pharma, specialised machinery and equipment, heavy truck manufacturing, transport equipment, heating and ventilation, and manufacturing to support all critical public infrastructure.

For a full list, refer to the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services website here.

Premier Andrews stated the restrictions were necessary for sectors to keep moving forward.

“In industries that can’t close, but where we’ve seen a number of cases or emerging new risks, we’ll be making some big changes to make these workplaces safer — for workers and for their families,” he said.

“That includes mandated reductions to the number of workers onsite. In the meat industry — and based on the minimum required to operate safely onsite — the workforce will be scaled back to two-thirds. Unlike other changes and recognising the risk these sites have posed here and around the world, this will apply to abattoirs in Melbourne and across the state.”

Warehousing and distribution centres in Melbourne will be limited to no more than two-thirds the normal workforce allowed onsite at any one time.

No more than one quarter of the normal workforce is allowed on major construction sites, while small-scale construction will be limited to five people onsite.

“Our construction sector, the lifeblood of our economy, will also move to pilot light levels. This will allow the industry to keep ticking — while also making sure we limit the number of people onsite,” Andrews said.