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Step 2 Lockdown: what this means for the signage industry in Victoria

Step 2 Lockdown: what this means for the signage industry in Victoria

On Sunday, Daniel Andrews unveiled the easing of restrictions in Victoria under Step 2 lockdown, which came into effect from 11:59 27 September. In this report, ASGA Chair Mick Harrold discusses what this means for the signage industry.

Mick points out that an important resource to find out what can and can’t be done is vic.gov.au/roadmap, which will be updated “soon”.  He also advises people to keep their own counsel,  heed the advice from Business Victoria and speak to them if needed.

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.,” says Mick. 

More information can be found on  

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

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

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

Construction  

For those wanting to know whether they are allowed to do installs, Mick says it would be ok in some cases, but is loath to give any advice as details get a” little more messy”.

What can be clarified is that:

  • Early State Construction moves from 10 to 20 workers per hectare.   
  • Small Scale Construction: Still only five staff are allowed on site, but are now allowed to work on more sites.   
  • Large Scale Construction: 85% of a company’s workforce or 15 workers (whichever is less) is allowed.

There are no clear answers to questions such as: 

“What is a construction site?”

‘Can we start new construction sites?”

“Can we do outdoor work?”

Mick advises people to go to the FAQ at the bottom of the link below, which discusses the Step 1 regulations that still apply here (in theory), but points out that the signage industry does not fit nicely into their boxes.  

Go to: 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,” says Mick.

“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,” he adds, pointing out that 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.

Business Grants  

In terms of business grants, Mick says that some people advise that the industry falls under different categories.

“Since The ASGA represents a wide range of businesses, we always recommend that you 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.”  

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

“People have suggested that they apply for a grant 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,” advises Mick, encouraging people to stay positive during this time.

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