The City of Melbourne will temporarily adjust the management of construction activity in a bid to fast track construction projects.
It is also hoped the measures will save jobs and limit the economic impact of COVID-19.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the temporary measures will allow some extensions of working hours on building sites for commercial, large residential and mixed-use developments.
“The changes will allow the construction industry to work safely and remain viable during these challenging times but they will not allow construction activity around the clock,” Ms. Capp said.
“We understand these changes may affect residents with a potential increase in noise, however we are attempting to strike a balance between the needs of residents and the need to keep people in jobs. We recognise these extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.”
She said the necessary health and safety measures, such as social distancing are impacting the productivity of the construction industry. The council will adjust the hours available for construction work on a case-by-case basis.
“We are doing our best to support industry and residents during these uncertain and stressful times.”
The temporary arrangements will be reviewed on a monthly basis to ensure the needs of both the construction industry and local residents are met.
Local laws currently allow for construction activity to occur between the hours of 7am and 7pm on weekdays and 8am and 3pm on Saturdays. Approval from council is required to work outside of these hours.
On a case-by-case basis the City of Melbourne proposes to allow and extra hour of work each morning and evening on weekdays. Three extra hours of work will be allowed on Saturdays and six hours of limited activity will be allowed on Sundays.
Finishing trades that do not have a significant impact on residential amenity, such as painting and plastering will be able to extend hours until 10pm.
In response to COVID-19, Federal and State Governments have acknowledged the construction industry as an essential service and determined that it should remain in operation for the time being.
Construction sites are subject to increased health and safety precautions including limiting the number of workers on site, adhering to social distancing requirements, following personal hygiene guidelines and regular cleaning of equipment.