Construction industry responds to COVID-19

Roads & Infrastructure will be providing rolling coverage of the industry’s response to COVID-19 to help businesses and individuals stay informed.

20/03/20 – Australian Asphalt Pavement Association (AAPA)

CEO of the Australian Asphalt Pavement Association, Carlos Rial releases a statement.

First and foremost he said, our prayers and thoughts are with all those being impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Our industry is not immune to these impacts and AAPA is closely monitoring the situation considering where we can support.

Mr. Rial said the health and safety of you, our valued members, the AAPA team and the wider community is paramount. For your reference the most up to date information from the Australian Government can be found here.

To ensure AAPA remains socially responsible, Mr. Rial said the association will be adjusting our training and social events immediately to ensure social separation over the coming months.

“We are facing challenging times amid this outbreak, however I am confident we as a nation will get through this crisis,” he said.

“It is recognised that during and post the COVID 19 outbreak there will be an urgent need for the Australian Government to underpin and stimulate the economy. AAPA is seeking from the Australian Government a stimulus package for funding the urgently needed transport infrastructure maintenance backlog. This call to the Australian Government for action was identified also by Infrastructure Australia (IA) in their Australian Infrastructure Audit report recommendations, released August 2019.”

“Investing in transport maintenance will immediately help underpin the economy, with the governments spend hitting the ground with no lag, no red tape. Every dollar spent in maintenance creates immediate jobs where people can be rapidly repurposed across multiple sectors. This investment will also ensure communities remain safely connected to essential services during and post this time of need – given Australia’s most valuable asset our roads are in a heavily degraded state,” Mr. Rial said.

However, he said the delivery of works must remain safe and I trust all AAPA members are working with their staff to ensure we keep Australia running but our people’s health is maintained.

In regards to AAPA operations please note the following:

Remote Working:

Our staff will be working virtually. The organisation are extremely fortunate to have the technology and infrastructure to continue to support you throughout this challenging period and all staff are available via email or phone as usual during business hours. AAPA staff will no longer be travelling interstate, and all interstate meetings will be joined virtually.

Training:

During the outbreak period AAPA will be moving our face-to-face courses to virtual classrooms and will communicate further details on offerings as available.

Events:

AAPA have put a temporary hold on all group face-to-face events, including the Breakfast Series, Golf Days and Industry Gala Dinners. These events will be rescheduled to later in the calendar year with further advice to come on each.

To celebrate the industry we will still be hosting the Awards and Gala Dinners for 2020, however as above these will be postponed to later in the year. Information will be provided as soon as the locations and revised times are set.

International Knowledge Transfer (IKT):

IKT Europe has been cancelled and will be moved to a date to be determined post the Covid 19 outbreak. During this time, we are finding solutions where we can continue to work together while looking after the safety of our community.

We understand that this is a difficult time for many businesses and individuals across Australia. We will continue to support and represent our industry throughout this period, AAPA remains open for business – in a socially responsible way.

If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

19/03/20 – Engineers Australia 

Engineers Australia Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Bronwyn Evans releases a response to COVID-19.

Dr. Evans said Engineers Australia is taking a proactive approach to managing the challenges of the COVID-19 Coronavirus and will work to support our members, profession and the broader community in these difficult times.

“No one set of “rules” can apply to every engineering business, but we are seeing restrictions being put on travel, critical roles identified, large events cancelled and, where possible, work being done remotely,” she said.

“Most organisations have put their crisis management teams into action and are taking a variety of further steps including restrictions on face-to-face meetings, video meetings for leadership teams, staggered start times and team members taking turns to work in the office and remotely.”

Dr. Evans said these measures are important, but it’s also vital to prepare employees to face the mental challenges ahead – the situation will change, and it will be protracted.

“Engineers Australia wants to be able to continue to offer members the opportunity to attend our training and events in coming months, while taking a proportional approach to risk,” she said.

The organisation has limited events to a maximum of 50 attendees to avoid over-crowding and enable tracing, if required. As a result of this decision, the organisation has cancelled and postponed many events and are exploring options to take other events online.

“The welfare of our people is paramount, and we have expanded our flexible working arrangements to enable staff to work remotely and conduct business online. We have also updated our leave procedures, with employees able to access additional paid Covid-19 leave,” Dr. Evans said.

“Engineers will be crucial in many immediate aspects of the COVID-19 response, including by innovating solutions to supply chain challenges, and facilitating greater domestic manufacturing. Skills in risk management, mitigation and the ability to innovate stand the engineering profession in good stead as was we face down the global COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

“Engineers Australia will continue to engage with industry and government, and continue to support our colleagues and communities, offering whatever assistance we can provide.”

18/03-20 – IPWEA 

IPWEA have released a statement about the impacts of COVID-19.

The statement reads, “We want to assure our members that we’re taking this concern seriously and are continually monitoring and acting upon advice provided by Federal health and State based health agencies.”

Many of IPWEA’s training events are small in nature with fewer than 50 attendees and the association will be continuing business as usual at this time.

“We want to be able to continue to offer members and customers the opportunity to attend our events in coming months, while taking a proportional approach to risk,” the statement continues.

For information about conferences and events organised by the various IPWEA Divisions members can refer to their respective policies and advisories. It is also encouraged to check emails from IPWEA for regular updates.

The organisation has asked that while it continues with the training events, members attending take sensible precautions. It has asked members not to attend if they are feeling unwell or if they have travelled to China, South Korea, Italy, Iran or the USA in the last two weeks. Members can get in touch to request a refund if they are in this position.

The statement highlights the need to be proactive about following health advice such as hand washing and avoiding handshakes if members do attend events.

The organisation will also provide additional webinars so that members can access online training.

IPWEA says it will be closely monitoring the situation, government advice and the varying approaches being taken by organisations and individuals in the profession.


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