Construction workers have blocked a road in Melbourne’s CBD in what appears to be a protest against the state government’s coronavirus restrictions for the industry.
Dozens of workers sat on plastic chairs in the middle of Lonsdale Street on Friday morning for a smoke break, forcing the cancellation of trams on nearby Spencer Street.
Similar protests have also occurred in Kew, Parkville and Richmond.
It comes after the Victorian government imposed tough restrictions on the industry, given 13 per cent of the state’s active COVID-19 cases have been linked to construction sites.
All construction workers will be required to show evidence to their employer that they’ve had a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, by 11.59pm on September 23.
Limited medical exemptions and proof-of-booking exceptions will apply, in keeping with the vaccine mandate for aged care workers.
In further changes from 11.59pm this Friday, construction site workers are banned from crossing the metro-regional boundary for work, tea rooms must shut, and food and drink can no longer be consumed indoors.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the decision was backed by health advice and designed to keep the construction industry open at its 25 per cent workforce cap.
“If they want to work and be part of that 25 per cent, they need to be vaccinated with one dose by midnight next Thursday night,” he told reporters on Thursday.
“If they’re not, they won’t be able to come on site. That’s keeping them open. The other thing would be to close them down to zero.”
The industry was earlier this week warned it risked losing its authorised worker status amid the launch of an enforcement and vaccination blitz.Internet Explorer Channel Network