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Builders applaud vaccination mandate phase out

Master Builders Association of Western Australia (MBA WA) welcomes the announcement by the State Government to remove the vaccine mandate for the building and construction industry as vaccinate rates increase and COVID-19 cases decline.

In March, MBA WA called on the State Government to remove without delay the Restrictions on Access Directions (mandated vaccinations) for the building and construction industry.

On June 1, the State Government released new public health and social measures regarding the vaccine mandate.

Effective from yesterday Friday June 10, WA’s mandatory vaccination policy was updated in line with health advice and will now only apply to workforces working with the most vulnerable, including:

• Healthcare and health support workers in hospitals and primary healthcare settings

• Workers in residential aged care

• Workers in residential disability settings

Vaccine requirements in place on other workforces will be removed from this date.

Through the loss of skilled trades from the mandatory vaccination laws, border restrictions and lack of overseas migration, the building and construction industry has simply not had the workforce to fulfil much of the ongoing demand. The industry has also been operating through unprecedented challenges with material shortages and price escalations, in addition to the shortage in skilled labour.

During this time, I have called on the public for understanding, support and kindness, as these are issues that builders have no direct control over. Skilled labour had been identified by MBA WA members across the state as a major challenge, which has been exacerbated in regional WA, where availability can be further limited.

Additionally the legal requirements to manage the vaccination status of workers and trade contractors by builders on building sites added another administration burden not previously required.

MBA WA has been advocating for the vaccine mandate to be removed to bring back a full workforce into the WA building and construction industry and assist our members to do what they do best and get consumers’ homes and projects completed.

As housing approvals start to decline further, along with the building stability package announced by the State Government and the vaccination mandate being removed, it feels like some normality is returning to our industry.

If you are looking to build or renovate your home, talk to a MBA WA member first, who can explain the process and answer all your questions. MBA WA members are kept up to date with all the latest government advice.

To become a member, speak to our membership team on 9476 9800 or email membership@mbawa.com to receive the latest news.

Q&A with MBA Housing and Construction Director Jason Robertson

The Question

I am going to build shortly and I was talking about the plumbing with a friend. He mentioned overflow pipework and making sure it was all okay.

Can you help by explaining a bit more?

The Answer

Plumbing is a complex area at times, but there are some general guidance principles that are useful for homeowners to be aware of.

Firstly your friend was referring, it would seem, to what is known as an overflow relief gully (ORG).

An ORG is a drain-like fitting that has a small removable grate, which is usually plastic.

In most cases, they are located near the bathroom or laundry on the outside of your home.

Worth noting is that they are located about 75mm above ground level – height and levels are very important in the functioning of the gully. The reason being is the base of the ORG pipe is placed at a level which is lower than any other pipe exiting from within the home.

The function is a crucial one – an ORG is designed to ensure that if the sewerage line becomes blocked, any wastewater from your home will overflow out of the ORG, making sure, as best as possible, that it does not backflow into your home.

Often talked about is maintenance. This includes making sure the grate is easily accessible and not concreted or paved over, and other things that can impact it, such as trees, are not placed too close to sewerage lines.

Your builder and your plumber can run through any queries you have and will be happy to help and advise fully.

Good luck with your build.

CONTACT Master Builders WA, 9476 9800. www.mbawa.com

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