Victorian industry takes second step to Covid normalcy

Only supermarket and food distribution sector remains heavily restricted

Victorian industry takes second step to Covid normalcy
Premier Daniel Andrews' government has loosened some warehousing restricutions


The limited loosening of Victoria’s lockdown rules is set to have a significant impact on warehousing and shed work.

The easing represents the second of four steps to the so-called ‘Covid Normal’ level.

After months of industry talks with government to make operational and supply-chain sense of the Stage 4, restrictions on staffing levels in warehousing operations in metropolitan areas is lifted.

"This includes supermarkets and food distribution centres, warehouses and postal and distribution centres returning to full capacity with some additional Covid safe practices to be implemented, and a partial return to work for wholesale trade," the ‘Victorian Freight and Logistics Industry Coronavirus (COVID-19) update’ states

The ‘Ports & Freight Sector’ remains "Open, with a "COVIDsafe Plan" for the rest of the remaining steps.  

"Whilst the freight industry has faced fewer disruptions than other sectors during the coronavirus pandemic, it is welcome news that some normalcy is returning to supply chains in Victoria with workforce capacity limits removed at these facilities," Victorian Transport Association CEO Peter Anderson says.

"This will enable supply chains to gear up for the forthcoming Christmas trading period by ensuring warehouses and DC’s are fully stocked to meet retail and consumer demand, ultimately creating more work for transport operators."

Metropolitan Melbourne postal and distribution centres industry restrictions have moved from "heavily restricted" to "restricted", with a worker reductions lifted but a ‘density quotient’ of 4 square metres between workers to be in place.

This will be lifted at ‘Covid Normal’.

Those outside metropolitan Melbourne will be "Open, with a "COVIDsafe Plan", with no density quotient at ‘Covid Normal’. 

Read how transport and logistics reacted to Stage 4 restrictions, here

Melbourne wholesale trade and warehousing industry restrictions under the second step will move from ‘heavily restricted’ to ‘restricted, with ‘warehousing’ having no workforce restrictions.

Wholesale trade will see businesses not on permitted work premises list in the previous stage allowed to operate at 67 per cent of normal daily worker level.

Businesses on permitted premises list in previous stage can operate without workforce restrictions: grocery, liquor and tobacco product wholesaling; animal feed and supplies wholesaling; pharmaceutical wholesaling ;safety products wholesaling; cleaning supplies and disinfectants wholesaling; medical and disability supplies wholesaling.

They then will be "Open, with a "COVIDsafe Plan", with no density quotient at ‘Covid Normal’.

Those in regional Victoria will be "Open, with a "COVIDsafe Plan", with no density quotient at ‘Covid Normal’.

Melbourne supermarket and food distribution industry remains heavily restricted, with the following in place:

  • the worker reduction will no longer apply
  • apply density quotient (4 square metres)
  • COVID-Safe marshals to monitor adherence to physical distancing and other COVID-safe practices
  • staff training about physical distancing and other COVIDSafe practices
  • provide workers with a COVIDSafe induction and education program. This should be provided in workforce specific languages.

From the ‘third step’ on, they then will be "Open, with a "COVIDsafe Plan", with no density quotient at ‘Covid Normal’.

Those in regional Victoria remain "Open, with a "COVIDsafe Plan", with no density quotient at ‘Covid Normal’.

"The welcome news comes at a time when the container logistics sector is experiencing higher demand as we lead into a normally higher level of activity, as well as the impacts of the waterfront industrial actions that have seen increased container volumes through the Port of Melbourne," the Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) says.

"It also "puts to bed" the confusion that existed about what really constituted a "warehouse" in the container logistics sector, be it a FAK [Freight of All Kinds] operation, or the like, etc as opposed to a longer-term storage facility."

The full Victorian Freight and Logistics Industry Coronavirus (COVID-19) update can be found here.


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