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ASGA demands an end to signage restrictions in Victoria

“Either they let us work like the other trades or they give us money for being shut down,” said Mick Harrold, Victorian chair of the Australian Sign & Graphics Association (ASGA), in an update to members on Tuesday.

photo Visual Exposure
  Pre-Covid sign installation in Victoria. (Photo: courtesy Visual Exposure)

While some social and recreational rules have been eased for metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria under changes announced by Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday, “business restrictions went the other way and were extended,” Harrold said.

Mick Harrold Vic chair ASGA
 "We are unreasonably more restricted
 than most other trades': Mick Harrold,
          Victorian chair, ASGA

“For businesses hoping to move to Step 3 this week, their hopes were dashed and we now have to wait until Nov 1.  Essentially, we are still under Step 2 of the plan and all the restrictions that go with that for a few more weeks.  We have been trying to engage with the Victorian State Government to advocate for the industry as best we can and we have had some minor wins. 

 “We have been told that signage install can fall under the rules for Small Construction Sites, which in effect allows us to do works, but it does have some major sticking points to be aware of:   

- A small construction site must have a High Risk COVID Safe plan specific to this site.  This could come from a head builder, or we need to provide it if we are the only trade there.  A High Risk COVID Safe plan is different from the one you need for your workplace and can be very tedious in nature.  

- The site must be vacant.  The tenant cannot be on site at any time.  You cannot come into contact with the public either. 

- Maximum of 5 people on site at any time. 

- Your installers are unfortunately not ‘Specialist Contractors’ and can only visit one site per week. 

- You can start new contracts (previously we were told only existing works could proceed).”

Harrold, owner/director of Melbourne’s Visual Exposure, told ASGA members via email that “all the advice contained here is generalist in nature and you need to make your own informed decisions.  There is a lot of grey in there.  You need to get up to speed with all the rules for Small Construction Sites.” 

ASGA is continuing to lobby the Victorian Government and demanding an end to unfair restrictions on the signage industry.

“We have been advocating with State Government to be included on the Specialist Contractors list," Harrold said. "We have been saying that unless we are on that list, we are unreasonably more restricted than most other trades. 

“We are also advocating to be included in the Round 3 Government Grants program. Either they let us work like the other trades, or they give us money for being shut down, since their reason for not giving us the grant is because we are still allowed to work.”