Victoria to Require First Vaccine Dose for Construction Workers

Construction workers in the Australian state of Victoria are required to provide proof of receiving at least one dose of

Victoria Protests

Photo: James Ross/EPA

Construction workers in the Australian state of Victoria are required to provide proof of receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by today.

The Victorian government mandated vaccinations for construction workers last week in response to public health officials increasing concerns about COVID-19 transmission at construction sites.

Workers opposed the mandates this week in violent protests, forcing Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to announce a two-week shutdown of construction sites in response. The protests consisted of construction workers, vaccination conspiracy theorists, anti-lockdown activists and right-wing extremists.

Victoria’s construction industry accounts for 46% of the state’s tax revenue and employs over 320,000 Victorians. It is estimated that the economic cost of the shutdown will amount to $329m a day and $45m in lost wages.

Expect construction sites to reopen once the shutdown concludes. The mandate will result in more vaccinated workers given the financial necessity of receiving one.   However, given the growing tension in Australia over government restrictions, protests are likely to continue in the short-term until restrictions are eased. Anti-lockdown protests have regularly been held by right-wing groups since restrictions resumed in August, serving as a rallying cry for right-wing mobilization ahead of the federal election in 2022.

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