Worker Permit required for work during stage 4
restrictions in Melbourne
5 AUGUST 2020
The Victorian Government has introduced a permit system for
Melbourne - effective 11.59pm on Wednesday, 5 August, 2020 - for
workers travelling to their workplace. From 11.59pm on Wednesday
night, workplaces in Melbourne must
be closed unless:
- the workplace is part of a permitted activity, or
- all employees are working from home.
Employers that require their staff to attend a work site
must issue a signed worker permit for their employees. This
is the employer's responsibility.
Employees working in permitted industries who cannot work from
home, will be required to carry the worker permit when they travel
to their workplace.
Employers can issue a worker permit to their employee
- the organisation is on the list of permitted
- the employee is working in an approved category for on-site
- the employee cannot work from home.
In rare circumstances an employee does not need a worker
permit. This includes:
- if an employee is at risk at home, such as at risk of family
- law enforcement, emergency services workers or health workers
who carry employer-issued photographic identification, which
clearly identifies the employer.
An employee must not use a worker permit, even if they
have been issued one, if:
- they test positive to coronavirus (COVID-19) and are required
to self-isolate; or
- they are a close contact of someone who has tested
Penalties of up to $19,826 (for individuals) and $99,132 (for
businesses) will apply to employers who issue worker
permits to employees who do not meet the requirements of the worker
permit scheme or who otherwise breach the scheme requirements.
There will also be on-the-spot fines of up to $1,652 (for
individuals) and up to $9,913 (for businesses) for anyone who
breaches the scheme requirements. This
includes employers and employees who do not carry
their worker permit when travelling to and from work.
restrictions put in place for Victoria
4 AUGUST 2020
The Victorian Government has introduced further restrictions in
light of a second wave of the Coronavirus. Metropolitan Melbourne
now has stage 4 restrictions, while regional Victoria is on stage 3
restrictions. Residents in Australia's second biggest city are
under curfew between 8pm and 5am and must wear a face covering
whenever they leave home. Many businesses are closed or restricted
in what they can do.
All Victorians are required to work from home, except where this
is not practicable, while sole operators can continue to operate if
they do not have contact with the public, or with people other than
those persons living in their primary household. Thankfully, fire
protection appears still to be a permitted industry under the
Directions of Victoria's Chief Health Officer.
All businesses in Victoria must have a COVIDSafe Plan in
place by Friday, 7 August, 2020. This may be a good resource for
practitioners in other states as well - for help
COVID-19 Plan [PDF 140 KB]
COVID-19 Plan [DOCX 140 KB]
What type of work is still permitted under stage 4
restrictions in Victoria?
Large scale construction
For any building construction project of more than three storeys
(excluding basement), a maximum of 25% of normal employee numbers
is allowed on site. The project must have a High-Risk
COVIDSafe Plan in place and must demonstrate that shifts are
not being blended and workers are only working at one site
throughout the period. The installation of fire safety systems
would be included in this work.
Small scale construction
Any building construction project of three storeys or less
(excluding basement) can have a maximum of five workers (including
supervisors). The project must have a Universal COVIDSafe
Plan in place and must demonstrate that shifts are not being
blended and workers are only working at one site throughout the
period. The installation of fire safety systems would be included
in this work.
State and state civil construction
Government projects (including time critical new school builds)
are exempt from reduction targets but will be required to implement
a High-Risk COVIDSafe Plan.
Ancillary and support businesses are able to open on-site to
ensure the necessary production, supply, manufacture, repair,
maintenance, cleaning, security, wholesale, distribution,
transportation or sale of equipment, goods or services required for
the operations of a Permitted Work Premises, or for Closed Work
Premises where there are safety or environmental obligations. The
business cannot operate on-site for any other purpose.
In addition, residential and commercial services that were
booked before 5pm 3 August and are scheduled to be carried out
before 5pm 17 August, that are essential to well-being or
livelihood, will be permitted.
Other important information
Construction of critical and essential infrastructure and
services to support these projects is allowed with a
COVIDSafe Plan in place. Critical repairs to residential
premises are allowed, where required for emergency or safety, so if
you repair fire safety systems your work is still
Emergency services, including bushfire prevention, and
management, including relief services, are to continue.
joins the Industry Advisory Body
27 JULY 2020
John Nightingale has been formally appointed to the Fire
Protection Industry (ODS and SGG) Board's (FPIB) Industry Advisory
Body (IAB). John currently works for Wormald as a special hazards
marine technician and brings a wealth of industry experience to the
Having fulfilled roles for the Royal Australian Navy (marine
technical engineer), SAI Global (Test Station Signatory and Test
Station Manager), BCF (cylinder filling and testing) and the
National Halon Bank (helping set it up in its formative years),
John displays a tremendously diverse skill set that FPIB is eager
Importantly, John has extensive experience handling various
synthetic greenhouse gases (SGG) and ozone depleting substances
(ODS) across a range of applications.
The Board welcomes John and we look forward to working closely
Sydney Metro opts for IG-55
3 JULY 2020
Do you want to find out why Australia's largest public transport
infrastructure project decided to move away from traditional
scheduled extinguishing agents in favour of an inert gas?
Head to our Technology
Corner to discover what inspired Sydney Metro's decision
to use IG-55 in the suppression system at their Rouse Hill control
New penalty increase for offences under the Ozone
Act and Regulations
30 JUNE 2020
The penalties for offences under the Ozone Protection
and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 (the
Act) and the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas
Management Regulations 1995 (the Regulations) will
increase from 1 July 2020.
Under most Commonwealth laws, financial penalties are expressed
in terms of 'penalty units' instead of dollar figures. On 1 July
2020, the value of a penalty unit will increase from $210 to
The change is the result of the automatic indexation of the
penalty unit amount under Section 4AA of the Crimes Act
1914 (Cth). The increase is designed to ensure that the
real value of a penalty unit is maintained. This increase applies
to all offences under the Act and Regulations.To learn more about
these changes, please refer to the June edition of
Together we can improve training
24 APRIL 2020
The Fire Protection Industry Board wants to improve training
courses for those new to the fire protection industry and those
needing additional units of competency. To do this, we need your
feedback! If you have completed a training course over the past
three years and would like to share your experience with us, you
can simply click this link where you will find several questions
relating to your training.
HFC quota reduction
15 FEBRUARY 2020
Australia is gradually reducing
the annual import quota on bulk hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) every two
years, starting 1 January 2020.The annual import quota will reduce from 8
million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) for calendar
years 2018 and 2019 to 7.25 million tonnes CO2-e annually for 2020 and
2021.HFCs will continue to be
widely available in the short term.
For more information, please
10 JANUARY 2020
Changes to the Ozone Protection and
Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Regulations 1995
came into effect on
1 January 2020. The key changes
- Charging of fire protection equipment with a scheduled
substance that has a higher global warming potential than the
equipment was designed to use is banned.
Permits can be cancelled or suspended if a permit holder does
not have the necessary knowledge, ability and experience to
competently carry out work.
Application fees can be refunded, subject to certain
Licences can be granted to import equipment using bulk HCFC for
test, monitoring, laboratory and analytical purposes where no
practical alternative exists.
Bulk HCFC can only be used to maintain existing fire protection
equipment (manufactured or imported before 1 January 2020).
2020 permit fees
1 JANUARY 2020
The Ozone Protection and Synthetic
Greenhouse Gas Management Regulations 1995
(Regulation 346) provides for the annual indexation of
permit application fees. Consistent with the Wage
Price Index figures, released by the Australian Bureau of
Statistics in November 2019, fire protection permit
application fees will increase by 2.231 per cent from
1 January 2020. The following table shows the permit fees
and durations for 2019 and 2020.
| Permit type
||2019 application fees
||2020 application fees
| Extinguishing Agent Handling Licence -
| Extinguishing Agent Handling Licence -
| Extinguishing Agent Trainee Licence
| Extinguishing Agent Trading Authorisation
| Halon Special Permit