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Victoria’s construction industry has been linked to 403 Covid-19 cases prompting shut down

WHY Dan Andrews has had to shut down Victoria’s construction industry – leaving 300,000 furious tradies without work

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has controversially shut down the state’s construction industry following 403 Covid-19 cases linked to the sector.

There are now 300,000 tradies out of work for two weeks following the shut down with hundreds taking to the streets of Melbourne on Monday and Tuesday to protest outside construction union CFMEU’s office.

The state’s health minister has revealed that the hundreds of cases found within the industry have been linked to 186 construction sites. 

Before workers can return to the tools on October 5, they must show proof of having at least one Covid vaccination – a measure which has sparked outrage among many.

Countless protesters who were seen donning high-vis vests and jackets on Tuesday have been told to back down by police.

More than 400 Covid-19 cases have been linked to Victoria’s construction industry as it shuts down for two weeks

‘Attention, this is a police public order warning. You have previously been directed to leave,’ an officer inside a line of riot police and officers on horseback told the crowd.

‘Leave now or force may be used. No further warnings will be given.’

The group of protesters at the intersection of Elizabeth and Victoria Streets in Melbourne’s CBD on Tuesday responded with chants of ‘every day’.

They are opposing a Victorian government mandate requiring all construction workers to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

The group, clad in hi-vis are chanting ‘f*** the jab’, ‘f*** off (Premier) Dan Andrews’ and other expletives, but are being blocked from accessing the CFMEU headquarters by a line of Victoria Police officers. 

On Monday, riot police were called in to disperse a group of about 500 protesters, who threw bottles at Victorian CFMEU construction secretary John Setka and smashed the office’s door down.

Mr Setka on Tuesday said the protesters were not all CFMEU members and blamed ‘neo-Nazi’s and right-wing extremists’ for hijacking the event.

‘There was a small minority of construction workers, some of them when it all got violent just walked away from it. It was hijacked by the professional protesters,’ the Victorian construction branch secretary John Setka told ABC Radio National on Tuesday morning.

He said the CFMEU was ‘pro-vax’ but had always supported freedom of choice regarding vaccination. 

More to come.