A Warrnambool real estate agency is playing its part in getting Victoria ready to reopen, taking part in the state’s “Vaccinated Economy Trials”.
As part of the two-week trial, which started Monday, Roberts One Real Estate will be one of 14 businesses, venues and events to conduct real-world testing of the vaccine certification technology that will be rolled out once Victoria hits its 70 per cent and 80 per cent double-vaccination targets.
Roberts One Real Estate Principal Daniel Roberts said the technology would be used at four open homes this coming weekend, where density caps will be increased to 30 fully-vaccinated people at any one time.
He said the agency was pleased to be playing its part to help all businesses across Victoria return to normal.
“This is about more than just real estate,” Mr Roberts said.
“It’s all about limiting contact, staying safe and looking after each other.”
Mr Roberts said he was also delighted that the Victorian Government, late last Friday, agreed that non-vaccinated buyers could also be shown through properties for sale during one-on-one inspections and this would continue once the state started to open up at 70 per cent and 80 per cent.
He said when it was announced last week that the agency would be taking part in the Vaccinated Economy Trials, some members of the public had abused him and his staff, worried that unvaccinated buyers were being discriminated against.
“We’ve had some opposition and we’ve had people ring up and abuse us,” Mr Roberts said.
“The girls in the office have been in tears.
“But I want to reassure people that the industry is in good hands and we can cater for all parties.
“We’ve been able to negotiate with the State Government to be able to take unvaccinated people through a property.
“No one will be discriminated against.”
Mr Roberts said this was not just a win for unvaccinated buyers who needed to purchase a property, but a win for vendors who wanted to ensure their property was reaching the widest buyer pool.
“We don’t want to see a situation where unvaccinated people are unable to buy a property because they could be the one that’s prepared to spend the most amount of money on a property,” he said.
Mr Roberts said being able to negotiate that with the State Government was also a win for the industry, which has had very little consultation throughout numerous, lengthy, COVID-19 lockdowns.
“In the past, we’ve just basically been told, ‘We’re going into lockdown, and you can’t take anyone through (a property)’,” he said.
“Now we can control our destiny a little bit more.”
Other businesses and events to test the technology include a race meeting at Warrnambool Racing Club tomorrow, Warrnambool Art Gallery, Darlings of Beauty, Bendigo Art Gallery, Village Cinemas in Bendigo, Body Fit Training in Bendigo and the Anglican Church of Australia in Flora Hill.
Other trial venues include Cowes North Pier Hotel, the Churchill Island Cafe, the Terminus Hotel in Wycheproof, the East Gippsland Art Gallery in Bairnsdale and the Lakes Squash and Movie Theatre in Lakes Entrance.
Victorians attending a Vaccinated Economy Trial business or event will be asked to show they are fully-vaccinated with a COVID-19 digital certificate displayed through the Service Victoria App, Medicare App, or equivalent smartphone wallet.
People can also present a printed version of their certificate or immunisation history statement, or provide evidence of a valid exemption.
Victorians can add their COVID-19 digital certificate to the Service Victoria App through MyGov or the Express Medicare Plus App.
Victorian Minister for Government Services and Creative Industries, Danny Pearson, said it was pleasing to move towards the state opening up, with Victoria’s 80 per cent double-vaccination target due to be hit on or before November 5.
“We’re making sure we have the best technology in place to support Victorians as we move closer to opening up our state and getting our world-famous creative and cultural events up and running,” he said.
Results from the current two-week Vaccinated Economy Trials will guide the second phase of the trials, which include crowds returning to a concert at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on 30 October, as well as several other smaller gigs around the state.
The aim is that up to 10,000 racing fans will, just days later, attend the Melbourne Cup at Flemington on 2 November.
The final two days of the Melbourne Cup Carnival – Oaks Day and Stakes Day – will also welcome up to 10,000 patrons if the 80 per cent double-jab target has been met.