Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 26 October 2011

Last Updated: 29 October 2011
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016


Renovation activity grows, but new housing activity falls

ABS figures released showed new housing activity in the June 2011 quarter falling while renovation activity continues to grow. Tthe volume of major alterations and additions work done, which accounts for around 20 per cent of total renovations activity, increased by 2.6 per cent (20 October 2011) More...

Outrage at loss of the building industry cop

Building industry groups are demanding the Government review its decision to abolish the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). This week the Australian Government announced its intention to introduce the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Bill 2011 into Parliament which will abolish the ABCC (13 October 2011) More...

New legislation to boost investment in NSW home building

The NSW Liberals and Nationals Government will this week introduce legislation to stimulate investment and activity in the State's home building industry by urgently addressing a number of shortcomings in the Home Building Act 1989. Work is underway to address the broader issues with the legislation with a thorough review of the Act scheduled in 2012 (11 October 2011) More....

Coal Seam Gas appeal in Land and Environment Court

In what's being described as an important test case, the is hearing the concerns the Gloucestor Stroud Preservation Alliance, who has lodged an appeal against the approval granted to AGL's coal seam gas project in the Gloucestor Stroud Valley (17 October 2011) More...

Gas firm sues officials over project refusal

Cougar Energy has filed a $34 million lawsuit in the Queensland Supreme Court alleging negligence and breach of statutory duty when the government stopped the $550m underground gasification project (18 October 2011) More...

Queensland renovation savings in new legislation

One of the aims of the wide ranging bill was to amend the Plumbing and Drainage Act to cut red tape and reduce compliance costs, according to the Local Government Minister. Under the proposed changes, a wider range of works would no longer require council assessment or inspection. Standards will still need to be upheld with the Plumbing Industry Council notified of any works, self assessment carried out (11 October 2011) More...

Positive signs start to emerge for the Building Industry

Master Builders Director of Housing Policy, Paul Bidwell said the latest report sees business sentiment remain in negative territory for the fifth quarter in a row, but optimism is slowly starting to emerge, according to the latest Survey of Industry Conditions report released by Master Builders (20 October 2011) More...


Guide to Standards - Energy Efficiency

Author: SAI Global: Standards Australia Provides a snapshot of information on Standards and Certification schemes and covers topics such as: Good management practice; Climate change; Alternative energy sources including wind turbines and solar energy; Energy efficiency for buildings; Energy efficiency for electrical equipment; and much more. This guide is a valuable resource for organizations who are increasingly faced with the challenges concerning energy efficiency and climate change (10 October 2011) More...

Dispute review boards in Australia: past, present and future

Author: Paula Gerber
Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal, 2011, Vol 22, August, pp180-191

Benefits to the construction industry around the world through the use of dispute review boards (DRBs) - success rates for completion of projects - analysis of the limited use of DRBs by projects .

Practice Notes

Australian Standards - Minor Works Contracts

Minor Works Contracts are contract forms that are intended to be used for construction projects of a simple nature and are best suited for small construction projects only of limited monetary value. AS 4905-2002 provides for administration by a Superintendent (i.e. Administrator or Manager) whereas AS 4906-2002 provides for administration by a Principal (i.e. Owner) M ore...

Funding for Remote Airstrip Available

All remote airstrip owners can apply for Federal funding for upgrades to improve vital air access to outback communities. These upgrades can include anything from lighting to fixing airstrip surfaces or building animal proof fences. The Program does not cover landside works including terminals, hangars, buildings or commercial developments. Applications close on Thursday 1 December 2011 (19 October 2011) More...

Commercial Building Disclosure program - November 1 lighting tool deadline

The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency has released more information on the expanded Commercial Building Disclosure program. New rules start on 1 November, requiring a lighting assessment of affected office space before it can be sold or leased.

Click here to download the quick guide to CBD.

Click here to access video and presentations from the Department's recent seminar series. (18 October 2011)

Current Draft Policies and Plans, Announcements

NSW: Expression of Interest (EOI): Councils to join Electronic Housing Code (EHC) project

The Electronic Housing Code (EHC) pilot project management office is looking for 24 additional Councils to join the project. Once interested parties have returned their EOI, an independent selection panel will convene to select the additional Councils. The relevant documents are found on the website (10 October 2011) More...

QLD: Master Builders Roadshow

Rebuilding the building industry one business at a time will be at the top of the agenda as Master Builders sets off on its annual 2011 Roadshow throughout Queensland in November (19 October 2011) More...

QLD: Building and plumbing newsflash number 482 - Proposed plumbing and building reforms and revised pools guideline

Proposed amendments to plumbing and building laws are included in the Sustainable Planning and Other Legislation Bill 2011 (the Bill) introduced into the Legislative Assembly on 11 October 2011 and a new guideline for pool owners and property agents is available (14 October 2011) More...



Birdon Pty Ltd v Houben Marine Pty Ltd [2011] FCAFC 126

ADMIRALTY – whether a charter agreement is a construction contract – liability of parties pursuant to an agreement for the hire of a back hoe dredge vessel – whether having invoked federal jurisdiction in proceedings in the Federal Court an adjudication application under a State Act can be pursued – whether the State Act purports to withdraw the Federal Court's authority to quell a controversy within its jurisdiction – source of rights and remedies in federal jurisdiction – application of surrogate federal laws – maritime claim – admiralty jurisdiction in personam
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW – operation and effect of the Constitution – conflict between State and Federal legislation – whether Part 3 of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) regarding the enforcement of a statutory claim for progress payments is inconsistent with the institutional integrity of Chapter III Courts – exercise of Commonwealth judicial power
CONSUMER LAW – Australian Consumer Law – misleading and deceptive conduct. More...

New South Wales

Walton v Illawarra [2011] NSWSC 1188

BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - contract - interpretation of contract - nature of superintendent's task - whether contractor's entitlement to extensions of time and payments are limited to those so determined by superintendent - extent to which liability flowed to principal for superintendent's failure to adequately perform tasks - DAMAGES - quantification - damages for shortfall between entitlement and superintendent's valuation- - whether recovery constrained by contract - damages for delay in practical completion - whether loss too remote - entitlement to interest.

Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW); Industrial Relations Act 1996 (NSW) More...

The City of Sydney v Streetscape Projects (Australia) Pty Limited & Anor [2011] NSWSC 1214

Streetscape Projects (Australia) must deliver up documents and moulds to the City [515] -[543]. Proceedings brought by City of Sydney against Streetscape Projects (Australia) and Mr Moses Obeid in relation to "Smartpole" poles
CONTRACTS - Action for breach of contract - Contractual interpretation - Confidential information - Deeds of variation - Whether particular clauses were penalty clauses - Claim that plaintiffs suffered no loss - Distinction between liquidated damages clause and penalty clause - Damages when proof of loss is difficult - Foreign law- Presumption of identity - Principles for interpreting terms of a contract to avoid capricious consequences
EQUITY - Equitable duty - Duty of confidence - Fiduciary duty - Fiduciary duty under a commercial contract -Accessorial liability - Barnes v Addy
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - Ultra Vires - Scope of Local Councils authority - Broad interpretation
TRADE PRACTICES CLAIM - Misleading and deceptive conduct - Section 52 Trade Practices Act - Proof of representations - Reliance on representations - Failure to take reasonable care-Section 51A Trade Practices Act - Misleading representation as to future without reasonable basis-No need to prove reliance - Appropriate relief under Section 87 (2) of Trade Practices Act - Varying the terms of a contract for misrepresentation. More...

Buckley v Integrity New Homes (Home Building) [2011] NSWCTTT 436

Meaning of liquidated damages clause where parties agree quantum to be determined by "Dept of Fair Trading" – interpretation and enforceability Respondent builder liable to pay damages where stipulated date of completion exceeded by 110 days - liquidated damages clause provides mechanism for determining amount payable and is enforceable - damages awarded for accommodation, removal and storage and expert report - other claims dismissed. More...

Nestel v Wesfarmers General Insurance Limited (Home Building) [2011] NSWCTTT 430

Appeal against the denial of an insurance claim - Darryl Millar and Linda Millar have "disappeared" for the purpose of s 99(1)(a) of the Home Building Act 1989 and Regulation 52(3) Court does not accept that the homeowner must attempt enforcement against the builder outside of New South Wales as a prerequisite to making an insurance claim. More...

Ioannou v Damico & Ors (Home Building) [2011] NSWCTTT 475

A money order for $25,432.00 No contract by trader, trader unlicensed at time of performing work, misleading and deceptive conduct by trader, breach of contract by trader. More...


Macarthur Coal Ltd & Anor v MCG Coal Holdings Pty Ltd & Ors [2011] QSC 303

PROCEDURE – MISCELLANEOUS PROCEDURAL MATTERS – OTHER MATTERS – where the matter was set down for trial – where the second, third and fifth de
fendants applied to adjourn the trial – where the applicants argued that they could not be prepared for the trial – where the applicants argued that counsel and a solicitor would be unavailable – where the applicants argued there was late and defective disclosure – where the plaintiffs argued that the matter required an urgent trial so that development of the subject coal mine would not be further delayed – where the plaintiffs argued that the applicants were refusing access to the subject land to perform expedition work –whether the trial should be adjourned. More...

Queensland Building Services Authority v Alternate Dwellings Pty Ltd [2011] QCAT 460

Penalty – Exceeding Annual Allowable Turnover – mitigating factors – breach due to failure to understand policy. More...

Barry v Queensland Building Services Authority and Ors [2011] QCAT 451

Building matter – direction to rectify by authority for defective workmanship – where contractor seeks to join property owners and sub-contractor – where allegations actions by property owners affected work – where direction issued to applicant as head contractor.

Discovery Beach Project Pty Ltd v Northbuild Construction Pty Ltd [2011] QSC 306

ARBITRATION – THE AWARD – EFFECT AND PERFORMANCE – CONCLUSIVENESS OF AWARD – where applicant and respondent had referred various disputes to either arbitration or expert determination arbitrations of building dispute – where arbitrator in a "Final Claim Arbitration" provided for an interim award that would decide all disputes not already in other fora – where arbitrator directed that pleadings, lists of disputes in other fora, and lists of remaining claims be delivered for the purpose of hearing the interim award – where respondent included certain breach of contract claims in its pleadings and included these claims in a table of items to be decided by the interim award – where respondent did not adduce any evidence in support of breach of contract claims or address them in submissions – whether breach of contract claims were determined by the interim award. More...

Western Australia


Administrative law - 'Jurisdictional facts' - Principles - Whether matters in s 31(2)(a) Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA) are 'jurisdictional facts' Administrative law - Whether adjudicator's exercise of powers under s 31(2) Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA) amenable to prerogative writs of prohibition and certiorari - Construction of privative clause
Building and construction - Security of payment legislation - Application for review to State Administrative Tribunal pursuant to s 46(1) Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA) - Construction of s 31 and s 46 - Whether review available where an adjudicator refuses to dismiss an application for adjudication under s 31(2)(a). More....

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.