Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 10 November 2011

Last Updated: 13 November 2011
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016


New housing among most taxed sectors in economy

New housing is one of the most heavily taxed sectors of the Australian economy and its hurting the building industry as well as consumers, according to a new report from Centre for International Economics (CIE) (04 October 2011). More...

Companies fined for cover pricing

Queensland-based construction companies have been fined a total of $1.3 million after the Federal Court in Brisbane found them guilty of price fixing when bidding for several government tenders (02 November 2011). More...

New home sales hit 11-year low, as building approvals drop

New home sales declined in September with detached house sales posting their lowest monthly level since December 2000, according to the latest HIA - JELD-WEN New Home Sales Report (03 November 2011). More...

ABCC declares replacement Bill poor policy

Master Builders Australia today declared the Government's moves in introducing the Bill to abolish the ABCC and repeal industry specific workplace laws as not in the best interest of the economy and the community. The Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Bill 2011 introduced into Parliament allegedly gives a green light to building unions to take even more unlawful industrial action (03 November 2011). More...

MBA: Building and Construction Industry loser from Government's Carbon Tax

New independent modelling confirms the building and construction industry will suffer large losses as a result of the Federal Government's carbon tax, according to Master Builders Australia (03 November 2011). More...

Changes in green standards for buildings

''Green building'' regulations commence on 01 November, with building owners and even tenants facing potentially massive fines if their office space does not meet environmental standards when leased or sold (31 October 2011). More...

Government encourages more investment in infrastructure

The Hon Bill Shorten has released a discussion paper on the design and implementation details of the new infrastructure tax loss incentive. The purpose of the discussion paper is to provide interested parties with an opportunity to comment on the design and implementation details of the proposal (27 October 2011). More...

Australian Government encourages transparency In Oil, Gas, and Mining

The Foreign Minister and Resources Minister announced at the CHOGM 2011 Australia-Africa Foreign Ministers' Mining Breakfast that Australia will further support, at home and abroad, global efforts to improve governance and financial transparency in the resources sector. The Australian Government also announces it will undertake a pilot of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) (27 October 2011). More...

ABCC annual report card released for 2010-2011

The 2010-11 annual report shows a marked increase in the number of investigations the ABCC is undertaking across the spectrum of our regulatory functions. The ABCC is active in enforcing the rule of law through civil litigation activities, conducting 58 proceedings before the courts resulting in $2.57 million in penalties (October 2011). More...

Perfect match between super and infrastructure would liberate $18 billion per year for new projects

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia says the Ernst & Young/Financial Services Council report into superannuation and infrastructure strengthens the call for a deeper, wider project pipeline and better long-term planning by governments (24 October 2011). More...

NSW electricity: privatisation the only way to lower prices, better infrastructure

The full privatisation of the NSW electricity sector, recommended by Justice Tamberlin, is the only option to fund a radical increase in infrastructure investment and drive down retail energy costs, says Infrastructure Partnerships Australia. The full privatisation of the NSW electricity sector is the one option available to fund a radical increase in infrastructure investment and drive down retail electricity prices (03 November 2011). More...

NSW lagging behind all states on housing approvals

The building home approvals figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today for September, have NSW's approvals at half that of Victoria which has a lower population. For every 10,000 people NSW has 47 approvals to Victoria's 109 approvals and Queensland's 73. NSW was the lowest in Australia on a per capita basis (02 November 2011). More...

New era in NSW transport

A new era in transport planning and customer service has started with the formal establishment of the new integrated transport agency -Transport for NSW. All planning and policy functions have been consolidated into the one authority, signalling the end of silos and the removal of duplication (01 November 2011). More...

Electronic Housing Code (EHC) launched

The Electronic Housing Code is a pilot project focused on the development of an online system for the electronic lodgement of complying development applications under the NSW Housing Code for lots 200m2 and above. This system will also allow the user to determine if they are able to proceed with their development without further approvals, as an exempt development (28 October 2011). More...

Builders drive up complaints on home front

Complaints against home builders for shoddy or incomplete work have risen 43 per cent in the past five years, with more than $400,000 in fines imposed in the past year alone. In the most serious cases, 35 builders have had their licence cancelled in that time, usually for ignoring tribunal orders for rectification work or to repay consumers (October 2011). More...

Bligh Government plans 306 projects for South East Queensland - QIP

The Bligh Government has mapped out 306 projects crucial to the future of South East Queensland, which are projects are in the Queensland Infrastructure Plan. Premier Anna Bligh launched the document setting out the state's infrastructure needs for the next 20 years. It will be updated annually. The list is outlined here (03 November 2011). More...

Caval Ridge mine project moves forward

BHP Billiton's announces it would move ahead with the Caval Ridge mine project and an expansion of the Peak Downs mine in the northern Bowen Basin. The step forward comes following conditional approval from the Coordinator-General in August 2010, after 18 months of rigorous environmental impact assessment (01 November 2011). More...

Queensland business investment charges to new high

The latest DAE Investment Monitor released today shows Queensland has soared to an historic high in the value of projects committed or under construction totalling $100.3 billion for the September quarter 2011. The surge in the value of definite projects has been underpinned by private sector resource projects (31 October 2011). More...

New neighbourhood disputes legislation in effect

Attorney General Paul Lucas announces the Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Act, which replaces the Dividing Fences Act that has been been in effect since 1953. These new laws set the ground rules and also either party to refer the matter to the QCAT agreement can't be reached. The new legislation also includes a clear definition of a sufficient dividing fence and how cost should be apportioned (01 October 2011). More...

Coordinator-General declares significant state projects

The Coordinator-General has declared BHP Billiton MetCoal Holdings' proposed Goonyella rail project and the Dudgeon Point Coal Terminal significant projects. The declarations were not approvals, but rather recognition of the size, scale and economic impact the projects could potentially have(27 October 2011). More...

State Government invests $20 million in sport infrastructure

The Bligh Government is investing $20 million in new and upgraded infrastructure projects, Sport Minister Phil Reeves announced this is underpinned by our Toward Q2: Tomorrow's Queensland initiative to help Queenslanders become the healthiest people in Australia. For more information about sport and recreation funding visit (26 October 2011). More...

Queensland attracts record $1 billion mining exploration investment

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show $1.126 billion was invested in mineral and petroleum exploration expenditure in Queensland during the 12 months to 30 June 2011. This includes $463.1 million for petroleum and gas exploration, $456.4 million for coal, and $207.1 million for mineral exploration (26 October 2011). More...

Modern resources sector reforms

In a move to drive more investment and jobs in Queensland's booming resources sector, the Bligh Government will modernise and streamline its resource approval processes for industry, with the Release of the Government–Industry Implementation Group (GIIG) report On the right track — Progress on the Streamlining Mining and Petroleum Approvals Project (27 October 2011). More...

Mt Alexander Road to be revamped at Travancore

The Minister for Roads Terry Mulder today announced the first stage of an $8.7 million transport improvement project at Travancore will start this week (27 November 2011). More...

RRL: Builders shortlisted for West Werribee Junction work

In another step forward for the Regional Rail Link – currently the nation's biggest public transport infrastructure project – three consortiums interested in delivering the West Werribee Junction section have been shortlisted (26 October 2011). More...

Anglesea mine agreement supports regional jobs

The Victorian Coalition Government has today introduced legislation to modernise the Agreement for Alcoa's Anglesea coal mine to support regional jobs and strengthen environmental protections (25 October 2011). More...

Doncaster Rail planning study underway with contract awarded

Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder today announced that the $6.5 million planning work would start immediately for Doncaster rail (26 October 2011). More...


On the right track: Progress on the Streamlining Mining and Petroleum Approvals Project

Department of Employment, Economic Development ; Innovation–Mines The State of Queensland (Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation) GIIG working groups focused on five key areas: environment, legislation, native title, small-scale mining and tenures (October 2011). More...

Tendering for government business: process contracts, good faith, fair dealing, and probity

Author: Lindsey Alford and Eden Bird
Australian Law Journal, 2011, Vol 85, No 10, pp678
Outlines for government lawyers, private practitioners advising government, or advising commercial entities tendering to government with some of the material relevant to private commercial tenders. The conclusion also makes "best practice" suggestions for governments involved in tendering

The trillion dollar question: Can superannuation boost investment in Australia's infrastructure
Ernst & Young (commissioned by the Financial Services Council) The report confirms that Australian super funds are willing to channel more of the nation's $1.3 trillion super nest egg into infrastructure projects (24 October 2011). More...

Practice Notes

Discussion Paper: Investment in infrastructure The discussion paper provides interested parties with an opportunity to comment on the design and implementation details of the proposal. Consultation on the discussion paper closes on 9 December 2011. Copies of the Discussion Paper are on the Treasury website at (27 October 2011)

Current Draft Policies and Plans, Announcements

VIC: Bushfire Mapping under new Building Amendments

On 8 September 2011, the Building Amendment (Bushfire Construction) Regulations 2011 came into effect, replacing the interim regulations which were introduced after the Black Saturday bushfires of February 2009. More information on the mapping is available here. . (02 November 2011). More...

NSW: Home approvals fast-tracked online

The Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Brad Hazzard has launched an online tool to revolutionise the housing approval process. The Electronic Housing Code is operational in ten council areas, at Bankstown, Blacktown, Lake Macquarie, Port Macquarie, Rockdale, Shellharbour, Sutherland, Tamworth, The Hills and Tweed Councils (28 October 2011). More...

NSW: Home Building Amendment Act 2011

The NSW Parliament passed a package of reforms to the Home Building Act 1989 which includes changes to: home warranty insurance, statutory warranty , contract requirements which apply to all residential building work. The changes will commence in two stages, the first took effect on 25 October 2011, while second will begin on 1 February 2012 are now outlined on the webpage (25 October 2011). More...

QLD: Fixing of concrete and terracotta tiles on roofs in cyclonic regions

To provide advice on fixing concrete and terracotta tiles to roofs of buildings located in categories 2 (C2) and 3 (C3) cyclonic wind regions (27 October 2011). More...

QLD: Building newsflash number 484 - New laws for pool fences on common boundaries

Amendments to the Building Act 1975 (BA) relating to pool fences on common boundaries commence on 1 November 2011.The amendments provide that all rules relating to pool fences on common boundaries are now found in the BA (01 November 2011). More...

For more information about the changes to the BA, refer to the New rules for dividing fences which also serve as a pool barrier fact sheet. More...




Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Legislation Amendment Regulations 2011 (No. 1) (SLI 198/2011) These Regulations commence on the commencement of Schedule 1 to the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (National Regulator) Act 2011.

Commencement 01 November 2011


Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Legislation Amendment Regulations 2011 (No. 1) SLI 2011 No. 198

These Regulations amend the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Resource Management and Administration) Regulations 2011 and the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Annual Fees) Regulations 1994 to increase the non-registration fees by 13.7 per cent to ensure that the states and the NT recover their costs of administering the day-to-day activities in Commonwealth waters, pending the commencement of NOPTA and NOPSEMA (24 October 2011). More...

Coal Mining Industry (Long Service Leave) Legislation Amendment Bill 2011

Author: Steve O'Neill, Economics Section, Parliament of Australia, Bills Digest
The primary purpose of the Coal Mining Industry (Long Service Leave) Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 (the Bill) is to provide a minimum long service leave entitlement for all eligible employees in the black coal mining industry based on the pre modern award standard (01 November 2011). More...

Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Universal Service Reform) Bill 2011 The Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency Bill 2011 (the Bill) forms part of a package of legislation to achieve continuity of key telecommunications safeguards in the transition to the National Broadband Network (NBN )
Intro Reps and Second Reading Speech 02 November 2011


Acts assented to

Home Building Amendment Act 2011 No 52 — Assented to 25 October 2011

This Act is to amend (a) the Home Building Act 1989 to make further provision in respect of home warranty insurance, statutory warranties, developers, building disputes and administrative arrangements; (b) the Civil Liability Act 2002



Environmental Protection (Greentape Reduction) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2011

A Bill for An Act to amend the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003, the Coastal Protection and Management Act 1995, the Environmental Protection Act 1994, the Environmental Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2011, the Geothermal Energy Act 2010, the Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2009, the Mineral Resources Act 1989, the North Stradbroke Island Protection and Sustainability Act 2011, the Petroleum Act 1923, the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004, the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971, the Sustainable Planning Act 2009, the Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage Act 2003, the Transport Infrastructure Act 1994, the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011, the Water Act 2000 and the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 for particular purposes (25 October 2011).


CFMEU v Mammoet Australia Pty Ltd [2011] FMCA 802

INDUSTRIAL LAW – Alleged breach of collective agreement – failure to provide accommodation – whether obligation to provide accommodation – Greenfields agreement.
INDUSTRIAL LAW – Alleged contravention of general protection – adverse action – protected industrial action – withdrawal of accommodation – whether withdrawal of accommodation authorised under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) – whether payment in relation to industrial action.

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – No case to answer submission – whether election required – factors for consideration. More...

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v TF Woollam & Son Pty Ltd (No 2) [2011] FCA 1216

TRADE PRACTICES – pecuniary penalty – consideration of principles in case law and in s 76 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) (TPA) – where respondents engaged in price-controlling behaviour – where such behaviour contravened s 45 of the TPA – where no monetary loss occurred as a result of behaviour – where conduct ad hoc and opportunistic – where financial position of respondents relevant – where no significant mitigating behaviour

TRADE PRACTICES – injunctive relief under s 80 of the TPA – circumstances where such relief will be granted – where likelihood that respondents would not commit contravening conduct again – where injunctive relief would not add anything to deterrence created by imposition of pecuniary penalties – injunctive relief not granted PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – declarations – whether to name non-party in declarations – where no pending proceedings against non-party - declarations should name non-party – recorded that non-party has not contravened the TPA
The Court declares that:
The Callemondah Project - should Kelly decide to submit a tender for the construction of an underfloor wheel lathe facility at Callemondah in the State of Queensland for Queensland Rail (the Callemondah Project), its tender price would be no less than a cover price given by Woollam to Kellly and Woollam's tender price for the Callemondah Project would be less than the Callemondah Cover Price. More...

Wright v Foresight Constructions Pty Ltd [2011] NSWCA 327

CONTRACT - building - oral variation of specification - contract unenforceable by builder but oral variation relied upon in defence of claim by owner - construction of contract - Home Building Act 1989 (NSW), ss 7, 7A, 7E, 10
JUDICIAL REVIEW - variation of costs order - order set aside as against party wrongly made subject to order STATUTORY INTERPRETATION - reliance by builder on oral variation to written agreement - statute prescribing consequences of breach - Home Building Act 1989 (NSW), ss 7, 7A, 7E, 10. More...

Bennett v Building Professionals Board (No 2) [2011] NSWADT 238

Accredited certifier - unsatisfactory professional conduct - interpretation of development consent. More...

Auscoast Builders Pty Ltd v All State Waterproofing [2011] QCAT 491

Summary determination and assessment of damages for rectification – water proofing. 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.