Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 17 July 2012

Last Updated: 21 July 2012
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media

Finance rate comparison site for construction businesses launched
Australia's first asset and equipment finance comparison website, Finnovate, is set to empower businesses with choice and trigger competition among lenders through total rate transparency. The web-based business finance model allows businesses to access and compare the rates and fees of nine major lenders and apply for equipment and vehicle finance and leasing online (10 July 2012) More...

Regional Infrastructure Funds and Guidelines released
Prime Minister has released the Federal Government's guidelines for the $6 billion Regional Infrastructure Fund as part of the proceeds of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax to pay for major road, rail, ports and other economic infrastructure to support growth . The RIF guidelines are available at: (11 July 2012) More...

Engineers Australia releases comments on the Queensland Flood Commission of Inquiry
Currently floodplain management is the responsibility of local authorities, with some input from state and federal advisors. This approach is inconsistent across the state, resulting in varying flood management, according to the Engineers Australia report findings (05 July 2012) More...

Builders Support Crackdown on Phoenix Activity
The building and construction industry has welcomed new research released today by the Fair Work Ombudsman into phoenixing activity in Australia and has called on the Government to be proactive in stamping out the practice (04 July 2012) More...

Unions Show Disregard to Fair Work's Rules
Two industrial disputes orchestrated by the CFMEU show that unions continue to display a total disregard to the rules administered by the Fair Work Building and Construction agency which replaced the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) (04 July 2012) More...

Another NSW builder in administration
Baseline Constructions, another NSW builder, has gone into voluntary administration. The company was founded in 1993 by civil engineer Nicholas Bettar from small Bankstown/Canterbury foundations. In peak construction years it has had $65 million-plus revenues (11 July 2012) More...

Workers reminded to renew high risk work licences
WorkCover NSW is reminding workers qualified to operate high risk plant and equipment to review, and if necessary renew, their licences. The three different WorkCover high risk work licences will be combined into one easily recognisable card. All affected licences must be renewed before the end of this year, 31 December 2012 (09 July 2012) More...

NSW Building Approvals Trending Upwards
The approval figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for housing and non-residential buildings show a welcome improvement for NSW on recent months, says the Urban Taskforce. This bears out the Census data that indicated that Sydney now has 27.6% apartments and 12.5% terraces and townhouses leaving only 58.6% of housing units as detached houses (04 July 2012) More...

NSW Government launches Hunter Infrastructure Call
The NSW Government has called for infrastructure projects to be considered for funding through the Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund (HIIF). Projects that enhance productivity could be public roads, railways, port, energy, water, public schools or TAFE, public hospitals and health care facilities, emergency services, recreational, sporting as well as major cultural and entertainment venues (04 July 2012) More...

Historic NSW plumbing reforms have started
The Commissioner said the new Plumbing and Drainage Act 2011 and adoption by New South Wales of the Plumbing Code of Australia heralded significant improvements to the health and well being of consumers and industry efficiency. Under the new Act, Fair Trading becomes the single regulator for plumbing and drainage in New South Wales, replacing more than 100 individual agency arrangements (02 July 2012) More...

Procurement simplified for state rail link
Improved outcomes from simpler procurement for the Moreton Bay Rail Link will come from managing the project by one agency instead of two. The project delivery will be brought under a single entity with the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads and the principal for the contract (12 July 2012) More...

Queensland Cockatoo coal project takes next major step
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning announces Cockatoo Coal has been given the green light to prepare an environmental impact statement for the North Surat-Taroom coal project. This project has the potential to create up to 1000 construction and 550 operation jobs, with further regional jobs from flow-on economic development (09 July 2012) More...

Federal infrastructure funding for Queensland
Federal Government had committed $1.66 million for the North Queensland Resources Supply Chain–and $1.5 million for the Central Queensland Resources Supply Chai. The funding will also provide certainty in terms of the Queensland Government's priority infrastructure projects and outcomes (09 July 2012) More...

Queensland Royalties for the Regions' applications open soon
Councils in regions impacted by resource developments will soon be able to seek funding for critical infrastructure projects with applications for the LNP Government's 'Royalties for the Regions' program opening in September (04 July 2012) More...

Infrastructure Australia backs East West Link
Infrastructure Australia (IA) has today backed the Victorian Coalition Government's plan to build an east-west road connection for Melbourne with a recommendation funding be given to develop the project further (13 July 2012) Infrastructure Australia backs East West Link

New workplace guidelines in force for Victorian construction industry
The new guidelines to the Victorian Code of Practice for the Building and Construction Industry will help to deliver value for money for the State's infrastructure projects, eliminate unlawful activity on construction sites and promote a safe and productive culture across the industry, according to the Victorian Government (03 July 2012)
New workplace guidelines in force for Victorian construction industry

Victoria claims major share of building approvals
The Victorian Coalition Government has welcomed new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing the state's building approvals continue to rise. Victoria accounted for almost 40 per cent of housing approvals nationally (03 July 2012)
Victoria claims major share of building approvals

Published – articles, papers, reports

Civil Infrastructure Metric
The Infrastructure Metric, a new major series of research reports being produced by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA), in collaboration with business research and forecasting firm, BIS Shrapnel. Each quarter, the Metric provides a timely indicator of civil commencements for the following segments: Total civil infrastructure; Civil infrastructure excluding direct mining and heavy industry construction; Transport infrastructure and Utilities infrastructure (July 2012) More...

Integrating Australia's transport systems: A Strategy for an Efficient Transport Future
Author: Booz & Co: July 2012
This paper explores the benefits of including alternative transit modes in strategic transport corridor evaluation and identifies practical steps governments can take to ensure policy makers have the best information available when making modal and whole of network decisions More...

Engineering Construction Activity, Australia, March 2012
Author: Australian Bureau of Statistics
The trend estimate for the value of total engineering construction work done rose 5.4% in the March 2012 quarter. The seasonally adjusted estimate for the value of total engineering construction work done rose 13.3% in the March quarter to $29,846.6m. The value of work commenced in the March quarter was $20,806.6m, an increase of 4.7% from the December quarter. (04 July 2012) More...

Queensland Flood Commission of Inquiry's Final Report: analysis of the implications
Engineers Australia releases comments on the Queensland Flood Commission of Inquiry
Source: Engineers Australia's Queensland Division Flood Committee The report, collated by senior engineers and flood-experts from, highlights the intense and highly complex challenges faced by the dam engineers responding to the flood crisis in 2011 (July 2012) More...

In practice and courts

Regional Infrastructure Fund Guidelines
The Guidelines for the Regional Infrastructure Fund will apply to both Stream 1 and Stream 2 funding. The Guidelines contain detailed information on how projects are sourced for funding, how funding decisions are made and the conditions for funding (July 2012) More...

GECA - Environmentally Preferable Paint Standard for Australia
A new national paint standard has been developed by ASBEC member, Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) which excludes solvent-based paints, all carcinogenic and mutagenic substances
The standard, 'GECA 23-2012 Paints and Coatings', recognises best-practice, environmentally responsible products and was developed in consultation with leading industry figures (06 July 2012) More...

APVMA study - New restrictions in place for arsenic-treated timber
New restrictions on the use of copper chrome arsenate (CCA) for treating timber have begun as of 1 July 2012. CCA has been used to preserve wood in a variety of situations such as for telegraph poles, decking and fencing. It was also used for children's playground equipment (03 July 2012) More...


Owners Corporation Strata Plan 72535 v Brookfield [2012] NSWSC 712
[BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION] - strata titles - whether development was adapted for commercial use as a tourist holiday or overnight accommodation - whether owners corporation is entitled to the benefit of the statutory warranties implied under the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) - whether appropriate for a trial judge to determine a common law duty of care owed to an owners corporation - whether defendants owed a common law duty of care. [PROCEDURE] - civil - interlocutory issues - severability of issues - whether court should order the separate and prior determination of issues proposed by the notices of motion - leave sought to withdraw admission - whether admission is contrary to the actual facts - whether interests of justice favour application for leave being granted - no question of principle. [WORDS AND PHRASES] - dwelling. More...

Lane Cove Council v Michael Davies & Associates and Others [2012] NSWSC 727
Referee, adoption of report, Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW) r 20.24, Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) s 52, misleading and deceptive conduct, relationship with contract, alleged misrepresentations under contract, time limitation, limitation period in contract and negligence, latent defects, res judicata- corrosion damage within the Lane Cove Aquatic Leisure Centre (the Centre) - claims in relation to design and construction deficiencies. More...

Napier Constructions Pty Ltd (Subject to DOCA)(Receivers & Managers Appointed) -v- Christopher Honey (in his capacity as Joint and Several Receiver and Manager of Napier Constructions Pty Ltd) [2012] NSWSC 762
CONTRACT - Construction of deed recording agreement as to the basis upon which a party would assist companies and their receivers in prosecuting proceedings against certain third parties - where another party (the bank) makes available funds to facilitate prosecution of proceedings and is owed money under secured facilities - construction of formula for the sharing of settlement proceeds (between the companies and the bank) where provision is capable of two meanings - construction of clauses providing for the taking into account of interest More...

Thiess Pty Ltd & Anor v Arup Pty Ltd & Ors [2012] QSC 185
CONTRACTS – GENERAL CONTRACTUAL PRINCIPLES – CONSTRUCTION AND INTERPRETATION OF CONTRACTS – where applicants ("TJH") engaged first and second respondents ("PBA") as consultants – where TJH and PBA entered into a Collaborative Consultancy Agreement ("CCA") for design of infrastructure project – where Schedule 7 to the CCA governs compensation of PBA for work performed under the CCA – where Schedule 7 establishes a "3-element" compensation model – where first element reimburses PBA for "actual cost" related to work performed under the CCA – where TJH contends that the words "actual cost" in cl S7-1 of the CCA bear their ordinary meaning – where TJH contends that later provisions in Schedule 7 relate only to the quantum of progress payments and do not govern PBA's entitlement to compensation – where PBA contends that the words "actual cost" in cl S7-1 in relation to staff rates are defined by cl S7-3 – whether, upon proper interpretation of the CCA, cl S7-1, cl S7-3 and cl S7-4 specify and thereby define costs for which PBA is to be compensated by TJH
EQUITY – GENERAL PRINCIPLES – MISTAKE – EQUITABLE RELIEF IN CASE OF MISTAKE – Rectification – Particular cases – where, following negotiations, TJH and PBA entered into the CCA as a written agreement – where Schedule 7 to the CCA refers to various "multipliers" to be applied to "raw rates" in determining compensation under the agreement for cost of personnel – whether, had the CCA mistakenly recorded the parties' agreement, TJH and PBA held a common intention at the time of entering into the CCA that the multipliers would not be "subject to audit" – whether PBA engaged in conduct lacking in good faith precluding it from seeking the remedy of rectification
TRADE PRACTICES AND RELATED MATTERS – MISLEADING OR DECEPTIVE CONDUCT – Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) ("TPA") – where TJH and PBA entered into the CCA following negotiations – where those negotiations included discussion about a 2.8 multiplier to be applied in determining cost of full time staff under the CCA – whether PBA engaged in conduct in breach of s 52 TPA by failing to disclose that it had not undertaken a specific examination of its financial records, as pleaded by TJH, prior to entering into the CCA
CONTRACTS – GENERAL CONTRACTUAL PRINCIPLES – CONSTRUCTION AND INTERPRETATION OF CONTRACTS – where the CCA provided for "Compliance Audits" to be undertaken by an auditor and the production of a "Compliance Audit Report" – whether the investigations undertaken by Easdown Consulting Pty Ltd ("Easdown") constitute Compliance Audits for the purposes of the CCA – whether the report produced by Easdown constitutes the Compliance Audit Report contemplated by the CCA – whether, in the alternative, TJH is estopped from denying that the investigations undertaken by Easdown constitute Compliance Audits and the report produced by it the Compliance Audit Report CONTRACTS – GENERAL CONTRACTUAL PRINCIPLES – OFFER AND ACCEPTANCE – Agreement to amend existing contract – where a meeting of TJH and PBA representatives with responsibility for administering the CCA purported to amend certain principles relevant to PBA's compensation under the agreement – whether agreement was reached at that meeting – whether it was agreed that the reduced overtime rate of 1.1 would apply after 37.5 hours or 45 hours – whether, in the alternative, TJH is estopped from denying that agreement was reached at that meeting that the reduced overtime rate of 1.1 would apply after 45 hours More...

Lowseck v Queensland Building Services Authority [2012] QCAT 280 Permitted Individual – bankruptcy – failure to provide for Commonwealth taxation debts More...

Barry v Queensland Building Services Authority and Ors [2012] QCAT 264 Building matter – direction to rectify by Authority for defective workmanship – where builder followed plans and specifications for materials annexed to plans – where allegations actions by property owners affected work – where direction issued to applicant as head contractor McNab Constructions Australia Pty Ltd v QBSA [2010] QCA 380 followed More...

Skilled Group Ltd v CSR Viridian Pty Ltd & Anor [2012] VSC 290
BUILDING CONTRACTS – Unexecuted sub-contracts - Whether binding sub-contracts entered into – Sub-contracts implied from conduct – Whether conduct of parties evidenced a concluded bargain and on what terms - Fourth class of Masters v Cameron [1954] HCA 72; (1954) 91 CLR 353 considered and applied - Whether party estopped from denying binding sub-contracts – Whether restitutionary quantum meruit available - Lumbers v W Cook Builders Pty Limited [2008] HCA 27; (2007) 232 CLR 635 considered and applied - Milestone dates for progressive completion of stages of works not agreed – Whether milestone dates essential terms - Whether free acceptance of benefit arises – Construction and effect of final certificates issued by superintendent under General Conditions of AS2124 – 1992 as amended – Entitlement for payment pursuant to final certificates.
CONTRACT - Whether conduct of parties evidenced a concluded bargain and on what terms - Fourth class of Masters v Cameron [1954] HCA 72; (1954) 91 CLR 353 considered and applied - Whether party estopped from denying binding contract – Lumbers v W Cook Builders Pty Limited [2008] HCA 27; (2007) 232 CLR 635 considered and applied - Whether restitutionary quantum meruit available. 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.