Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 31 July 2012

Last Updated: 4 August 2012

In the media

Building industry to face cost inquiry
The Council of Australian Governments will appoint a panel to review the industry, with wide terms of reference, including workplace relations. The timetable envisages the panel being appointed next month, with a secretariat of Commonwealth and state officials set up by September. A discussion paper would be released by the end of the year, and a final report delivered by July 31 next year (26 July 2012) More...

Market gridlock' in energy investment
Investment in new power stations has stalled amid continued uncertainty over Australia's energy policy and stricken black-coal generators are being squeezed out of the electricity market by falling demand, growing renewable energy and more gas use, new research suggests (23 July 2012) More...

Infrastructure Australia's Improving Major Infrastructure Procurement report
Infrastructure Australia's comprehensive report detailing a set of benchmarks to improve efficiency in the procurement of major infrastructure, identifies a series of best practice performance benchmarks and incentives that are aimed at promoting the adoption of best practice Australia-wide. The consistent application of best practice approaches to procurement, to reduce timeframes and costs and make bidding for contracts more attractive and more competitive (19 July 2012) More...

Adelaide Desalination Plant fatality: charges laid
SafeWork SA has laid charges under the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986 in relation to a fatality that occurred at the Adelaide Desalination Plant site in July 2010. On the advice of the Crown Solicitors Office, charges have now been laid against the alleged responsible entities, the company and the responsible officer (19 July 2012) More...

ABS: statistics show Australian new home building 'clearly in recession'
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released show residential building activity contracted in the March 2012 quarter. The total value of residential building work done fell by 1.9 per cent in the March quarter with new dwellings down by 1.2 per cent and renovations down by a sizeable 5.5 per cent (19 July 2012) More...

F3 to M2 Motorway One Step Closer
The announcement of early stage negotiations between the NSW Government and Transurban, as part of an unsolicited proposal to fund the long-promised F3-M2 motorway connection, is promising news for motorists and taxpayers (19 July 2012) More...

Government decision on the Connors river dam
The Government will examine potential water availability from existing infrastructure such as the Fairbairn and Burdekin Dams, after receiving advise from the SunWater Board that it has decided not to proceed with the Connors River Dam and Pipelines (CRDP) project (27 July 2012) More...

Queensland Sunshine Coast University Hospital PPP
The LNP Government has announced Exemplar Health has won the right to design, build, finance and maintain the major new tertiary teaching Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH), under a public-private partnership arrangement. The consortium will build then maintain the hospital for 25 years (18 July 2012) More...

Melbourne docks for urban renewal
Community infrastructure projects will proceed in Melbourne's Docklands following the city council's partnerships with other tiers of government and the private sector (18 July 2012) More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Building Activity, Australia, March 2012
Author: Australian Bureau of Statistics
The seasonally adjusted estimate of the value of total building work done fell 2.8% to $18,693.8m, in the March quarter. The seasonally adjusted estimate of the value of new residential building work done fell 1.2% to $9,286.2m. Work done on new houses rose 0.2% to $6,140.1m, while new other residential building fell 3.9% to $3,146.1m (18 July 2012) More...

Efficiencies in Major Project Procurement: Benchmarks for Efficient Procurement of Major Infrastructure
Author: prepared for Infrastructure Australia by Everything Infrastructure: released July 2012
The report identifies a suite of best practice efficiency benchmarks and incentives to promote the adoption of best practice procurement Australia-wide. It sets benchmarks across the spectrum of contract delivery models, including Public Private Partnerships, Design and Construct, and Alliance processes

Volume 1, Efficiencies in Major Project Procurement: Benchmarks for Efficient Procurement of Major Infrastructure (June 2012) - outlines the approach and activities involved in the development of the benchmarks.
Volume 2, Efficiencies in Major Project Procurement: Consultation Outcomes Report (June 2012) - provides an overview and findings of the consultation process.

eSAFE Construction
Latest edition of eSAFE Construction - a bi-monthly enewsletter providing information to subscribers on activities in the building and construction sector. Posted: 24 July 2012 eSAFE Construction - July 2012 edition

Safework Australia: 23 July 2012
Model codes of practice, published on 23 July 2012 These are e approved codse of practice under section 274 of the Work Health and Safety Act (the WHS Act).
Model Code of Practice - Managing Electrical Risks in the Workplace
Model Code of Practice - Managing Risks of Hazardous Chemicals in the Workplace
Model Code of Practice - Demolition Work
Model Code of Practice - Safe Design of Structures
Model Code of Practice - First Aid in the Workplace
Model Code of Practice - Preventing Falls in Housing Construction
Model Code of Practice - Managing the Risks of Plant in the Workplace
Model Code of Practice - Construction Work

In practice and courts

Your guide to dispute resolution
The newly launched guide to dispute resolution contains information about how some ADR processes work and is designed to assist ordinary Australians to use ADR to resolve their disputes. A copy of the guide is available to download at (23 July 2012)

GBCA Green Star certifications and skills
From 1 September 2012 GBCA will be introducing a streamed approach to Green Star qualifications and education delivery. The current Green Star CPD program will be expanded to include a total of five qualifications. For more information on the new CPD structure , visit the Green Star Qualifications. (18 July 2012)

NSW: Reform of the Home Building Act
The NSW Government has released an Issues Paper on reform of the Home Building Act. This follows amendments to the Act late last year. The Issues Paper asks for comment on key issues, including the statutory warranty scheme, the dispute resolution mechanism and home warranty insurance. To read the Paper, click here. (17 July 2012)

QLD: Proposed changes to Queensland Development Code
Building Codes Queensland is seeking public comment on a proposal to amend the Queensland Development Code (QDC) to streamline the process for building over or near an infrastructure service. Submissions on the proposal close at 5pm on Tuesday, 21st August 2012. To find out more about the draft QDC, click here. (19 July 2012)


Endeavour Coal Pty Limited v Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers, Australia [2012] FCA 764
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – reasons for decision – approach to reasons upon review – whether beneficial reading to be given in all cases – relevance of legal or judicial qualifications of decision-maker INDUSTRIAL LAW – enterprise agreements – bargaining orders – non-compliance with good faith bargaining requirements – majority support determination in place – whether bargaining representative required to bargain with a view to reaching agreement if possible – bargaining representatives required to engage in "give and take" – no misconstruction of s 228 INDUSTRIAL LAW – enterprise agreements – bargaining orders – power of Fair Work Australia to specify certain things in bargaining orders – whether power confined to ensuring compliance with good faith bargaining requirements – no power to require concessions or agreement on terms More...

Nu Line Construction Group Pty Ltd v Fowler (aka Grippaudo) [2012] NSWSC 816
COSTS - principles in Calderbank v Calderbank - informal offer from defendants before proceedings commenced - whether offer involved a genuine element of compromise - whether rejection of offer was unreasonable - whether the plaintiff's conduct of the proceedings warrants an indemnity order - HELD - rejection of offer by plaintiff was not unreasonable - although conduct of proceedings by plaintiff does not warrant indemnity costs orders, conduct does warrant order that plaintiff pay the defendants 85 percent of their solicitor/client costs of the proceedings More...

St Hilliers Construction Pty Ltd (In Administration) -v- Fitzpatrick Investments Pty Ltd [2012] NSWSC 804
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - where design and construct building contract requires provision by the contractor of bank guarantees as security for performance - where, upon satisfaction of certain conditions, the contractor is entitled to a reduction of the security - whether such conditions satisfied - whether, by taking possession of the works, the principal has exercised an election amounting to a waiver of its right to continue to keep the security More...

Ardnas (No 1) Pty Ltd -v- J Group (Aust) Pty Ltd [2012] NSWSC 805
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - Application to set aside adjudication determination on the basis of no jurisdiction on the grounds that the defendant impermissibly made, and the determination dealt with, more than one payment claim in relation to the same reference date in conflict with ss 13(1), 13(5) and 17(1) Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) - HELD - Whether more than one payment claim was made to be viewed as a matter of substance not form - multiple invoices capable of being one payment claim for the purposes of the Act More...



[Draft] National Licensing for Electrical Occupations

The COAG Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) examines the impact of replacing the current diverse state and territory licensing of the electrical occupational area with a proposed national licensing approach. It also examines an automatic mutual recognition option.
The Consultation RIS seeks feedback on the scope and scale of the proposed changes, examples of the impact on licensees and businesses, on the durability of reform, and on the merits of reform under the different options for promoting a seamless national approach to licensing of electrical occupations. NOTE: 26/08/2012 Submissions close; 17/07/2012 Open for consultation and comments More...

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