Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 5 September 2012

Last Updated: 9 September 2012

In the media

Slower, softer residential construction upturn expected
A new report based on revised housing supply figures from the 2011 Census data predicts low levels of demand will keep residential construction down for at least four years (23 August 2012) More...

Industry claim mining boom over
Australia's biggest resources companies have revealed that more than $50 billion worth of expansion projects will not go ahead as planned, in the latest sign that the peak of Australia's resources boom has passed (23 August 2012) More...

Councils and miners on collision course over road funding
The mining industry has given the cold shoulder to a renewed push from local governments, engineers and the federal bureaucracy to introduce a national 'user-pays' road-funding system to arrest the deteriorating state of regional roads (22 August 2012) More...

FWBC announces results of Concreting and Finishing Trades audit Fair Work Building & Construction (FWBC) have announced the results of an audit into Australia's concreting and finishing trades businesses. All contraventions were voluntarily rectified by the employers following advice and assistance from Inspectors. During the audit, Fair Work Building Industry Inspectors recovered approximately $289,700 for 310 workers who had been underpaid (17 August 2012) National Targeted Audit: Concreting and Finishing Trades: Final Report

Submissions Called For Construction Inquiry
The NSW Government is calling for public submissions to its inquiry into insolvency in the construction industry. Minister for Finance and Services Greg Pearce said the inquiry, announced earlier this month, will be chaired by barrister Bruce Collins QC, who will examine submissions and report back to the Government (20 August 2012) Submissions called for construction inquiry

Schindler selected for new Sydney harbor project
Schindler is to supply 106 elevators for a new waterfront development in Sydney, Australia, known as 'Barangaroo South' Covering a total area of 22 hectares, and valued at A$6 billion, 'Barangaroo' is an entire city quarter in itself and aims to demonstrate how urban populations can live sustainably (21 August 2012) More...

Laing O'Rourke Awarded $150 Million Civil Works Contract for Botany Bay Expansion
MarineLink has announced that Hutchison Port Holdings has awarded Laing O'Rourke a $150 million contract for the construction of civil and rail infrastructure, representing the first phase of the new Port Botany Terminal expansion. The terminal is scheduled to commence operations in 2013 (17 August 2012) More...

Queensland mounts contractor fraud crackdown
Contractors working on building projects who fib in statutory declarations face prosecution and up to three years jail under a Queensland government crackdown on bogus statutory declarations. State authorities will get tough on suppliers to the government who submit false statements claiming that they have discharged all their obligations to pay receivables owed to sub-contractors and workers (23 August 2012) More...

Queensland Parliament passes bill to cut mining red tape
The Mines Legislation (Streamlining) Amendment Bill 2012 A Bill that cuts mining red tap,e has passed in Queensland Parliament, despite criticisms about the length of the consultation period. Some aspects of the bill loosen restrictions around infastructure for coal seam gas mining (22 August 2012) More...

Queensland 30 year water plan in pipeline
State departments and agencies are working to prepare a 'whole-of-government' discussion paper on the challenges and opportunities facing Queensland's water and sewerage supply system, to be released in December 2012 (23 August 2012) More...

Alpha coal mine wins government approval
The federal government has approved the multi-billion dollar Alpha coal mine and its associated rail line in central Queensland. Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke says the project was granted with 19 strict environmental conditions which would ensure the Great Barrier Reef was protected (23 August 2012) More...

New Planning Policy announced for Queensland
The Newman Government has unveiled a new planning policy to unlock the full potential of the state's four pillar economic policy. The Planning for Prosperity policy would provide a clear statement of the position of the Government on the importance of agriculture, construction, mining and tourism to Queensland and how they must be considered in the planning process (23 August 2012) More...

Queensland's coal mining future drowning as exports plunge
The Queensland Resources Council is urging the State Government to find a new way to shift a vast volume of water from central Queensland mines that is holding back about 25 million tonnes of production. The water has been locked in since the 2011 floods and the industry cannot dispose of it into creeks and rivers because of environmental concerns (21 August 2012) More...

Works begin on $6.4M Mildura Airport upgrade
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan visit marks the official start of the $6.4 million Mildura Airport Terminal Redevelopment Project. Funding for the Mildura Airport Terminal Redevelopment Project included $5.2 million from the Victorian Coalition Government's Regional Growth Fund (RGF) and an additional $1.2 million from the Mildura Rural City Council. (21 August 2012) Works begin on $6.4M Mildura Airport upgrade

Key Parliamentary Committee to question lessons learnt on significant projects
The Public Accounts and Estimates Committee of the Victorian Parliament will conduct its second stage of public hearings with the Secretaries of major constructing Departments, the Victorian Auditor-General, CEOs of facilities built under Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and private sector organisations who are PPP participants in major infrastructure development and delivery (20 August 2012) More...

Builders named for $80 million New Norlane project
The Housing Minister has launched the next phase of the $80 million New Norlane project, announcing the builders who will partner with the Victorian Coalition Government to revitalise the suburb, with 320 new affordable private and public homes in Norlane by 2015 (15 August 2012) Builders named for $80 million New Norlane project

Published – articles, papers, reports

The Asbestos Management Review Report June 2012
DEEWR Recommendations for the development of a national strategic plan to improve asbestos awareness and management in Australia, was released by the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations on 16 August 2012 More...

Concreting and Finishing Trades Audit Report

Fair Work Building & Construction (FWBC)
This features employers in every state working in the concreting, painting, plastering, tiling, and gyprocking trades. FWBC field operations chief Michael Campbell stated that 140 of the 252 businesses audited were compliant with federal workplace laws (17 August 2012) More...

Department of Planning and Infrastructure Compliance Report
Monthly auditing and compliance activities report published for July 2012 (23 August 2012)
Compliance Report published for July 2012

HIA Industry Outlook Presentations
2012 HIA Bluescope Lysaght Industry Outlook Breakfast (August 2012), delivered by HIA chief economist Harley Dale in Perth
The Outlook for Australia's Residential Construction Industry (August 2012), delivered by HIA chief economist Harley Dale in Fremantle

In practice and courts

NSW: Inquiry into insolvency in the construction industry
The inquiry's terms of reference include looking at how initiatives such as insurance schemes, trust arrangements or mutual funds could help secure subcontractor entitlements. Submissions can be lodged on the NSW Government's "Have Your Say" website, which is or by emailing

NSW: Maintaining and expanding public electricity power plants - consultation
The proposed amendment to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) – known as the Infrastructure SEPP – is being publicly exhibited by the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure for one month from Monday 20 August to Wednesday 19 September 2012 (20 August 2012) Maintaining and expanding public electricity power plants: have your say

VIC: Inquiry into Effective Decision Making - Public Hearings Schedule
The Committee will be holding Public Hearings for its Inquiry into Effective Decision Making for the Successful Delivery of Significant Infrastructure Projects in relation to Term of Reference (d) 21 to 24 August 2012 inclusive, and on 8 October 2012. The August hearings will be held in the Legislative Council Committee Room (LCCR), Parliament House. The schedule can be found here.


Lane Cove Council v Ross (No 4) [2012] NSWLEC 191
INJUNCTIONS AND DECLARATIONS: building works in breach of development consent - respondent admits breach - utility of declaratory relief - declarations and injunctive relief granted. More...

BHW Solutions Pty Ltd v Altitude Constructions Pty Ltd [2012] QSC 214
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – REMUNERATION – STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OF PROGRESS PAYMENTS – PAYMENT CLAIMS – where subcontractor served payment claims on the contractor for the purpose of s 17 Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) – where the respondent did not serve payment schedules in response to the payment claims – where the contractual provision required a progress claim to be accompanied by a statutory declaration as a precondition to payment – whether absence of declaration invalidated payment claims More...

J & MD Milligan P/L v Queensland Building Services Authority [2012] QSC 213
PROCEDURE – SUPREME COURT PROCEDURE – QUEENSLAND – PROCEDURE UNDER RULES OF COURT – PLEADING – UNIFORM CIVIL PROCEDURE RULES 1999 (QLD) – where plaintiff seeks leave to amend claim to introduce new cause of action in estoppel – where plaintiff carries on business fabricating and installing steel structures – where defendant is the licensing authority with responsibility for the plaintiff's trade – where defendant sent plaintiff licence renewal notice – where licence suspended pursuant to s 53A Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991 (Qld) because plaintiff did not provide information about its continued satisfaction of relevant financial requirements – where information subsequently provided – where suspension ended – whether plaintiff should be given leave to amend claim to seek declaration that defendant estopped from denying that the information provided was that required by s 53A
PROCEDURE – SUPREME COURT PROCEDURE – QUEENSLAND – PROCEDURE UNDER RULES OF COURT – PLEADING – STATEMENT OF CLAIM – STRIKING OUT AND SUMMARY JUDGMENT – UNIFORM CIVIL PROCEDURE RULES 1999 (QLD) – Interpretation of s 53A Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991 (Qld) – whether plaintiff has pleaded elements necessary for estoppel – whether estoppel available to prevent exercise of statutory duty or statutory discretion – where application to strike out all or parts of statement of claim – whether summary judgment should be entered for defendant More...

Hoyle v Burrows [2012] QCAT 336
BUILDING – whether a subcontractor or principal contractor – whether subcontractor is liable for defective work – whether work done at specific direction by owner – whether owner accepted the risk of defective work More...

Cardona & Anor v Brown & Anor [2012] VSCA 174
CONTRACT – Claim for progress payment – Whether claim for completion of lock-up stage depends upon builder having first completed frame stage – Whether open for trial judge to find that lock-up stage had been completed – Whether 'home' included garage – Which party repudiated contract – Whether builders' demand for progress payment for lock-up stage was premature – Whether builders' notice for suspension of works was premature – Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (Vic) ss 3, 5, 40 – Appeal allowed. More...

Neil Fletcher Design Pty Ltd v Ferraro (Civil Claims) [2012] VCAT 1206
Building design work – interim invoice issued – liability denied on grounds of interpretation of the contract, alleged design faults, wrongful termination of the contract by the designer, misleading conduct, Coleman v Gordon M Jenkins & Associates Pty Ltd – respondent found to be liable – interest pursuant to the contract.
The Respondents shall pay the Applicant $8,286.68. More...

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