Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 10 September 2012

Last Updated: 16 September 2012
Article by Chris Edquist

In the media

CFMEU officials exposed to Grocon blockade damages
CFMEU officials face claims for damages of about $500,000 per day resulting from last week's strike against Grocon at the Emporium in Melbourne's CBD. The company made the request to have the officials added to its claim in the Victorian Supreme Court (05 September 2012) More...

Vic govt joins Grocon court action
The Victorian government is backing Grocon's contempt proceedings against the construction union over its Melbourne building site blockade. Grocon and the attorney-general will ask the Victorian Supreme Court to find that previous court orders requiring the blockade to end have been wilfully and repeatedly ignored (03 September 2012) More...

Safer Highways for Australia's Truck Drivers
The safety of the trucking industry receives $40 million funding to be delivered to the States and Territories to improve the roads our truck drivers use. The nation's roads are their workplace and the Federal Labor Government is inviting applications for funding under Round Three of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program over 2012-13 and 2013-14 (05 September 2012) More...

AMEC and China Mining Association MOU
The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) will sign an important Memorandum of Understanding agreement with the China Mining Association (CMA) The agreement will ensure the exchange of information on topics such as mining and exploration technology, codes of practice, investment, legislation and will also see the cross promotion of events (04 September 2012) More...

Clean Energy Landfill Projects Approved Under Carbon Farming Initiative
The first offset projects under the national Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) have been approved, with four landfill sites set to reap environmental rewards by capturing harmful greenhouse gases from waste. Two of the gas capture projects are based in Perth at the South Cardup and Mirrabooka landfill sites, with two others in Darwin, and Buderim in Queensland (04 September 2012) More...

National approach to asbestos management
The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations announces the Government's response to the comprehensive Asbestos Management Review (commissioned in October 2010), with the establishment of an Office of Asbestos Safety which will be tasked with developing a national strategic plan as recommended by the Review, by 1 July 2013 (04 September 2012) More...

FWBC secures $200,000 finding against CFMEU and McDonald
The Federal Court at Perth has ordered the CFMEU and its WA Assistant Secretary to pay penalties totalling $200,000 and FWBC costs, for a targeted industrial campaign against a construction company. The FWBC Chief Executive condemned the CFMEU's unlawful tactics which were employed to force a construction company to make an agreement (04 September 2012) More...

Where are Australia's mines of tomorrow?
The fact that Australian exploration investment could have peaked, and the industry may now be entering a period of contraction, are cause for concern for the sustainability of the Australian mining industry, according to the AMEC CEO (03 August 2012) More...

National Building Approvals slump
Building approvals dived 17.3 per cent in July from the previous month, the latest sign of weakness in the housing market. Approvals, a gauge of future activity in the housing sector, fell at triple the 5 per cent pace tipped by economists. Approvals were also 10.6 per cent lower than a year earlier, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported (30 August 2012) More...

NSW draft transport plan passes the test
The New South Wales Government's draft transport master plan provides a strong analysis of future transport requirements and puts in place a logical plan to deal with growth, including the identification of a network of transport corridors to be protected for future use, says Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (04 September 2012) More...

100 million water boost for Sydney homes
The NSW Government has approved a $100 million project to provide vital water infrastructure to enable the development of 13,000 new homes Sydney's north-west. The 14km of water pipelines, two reservoirs, two pumping stations and 10km of pipelines will service residential and land release areas in Box Hill and Schofields (29 August 2012) 100 million water boost for Sydney homes

New Website: Mackay Ring Road Planning Study
The local community has more opportunities to have their say and provide input into the design and preferred route of the proposed Mackay Ring Road following the development and launch of a dedicated website: (05 September 2012) More...

Pipeline secures water supplies for Bega Valley Shire
Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water Senator Don Farrell said the Australian Government had provided $10 million in funding towards the $24 million pipeline project. The new pipeline and pump station means up to 20 million litres of groundwater a day can be transferred to the Yellow Pinch Dam for later use (29 August 2012) Pipeline secures water supplies for Bega Valley Shire

Victorian Government halts fracking, coal seam gas exploration
Victoria put a hold on hydraulic fracturing, a technique used to produce hard-to-reach gas deposits, and a halt on new coal seam gas exploration licenses. The moratorium would remain until a national regulatory framework for regulating coal seam gas and hydraulic fracturing was put in place by Australia's federal government, according to the state energy and resources minister (August 2012) More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, June 2012
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
The trend estimate for total mineral exploration expenditure rose 3.1% (or $31.6m) to $1056.4m in the June quarter 2012. The largest contributor to the rise in the trend estimate this quarter was Western Australia (up 7.4% or $41.5m). The current quarter estimate is 22.9% higher than the June quarter 2011 estimate. The seasonally adjusted estimate for mineral exploration expenditure fell 4.9% (or -$52.9m) to $1018.5m in the June quarter 2012. The largest contributor to the fall this quarter was Queensland (down 12.6% or -$33.1m), followed by Western Australia (down 1.6% or -$9.3m) (03 September 2012) More...

Delivering diverse and affordable housing on infill development sites
Source: Steven Rowley; Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute
This Investigative Panel brought together key development stakeholders from Sydney and Perth to identify the main barriers to infill development and put forward solutions to overcome these barriers (29 August 2012) Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI)

NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan - Overview
Source: New South Wales Government
The draft NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan sets the direction for transport planning for the next 20 years, providing a framework for transport policy and investment decisions that respond to key challenges ((04 September 2012) More...

ABS Publications
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released the following statistical publications:
Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, June 2012 (3 September 2012).
Construction Work Done, Australia, Preliminary, June 2012 (29 August 2012)
Building Approvals, Australia, July 2012 (30 August 2012) ( further information).

In practice and courts

Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) fee increases 2012
These increases will become effective 17 September 2012, and are mandated under the legislation which established the CBD Program, the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act (2010). These fees are intended to take account of inflation since the commencement of the Program
Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) fee increases (03 September 2012)

National Submissions open for comment
Strategic framework review of the regulation of land transport of dangerous goods: options paper
Submissions close 31 August 2012 - Hosted by the National Transport Commission

NSW: Building Forms
The City of Sydney has updated the following sections on its website: Building Forms (updated 31 August 2012) (updated 3 September 2012).

VIC: FWBC action - Grocon dispute
The FWBC has provided information about regulatory action taken by Fair Work Building & Construction (FWBC) in response to the Grocon dispute in Victoria (29 August 2012) More...

QLD: Easier access to housing information
The new the Homes and Housing section of the Queensland Government website at draws information from several government departments and includes information on building, buying, owning, renting or selling a home, emergency accommodation and homelessness (04 September 2012) More...


Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union [2012] FCA 966
INDUSTRIAL LAW – contempt – admitted breaches of Court orders and statutory prohibitions – penalties agreed- Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act 2005 (Cth) More...

CH2M Hill v State of NSW [2012] NSWSC 963
[CONTRACT] - building and construction - whether defendants breached contractual duty of care - whether breach of specific design criteria - whether defendants design of the works was in accordance with best engineering practices - whether defendant complied with contractual duty of care - whether defendant engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by representing it would provide design services properly - whether rectification works unreasonable.[EQUITY] - assignments - whether valid assignment - whether genuine commercial interest.[DAMAGES] - contract - calculation of indirect costs - whether plaintiff is entitled to recover damages for corporate overheads - whether assessment of loss includes rectification works. [TORTS] - duty of care - whether defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care - whether duty of care more extensive than the obligations under the express retainer. [PROCEDURE] - application for leave to amend - whether amendment propounded was so deficient as to be embarrassing - whether proposed pleading is likely to cause significant prejudice. More...

Preston v Commissioner for Fair Trading [2011] NSWCA 40
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - Home Building Act 1989, s 83B(3) - licensing of builders - disciplinary provisions - holder of contractor licence issued with reprimand - holder of contractor licence seeks review in Administrative Decisions Tribunal - whether decision to reprimand is decision "to impose a penalty" - whether Administrative Decisions Tribunal has jurisdiction to review - ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - Administrative Decisions Tribunal - jurisdiction - internal review - Administrative Decisions Tribunal Act 1997, s 53 - whether holder of contractor licence aggrieved by decision to impose reprimand may apply for review - STATUTES - interpretation - purposive construction - purpose of disciplinary proceedings - no rigid distinction between punitive and protective - Interpretation - ambiguous meaning - unjust or capricious result - STATUTES - interpretation - aids to construction - statutory history - relevance of pre-existing regulations to amend legislation - structure of legislation - headings - Consideration of extrinsic materials - Second Reading Speech - Explanatory Memorandum - ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - judicial review legislation - privative clauses - COSTS - party and party costs - litigant in person - costs of preparation and presentation of case - out-of-pocket expenses actually and reasonably incurred – appeal allowed More...

Queensland Building Services Authority v Mahony [2012] QDC 226
COSTS – Assessment – costs "of and incidental to" an application – does not include wasted costs – what covered – reassessment. More...

Queensland Building Services Authority v Johnson [2012] QCAT 367
PROFESSIONS AND TRADES – BUILDERS – DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS – where respondent carried out building work regarding provision of materials and construction – where respondent did not hold a contractor's licence of the appropriate class under Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991– whether proper grounds exist for disciplinary action – whether a penalty is an appropriate order in the circumstances More...

Unifor Australia Pty Ltd v Katrd Pty Ltd atf Morshan Unit Trust t/as Beyond Completion Projects [2012] QSC 252
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – JUDICIAL REVIEW – GROUNDS FOR REVIEW – JURISDICTIONAL MATTERS – where the respondent succeeded in an adjudication claim under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) – where the respondent provided the wrong supporting spreadsheet to the adjudicator – where neither side realised the incorrect spread sheet had been provided at the time of the adjudication - where the adjudicator acknowledged a difficulty in indentifying precisely what the terms of the contract were between the parties – where the applicant contends that an essential statutory pre-requisite for an adjudication decision was not satisfied – where the applicant contends the decision of the adjudicator was fatally infected by jurisdiction error – where the applicant contends that there was an error of law on the face of the record – whether the decision of the adjudicator was unlawful More...

Queensland Building Services Authority v Orenshaw & Anor [2012] QSC 241 PRACTICE – SUMMARY JUDGMENT – where the first defendant performed allegedly defective building work on two properties – where the plaintiff decided to indemnify the owners – where the plaintiff seeks recovery of that alleged debt from the first defendant – where the plaintiff seeks summary judgment – whether the first defendant has no real prospect of successfully defending the plaintiff's claim
PRACTICE – SUMMARY JUDGMENT – where the first defendant makes a counterclaim against the plaintiff for breaches of duties of care allegedly owed by the plaintiff – where the plaintiff seeks summary judgment in respect of the counterclaim against it – whether the first defendant has no real prospect of succeeding on its counterclaim against the plaintiff
INSURANCE – BUILDING – LOSS OR DAMAGE – where the plaintiff contends the defence must fail because the validity of the process by which the owners were indemnified and thus the right of recovery from the first defendant cannot be challenged – whether the plaintiff's decision to indemnify is unassailable in this proceeding
NEGLIGENCE – where the first defendant's counterclaim against the plaintiff alleges the plaintiff breached a duty of care to reject the company's licence application and caused damage – whether there was a duty of care – whether its breach caused damage – whether the damage was too remote – whether the first defendant has no real prospect of succeeding
PRACTICE – STRIKING OUT – where the plaintiff seeks in the alternative orders striking out much of the defence and the whole of the counterclaim
PRACTICE – where the plaintiff seeks orders setting aside the first defendant's claim against the second defendant and giving the first defendant leave to commence that claim as a separate proceeding – whether the divergence in the nature of the two cases is such that they should be separated
PRACTICE – where the plaintiff seeks to consolidate a further claim by it against the first defendant – whether the same or substantially the same questions are involved in both proceedings More...

Fulton Hogan Construction Pty Ltd v Grenadier Manufacturing Pty Ltd (in liq) & Ors [2012] VSC 358
Torts — Negligence — Failure of coating applied to the trusses and handrails of a footbridge — Whether the failure of the coating was caused or contributed to by poor application practice by the second defendant or other contractors — Whether the failure of the coating was caused or contributed to by defective product manufactured by the third defendant.
Evidence — Opinion — Expert evidence — Whether an expert can adopt the reasoning and conclusions of subordinates in writing an expert report.
Damages — Goods and services tax (GST) — Whether an award of damages should include GST paid by the plaintiff to third parties as a consequence of rectifying the property damage — Whether damages awarded for loss arising from property damage constitute supply for the purposes of GST — Where the plaintiff is registered for GST purposes and entitled to receive an input tax credit.
Damages — Economic loss in tort and contract from failure to take reasonable care — Concurrent wrongdoers — Proportionate liability — Wrongs Act 1958 (Vic) Pt IVAA, s 24AH. More...


New South Wales

Regulations and other statutory instruments
Architects Regulation 2012 (2012-424) — published LW 31 August 2012
Marine Safety Legislation Amendment (Fees) Regulation 2012 (2012-442) — published LW 31 August 2012
Mine Subsidence Compensation Regulation 2012 (2012-443) — published LW 31 August 2012
Surveying and Spatial Information Regulation 2012 (2012-436) — published LW 31 August 2012


No 151: Building Amendment Regulation (No. 3) 2012 —31-08-2012
Amends the Building Act 1975 - activities as CPD activities if the PSC considers the activities are relevant to pool safety inspection functions or matters incidental to those functions

No 20 Mines Legislation (Streamlining) Amendment Act 2012- 29-08-2012
No 21 Heavy Vehicle National Law Act 2012- 29-08-2012

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