Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 26 March 2013

Last Updated: 3 April 2013

In the media

Australian Construction Industry Loses 61,500 Days to Disputes in 2012
As debate rages over how to curb a perceived increase in union militancy throughout the industry, the building and construction sector in Australia has recorded its worst year on record with regard to industrial disputes, the latest figures show (17 March 2013). More...

Carbon tax blamed for record insolvencies
News Limited papers report that there were 10,632 company collapses in the year to March 1, a rate 12 per cent higher than during the Global Financial Crisis, with manufacturing and construction contributing a fifth of this number (18 March 2013). More...

Unfair contract terms deleted following ACCC review
Unfair contract terms used in standard form consumer contracts have been changed or removed following an industry specific review and engagement by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (13 March 2013). More...

Infrastructure Coordinator Reappointed
Michael Deegan has been reappointed as the Infrastructure Coordinator, a position with responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day operations of Infrastructure Australia, to serve a second five year term (13 March 2013). More...

ACCC authorises collective bargaining for central Queensland coal producers
The ACCC has granted authorisation to Endocoal, Whitehaven Coal, Yancoal Australia, QC Resource Investments and Linc Energy to collectively bargain with Adani Mining for access to its new coal terminal at Dudgeon Point, and with Aurizon Network for access to below rail infrastructure to transport their coal to the terminal (14 March 2013). More...

New coal seam gas rules
Tough new rules to strengthen regulation of the Coal Seam Gas (CSG) industry are a step closer with the NSW Government releasing its proposed Mining SEPP changes. The amendment seeks to prohibit CSG exploration and production activity within two kilometres of residential zones and proposed future residential areas (21 March 2013). More...

Contractors Shortlisted for Oxley Highway to Kundabung Upgrade
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner today announced that Thiess Pty Ltd and a joint venture between Abigroup and Baulderstone had been selected to proceed to the next phase of the tendering process (20 March 2013). More...

Sydney metro strategy presses the right buttons
The release of the New South Wales draft Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney makes strong recommendations around the identification and protection of key growth corridors; and takes considered steps to address the impact of a growing, ageing population on the State's infrastructure networks (19 March 2013). More...

State Government passes modern mining reforms
The Minister for Natural Resources and Mines said amendments contained within the Mines and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 would introduce a competitive tendering process to explore Queensland's highly prospective coal tenures (20 March 2013). More...

Committee delivers blueprint for uranium industry
An independent committee has today delivered a comprehensive report outlining how a uranium industry should be re-established in Queensland (19 March 2013). More...

Construction industry boost
The road construction industry will receive details this week about plans for an injection up to $450 million from asset management contracts (19 March 2013). More...

MCU approved for Blackstone power station works
Energy Australia's proposed Blackstone Power Station development approval covers a section of a gas transmission pipeline, sewer main and road works within the Bundamba to Swanbank State Development Area (BSSDA (14 March 2013). More...

Plans approved for new $22.7 million Charlton hospital
Planning Minister Matthew Guy has acted to ensure critical health services for the Charlton community are available, through approval of a new site for the Charlton hospital (20 March 2013). More...

$45 million retail centre to create 400 Warragul jobs
Up to 400 jobs will be created in Warragul following a decision by Planning Minister Matthew Guy to enable a new $45 million retail centre (19 March 2013). More...

Work begins on $1.6 billion port project
Construction has commenced at the Victorian Coalition Government's $1.6 billion Port Capacity Project. This project is subject to strict environmental and amenity management regimes which will set new benchmarks for construction works and include community and environmental standards while also providing the highest level of transparency and accountability (14 March 2013). More...

Melbourne Airport rail link route confirmed
The Victorian Coalition Government confirmed a route for development of a rail link to Melbourne Airport after assessing 80 alternatives, with findings from the $6.5 million Melbourne Airport Rail Link Study now available (13 March 2013). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Recommencement of uranium mining in Queensland: A best practice framework
Uranium Mining Implementation Committee
The central recommendations relate to new institutional arrangements to improve coordination of assessment and approvals for uranium mines; ensure optimal cooperation between regulatory agencies; improve engagement with stakeholders; and an initiative to assist Indigenous people to access the benefits from uranium mining and the resources industry (March 2013). More...

The Asbestos Report: An investigation into the regulation of asbestos in Queensland
Author: Queensland Ombudsman
Outlines the findings of an investigation into Queensland state agencies' and local councils' approaches to asbestos regulation and focuses on the coordination of the government's response to asbestos across different agencies and councils (March 2013). More...

The Business Case for Green Building: A Review of the Costs and Benefits for Developers, Investors and Occupants
World Green Building Council (WorldGBC)
Highlights a large number of compelling benefits of green buildings and examines whether or not it's possible to attach a financial value to the cost and benefits of green buildings (14 March 2013). More...

Potential for explosion of aluminium alloy oil/water separators fitted to high pressure air compressors
DEIR, Updated 12 March 2013
To alert owners and users of high pressure air compressors to a potential safety problem with the older type aluminium alloy air compressor oil/water separator units. More...

Textual complexity of standard conditions used in the construction industry
Author: Raufdeen Rameezdeen, Australasian Journal of Construction Economics and Building (AJCEB), Vol 13, No 1 (2013)
Clearly written communication aids the understanding of construction contracts, resulting in less disputation. The study outlined in this paper uses three objective measures of clarity developed by linguists to establish the readability of construction contracts (14 March 2013). More...

In practice and courts

Registrations open for ACIF briefings, held in six Australian cities in May
The Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) has opened registrations for briefings to be held in six cities in May 2013 (20 March 2013). More...

Draft National Strategic Plan (Asbestos) Consultation
The plan will provide a road map for tackling asbestos issues. A draft of the National Strategic Plan will be released for public consultation in April 2013. Public feedback on the draft plan is encouraged and will be available on the Office's website (20 March 2013). More....

ABCB Flood Standard and Handbook now available
The National Construction Code (NCC) 2013 will reference the ABCB Flood Standard to be used for the design of residential buildings that are in flood hazard areas. The ABCB Flood Standard and Handbook are available via the ABCB website.

NSW: Proposed planning changes for CSG exclusion zones - consultation
A proposed amendment to the Mining State Environmental Planning Policy (Mining SEPP) is now on exhibition for public feedback until 12 April 2013. Drilling underneath these zones will also be prohibited (21 March 2013). More... More...

VIC: 2013 NCC/BCA seminars now open for registration in April
The seminars will discuss changes to the Building Code of Australia and provide an opportunity for practitioners to speak directly with Building Commission technical officers. All seminars are free to attend and will run for half a day. Registered Building Practitioners will receive Continuing Professional Development points on attendance. More...


Director Of The Fair Work Building Inspectorate v CFMEU & Anor [2013] FMCA 160
INDUSTRIAL LAW – Breach of s.348 of the Fair Work Act 2009 – agreed penalty neither manifestly excessive nor manifestly inadequate.
Fair Work Act 2009, ss.347, 348, 363
The Court declares that on 9 October 2009, at the RMIT Building 13 construction site at 124 La Trobe Street, Melbourne ("the site"), the First Respondent contravened s.348 of the Fair Work Act 2009, in that, by the conduct of its employee, the Second Respondent, it threatened with assault and repeatedly abused with obscene language Hooker Cockram Pty Ltd's ("HCPL") site Manager, Mr Paul Quinn, and did so with intent to coerce HCPL into complying with its request that its Site shop steward be permitted to attend Site inductions. More...

Lahey Constructions Pty Limited v Newbold Bulk Haulage Pty Limited [2013] NSWSC 215
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - adjudication - absence of natural justice - absence of procedural fairness - determination void - Building and Constructions Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW). More...

Cardinal Project Services Pty Ltd v Hanave Pty Ltd [2011] NSWCA 399 [READ HEADNOTE]
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 - whether for the purposes of s 26 an adjudicator who issues only a purported but void determination fails to determine an adjudication application within the time allowed by s 21(3) - whether the five business day time period under s 26 for lodgement of a new adjudication application commences to run from the expiry of the period for issue of a valid determination or from the date that a purported determination is declared void STATUTORY INTERPRETATION - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 s 26 - whether for the purposes of s 26 an adjudicator who issues only a void determination fails to determine an adjudication application - effect of an order quashing a decision upon the ground of denial of procedural fairness - Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs v Bhardwaj [2002] HCA 11; 209 CLR 597 referred to. More...

Lahey Constructions Pty Ltd v Trident Civil Contracting Pty Ltd [2013] NSWSC 176
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - adjudication - requirement for a payment schedule - whether determination void - jurisdictional error - procedural fairness - natural justice. More...

BM Alliance Coal Operations Pty Ltd v BGC Contracting Pty Ltd & Ors (No 2) [2013] QSC 067
CONTRACTS-BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS-REMUNERATION STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OF PROGRESS PAYMENTS – where the applicant ("BMA") entered into a contract with the first respondent ("BGC") – where BGC served a payment claim on BMA pursuant to the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) – where second respondent made adjudication decision – where applicant established one of three alleged jurisdictional errors – where jurisdictional error affected an identifiable and relatively small part of the amount determined to be due by BMA to BGC – whether decision should be declared void ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – PREROGATIVE WRITS AND ORDERS –GENERALLY – where decision of adjudicator affected by jurisdictional error – whether decision should be declared void, with or without an order that the matter be remitted to second respondent – whether declaratory relief should be declined on condition that BGC undertake to pay the amount affected by error and interest to BMA – whether this is a more satisfactory remedy. More...

McNab Constructions Australia P/L v Queensland Building Services Authority [2013] QSC 057
Applicant seeks a declaration that directions to rectify given by the respondent pursuant to s 72 of the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991 (Qld) (the QBSA Act) are void. More...

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