Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 24 April 2013

Last Updated: 27 April 2013

In the media

Sustainability rating enters infrastructure market
Tenix has been awarded Australia's first Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) rating, achieving an "excellent" rating level for the design of two sewage treatment plants at Cannonvale and Proserpine in north Queensland (19 April 2013). More...

New Australian standard: Electricity network safety management systems
Standards Australia has announced the publication of a new Australian standard for managing electricity network. The effective management of vegetation in the vicinity of power-lines is a key component of the standard, as it reduces the risk of disruption to energy supply and the likelihood of catastrophic bushfire (19 April 2013). More...

Land Sales Signal Inadequate Home Building Recovery
The latest residential land update signals any new home building recovery in 2013 will fall short of policy makers' expectations and the requirements of Australia's population. The findings of the latest Land Report are consistent with HIA's forecast for a recovery in new residential construction in NSW and Western Australia in 2013 (18 April 2013). More...

Bradken appeals "bid-rigging" verdict
Bradken Ltd is appealing a Federal Court judgment ordering it to pay $US22.4 million ($21.7 million) in damages over alleged "bid-rigging". Last month, the Federal Court of Australia ruled against Bradken chairman and managing director in a case brought by Pala Investments regarding the $217 million acquisition of Norcast Wear Solutions (18 April 2013). More...

New international standards make safety categories obsolete
NHP Electrical Engineering Products informs that changing international standards have rendered Safety Categories redundant since the start of 2012. Though AS 4024.1 will eventually be updated to reflect current international standards, AS 4024.1501 will remain unchanged for at least the next 3-4 years (18 April 2013). More...

Australia set to be No.1 LNG Exporter
Federal Resources Minister Gary Gray has predicted Australia will be the biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter in the world within five years. Australia is ramping up production to meet global demand for LNG with the International Energy Agency predicting a 50 per cent rise in gas demand by 2035 (17 April 2013). More...

James Hardie sued over NZ schools
Two subsidiaries of James Hardie Ltd are among a group of companies facing the New Zealand High Court Action. James Hardie said the ministry was "claiming weathertightness defects in relation to several thousand New Zealand school buildings and is seeking repair costs and unspecified and unquantified damages in relation to the alleged defects" (17 April 2013). More...

Tax loss incentive for designated infrastructure projects
The Gillard Government has commenced public consultation on exposure draft legislation for a new tax loss incentive for major infrastructure projects. The new tax incentive is part of the Government's ongoing commitment to promote private investment in nationally significant infrastructure projects (18 April 2013). More...

Exemption to work health and safety regulation—protective structures on earthmoving machinery
From 16 April 2013 persons with the management or control of earth moving machinery at a workplace will be exempt from regulation 217 of the Commonwealth Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011(17 April 2013). More...

Master Builders calls for RIS to assess Fair Work Act changes
Master Builders calls on the Government to conduct a rigorous Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) to assess the cost of a range of changes proposed in the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2013 (17 April 2013). More...

Combet moves to measure fugitive CSG
The Federal Government has moved to start overhauling the way greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere from highly controversial coal seam gas (CSG) sites are measured and reported, a move that could reshape the economics of the financially cheap fuel (16 April 2013). More...

Welcome progress on transmission network reform
The Clean Energy Council Policy Director says the AEMC's views on reforms to the way new generators connect to a transmission network closely reflected the recommendations from the clean energy industry, and should benefit all new large-scale power producers, including solar and wind farms that need to connect to the grid( (15 April 2013). More...

Woodside confirms shelving of Browse project
Woodside has completed its technical and commercial evaluation of the proposed Browse LNG development near James Price Point and determined that the development concept does not meet the company's commercial requirements for a positive final investment decision (12 April 2013). More...

High Speed Rail right for Australia's future
The release of the second and final phase of the Federal Government's High Speed Rail Study should spur immediate action to ensure that the long, straight corridors are protected for future development, says Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (11 April 2013). More...

High Speed Rail Report Released
Phase two of a feasibility study into a high speed rail network for Australia's east coast has been released by the Australian Government. The Department will be accepting feedback on the report until 30 June 2013 (11 April 2013). More...

Builders to establish trust fund accounts
Builders in New South Wales will have to establish trust fund accounts for their projects to ensure subcontractors get paid if they go under. It is one of the key recommendations of a review into building insolvencies that the State Government is planning to trial (18 April 2013). More...

Planning White Paper good news for NSW
The New South Wales Government's Planning White Paper outlines a sensible and prudent strategy to improve the efficiency of project delivery across the state, says Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (16 April 2013). More...

Administrator appointed to National Buildplan Group
The Administrator of the National Buildplan Group says it expects to terminate 110 of the company's 180 workers in the coming days. 50 projects, many with government organisations, will be affected by the collapse of the company, which has offices in Armidale, Tamworth, Newcastle and Port Macquarie, as well as in Western Australia and Queensland (11 April 2013). More...

NSW Government says CSG firms must convince public
Miners need to do better in convincing the public that CSG won't poison waterways, the NSW government says. Resources and Energy minister Chris Hartcher said the CSG industry hasn't been "as successful as it could have been in bringing the community along with it" (11 April 2013). More...

Owners corporations and developers agree on reforms for the Home Warranty scheme for apartments
The Owners Corporation Network, the Urban Taskforce Australia and the Property Council of Australia have agreed on a set of reforms to the Home Warranty Scheme in NSW that will give owners and builders more confidence about building quality and the resolution of defects (09 April 2013). More...

Predicted housing industry growth is right on target: Queensland
Master Builders prediction of 28,000 dwelling commencements for the 2012–13 financial year appears to be right on target, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Master Builders remains optimistic that housing activity will improve across the state during 2013 (17 April 2013). More...

Gas Commission to hold CCA register
The GasFields Commission will be asked to compile a confidential register of Conduct and Compensation Agreements (CCA) between landholders and the CSG industry in Queensland (17 April 2013). More...

AG's report provides options to address congestion
The release today of the Victorian Auditor-General's report into traffic congestion highlights the need for a real and honest public debate around how transport pricing, and projects, can help to better manage congestion, says Infrastructure Australia (17 April 2013). More...

Industry proposals sought for Fed Square East
On Tuesday 30 April, Major Projects Victoria will initiate a public expression of interest process to explore the options for developing the rail lines at Federation Square East which lie between the CBD and the Yarra River (11 April 2013). More...

Port of Hastings funding boost
Premier Napthine has committed $110 million to the development of the Port of Hastings. The money is to be spent over the next four years and will fund the planning of the development including establishing a business case, examining transport connection links and enabling design works and environmental approvals (11 April 2013). More...

Construction compensation claims hit $1b
Statistics released by WorkSafe show on average ten Victorian construction workers suffer serious injuries at work every day. The workers are injured badly enough to warrant a compensation claim and the figures show claims have amounted to about $1 billion in the past five years (10 April 2013). More...


Construction, Forestry, Mining & Energy Union v Hume Highway Constructions Pty Ltd & Anor [2013] FMCA 154
INDUSTRIAL LAW – Right of entry – hindering or obstructing – refusing or unduly delaying. WORDS & PHRASES – "Exercising rights" – "refuse" – "unduly". More...

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Prysmian Cavi E Sistemi Energia S.R.L. (No 5) [2013] FCA 294
TRADE PRACTICES – agreed antitrust contraventions – agreed injunction, pecuniary penalty, and order for costs – principles appropriate to order for pecuniary penalty. Viscas be restrained, for a period of 3 years from the date of these orders, from making any contract or arrangement or arriving at any understanding with one or more competitors for the supply of land cables to customers in Australia. More...

Gold and Copper Resources Pty Ltd v Newcrest Operations Ltd [2013] NSWSC 345
Award plaintiff nominal damages; plaintiff to pay the defendants' costs of the proceedings. DAMAGES - whether plaintiff entitled to nominal damages for breach of contract. COSTS - plaintiff successful on some issues but unsuccessful overall - whether costs should follow the event. More...

Dymocks v Capral [2013] NSWSC 343
Plaintiff to recover against each defendant $764,545.45 and interest. Cross-claims for contribution and costs to be reserved. NEGLIGENCE - Duty of care - pure economic loss - where contract for the provision of services by an architect the content of an architect's duty of care informed by the nature and scope of the retainer - duties in contract and tort co-extensive - plaintiff entitled to select the most advantageous action.
NEGLIGENCE - Duty of care - pure economic loss - where no contract for the provision of services by an architect - factors relevant to establishing existence of duty of care include assumption of responsibility, known reliance and reasonable forseeability of economic loss.
EVIDENCE - witnesses - credibility - deleterious effect of the effluxion of time on the reliability of witness testimony. More...

Abrahim v Parkview Constructions Pty Limited (No 2) [2013] NSWSC 95
The first defendant is to pay 40% and the second defendant 60% of the plaintiff's judgment of 23 November 2012. Torts - negligence - joint tortfeasors - apportionment - liability of builder and scaffolder for accident on building site- Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1946. More...

Mentech Resources Pty Ltd v MCG Resources Pty Ltd (in liq) & Ors [2013] QCA 079
ENERGY AND RESOURCES – MINERALS – MINING FOR MINERALS – TITLES, RIGHTS, PERMITS, LICENCES AND LEASES ETC – EXPLORATION TITLES – NATURE AND EXTENT OF INTEREST – where the second respondents entered into two separate contracts for the assignment of an exploration permit with the applicant and the first respondent – where the applicant and first respondent both lodged caveats pursuant to s 152 Mineral Resources Act 1989 (Qld) to prevent ministerial approval being granted for any further assignment – where both the applicant and first respondent sought and were granted Land Court orders that their respective caveats be continued until further order of the Land Court – where both the applicant and first respondent commenced Land Court proceedings seeking the removal of the other's caveat and the specific performance of their respective contracts with the second respondents – whether the Land Appeal Court erred in finding that the first respondent had the better equitable interest. CONTRACTS – GENERAL CONTRACTUAL PRINCIPLES – CONSTRUCTION AND INTERPRETATION OF CONTRACTS – INTERPRETATION OF MISCELLANEOUS CONTRACTS AND OTHER MATTERS – where the first and second respondents entered into a contract for the assignment of an exploration permit – where clause 3.1 of the contract contained a condition precedent to completion – where the Land Appeal Court found that the second respondent sellers were not entitled to terminate and thus, the first respondent buyer had an equitable right to enforce the contract – where the applicant contended that the Land Appeal Court erred in so finding –whether the first respondent had an obligation to notify the second respondents of its acceptance of the s 31 Native Title Act Agreement within a specified time pursuant to clause 3.1 – whether the first respondent's rights depended on the fulfilment of a condition precedent in clause 3.1 – whether the first respondent had an enforceable interest in respect of an exploration permit at 30 March 2010. More...

Downing v Cipcon Pty Ltd & Anor (Domestic Building) [2013] VCAT 344
Domestic Building List; domestic building contract; certain pages omitted from standard form published by Master Builder's Association for building additions or alterations; work incomplete and exhibiting defect; departure from progress payment regime stipulated in contract; builder refusing to complete work without payment of additional money not referrable to progress of work or stages in contract; builder found to have repudiated contract; damages awarded against builder; allowability of claims for variations; Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 Section 38; whether duty of care owed by principal of builder company to owner to avoid pure economic loss; no duty of care; claim and contract against builder company successful; claim against principal of builder company in tort dismissed. More...



Work Health and Safety Exemption to Regulation 217
This instrument is made in accordance with regulation 684 of the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 and exempts a group of persons from complying with regulation 217 of the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011. Administered by: Education, Employment and Workplace Relations- ( 16 April2013). More...

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