Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 8 May 2013

Last Updated: 14 May 2013

In the media

Report card reveals infrastructure failing to keep pace
The Regional Economic Development Corporation says more government investment is needed to ensure infrastructure demands are met (03 May 2013). More...

Building approvals slide in March
Building approvals fell against expectations of a rise in March, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. ABS data showed the number of buildings approved decreased a seasonally adjusted 5.5 per cent to 12,599 during the month (02 May 2013). More...

Engineering projects approach peak: report
Spending on big engineering projects feeding off the mining boom is at its peak and investment will not reach current levels until late next decade. A BIS Shrapnel report released today said miners dropping and delaying major projects was creating a long-term decline in engineering work across the country (29 April 2013). More...

A new deal for urban infrastructure
The Urban Coalition today launched a plan, A New Deal for Urban Australia, which calls for positive leadership and recommends the establishment of an Urban Infrastructure Fund to meet a backlog of more than $500 billion in infrastructure needs for Australian cities (02 May 2013). More...

Developer $30m in red after collapse
Developer National Buildplan Group collapsed owing more than $30 million to lenders, employees, tradies and suppliers. The family-owned company, which had offices NSW, Queensland and Western Australia, was placed into administration in early April after a failed bid to restructure and recapitalise the NSW-based firm (01 May 2013). More...

Planners call for new fund to clear $500b infrastructure backlog
Australia's peak planning body, the Planning Institute of Australia, has thrown its weight behind an ambitious bid to establish a new "Urban Infrastructure Fund" that aims to garner substantial institutional and retail financial investment to kick-start $500 billion in sorely needed projects (03 May 2013). More...

John Holland awarded $110 million Defence building project
John Holland has been awarded the contract to deliver the $110m Robertson Barracks Defence Logistics Transformation Program (DLTP), Works Package 4 for the Department of Defence in the Northern Territory (30 April 2013). More...

Expert operators shortlisted for North West Rail Link
The shortlisting of two bidders to move to the detailed tender phase for the North West Rail Link PPP shows welcome progress on the nation's largest public transport PPP, says Infrastructure Partnerships Australia. MTR and Serco, the two shortlisted operators, have global and Australian experience in delivering passenger transport services (01 May 2013). More...

Woodside tie-up points to floating LNG
Woodside Petroleum has announced a tie-up with oil giant Shell in a move which appears to firm up floating liquefied natural gas as Woodside's preferred option to develop its massive Browse gas resource (30 April 2013). More...

Australia's exposure to the carbon bubble Media Release
Australian and overseas investments in Australian coal resources rest on a speculative bubble that ignore their impact on global carbon budgets and their exposure to rapid devaluation, a joint report released today by The Climate Institute and the Carbon Tracker Initiative finds (29 April 2013). More...

Base metal slump threatens more jobs
A slump in base metal prices across the board is raising concerns of more job cuts in the mining sector. Primary imports researcher Jonathan Barratt says gold and silver prices are also depressed, but precious metal activity is unrelated to the base metal sector (25 April 2013). More...

Shale mining under Great Barrier Reef 'likely to be banned'
Mining shale oil under the Great Barrier Reef is likely to be banned by Australia's federal Labor government as tensions rise over the environmental impact of the booming oil and gas industry on the coastline beside the reef (25 April 2013). More...

Review of the Benchmarks for Industry-Based Customer Dispute Resolution Schemes
The Assistant Treasurer has released Terms of Reference for the Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council's (CCAAC) Review of the Benchmarks for Industry-based Customer Dispute Resolution Schemes (24 April 2013). More...

Building rules reforms save $1 billion a year, says Australian Building Codes Board
The Australian economy is gaining $1.1 billion economically a year as a result of building regulation reform, a review commissioned by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has found (22 April 2013). More...

Watpac heads key regional infrastructure project
The Watpac building group has been appointed the sole contractor of the multi-million dollar Port Macquarie Base Hospital expansion (03 May 2013). More...

Court ruling exposes Tinkler to litigation
Nathan Tinkler can now be sued by liquidators after the NSW Supreme Court approved a funding agreement between Blackwood and the liquidators of one of his failed companies, Mulsanne Resources (30 April 2013). More...

Bauxite mine set to go ahead in QLD's far north
The development of a bauxite mine in Queensland's Cape York is set to go ahead with five firms short-listed to detail proposals for the venture (24 April 2013). More...

New funding needed as Bruce bidding starts
Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson will review commitments from Federal Government to identify any new funding required to kickstart important projects. New funding would allow work to progress on some of the 25 additional projects highlighted in the Bruce Highway Action Plan (24 April 2013). More...

Funding Confirmed for Major Road and Freight Improvements
New overtaking lanes are planned in the vicinity of 32 kilometres north of Moree, northbound, 19 kilometres north of Jerilderie, northbound, 58 kilometres north of Jerilderie, southbound and 15 kilometres north of Parkes, southbound (May 2013). More...

Easier More Direct Access to Western Highway For Bacchus Marsh
The Federal Labor Government has agreed to provide $7.6 million towards the construction of new on and off-ramps from Halletts Way to the Western Highway at Bacchus Marsh, subject to the Victorian Government contributing the balance of the required funding (01 May 2013). More...

Port of Melbourne set to expand capacity and competition
Minister for Ports David Hodgett welcomed today's news, from the Port of Melbourne Corporation, announcing a shortlist of bidders to build and operate Melbourne's third international container terminal. The $1.6 billion Port Capacity Project is a critical infrastructure project (01 May 2013). More...

John Holland to be part of alliance for Mitcham Road and Rooks Road Rail Separation contract
John Holland has been selected by the Victorian Government to deliver the Mitcham Road Rooks Road Rail Separation Project in an alliance with VicRoads, Metro Trains Melbourne, KBR and Public Transport Victoria (01 May 2013). More...

Construction set to begin on level crossing removals
Major works to remove three of Victoria's most notorious rail level crossings are set to begin shortly with Premier Denis Napthine and Minister for Roads Terry Mulder awarding construction tenders for the projects today (30 April 2013). More...

Victorian Government overhauls PPP model
The Victorian Treasurer's overhaul of the State's Public Private Partnership frameworkoffers the opportunity to fundamentally change public service delivery to drive better outcomes for the community, while freeing up wasted money to help fund the State's infrastructure backlog (01 May 2013). More...

Victoria increases First Home Owner Grant
The Victorian Government has announced an increase to the First Home Owner Grant and stamp duty cuts for people purchasing new homes (28 April 2013). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Australia's carbon bubble (80) report 2013
Author: British-based Carbon Tracker Initiative and the Australian Climate Institute
A report finds investments in new Australian coal, oil and gas projects are being made without regard to risk that they will later be devalued as the world moves to cut emissions. The report says companies listed in the top 200 on the Australian stock exchange spend $5.7 billion a year developing and replacing coal reserves (April 2013). More...

Survey of Industry Conditions
Author: Master Builders
In the March 2013 quarter, the strongest performers were the Darling Downs & South West Queensland and Mackay & Whitsunday regions (May 2013). More...

Building Approvals March 2013
Author: Australian Bureau of Statistics
The total number of dwellings approved seasonally adjusted in March 2013 fell 5.5 per cent, with private sector houses rising 0.4 per cent and 'other dwellings' including units, townhouses and apartments falling 8.3 per cent (02 May 2013). More...

In practice and courts

Review of the Benchmarks for Industry-Based Customer Dispute Resolution Schemes
The Benchmarks guide effective practice for those industry sectors with schemes to resolve disputes between their industry members and individual consumers. The Terms of Reference and issues paper are available at Interested stakeholders are invited to comment by 24 May 2013 (24 April 2013). More...

Construction safety conference
The event is set to be Asia-Pacific's first and biggest construction safety conference, to be held 1 to 2 June 2013 (with a pre-conference workshop 31 May). More...


Anderson Street Banksmeadow Pty Ltd v Helcon Contracting Australia Pty Ltd [2013] NSWSC 491
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - whether adjudication determination void - breach of natural justice - decision on basis not foreshadowed to the parties - Adjudication determination void
Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999. More...

Cranbrook School v JA Bradshaw Civil Contracting [2013] NSWSC 430
Declare void and quash adjudication determination; ancillary orders to be made.
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - construction contracts - Building and Construction Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW)- meaning of "construction contract" - where no contract between the owner and subcontractor - whether there was an "arrangement" within the meaning of the Act.
Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW); Supreme Court Act 1970 (NSW). More...

The Owners - Strata Plan No. 69567 v Baseline Constructions Pty Ltd (in external administration) [2013] NSWSC 409
Plaintiff entitled to statutory warranties. BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - Home Building Act 1989 - statutory warranties - whether owners corporation entitled to statutory warranties - liability of non-contracting owner to immediate successor in title - whether second defendant was the party "on whose behalf" the "residential building work" was done for the purposes of the Act - Home Building Act 1989; Home Building Amendment 2011; Home Building Amendment (Warranties and Insurance) Act 2010. More...

Maxstra NSW Pty Ltd v Blacklabel Services Pty Ltd [2013] NSWSC 406
BUILDING AND ENGINEERING CONTRACTS - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 - challenge to adjudication determination - claim for work either as variation or on quantum meruit - allegation that amount claimed is within the contract price - not a matter raised in payment schedule and inconsistent with contractual documents - allegation of denial of procedural fairness and error of law - no error of law involved in determination - alleged denial of procedural fairness had no practical impact - no jurisdictional error - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999. More...

Creative Building Services v Jolene Investments [2013] NSWSC 391
Adopt referee's report. Judgment for plaintiff accordingly with costs.
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - construction contracts - whether compliance with a contractual mechanism for claiming progress payments formed a condition precedent for payment of the entire contract sum. Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW); Civil Procedure Act 2005 (NSW); Home Building Act 1989 (NSW); Uniform Civil Procedure Rules. More...

Williams v Concreting Services Pty Ltd [2013] NSWSC 366
CONTRACT - identification of counterparty to a contract or arrangement. BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - adjudication - work done pursuant to construction contract - whether determination void - jurisdictional error- Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999; Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000. More...

Class Electrical Services v Go Electrical [2013] NSWSC 363
Declare determination void and order that it be quashed.
Building and Construction - Building and Construction Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW)- meaning of "construction contract" for the purposes of the Act - whether undertaking to supply related goods under an arrangement. Building and Construction - Construction Contracts - Adjudication of payment claims - whether claim in respect of one contract - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW). More...

Sedgman South Africa (Pty) Limited & Ors v Discovery Copper Botswana (Pty) Limited [2013] QSC 105
CONTRACTS – GENERAL CONTRACTUAL PRINCIPLES – CONSTRUCTION AND INTERPRETATION OF CONTRACTS – INTERPRETATION OF MISCELLANEOUS CONTRACTS AND OTHER MATTERS – where parties entered into general conditions of contract published by International Federation of Consulting Engineers for EPC/Turnkey Projects, 1st Edition 1999 – where applicants claims they are entitled to an interim payment under the contract – where applicants argue interim payment due because respondent failed to respond to notice within contractually stipulated time – where respondent argued failure to respond to notice did not of itself entitle applicants to interim payment – whether proper construction of contract entitles applicants to interim payment upon failure of respondent to respond to notice within contractually stipulated time. ARBITRATION – CONDUCT OF ARBITRATION PROCEEDINGS GENERALLY – TERMINATION OR STAY OF ARBITRATION PROCEEDINGS – where respondent seeks stay of application under s 7(2) of the International Arbitration Act 1974 (Cth) – where contract provides for preliminary dispute resolution procedure to be exhausted before referral to arbitration – whether stay should be ordered under s 7(2) of the International Arbitration Act 1974 (Cth). More...

McCarthy t/a PJ McCarthy Commercial and Residential Builders v The State of Queensland [2013] QDC 079
APPLICATION – summary judgment – application dismissed - statutory debt - Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (QLD) – section 19 - Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (QLD) – rule 292 – whether payment claim valid – progress payments – where no reference date specified under contract – where contract provided time for making payments was 'monthly' – where alleged multiple payment claims made in relation to earlier reference dates - whether a real prospect of defending a claim - whether no need for a trial – where plaintiff ought to be put to strict proof of his claim. More...

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