Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 22 May 2013

Last Updated: 3 June 2013
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media

Firm's exclusion from Bendigo hospital tender unlawful, court rules
The Federal Court has ruled the Victorian Government's exclusion of a major construction company from building the Bendigo Hospital was unlawful. The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) took action against the State Government over its handling of tenders for the Bendigo project (18 May 2013). More...

Green Star rating tool for public buildings helps keep budgets in the black

The Green Star – Public Building rating tool released after a two-year pilot period and extensive industry consultation opens the door to Green Star certification for Australia's public buildings, according to the GBCA's Chief Executive (14 May 2013). More...

New safety rules legislation to protect offshore workers
In passing the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (Compliance Measures No.2) Bill 2013, the Senate has strengthened Australia's offshore petroleum regulatory regime to safeguard against the destruction caused by the uncontrolled release of hydrocarbons that was seen with the Montara Wellhead Platform in August 2009 (15 May 2013). More...

Building Australia's Future: 2013-2014 budget
The 2013–14 Budget not only continues the rollout of the Federal Labour Government's record capital works program, it also begins identifying future funding priorities, with the nation's regional highways and urban public transport infrastructure set to be the big winners (14 May 2013). More...

Roads to Receive Additional $3 Billion of Funding in budget
The federal government has signalled its commitment to road infrastructure with the announcement that three key road projects in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney will benefit from more than $3 billion of additional funding in the budget (14 May 2013). More...

House Price Growth slump in early 2013
House price growth in Australia's capital cities stagnated in the first quarter of 2013, according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA), with the price of established homes in Australia's capital cities edged up by just 0.1 per cent in the first quarter of this year (07 May 2013). More...

Australian Construction Index Hits Seven Month Low
In the latest sign of the fragility of the recovery in new building work, a leading indicator of construction industry conditions in Australia has dropped back to seven month lows. In April, the Performance of Construction Index contracted by 3.6 points to go from 38.6 to 35.2, according to the Performance of Construction Index report (07 May 2013). More...

Council to spend $1.9 billion on City of Sydney's infrastructure
City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has committed to an overhaul of the inner city's streets and infrastructure by announcing that the council will embark on its largest ever capital spending program work worth $1.9 billion over the next decade (14 May 2013). More...

Second Sydney Airport an Environmental and Engineering Challenge
In releasing the technical study into Wilton's suitability as a site, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese concluded that it was possible but it would involve environmental and engineering challenges (13 May2013). More...

Funding for Brisbane's Cross River Rail Secured in Budget
The Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese outlines the Gillard Government's commitment to making Brisbane's vital Cross River Rail project a reality, with this week's Budget delivered initial funding of $715 million for this transformational project (17 May 2013). More...

New Bruce Highway Overtaking Lanes South of Isis River
Work has commenced on widening and strengthening the foundations of the southern approaches to the Isis River Bridge, adding to the extensive capital works program already underway along the entire length of the Bruce Highway (08 May 2013). More...

Melbourne construction standards get greener
The City of Melbourne increases efforts to become more environmentally sustainable by pledging an overhaul of building standards for energy, water and waste efficiency for new construction projects. The inner metropolitan council has put forward new building standards in its Planning Scheme Amendment C187 in the Melbourne Planning Scheme (17 May 2013). More...

$47 million to boost local infrastructure planning
The Victorian Coalition Government today committed $47 million to boost transport and planning infrastructure at the East Werribee Employment Precinct and Frankston station surrounds (07 May 2013). More...

Victoria invests $31.7 million to strengthen earth resources sector
The Victorian Coalition Government announced it will spend $31.7 million over four years on programs to build a strong, safe and sustainable mining industry, directed to reinvigorating the State's mining industry by driving a new wave of exploration and reducing barriers to investment (07 May 2013). More...

Increased infrastructure spend vital to Victoria's economic development
Engineers Australia welcomes the Victorian State Budget's plan to increase spend on critical public transport infrastructure and other Victorian infrastructure projects, with more than $520 million committed to infrastructure projects throughout the 2013-14 Victorian State Budget (08 May 2013). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

House Price Indexes for: Eight Capital Cities, March 2013
Author: Australian Bureau of Statistics
The capital city indexes rose in Perth (+1.2%), Melbourne (+0.2%), Darwin (+1.9%) and Canberra (+0.2%) and fell in Brisbane (-0.3%), Adelaide (-0.1%) and Hobart (-0.3%). Sydney showed no movement for the quarter. Annually, house prices rose in Darwin (+8.0%), Perth (+6.1%), Sydney (+3.6%), Canberra (+1.5%), Brisbane (+1.4%), Melbourne (+1.1%) and Adelaide (+0.9%) and fell in Hobart (-1.9%) (07 May 2013). More...

Construction Industry in NSW: Background to the Insolvency Inquiry
Author: NSW Parliamentary Library Research Service. This e-brief sets out to provide a general survey of the industry, the key areas of activity and the main participants. It also looks at the regulation of the industry and at the more important recommendations of the Collins inquiry (08 May 2013). More...

National Partnership Agreement on Energy Efficiency Annual Report to COAG, 2011-12
Author: Council of Australian Governments
The annual consolidated report provided to COAG on overall progress on implementation. COAG Senior Officials, on behalf of COAG, have noted the report for 2011-12 (08 May 2013). More...

Energy in Australia 2013
Author: Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE)
The publication shows that the energy industry is a significant contributor to the Australian economy, and accounts for around 6 per cent of total industry value added in 2010–11, or around $79 billion. The report is also accompanied by a fact card of key energy facts for Australia (08 May 2013). More...


Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union v State of Victoria [2013] FCA 445
INDUSTRIAL LAW – s 340(1) of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) – whether respondent took adverse action against employees of independent contractor because those employees had a workplace right – whether the employer of the employee's was an "independent contractor" with whom the respondent was "proposing to enter into a contract for services" within the meaning of Item 4 of s 342(1) – meaning of "independent contractor", "proposing to enter" and "contract for services" – whether respondent took adverse action by threatening to refuse to engage independent contractor or make use of its services – meaning of "refuse to engage" – meaning of "threatening to take action" in s 342(2)(a) – whether threat capable of being made in the context of an agreed process – whether prohibition imposed by s 340 may be avoided by contract, waiver or estoppel – whether adverse action taken because the employees were entitled to the benefit of an industrial instrument – meaning of "entitled to the benefit" of a workplace instrument – consideration of s 361 and onus of proof.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW – Melbourne Corporation limitation – whether ss 340-342 of Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) exceed the Constitutional legislative capacity of the Commonwealth by imposing limitations upon the capacity of a State to select a contractor to provide major infrastructure.
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – s 21 of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) – whether declaration may be made in the absence of a justiciable controversy. More...

Bluechip Development Corporation (Gladstone) Pty Ltd v Sunstruct Pty Ltd & Ors [2013] FCCA 141
CONSUMER LAW – Misleading or deceptive conduct – consumer protection – trade or commerce – construction management agreement – representations as to performance of various terms alleged to induce entry into agreement – finance agreement constituted by Tripartite Deed – representation as to performance of construction management agreement by entry into Tripartite Deed – claimant pursuant to Building and Construction Industry Payment Act (QLD) – alleged representation said to follow upon claim pursuant to that Act – no contravention established.
ACCESSORIAL LIABILITY OF DIRECTORS– Prima facie duty – no breach established DAMAGES – s.82 and s.87 – damages pursuant to s.82 exceed courts monetary jurisdiction – circumstances relevant to award of damages pursuant to s.87 – global damages sought – tactical decision to claim – no basis for favourable discretion.
CONTRACT – Breach of contract – terms of construction management agreement to determine works budget, cause works to be carried out, monitor costs, have available staff to fulfill terms, perform service to requisite standard – finding of no breach. TORT – Duty of care – breach of duty of care – evidence required to establish claim – failure to lead evidence –no breach of duty established.
FIDUCIARY DUTY – Question of vulnerability – arrangement commercial and guaranteed by contract – no conflict of duty and interest. BUILDING LICENSE – Duty pursuant to Queensland Building Services Authority Act to have builder's registration – nominee suffered illness through course of project – subsequent resignation of nominee as director of building company – contractual performance of oversight by nominee for corporate contractor. GLOBAL DAMAGES – Claimed in respect of tort, contract and fiduciary claim – strict requirement for proof. BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY ACT – Common law relief following adjudication – claim for supervision fees – favourable adjudication – basis for disposal at common law – award assessed. Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld), Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991 (Qld), s.42 (1), Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth), ss.52, 87. More...

Go Electrical Pty Limited v Class Electrical Services Pty Limited [2013] NSWSC 517
Plaintiff forthwith repays to the defendant the sum of $39,166.19 which includes interest to the date of judgment. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - where monies recovered by a party under a judgment based on an adjudication determination - where adjudication determination is quashed and judgment set aside - right of the party from whom the monies were recovered to return of the monies - whether the Court has a discretion to not order repayment. Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW); Corporations Act 2001 (Cth); Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005; Civil Procedure Act 2005 (NSW). 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...

St Hilliers Construction Pty Ltd v Fitzpatrick Investments Pty Ltd [2013] NSWCA 104
Orders that the appeal be allowed. BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - where contract required contractor to provide bank guarantees as security for performance - where contractor entitled to reduction of security if conditions fulfilled - whether conditions satisfied. More...

Silver Star Construction Pty Limited t/as Genesis Construction Australia v Denham Constructions Pty Limited [2011] NSWDC 254
Defendant (Denham Constructions Pty Limited) to pay the plaintiff's (Silver Star Constructions Pty Limited) costs. Security of payment; stay of enforcement; competing interests - The Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) (SOPA); Civil Procedure Act 2005. More...

McNab NQ Pty Ltd v Walkrete Pty Ltd & Ors [2013] QSC 128
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – JUDICIAL REVIEW – GROUNDS OF REVIEW – JURISDICTIONAL MATTERS –Employees of the subcontractor first respondent created a substantial safety risk in breach of instructions given by the applicant – The sub-contract allowed termination by the applicant for the first respondent's default "in the performance or observance of any serious condition" – The applicant terminated its sub-contract with the first respondent, alleging the first respondent's safety breach contravened a "serious condition" – A subsequent payment claim by the first respondent was upheld by an adjudicator under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 – Whether the adjudicator had jurisdiction to determine the adjudication application – Whether the sub-contract had been validly terminated for breach of a "serious condition". More...

Lucas Drilling Pty Limited v Armour Energy Limited [2013] QCA 111
APPEAL AND NEW TRIAL – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – QUEENSLAND – POWERS OF THE COURT – ORDERS SET ASIDE OR VARIED – where there was a contract under which the respondent undertook to provide drilling services to the appellant – where the appellant was granted an interlocutory injunction to restrain the respondent from calling on a bank guarantee which the appellant had procured in favour of the respondent – where the learned primary judge had established that there was a serious question to be tried and that the balance of convenience favoured the granting of injunctive relief, conditional upon the appellant (in this proceeding) paying the amount of the guarantee into court – where the appellant contended that the learned primary judge erred in the exercise of the discretion to grant interlocutory relief – whether the primary's judge's discretion miscarried. CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – THE CONTRACT – CONSTRUCTION OF PARTICULAR CONTRACTS AND IMPLIED CONDITIONS – OTHER MATTERS – where there was a contract under which the respondent undertook to provide drilling services to the appellant – where the appellant was granted an interlocutory injunction to restrain the respondent from calling on a bank guarantee which the appellant had procured in favour of the respondent – where the appellant contended that the learned primary judge erred in the exercise of the discretion to grant interlocutory relief – where there was a dispute about the proper construction of the contractual clause concerning the performance bond – where the appellant contended that, by virtue of its accrued rights, it was not obliged to return the performance bond, notwithstanding termination of the contract by the respondent – where the respondent contended that the appellant had no accrued rights and was obliged to return the performance bond – whether the proper construction of the contract obliged the appellant to return the performance bond – whether serious case to be tried. More...

G&N Building Contractors Pty Ltd v Queensland Building Services Authority [2013] QCAT 125
Summary Disposal – where the decision under review is not a reviewable decision – where Tribunal has no power to extend time. Smith v Queensland Building Services Authority [2010] QCAT 448; Customizer Kitchens Qld v Queensland Building Services Authority [2011] QCAT 13; Cornpig Pty Ltd v Queensland Building Services Authority [2011] QCAT 255. More...

McCarthy t/as PJ McCarthy Commercial and Residential Builders v The State of Queensland (No 2) [2013] QDC 104
COSTS ORDER - 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...

Jensen v Queensland Building Services Authority [2013] QCAT 121
GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW – PERMITTED INDIVIDUAL – relevant event – circumstances – insolvency – harassment and proposal to cancel licence – insulation scheme – non-payment by debtors – reasonable steps – previous proposal to cancel licence. Benz v Queensland Building Services Authority [2010] QCAT 625, applied FAI Insurances Ltd v Winneke (1981) 151 CLR 342, cited Papallo v Queensland Building Services Authority [2012] QCAT 59, applied Vadasz v Queensland Building Services Authority [2013] QCAT 84, applied Younan v Queensland Building Services Authority [2010] QDC 158, applied Younan v Queensland Building Services Authority [2011] QCA 1, applied. More...

Mt Cotton Constructions Pty Ltd v Brisbane City Council [2013] QCAT 119
JURISDICTION – where Council provided fill for hockey field – where builder claims fill unsuitable – where builder claims damages for removal of fill and reinstatement – whether tribunal has jurisdiction – whether a building dispute – whether commercial building dispute – whether reviewable commercial work – whether tribunal work. Fraser Property Developments Pty Ltd v Sommerfeld (No. 1) [2005] Qd R 394 Saliba v Bethscheider [1998] QBT 87. More...

Maxstra Constructions Pty Ltd v Gilbert & Ors [2013] VSC 243
BUILDING CONTRACTS - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) – Adjudication conducted under Part 3 Division 2 of the Act - Apparent conflict between s 10B(2)(c) with s 11(1)(b)(iv) of the Act - Conflict resolved by application of statutory construction principles -Adjudicator erred in statutory construction - Jurisdictional error - Certiorari granted - Determination of adjudicator quashed and matter remitted for determination in accordance with the law. STATUTES INTERPRETATION - Apparent conflict between provisions of an Act - Conflict resolved by application of statutory construction principles - Project Blue Sky v Australian Broadcasting Authority [1998] HCA 28 at [69]- [71] considered and applied. More...

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.