Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 4 June 2013

Last Updated: 7 June 2013
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media

Construction Pipeline Drops; Building Approvals Rise
In mixed news for the construction industry in Australia, new figures reveal a drop in the pipeline of planned building and infrastructure projects but a rise in the number of new houses approved for construction (31 May 2013). More...

New building watchdog fairer for all
Master Builders says that issues of critical importance to the building and construction industry have finally been addressed with the overhaul of the Building Services Authority (BSA), announced today. The Executive Director, added it was interesting to note that the Victorian reform package – announced on 28 May – included some elements that had existed in Queensland for years (29 May 2013). More...

National steel industry standards may be implemented
Concerns over the quality of imported steel products have prompted the Australian steel industry, in partnership with New Zealand, to develop a plan inspired by the European Union's structural steel standards laws (27 May 2013). More...

Report: Red tape limits oil and gas industry productivity
A report released today reveals productivity in Australia's oil and gas industry is being limited by red tape, lengthy approvals processes and the high Australian dollar (27 May 2013). More...

High construction costs put $150b LNG projects at risk
The liquefied natural gas industry says that up to $150 billion in projects could be lost to Australia unless the industrial relations system is overhauled and construction costs are slashed within 18 months (27 May 2013). More...

$267.5 billion currently invested in major energy and resources projects
The amount of funding committed to resources and energy projects around Australia is $267.5 billion according to the Resources and Energy Major Projects – April 2013 report which is released every six months by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) (23 May 2013). More...

Petroleum and Gas Safety and Health Fee - Post Implementation Review and Regulatory Impact Statement
The Minister for Natural Resources and Mines encouraged industry to provide comment on a discussion paper released this week (23 May 2013). More...

BREE report: resource investment at a record high
Resources and Energy Minister Gary Gray says while the number of new resource projects in Australia has declined during the past 12 months, the total amount of investment remains at record levels. A released a graph (BREE) illustrates how investment has increased 12-fold since 2003 to $268 million (23 May 2013). More...

Crackdown on ACT work sites for apprentices
Apprentices completing high-risk work on Canberra construction projects sites will be safer under a renewed crackdown by WorkSafe ACT, with the release of two sets of guidance requirements for apprentice supervision (21 May 2013). More...

North West Rail Link planning approval
The Minister for Transport said early construction of the North West Rail Link would be ramping up after planning approval was received for the project's second Environmental Impact Statement. So far, 27 major tenders have been released and 46 key contracts awarded on the North West Rail Link (21 May 2013). More...

Kevin's Corner coal mining project approved
The Kevin's Corner project, by proponent Hancock Galilee Pty Ltd, which proposes a 30 million tonne per annum (mtpa) underground and open-cut coal mine and other associated infrastructure 65 kilometres north-west of the Alpha township, has been approved by the Coordinator-General (31 May 2013). More...

Qld building industry regulator overhauled
The Newman Government will set up a new independent Queensland Building and Construction Commission to replace the Queensland Building Services Authority as part of the biggest change to the industry regulator in 22 years (29 May 2013). More...

New electricity supply arrangements for Ergon
The Newman Government will implement new wholesale electricity supply arrangements for Ergon Energy's retail load in Queensland. Ergon's energy needs will be supplied predominantly through State-owned electricity generators CS Energy and Stanwell (22 May 2013). More...

Fee restructure review offers simpler resources industry compliance
Queensland's rapidly-growing petroleum and gas industry is being asked for its views on a new fee structure that aims to make compliance simpler, and provide a stable funding base to deliver critical safety and health functions (23 May 2013). More...

Engineers Australia calls for greater certainty for Cross-River Rail project
Coming off the announcement that the Federal Coalition will not fund Brisbane's Cross River Rail project; Engineers Australia calls for increased transparency in the scheduling and provision of major infrastructure projects and this needs to be kept at arm's length to political succession (23 May 2013). More...

Construction to begin on $630m Bendigo Hospital
The new $630 million Bendigo Hospital has been given the green light for construction and will generate more than 770 construction industry and supply chain jobs, with at least 300 jobs maintained for a minimum of three years during the peak construction period for the hospital (31 May 2013). More...

Court orders Vic CFMEU and officials to pay $115k in FWBC case
The Federal Court of Australia at Melbourne has ordered the CFMEU and five of its representatives to pay penalties totalling $115,000 for an industrial campaign against construction company St Hilliers (31 May 2013). More...

Victorian action plan to reinvigorate earth resources sector
The Victorian Coalition Government has released an action plan to reinvigorate the State's earth resources industry by streamlining processes, establishing a new single point of contact for investors and launching a major new investment attraction program (29 May 2013). More...

Domestic building consumer protection reform strategy released
The Victorian Coalition Government has released a wide-ranging package of reforms to give better protection to consumers for building works for new or renovated homes, and to provide fairer, quicker and cheaper resolution of disputes (27 May 2013). More...

Construction Union found Guilty of Contempt
The Victorian division of the most influential construction union in Australia has been found guilty of contempt of court in relation to its blockade of a Melbourne building site last year. Both the company and the government welcomed the decision, saying it demonstrated that lawlessness and court defiance was unacceptable (24 May 2013). More...

Police Minister condemns construction industry standover tactics
Victoria's Police Minister says he will look at changing laws to stop debt collection standover tactics in the construction industry (23 May 2013). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Resources and Energy Major Projects – April 2013 report
Author: Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE)
There are 73 projects currently under construction, with 40 minerals projects, 18 gas and petroleum projects, and 15 infrastructure projects. The total committed to projects in the earlier report was just over $268.3 billion dollars (released 24 May 2013). More....

Inquiry into the Operation and Performance of the Queensland Building Services Authority 2012 : Government response
Author: Transport, Housing and Local Government Committee : Report No. 14
The Government's response will result in a wholesale reform of the QBSA and evidence, around the number of disputes proceeding to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT), would also suggest that the model needs an overhaul (released 31 May 2013). More...

In practice and courts

BIM-MEP forum in July 2013
The BIM-MEPAUS Construction Innovation 2013 Forum will be held 25-26 July. The BIM-MEPAUS is an industry initiative which seeks to effectively address the issues currently impeding the transition to building information modelling-based integrated project delivery (May 2013). More...

ACIF Forecasts available now
The May 2013 update the ACIF Forecasts has now been released. The information is provided as rolling ten year forecasts in nominal terms, giving businesses clarity around market trends for the next decade (27 May 2013). More...

Offshore petroleum exploration acreage release areas for nomination - 2013
The Australian Government has introduced the 2013 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release. Maps and further information on the 2013 Release areas and bidding process, as well as how to nominate areas for the 2014 Release, are available at (27 May 2013). More...

National Access Regime: Draft report consultation
This draft report was released on 28 May 2013. You are invited to examine this report and make written submissions by Friday 5 July 2013. The final report will be prepared after submissions have been received and public hearings held. The final report will be forwarded to the Government in October 2013. More...

NSW: Rail Infrastructure Noise Guideline
The EPA's new guideline specifies noise "trigger levels" for different types of rail projects. The Rail infrastructure noise guideline replaces the Interim guideline for the assessment of noise from rail infrastructure projects published in 2007. Copies of the guideline can be downloaded from the EPA's website (22 May 2013). More...

QLD: Building and Plumbing Newsflash 520 - Requirements for garage doors in cyclone regions
To reinforce the current requirements for garage doors in cyclone regions regarding a revised version of AS/NZS 4505 - 'Garage doors and other large access doors' took effect under the National Construction Code (NCC) for Wind Region C in Queensland (27 May 2013). More...

QLD: Consultation - Petroleum and Gas Safety and Health Fee
Submissions are required from industry to provide comment on a discussion paper released
For more information visit To have a say, visit The comment period is open for 28 days (23 May 2013).

VIC: Domestic Building Consumer Protection Reform Strategy consultation
Following the release of today's strategy, further consultation will take place with builders, insurers, consumers and other stakeholders on implementation of the strategy, with reforms to commence progressively over the course of 2013 and 2014. A copy of the strategy document can be downloaded from (27 May 2013).

VIC: Application fees increase (VCAT)
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Fees) Regulations 2013 commence operation on 1 June 2013, effective immediately. Most application fees have increased. Further information, a schedule of fees and Practice Note PNVCAT 6 Hearing Fees, is at (30 May 2013).


Anderson Street Banksmeadow Pty Ltd v Helcon Contracting Australia Pty Ltd [2013] NSWSC 657
REMEDIES - adjudication determination void - jurisdictional error found in respect of only one issue - whether declaration that the determination is void should be made - whether certiorari should be issued setting aside or quashing the determination - whether, instead, that part of funds paid into Court not attributable to the jurisdictional error should be paid out to the claimant. REMEDIES - adjudication determination void - jurisdictional error found in respect of only one issue - whether declaration that the determination is void should be made - whether certiorari should be issued setting aside or quashing the determination - whether, instead, that part of funds paid into Court not attributable to the jurisdictional error should be paid out to the claimant. Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999. More...

Gisley Investments Pty Ltd v Williams [2013] QDC 123
BUILDING AND ENGINEERING CONTRACTS – Remuneration – project manager – percentage of construction cost plus percentage of savings over quoted prices – determination of relevant amounts. More...

Feldis Holdings Pty Ltd t/as PGS Constructions v Tweddell & Anor [2013] QCAT 164
Domestic Building Contract – Implication of Terms – Variations not in Writing – Provisional Sums – Deemed Practical Completion Date. More...

Badov & Anor v Queensland Building Services Authority [2013] QCAT 161
Decision of the QBSA in relation to the statutory insurance fund – review under section 86(1)(h) and 87 QBSA Act – whether fixed price or cost plus contract – contract validly terminated – claim refused by Authority as contract determined to be on a "cost plus" basis. More...

Fotia v Queensland Building Services Authority [2013] QCAT 160
Extension of Time – where applicant does not provide a satisfactory explanation or delay – where primary application lacks merit on the material filed – where respondent is prejudiced by the delay.
Hunter Valley Developments v The Honourable Barry Cowen, Minister for Home Affairs and Environment (1984) 3FCR 344 McClintock v Queensland Building Services Authority [2010] QCATA 68. More...

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