Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 18 June 2013

Last Updated: 21 June 2013

In the media

Everybody needs good NABERS
The success of a NSW rating tool initiative that measures the energy efficiency and emissions of office buildings - NABERS - has been recognised with the launch of NABERS NZ in Auckland. This is the first time that the Australia's star rating system for offices has been adopted overseas (12 June 2013) More...

BIM could rescue "adversarial" construction industry
A recently released report from AECOM has labelled the Australian buildings market as the most adversarial construction market in the world (12 June 2013) More...

68 Housing Construction 'Hotspots' revealed
A total of 68 metropolitan and regional markets around Australia where sufficient population growth to support above-average levels of residential construction activity have been unveiled, according to the HIA), the Population and Residential Building Hotspots report (11 June 2013) More...

Construction in decline for three straight years
New figures show Australia's construction sector has been in decline for three full years in a row. The Performance of Construction Index by the Australian Industry Group and the Housing Industry Association remained unchanged in May at 35.3 (07 June 2013) More...

Cooroy to Curra Upgrade Fast-Tracked
The Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister notes the official start of work on the $790 million upgrade of the Highway from south of the Cooroy Southern Interchange to Sankeys Road. The upgrade of Section A is being jointly funded, with the Federal and Queensland governments both contributing $395 million to the project (12 June 2013) More...

Bowen Basin coal project open for public comment
The Queensland Coordinator-General approved the release of Byerwen Coal's EIS, a joint venture between QCoal and JFE Steel, for public comment. The release of the EIS was another important step in the rigorous assessment of the proposed open-cut coal mine project 45 kilometres south of Collinsville (07 June 2013) More...

TFF: Cross River Rail unfinished business
The TTF Chief Executive has welcomed the Queensland Government's allocation of funding for transport infrastructure including $ 178.8 million for the Gold Coast Light Rail and $170.6 million for the Moreton Bay Rail Link, but states Commonwealth funding needed for Cross River Rail project (04 June 2013) More...

Government allocates $4.2 billion for flood recovery
The Newman Government has allocated $4.2 billion in the 2013-14 State Budget to rebuild Queensland after this year's floods, with $2.1 billion of this going to road reconstruction. Funding will be drawn from the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) allocations (04 June 2013) More...

Commonwealth Games Village construction commences in October
The Newman Government will spend almost $50 million in 2013-14 preparing the Parklands site to become the official village for the 2018 Commonwealth Games after the Government takes control of the site in October (04 June 2013) More...

NSW Government delivers billions in projects
The NSW Government's plan to clear the backlog of hundreds of state significant and major projects has delivered a massive $9.2 billion in approved projects this financial year. The Department of Planning advises it intends to deal with the remaining 29 transitional Part 3A projects expeditiously (13 June 2013) More...

11,000 dwelling approvals from Part 3A prop up NSW housing supply
The approval of 11,000 dwellings this financial year from Part 3A applications in NSW, demonstrates the importance of state leadership in driving housing supply, says the Urban Taskforce (13 June 2013) More...

NSW to prosecute Santos over CSG site
The NSW Government launches legal action against Santos over breaches of its production licence at a CSG site in the state's north. It's claimed the company failed to notify a spill of untreated water at its site in the Pilliga State Forest and also failed to lodge environmental management reports (13 June 2013) More...

Federal Funding Approved for Woolgoolga to Ballina Section
The Federal Labor Government has approved a further $282.3 million to complete the necessary planning and pre-construction activities along the 155 kilometre Woolgoolga to Ballina section of the Pacific Highway (12 June 2013) More...

$10m for new transport hub in NSW
The Federal Government has allocated $10 million for a new transport hub and bypass in the Manning Valley in New South Wales to improve freight efficiency. The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport announced the cash injection today for the project, which is due to be completed by late 2016 at a cost of $38.5 million (06 June 2013) More...

Coalition seeks industry views on potential development of Latrobe Valley coal
The Victorian Coalition Government is seeking industry views on the potential development of coal resources in the Latrobe Valley, Minister for State Development Peter Ryan announced in State Parliament today (12 June 2013) More...

VIC and NSW work towards mutual understanding of construction safety laws
The Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA) and WorkCover NSW are working together to help local construction businesses understand the similarities and ease of working on either side of the border (06 June 2013) More...

Guy locks in CBD heritage protection
The Minister for Planning Matthew Guy has paved the way to protect some of Melbourne's most significantly historic buildings, approving heritage overlay controls over 87 buildings, under the Planning Scheme Amendment C186 (05 June 2013) More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Housing Finance, Australia, April 2013
Author: Australian Bureau of Statistics
The trend estimate for the total value of dwelling finance commitments excluding alterations and additions rose 1.2%. Owner occupied housing commitments rose 1.2% and investment housing commitments rose 1.2%. In seasonally adjusted terms, the total value of dwelling finance commitments excluding alterations and additions fell 0.2% (11 June 2013) More...

The Value of Green Star: A decade of environmental benefits
Author: Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA)
Analyses data from 428 Green Star-certified buildings and fitouts and compares it to the 'average' Australian building and minimum practice benchmarks (03 June 2013) More...

Engineering Energy: Unconventional Gas Production
Author: Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA)
This makes 51 key findings providing Australia an opportunity to fully assess its shale gas resources and reserves and to consider the potential social, economic and environmental impacts while exploration is still at an early stage (May 2013, released 05 June 2013) More...

NSW Local Government Infrastructure Audit Report 2013
Author: NSW Government
This report confirms there is a large local government infrastructure backlog in NSW and some councils face real and significant challenges in terms of maintaining and renewing the infrastructure that is critical to their communities and the NSW economy (June 2013) More...

In practice and courts

Building Australia's Future 2013 Conference: Sofitel Brisbane, 15-18 September 2013
A world class built environment learning and networking opportunity capturing contemporary topics in the following areas: Managing Risk & Liability; Understanding Codes & Standards; Trends & the Future click here to view the indicative Conference program or click here to view profiles of a few of our world class keynote speakers (June 2013)

WorkSafe Australia: Minor contamination' of asbestos-containing dust or debris fact sheet
This fact sheet provides guidance on what is meant by a 'minor contamination' of asbestos-containing dust or debris (ACD) under the Work Health and Safety Regulations. It should be read together with the relevent Codes of Practice dealing with asbestos (05 June 2013) More...

VIC: East West link
The scoping directions for a comprehensive impact statement have been released to assess the environmental impacts of the proposed East West Link between the Eastern Freeway to the Port of Melbourne (06 June 2013)

VIC: Amendment C186
Planning Minister Matthew Guy has approved Amendment C186 to the Melbourne Planning Scheme to protect 87 heritage buildings in the CBD (06 June 2013)


Ampcontrol SWG Pty Limited -v- Gujarat NRE Wonga Pty Limited (formerly Gujarat NRE FCGL Pty Limited) [2013] NSWSC 707
Building and Construction Industry - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act - Where claimant serves a payment claim for a progress payment which does not disclose the precise contractual provisions relied. Where defendant fails to serve a payment schedule and then opposes judgment being entered on the basis that the terms of the contract do not entitle the plaintiff to the progress payment claimed - sufficient for the plaintiff to make a claim - defendant could raise the contractual issue in a payment schedule or adjudication response but is not entitled to do so now Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) More...

Coppens v Water Wise Design Pty Ltd [2013] QCA 145
ENERGY AND RESOURCES – WATER – WATER MANAGEMENT – SEWERAGE – QUEENSLAND – where the applicant claimed that the sewerage facility installed on her property was defective – where the applicant contended that the respondent designed a sewerage facility which could not be approved by the local authority without the prior approval of the Chief Executive of the Department of Natural Resources and Mines – where the applicant commenced proceedings against the respondent and local authority – where the proceedings against the local authority were struck out for want of jurisdiction – where the Appeal Tribunal affirmed the Adjudicator's decision that prior chief executive approval was not necessary – whether the Appeal Tribunal erred in dismissing the applicant's appeal More...

Miccon Hire Pty Ltd (in liquidation) v Birla Mt Gordon Pty Ltd [2013] QSC 139
CONTRACTS – GENERAL CONTRACTUAL PRINCIPLES – DISCHARGE, BREACH AND DEFENCES TO ACTION FOR BREACH – PERFORMANCE – the plaintiff performed haulage and waste dumping services for the defendant under a written contract – the plaintiff submitted monthly invoices to the defendant, which were not paid in full – the defendant claimed that the plaintiff had failed to provide sufficient information as required by the contract – representatives of the defendant attended daily meetings at which progress information was provided – whether the plaintiff had established its claim for unpaid haulage charges under the agreement – whether the plaintiff had discharged the onus of proof for its claim with as much precision as the subject matter reasonably permitted. ESTOPPEL – ESTOPPEL BY CONDUCT – ACT, OMISSION OR ASSUMPTION – ACQUIESCENCE, ENCOURAGEMENT OR SILENCE – the plaintiff carried out work under a variation to a written contract at the request of the defendant – the contract required that the variation be proposed and accepted in writing, with non-compliance barring an entitlement to payment – the evidence as to whether a written variation existed was unclear – the defendant accepted the benefit of the work and monitored its progress – whether a claim for payment was sustainable under the doctrines of waiver and estoppels. RESTITUTION – GENERAL PRINCIPLES – whether the plaintiff could recover for work performed under the variation of the written contract under a quantum meruit claim. CONTRACTS – GENERAL CONTRACTUAL PRINCIPLES – CONSTRUCTION AND INTERPRETATION OF CONTRACTS – INTERPRETATION OF MISCELLANEOUS CONTRACTS AND OTHER MATTERS – the plaintiff's claims against the defendant included, inter alia, payment for maintenance work on a crusher and lighting for night time work – the defendant requested a quotation for the crusher maintenance work and provided tax invoices in respect of both services – whether the work constituted "incidental services" and was thereby included in the existing price of the contract – whether the conduct of the parties suggested the work constituted "incidental services" under the contract More...

McNab NQ Pty Ltd v Walkrete Pty Ltd & Ors [2013] QSC 144
Costs - the first respondent pay the applicants' costs of and incidental to the proceeding, including reserved costs. Court accepts Walkrete contends it did not contribute to what was found to have been the adjudicator's error in law (para 9 of Mr Arthur's submission) - an indemnity certificate under s 15 of the Appeal Costs Fund Act 1973 granted More...

Robuild Pty Ltd v Queensland Building Services Authority [2013] QCAT 197
Jurisdiction of the Tribunal - QBSA Act as a remedial statute - service of infringement notice – service by post – service in accordance with s109A QBSA Act – service in accordance with s39 Acts Interpretation Act - principal office More...

Xerri Pty Ltd v Sparks Industrial Park Pty Ltd [2013] VCC 560
Practice and procedure – Claim for a progress claim under a building contract – Whether a "final claim" – Progress claim made in accordance with the building contract – Adjustment of matters between the parties after the defects liability period not precluded – Judgment entered – Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) More...

Walton Construction Pty Ltd v Pines Living Pty Ltd [2013] ACTSC 114
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – Building and Construction Industry (Security of Payment) Act 2009 (ACT) – application for an injunction to restrict dealing with funds that have been garnisheed where pending challenge to the adjudicator's decision More...

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