Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 3 July 2013

Last Updated: 7 July 2013

In the media

Regional Australia building forecasts split between 'boom or bust'
Key pockets around Australia are set for a building boom, helped by local population growth, according to industry analyst and economic forecaster, BIS Shrapnel (26 June 2013). More...

Master Builders calls for halt to FWBC industry audit
Master Builders is urging the Fair Work Building and Construction agency not to rush a proposed audit to monitor compliance with the controversial Building Code 2013 (26 June 2013). More...

Albanese stokes fire on High Speed Rail
An important element in the latest push to keep high-speed rail rolling was the release for public comment of the second and final phase (Phase 2) of an official study into how such a massive project would be implemented (25 June 2013). More...

Fallout from Reed Construction folding continues with collapse of air-conditioning company
A Sydney-based air conditioning installation and servicing company has collapsed, with millions of dollars of debt accumulated following the failure of the now collapsed builder Reed Construction (24 June 2013). More...

Australia Loses 29,332 Construction Jobs
The building industry workforce in Australia has shrunk by almost three per cent as the nation shed 29,332 construction jobs over a three month period, the latest ABS figures show, and the Australian Construction Industry Forum says it expects overall employment numbers in the sector to remain at levels not much different to now throughout 2013/14 (24 June 2013). More...

EPBC Act amendment gets through and science the winner
The Senate has passed the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act amendment bill known as the "water trigger amendment", which now means the Commonwealth has legal authority for ensuring water systems are not impacted by major coal seam gas and coal mining projects (24 June 2013). More...

Delivering the next generation of Green Star rating tools
A new report claims green star-rated buildings emit around a third of the greenhouse gas emissions and use a third of the electricity when compared with the average Australian building, and also use half the water of buildings that simply meet minimum industry requirements (20 June 2013). More...

EEO program: driving energy efficiency savings in new projects
The Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) program will be broadened to incorporate new developments and major expansions, across a range of sectors including mining, manufacturing, oil and gas, and generation and some infrastructure projects (19 June 2013). More...

FWBC alleges CFMEU & CEPU orchestrated 3-day strike on 3 Qld projects
Backgrounder Director of Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v CFMEU & CEPU Allegations as outlined in Fair Work Building & Construction's (FWBC) statement of claim (20 June 2013). More...

IEA warns on Aust LNG sector
The outlook for Australia's $190 billion pipeline of liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects has taken a fresh hit with the International Energy Agency (IEA) warning that the sector faces further delays and cost blowouts (21 June 2013). More...

Commonwealth Games Village shortlist announced
Three developers have been shortlisted to build the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) Village. The site was declared a Priority Development Area (PDA) on 1 February 2013, to fast-track the development (27 June 2013). More...

Bruce Highway Upgrade: New Gin Gin Overtaking Lane
Work commences on the Bruce Highway $7 million fully—Federally funded northbound overtaking lane, with the upgrade delivered by VDM Construction. All up, we're building 50 new overtaking lanes on the Bruce Highway as part of Federal Labor's unprecedented $5.7 billion investment in this vital part of the national road network (24 June 2013). More...

Queensland Premier eyes private sector to fast-track road, school and health projects
Under an "availability payment" PPP, the private sector borrows the money, delivers the project and then uses the regular government funding to pay back its borrowings from banks and superannuation funds (19 June 2013). More...

Hume Highway duplication complete
Construction on the Hume Highway duplication has come to an end, with the final section – the 9.5km long $247 million Holbrook Bypass – being officially completed. The entire duplication project has been under way for more than 50 years, and has cost billions of dollars to upgrade the road to dual carriageway standard (28 June 2013). More...

Partnership to deliver 113MW wind farm
A consortium of GE and Downer EDI has been awarded the contract to supply, build and maintain the 113MW Boco Rock wind farm in the Snowy Mountains region of NSW. The project will cost $350 million and consists of 67 turbines with a potential future expansion to 121 turbines (27 June 2013). More...

NSW Farmers withdraws support for mining template access agreement
NSW Farmers today withdrew its support and endorsement of a joint template Land Access
Arrangement for Minerals Exploration under the Mining Act 1992. The template was launched in late 2012 in conjunction with the NSW Minerals Council and the NSW Government (25 June 2013). More...

Mining companies hopeful of NSW uranium permits
Mining companies interested in exploring for uranium in far west NSW are still waiting for their permits to be approved. This comes after a 25-year-old ban on uranium exploration was lifted early last year (25 June 2013). More...

Ministers seal funding deal for 'Sydney bypass' tunnel
The New South Wales and Federal Governments have signed a joint funding agreement to build a road described as the "missing link" between the F3 freeway and the M2 motorway (21 June 2013). More...

Private funding dumped in new plan for NSW toll roads
The NSW Coalition government plans to take on almost all the financial risk of one of Australia's biggest infrastructure projects, the $10?billion WestConnex toll road in Sydney, in a new approach likely to be adopted nationwide (18 June 2013). More...

A new era in planning policy commences on 1 July
A new era in Victorian planning policy and building industry regulation will commence this Monday1 July , with the introduction of Victoria's Reformed Residential Planning Zones and the commencement of operation of the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) (28 June 2013). More...

Call for builders for new Eye and Ear Hospital
The major redevelopment of Victoria's iconic Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital has moved a step closer, with the release of tender documents today to a shortlist of builders. This redevelopment will see the construction of a connecting building with five fully integrated levels (28 June 2013). More...

Infrastructure heavyweights compete for Melbourne's $1.6 billion port project
The $1.6 billion re-development of the Port of Melbourne has attracted a high calibre list of civil and maritime construction specialists all competing for two significant work packages (26 June 2013). More...

Victorian Princes Highway East Upgrade: Another Section Completed
Another milestone in the staged upgrade and duplication of the Princes Highway between Traralgon and Sale has been reached following the completion of work along the Wurruk to Sale section. The Princes Highway East Upgrade is being jointly funded by the Federal ($140 million) and Victorian ($35 million) governments (18 June 2013). More...

New legislation first stage of planned reform to building industry
A notable feature of the Bill is its establishment of the Victorian Building Authority as an over-arching governance body for the building and plumbing industries. The VBA replaces the Building Commission and the Plumbing Industry Commission (20 June 2013). More...

In practice and courts

CTH: Department of Infrastructure and Transport: Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program
Applications for funding are open to airstrip owners such as community groups, Indigenous organisations and local governments in remote areas under the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program. Applications close on 26 July 2013 (24 June 2013). More...

CTH: Department of Infrastructure and Transport: Driveway Safety Discussion Paper
The Australian Government is seeking industry and community views on its Driveway Safety Design Guidelines discussion paper, aimed at protecting young children around the home. Comments are sought by 6 August 2013 (25 June 2013). More...

CTH: Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS): benchmarking study
The study aims to better understand how the NatHERS software tools as well as ongoing scheme developments in training and information resources can be improved over time. The study is being conducted until September 2013. Further information regarding the study and participation is on the website www.nathersbenchmarkstudy.com.au (20 June 2013).

CTH: EEO program 2013 extended from July
This will apply to new development and expansion projects from July this year, with a particular focus on reducing compliance burden and recognising existing design processes, in line with recommendations from the recent review of the program. Workshops will be held in July and August around the country to outline the regulatory changes in more detail. Further details are available at www.energyefficiencyopportunities.gov.au (19 June 2013).

CTH: Offshore petroleum exploration permits released
A full list of the exploration permits awarded appears below and further information on acreage release is available at www.petroleum-acreage.gov.au. In addition, further information on specific permits can be found on the following website: www.neats.nopta.gov.au/ (18 June 2013).

CTH: Policy and Advocacy Agenda 2013–14
Master Builders today launched its Policy and Advocacy Agenda 2013–14, which outlines the six key reforms. Director of Housing Policy, Paul Bidwell said the reforms would go some way towards rebuilding consumer and business confidence (19 June 2013). More...

QLD: The coal seam gas industry(CSG) review
The Queensland Government has asked the Authority to undertake an investigation into the Queensland Government's regulation of the coal seam gas industry. The report will include a comprehensive review of the Queensland Government's approach to regulating the coal seam gas industry, including options for regulatory reform (17 June 2013). More...

Cases

NC Refractories Pty Ltd -v- Consultant Bricklaying Pty Ltd [2013] NSWSC 842
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) ss 4, 8, 13(5) - whether a payment claim was based on a construction contract - the parties entered into a verbal construction contract and the defendant served a payment claim - the plaintiff stated it would pay a lesser amount and the defendant sent a revised invoice - the plaintiff contended that the second invoice was not based on the construction contract but on a later independent arrangement arising out of the parties' communications which was not a construction contract - the plaintiff contended that if the claim was based on a construction contract it was the second claim under it and was in respect of the same reference date of the first claim and was impermissible under s 13(5) - held that the second claim was made under the original contract which had been varied and that the second claim was not impermissible as a duplication because the first one had by necessary implication been withdrawn. Held further that, in any event, prerogative relief sought by the plaintiff should be withheld on discretionary grounds. More...

Sky General Services Pty Ltd V Bauen Constructions Pty Ltd [2013] NSWCA 191
APPEAL - application for leave to appeal - no challenge to substantive result - contention that wrong conclusion reached on two of three alternative bases of determination - challenge to costs order only- dismissed - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999, ss 13(4), 17(2). More...

Vero Insurance Ltd v Australian Prestressing Services Pty Ltd [2013] NSWCA 181
INSURANCE - construction of insurance contract - respondents insured by appellant in relation to contract works including a cofferdam wall - substantial rainfall damaged cofferdam wall and resulted in risk might fail - expenses incurred by respondents to prevent failure of cofferdam wall - whether expenses recoverable under temporary protection extension as expenses deemed necessary by insured to avoid further loss or damage to insured property - whether expenses recoverable under general insuring clause or under implied term as expenses reasonably incurred to avoid insured loss, damage or liability - whether expenses within "dewatering operations" exclusion. CONTRACTS - implication of terms - insurance - respondents contended for implied term indemnifying them for expenses incurred to prevent insured loss, damage or liability - whether to be implied as a matter of law or in fact to give contract business efficacy - implied term contended for inconsistent with express term. More...

Agripower Australia Ltd v J & D Rigging Pty Ltd & Ors [2013] QSC 164
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – REMUNERATION – STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OF PROGRESS PAYMENTS – ADJUDICATION OF PAYMENT CLAIMS – where the applicant had purchased certain mining plant from a company which had affixed it to land the subject of a mining lease – where the mining lease did not give rise to an interest in the land – where the applicant and the first respondent entered into a contract for the dismantling and removal of the mining plant – where the first respondent delivered a payment claim to the applicant pursuant to the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) – where the Act only provided for payment claims referable to a 'construction contract' to carry out 'construction work' within the meaning of s 10 of the Act – where the applicant contended that the plant did not 'form part of land' within the meaning of s 10 of the Act, and therefore the dismantling and removal was not 'construction work' under the Act – whether the mining plant 'form[ed] part of land' within the meaning of s 10 of the Act. More...

WTE Co-Generation & Anor V RCR Energy Pty Ltd & Anor [2013] VSC 314
BUILDING CONTRACT - Contractual dispute resolution clause a pre-condition to litigation – Whether dispute resolution clause uncertain and unenforceable – Principles as to uncertainty and enforceability of contractual dispute resolution clauses – Dispute resolution clause uncertain and left process for further agreement - Dispute resolution clause unenforceable. CONTRACT - Contractual dispute resolution clause a pre-condition to litigation – Whether dispute resolution clause uncertain and unenforceable – Principles as to uncertainty and enforceability of contractual dispute resolution clauses – Dispute resolution clause uncertain and left process for further agreement - Dispute resolution clause unenforceable. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Application for stay of a proceeding – Inherent jurisdiction to order – Contractual dispute resolution clause a pre-condition to litigation – Whether dispute resolution clause uncertain and unenforceable – Principles as to uncertainty and enforceability of contractual dispute resolution clauses – Dispute resolution clause uncertain and left process for further agreement - Dispute resolution clause unenforceable – Stay refused. More...

Lysaght Building Solutions Pty Ltd v Blanalko Pty Ltd [2013] VSCA 158 Elturan v Unicon Property Group Pty Ltd & Ors (Domestic Building) [2013] VCAT 924
Domestic building contract, Warranty insurance certificate naming different builder; Whether warranty insurance was obtained; Breach of contract; Misleading or deceptive conduct of directors of builder; Duty of Care of Surveyor to ensure warranty insurance has been obtained before issuing the building permit; Damages for lost opportunity to make a warranty insurance claim; Assessment of damages; Apportionment of responsibility under Part IVA Wrongs Act. More...

Legislation

Commonwealth

Bills

Fair Trade (Workers' Rights) Bill 2013
A Bill for an Act to ensure that minimum standards about workers' rights are included in certain international agreements, and for related purposes (Registered 25 June 2013; Introduced Senate 20 June 2013). More...

Acts

Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency Act No 58 of 2013
An Act to establish the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency, and for related purposes to establish the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency to administer the National Strategic Plan, which aims to prevent exposure to asbestos fibres in order to eliminate asbestos-related disease in Australia (Registered 25 June 2013 Date of Assent 21 June 2013). More...

Queensland

Bills
Building and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2013
Introduced on 16/04/2013 Report from Committee on 19/06/2013 Bill.

Regulations
No 116: Work Health and Safety Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2013 - 21 June 2013 -21 June 2013 Amends the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 - new s786 Transitional provision for particular high risk work licences.

NSW

Proclamations commencing Acts
Road Transport Act 2013 No 18 (2013-328) — published LW 28 June 2013 Road Transport Legislation (Repeal and Amendment) Act 2013 No 19 (2013-329) — published LW 28 June 2013.

Acts assented to
Heavy Vehicle (Adoption of National Law) Act 2013 No 42 — Assented to 25 June 2013.

Victoria

Victorian Proclamations of Commencement
Building and Planning Legislation Amendment (Governance and Other Matters) Act (No. 34/ 2013) - Commencement: ALL: 1/7/2013: s. 2. More...

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