Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 15 July 2013

Last Updated: 28 July 2013

In the media

Infrastructure Planning: Towards Best Practice
The workshop communiqué, Infrastructure Planning: Towards best practice, calls for urgent change to improve infrastructure planning processes in Australia to provide outcomes that are more effective and efficient and which are delivered with greater certainty and transparency (11 July 2013). More...

Switching on a new phase of investment
Exploring opportunities for renewable energy hybrid power plants is a major focus of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency's three-year Investment Plan, released today by the Resources and Energy Minister Gary Gray (10 July 2013). More...

Master Builders Survey reveals drop in builder sentiment
The June quarter Master Builders National Survey of Building and Construction has seen builder sentiment drop back after improving in the March quarter (10 July 2013). More...

Australia's Construction Industry Has Shrunk for the 37th Consecutive Month
The Australian construction industry has shrunk for the 37th consecutive month, but rate of decline is slowing. The Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association's Performance of Construction Index improved by 4.2 points to 39.5 in June (05 July 2013). More...

ISN and accountants welcome infrastructure plan
Infrastructure Australia's National Infrastructure Plan has been welcomed by the Industry Super Network (ISN) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAA). The "50-year plan" recommends the establishment of a single national infrastructure fund (04 July 2013). More...

Australian draft standard for defining smart grids
Standards Australia has announced that the draft version of Australia's first smart grid standard is open for public comment. The draft standard – DR AS-5711 Smart Grids Vocabulary has been developed following extensive industry and stakeholder consultation (04 July 2013). More...

Infrastructure Australia's Updated Priority List released
Infrastructure Australia's fifth annual report to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), sets out the pipeline of projects and policy reforms it believes will secure Australia's prosperity in the 21st Century. This report marks the first five years of Infrastructure Australia and acknowledges the improvements to infrastructure planning and development that have occurred (02 July 2013). More...

A National Infrastructure Plan—A 50 Year Plan for Sense, Not Dollars
In launching the Plan, the Chairman, observed the aim in preparing this Plan was to provide governments and the community with a clear set of actions to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the growth of the Asian economies over the next half century (02 July 2013). More...

Australia's biggest solar farm gets go ahead in ACT
Australia's largest solar farm has been given the go-ahead with development expected to begin later this year. The 20-megawatt Royalla solar farm will contribute to a reduction of around 560,000 tonnes of carbon emissions over 20 years, generating the equivalent amount of energy to power 4400 Canberra homes (03 July 2013). More...

Construction starts on new University of Sydney precinct
Construction on the University of Sydney's new $180 million business school precinct has officially begun after a ground breaking ceremony was held on the site yesterday. Construction of the precinct building with a 34,000m2 gross floor area will be carried out by head contractor John Holland. Earthworks are due to begin in August, with construction scheduled for completion in early 2015 (02 July 2013). More...

Wood Group Wagners wins GLNG contract extension
WGW will provide pipeline project management personnel for the 420 kilometre gas transmission pipeline (GTP) development as part of the Gladstone Liquefied Natural Gas (GLNG) project in Queensland (11 July 2013). More...

Industry guide to assist construction sector
The Newman Government has released its Building Projects Industry Guide for 2013­2014, detailing upcoming capital works worth around $2.8 billion. Housing and Public Works Minister encouraged the construction industry to take advantage of the guide and urged contractors and consultants to ensure they are appropriately registered with the department for work (12 July 2013). More...

Bruce Highway interchange upgrade
Work on the $96.1 million upgrade of the Pumicestone Road interchange on Queensland's Bruce Highway has commenced. This section of the highway lies between Caboolture and Caloundra and is being undertaken by Acciona Infrastructure Australia, and is fully funded by the federal government (09 July 2013). More...

Infrastructure charges reform paper released
The State Government has released a discussion paper outlining options for the reform of the funding framework for local government infrastructure which presents a set of reform options developed from feedback received from key local government and development industry representatives (03 July 2013). More...

Wind farm development secures 75 steel jobs
The Australian Steel Institute (ASI) has welcomed the awarding of locally manufactured wind towers to support the new wind farm planned for Taralga in southern NSW to experienced Victorian steel contractor, Keppel Prince. Under Australian Industry Participation Plan (AIPP) legislation, all projects above $500m and those benefiting from CEFC funding are required to submit an AIPP (10 July 2013). More...

Kerang Hospital's next stage is set to go
Kerang residents will soon see plenty of activity at the $36.3 million Kerang District Health redevelopment with the building contract being awarded to Nicholson Construction of Ballarat. The new facility is expected to be finished by the end of 2015 (08 July 2013). More...

Regional Rail Link on track for 2016 opening
Construction of the Regional Rail Link (RRL), Australia's largest public transport infrastructure project, is on track to deliver major benefits to Victoria's regional centres by 2016 (03 July 2013). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Engineering Construction Activity, Australia March 2013

Author: Australian Bureau of Statistics: released 03 July 2013. More...

In practice and courts

NSW: Proposed regulatory changes under the Gas Supply Act 1996

The objective of this Regulation is to ensure that Gas Networks are designed, constructed maintained and operated in a safe and reliable manner. The regulation also requires the quality of the gas transported be checked to meet appropriate standards (03 July 2013). More...

NSW: Proposed regulatory changes under the Pipeline Act 1967 - NSW

The objective of this Regulation is to ensure that Licensed Pipeline are designed, constructed maintained and operated, in a safe and reliable manner. The regulation also provides requirements for licences and licence areas (03 July 2013). More...

QLD: Building Projects Industry Guide for 2013­2014

This guide, together with the Online Project Search tool, will help building industry contractors, trade contractors, suppliers and consultants identify upcoming opportunities with government building projects across the State. The Industry Guide and the Online Project Search tool are available on the department's website. More...

QLD: EDO - New handbook gives clear information on mining, coal seam gas and the law

To help everyone understand the relevant laws, Environmental Defenders Office Qld has prepared A Guide To Mining and Coal Seam Gas Law in Queensland, a plain-English legal guide to mining and coal seam gas law in Queensland (05 July 2013). More...

QLD: Infrastructure charges reform discussion paper

A discussion paper outlining options for the reform of the funding framework for local government infrastructure. The public consultation runs until 9 August. Visit to view the discussion paper and find out how to make a submission (03 July 2013). More...

VCAT Factsheet - Building Practitioner Board Appeals
VCAT has made available Factsheet: Appealing Building Practitioner Board decisions to VCAT (June 2013), which provides information about recent changes to VCAT's jurisdiction to hear applications for review of certain decisions of the Building Practitioners Board. The factsheet addresses the transfer of some of the Building Practitioners Board's jurisdiction to VCAT from 1 July 2013.


Hill as Trustee for the Ashmore Superannuation Benefit Fund v Halo Architectural Design Services Pty Ltd [2013] NSWSC 865
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 - adjudication determination - whether determination void - jurisdictional error

Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999; Corporations Act 2001 (Cth); Supreme Court Act 1970. More...

Coral Homes Qld Pty Ltd v Queensland Building Services Authority [2013] QSC 171
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – JUDICIAL REVIEW – POWERS OF COURTS UNDER JUDICIAL REVIEW LEGISLATION – DECLARATIONS – DIRECTIONS TO ACT OR REFRAIN FROM ACTING – where respondent proposed to send letters to consumers of the applicant – where proposed letters outlined potential defects in the consumers' homes and remedies available – where applicant brought application seeking declaration that the respondent did not have the power to send out proposed letters – where applicant also sought declaration that respondent must provide applicant with reasonable opportunity to make submissions after being provided with the material upon which its proposed letter is based – where the applicant also sought an order preventing the respondent from sending the letters – where applicant brought its application on the grounds that the respondent had no power to send the letters, that by sending the letters the respondent would breach the requirements of natural justice and that the letters indicated the respondent could not bring an impartial mind to the exercise of its discretion – where the respondent brought an application for summary dismissal of the proceedings – whether the applicant has any prospect of ultimately obtaining the declarations and orders it seeks – whether the applicant's grounds provide any basis for obtaining the relief it seeks. More...

Queensland Building Services Authority v Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal & Anor [2013] QSC 167
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – where tribunal made direction dismissing a matter where there had not been a hearing on the merits– where tribunal granted an application to reopen the matter – where respondent to the proceeding before the tribunal seeks order in the nature of certiorari or prohibition against the tribunal - whether the tribunal had power to reopen- dismissed. More...

Gupta & Anor v Xanthakis & Anor (Domestic Building) [2013] VCAT 1127
House and land contract for sale of a partially completed home, proceeding by Owners against Vendor under the Fair Trading Act 1999 and against the registered builder under ss8 and 9 of the Domestic Building Contract Act 1995, pleading and presentation of the case, s78 of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998, determination of the proceeding in favour of the applicant for vexatious conduct of the Second Respondent, determination in the manner most advantageous to the Applicants, discussion of matters not pleaded which give context to the matters pleaded: sham contracts, licence lending, risk that domestic building warranty insurance might be assailable; characterisation of the building contract between the vendor and builder: whether for less than the whole project, if for less than the whole project whether for less than to completion of lock up, matters taken into account including builder arranging insurance for the whole project and the building permit being obtained for the whole project; negligence, vicarious liability, agency, estoppel, value of defective works, builder's responsibility for materials provided by the vendor, defence of apportionment under Part IVAA of the Wrongs Act 1958, strict liability of Vendor to Owners to have the work undertaken under a building contract with a registered builder, report to the Director of Consumer Affairs.

The First Respondent and Second Respondents must pay the Applicants $145,373.58 forthwith and are jointly and severally liable to do so.

The Second Respondent must pay the Applicants a further $42,273 forthwith. More...

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