Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 11 September 2013

Last Updated: 13 September 2013

In the media

Thousands of faults hit rushed NBN
The company building the National Broadband Network could be forced to repair tens of thousands of faulty connections after cutting corners in the construction processes. Up to 7000 have major defects, which according to NBN Co documents, are those at risk of service degradation, outages or health and safety hazards (06 September 2013). More...

Australian economy grows 0.6 per cent
The industries that drove growth in the June quarter were Finance, Mining, and Construction. The Finance industry contributed 0.2 per cent to GDP while the other industries each contributed 0.1 per cent to the increase in GDP (04 September 2013). More...

RP August data: Brisbane leads as Melbourne and Perth record weakest
Brisbane dwelling prices bounced back 1.5% over the month of August, according to RP Data. The median dwelling price in Brisbane is currently at $429,000 – up 1.7% for the quarter and 2.5% for the year (02 September 2013). More...

Debts undermine construction company
The Construction company, Australia's Residential Builder has collapsed with debts exceeding $7.21 million and unsecured creditors tipped to be facing a total loss. The revelations come as administrators attempt to negotiate the sale of ARB to a major-volume builder, although it is unclear how this would affect subcontractors and would-be home owners caught in the collapse (31 August 2013). More...

ABCB: Quantification of NCC Performance requirement commences
The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) is currently undertaking a project to increase the use of and to quantify the National Construction Code (NCC) Performance Requirements. (28 August 2013). More...

ABS: Building Construction still flat across Australia
The latest quarterly construction figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicate building construction went slightly backwards across Australia. The Urban Taskforce claims more action is needed if the building industry is to fill the downturn from the mining industry,(28 August 2013). More...

GBCA announces green star to adopt life cycle assessment
The Green Building Council of Australia has announced new credits available for life cycle assessment as part of its Green Star 2014 program. Up to eight points can be claimed under the updated Innovation category, with the maximum points in the category being raised from five to 10 (28 August 2013). More...

NSW Government seeks feedback on Sydney light rail plans
Members of the public are being asked for their opinions on the design of the proposed light rail line from Sydney's CBD to the city's east (02 September 2013). More...

New BHP mine a boost for Queensland
The BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance's (BMA) new Daunia mine in central Queensland has opened ahead for schedule. BHP Billiton Coal President Dean Dalla Valle said the company, along with Mitsubishi, had committed $9.1 billion for major projects in Queensland over the past three years (04 September 2013). More...

Galilee proposed transmission electricity line announced
Adani Group's Galilee Transmission Pty Ltd (GTC) has announced a proposal for a major 250 kilometre transmission line to link Powerlink Queensland's Strathmore substation near Collinsville to the new Galilee substation to be located on Adani's Moray Downs (29 August 2013). More...

Melbourne's wins global award for sustainable buildings program
Melbourne has been recognised for its sustainable building initiatives, with the City of Melbourne winning an international award for its 1200 Buildings program (05 September 2013). More...

Global interest in delivering Victoria's East West Link
Treasurer Michael O'Brien said expressions of interest for the first stage of the East West Link had attracted strong local and international competition, with mix of local and international consortia submitting Expressions of Interest to build and operate the largest infrastructure project in Victoria's history, (29 August 2013). More...

Multiple initiatives, not multi-billion dollar initiatives, the key to a smart, sustainable built environment
The Victorian Government's commitment of $3.59 million to improve the energy efficiency of Victoria's commercial office buildings has been welcomed by the GBCA. The program will provide matched grant funding of $20,000 to $150,000 to owners of mid-tier commercial office buildings that invest in energy efficiency upgrades (26 August 2013). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

On Track, Implementing High Speed Rail in Australia
Author: High Speed Rail Advisory Group Report
Major recommendations include: Formally commit to high speed rail and settle arrangements; Protect the corridor (initially through national legislation) and Refer high speed rail to Infrastructure Australia for initial assessment (26 August 2013). More...

Construction Work Done, Australia, Preliminary, June 2013
Author: Australian Bureau of Statistics
The trend estimate for total construction work done fell 1.0% The seasonally adjusted estimate for total construction work done fell 0.3% to $50,773.5m. The seasonally adjusted estimate of total building work done fell 0.6%, to $20,174.6m, and the seasonally adjusted estimate for engineering work done fell 0.2%, to $30,598.9m (28 August 2013). More...

Building Approvals, Australia, July 2013
Author: Australian Bureau of Statistics (02 September 2013)
Building Approvals, Australia, July 2013 (cat no. 8731.0).

In practice and courts

Quantification of NCC Performance Requirements Survey 2013: ABCB
Feedback on the current state of play in respect to the use of Alternative Solutions and how the system can be enhanced. With the survey covering topics such as:the frequency of use of Alternative Solutions compared to Building Solutions complying with the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions; how Alternative Solutions are applied; and your experience in the use of Alternative Solutions.

Submissions close 19 September (28 August 2013). More...

National Consultations
Closing date for comments to the Productivity Commission on Draft Report - Major Project Development Assessment Processes - 13 September 2013. More...

Forthcoming Conferences

The Building Australia's Future Conference, Brisbane, 15-18 September 2013
The Australian Building Codes Board, together with Master Plumbers Australia and the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors, will jointly deliver the pre-eminent national construction industry conference of 2013. More...

Australian National Conference on Resources and Energy, Canberra, 03-04 October 2013
This will provide an opportunity to showcase leading-edge Australian and international research on key issues such as the global gas revolution, China's growth prospects, the community licence to operate, Indigenous communities and mining, renewable energy developments and also energy efficiency. More...

East Coast Gas Outlook Conference Sydney, 21-22 October 2013
This outlines opportunities and options to secure gas supply on the east coast of Australia. More...

International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure, NSW, 01-04 October 2013
SMART Infrastructure Facility at the University of Wollongong throws open its doors and welcome the international infrastructure community as we host the International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure (ISNGI),) (02 September 2013). More...

NSW: NSW Major Project Proposals
The following project proposals have been listed:
Blackmans Flat – Centennial Western Coal Services Project – upgrade of existing infrastructure and construction of ancillary infrastructure
Gloucester – Establishment of new open cut coal mine


Coeclerici Asia (Pte) Ltd v Gujarat NRE Coke Limited [2013] FCA 882
ARBITRATION – international arbitration – whether award debtors can resist enforcement of a foreign arbitral award on the ground that they were denied a reasonable opportunity of presenting their case by the arbitral tribunal – whether, by reason of the circumstance that the English High Court of Justice refused to set aside an award in an international arbitration held in London on grounds which included the ground that the award debtors had been denied a reasonable opportunity of presenting their case, the award debtors were precluded from relying upon the same ground in resisting enforcement proceedings in Australia – whether receivers should be appointed to certain shares held by the award debtors in corporations incorporated in Australia – whether Freezing Orders should be continued in aid of enforcement. More...

Sydney Water v Asset Geotechnical Engineering & Ors [2013] NSWSC 1274
TORTS - negligence - landslip at building site - damage caused to sewer main owned by the plaintiff - whether geotechnical engineer, occupiers, principal contractor or excavator liable - apportionable claim covered by Part 4 Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) - whether local council is a concurrent wrongdoer under s35(3) Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) REAL PROPERTY - statutory covenant - whether second and third defendants liable for breach of statutory covenant created by s44 Sydney Water Act 1994 (NSW) - whether claim is an apportionable claim. More...

Dial D Pty Ltd as trustee for the Smith Street Unit Trust v Kingston Building (Australia) Pty Ltd NSWCA 277
Appeal allowed in part. CONTRACTS - building, engineering and related contracts - the contract - construction of contract - whether further progress claim could be made - whether Superintendent entitled to issue progress and other payment certificate in month when no work done and contractor did not issue progress certificate - whether Superintendent's progress certificate void. Building and Construction Industry (Security of Payments) Act 1999. More...

Taylor v Harvey Norman Design & Renovation (Home Building) [2013] NSWCTTT 276
For recovery of the sum of $2,000.00. Home Building Act 1989 - Australian Consumer Law - Misleading and deceptive conduct inducing a contract - The respondent must pay the sum of $1,600.00 to the applicant. More...

Watpac Construction (Qld) Pty Ltd v KLM Group Ltd & Ors [2013] QSC 236
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – REMUNERATION – STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OF PROGRESS PAYMENTS – AJUDICATION OF PAYMENT CLAIMS – where respondent and applicant entered into a contract for certain construction works – where respondent made payment claim pursuant the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) – where the payment claim was referred to adjudication – where adjudicator ordered applicant to pay respondent – where applicant seeks judicial review of adjudicator's decision on a number of grounds – where applicant contends adjudicator's decision is affected by jurisdictional errors by misinterpreting the contract – whether a misinterpretation of the contract amounts to a jurisdictional error – dismissed. More...

McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust) Pty Ltd v Heavy Plant Leasing Pty Ltd (Administrators appointed) (Receivers and Managers appointed) & Ors [2013] QSC 223
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – REMUNERATION – STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OF PROGRESS PAYMENTS – SUBCONTRACTORS' CHARGES ACT (QLD) – where the applicant is a subcontractor providing earthworks and where the first respondent is its subcontractor – where the first respondent served the applicant with notices of claim of charges pursuant to s 10(1)(a) Subcontractors' Charges Act 1974 (Qld) (Charges Act) – where the applicant contended the notices were not sufficiently particularised and consequently invalid and "must be withdrawn" – where the first respondent accepted the notices were invalid – where the first respondent subsequently commenced adjudication proceedings pursuant to the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) (Payments Act) – where the existence of a valid notice of claim of charge prohibits the making of an adjudication application – where the applicant contends the notices were not properly withdrawn pursuant to s 11(8) Charges Act – whether the notices were validly issued – whether there was an effective withdrawal of the notices. CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – REMUNERATION – STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OF PROGRESS PAYMENTS – ADJUDICATION OF PAYMENT CLAIMS – where the applicant sent two letters dated 6 and 8 March 2013 in response to a payment claim served by the first respondent – where the third respondent concluded the 6 March document amounted to a payment schedule and determined the adjudication by that document – where the applicant contends the third respondent failed to consider the 8 March document as a valid payment schedule – where the applicant contends the 6 March document was an incomplete document when an incomplete document cannot be a payment schedule under the Payments Act – where the 8 March document was expressly identified as a payment schedule and its contents dealt with issues required by a payment schedule – whether the 6 March document constitutes a valid payment schedule – whether the refusal to consider material relevant to the determination of the payment claim constituted jurisdictional error. More...

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