Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 23 October 2013

Last Updated: 25 October 2013
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media


Mining business conditions hit 14-year low
The wind-down of the mining investment boom and slowing growth in China has seen business conditions in mining fall to a 14-and-a-half-year low (17 October 2013). More...

Construction key to productivity push: PwC Australia would benefit to the tune of $1.252 billion if the construction sector improved its productivity by just one per cent, according to a new PwC report. While the construction sector made a significant contribution to the national economy - $99.5 billion in gross value add in fiscal 2012 - the sector is a serial productivity underperformer (16 October 2013). More...

ABS confirms positive year for new housing in 2012/13
ABS's latest housing data confirms a modest increase for 2012/13 dwelling commencements following two consecutive yearly declines, said the Housing Industry Association (HIA) (15 October 2013). More...

GBCA: Australia's under-performing buildings set for a green makeover
The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has launched a rating tool which will improve the efficiency and environmental sustainability of Australia's existing buildings after more the two years of industry engagement (10 October 2013). More...

New South Wales

NSW Treasurer speaks at Infrastructure & Investment Conference
NSW Treasurer Mike Baird has renewed his call for reform of state and federal taxation arrangements to provide further incentives for the states to push ahead with vital infrastructure, in a keynote address in Sydney to the Infrastructure Partnerships Australia 2013 (18 October 2013). More...

Greater access to CSG well information
The NSW Government is continuing to improve public access to data on coal seam gas wells, with a mapping tool on the Government 's one-stop -shop CSG website -, providing a list of exploration, pilot and production wells. This is a comprehensive listing of the wells drilled in NSW for the purposes of exploring for or extracting natural gas from coal seams (14 October 2013). More...

Contract process begins for CBD and south east light rail
The NSW Government's $1.6 billion CBD and South East Light Rail project had taken another important step with procurement for the two major contracts now underway. The major contract will cover design, construction, services relocations, operation and maintenance of the 12-kilometre project, as well as the operation and maintenance of the Inner West Light Rail network, and will be delivered as a PPP (15 October 2013). More...

Building for the future: Westconnex M4 widening consultation begins
NSW Premier and Minister for Western Sydney Barry O'Farrell and Minister for Roads Duncan Gay today announced the start of community consultation on the WestConnex M4 Widening. (13 October 2013). More...

$41.9m investment in resources for regions projects
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Infrastructure & Services Andrew Stoner has announced funding for six infrastructure projects in mining-affected communities through the first round of the Resources for Regions Program in 2013-14 (10 October 2013). More...

Sutherland Hospital redevelopment funding
The NSW Government will spend $400,000 planning for a major redevelopment of Sutherland Hospital (10 October 2013). More... Save

St George Hospital redevelopment funding
The NSW Government announced $800,000 new funding to plan the next stage of the St George Hospital redevelopment (10 October 2013). More...


Builders congratulate Newman Government for changes to workers' comp
Master Builders congratulates the Newman Government for bringing into law changes to the workers' compensation scheme which will significantly reduce premiums for Queensland businesses, whilst ensuring that the scheme remains fully funded and sustainable. The rising cost of workers' compensation insurance has had a major negative impact on businesses in Queensland, particularly in the building and construction industry (18 October 2013). More...

Queensland Priority Draft Ports Strategy Released
The Queensland Government has proposed declaring five Priority Port Development Areas (PPDAs) for the state's leading long-established ports, where development will be concentrated and encouraged (17 October 2013). More...

Productivity to return to Queensland's construction sites
The Property Council has applauded the State Government's action to restore productivity to construction sites across Queensland. The changes announced will ensure safety concerns are addressed through the most appropriate channels, while still allowing unions to access sites when they have provided 24 hours' written notice (16 October 2013). More...

Report: sale of grid is Queensland's only option for lower prices, better infrastructure
Delivering lower electricity prices, funding new infrastructure while restoring the AAA credit rating will require the fundamental restructure and sale of remaining state-owned electricity assets, according to Powering Queensland - a new report released today by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (14 October 2013). More...

New approvals process for landholders and miners
Under the new process, companies will now be formally advised within 90 days of lodgement whether their proposed exploration works program for a project has been approved or rejected (14 October 2013). More...

Brisbane Airport Corporation announces start of Parallel Runway
The Brisbane Airport Corporation has announced that work on the new Parallel Runway is due to begin within weeks. During the peak construction phase of the project, the runway is expected to generate almost 2,700 jobs, not to mention 7,800 brand new permanent jobs by 2035 (10 October 2013). More...

Queensland Globe application online to CSG industry data
The State Government has announced an initiative that will give rural landholders and regional communities access to the most comprehensive and accurate water data ever made available by the coal seam gas (CSG) industry (09 October 2013). More...


East West impact assessment to be exhibited
The public exhibition period for the impact assessment of the East West Link will be the next major milestone for the project, Minister for Planning Matthew Guy said today (19 October 2013). More...

Leighton transport plans take flight
International contractor Leighton Holdings has won a $370 million contract to build an integrated transport facility and new airline terminal as part of a $10 billion capacity upgrade for Melbourne airport (14 October 2013). More...

New Victorian desal plant deal struck
The Victorian government has announced a refinancing deal with AquaSure on the state's desalination plant. The government has also resolved $1.3 billion in legal claims brought by the owner of the desalination plant (15 October 2013). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Australian Infrastructure Statistics Yearbook 2013
Author: Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
This is the only comprehensive source of time series statistics for Australia's major areas of economic infrastructure. The Yearbook is accompanied by the first Key Australian Infrastructure Statistics booklet which is a summary of statistics from the Yearbook (18 October 2013) See: Yearbook 2013—Australian Infrastructure Statistics [ PDF: 9242 KB] and Key Australian Infrastructure Statistics [ PDF: 3028 KB].

Model Codes of Practice - Excavation work
Author: Safe Work Australia
This model Code of Practice has been developed to provide practical guidance for persons conducting a business or undertaking on how to manage the health and safety risks associated with excavation work. This Code applies to all types of excavation work, including bulk excavations more than 1.5 metres deep, trenches, shafts and tunnels (17 October 2013). More...

Australian suburban house building: industry organisation, practices and constraints - final report
Tony Dalton, and others; Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute
This project was critically reviewed the scant literature on the volume housing construction industry in Australia and undertook qualitative research and modelling to explore issues of innovation and practice (07 October 2013). More...

Infrastructure for Economic Development Report
Author: Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning
Outlines the Government's commitment to develop a 10 year State Infrastructure Plan and for Government agencies to provide greater transparency in how state assets are managed through Total Asset Management plans (17 October 2013). More...

Economic Directions Statement – Queensland Airports 2013-2023
Author: Queensland Government
The new Economic Directions statement aims to build on 40 of the state's leading airports which have strategic significance for economic growth. The amended State Planning Regulation will exclude infrastructure on airports, and ancillary works from any development assessment referral under the Vegetation Management Act (17 October 2013). More...

Building Activity, Australia, Jun 2013
Author: Australian Bureau of Statistics: 11 October 2013
The trend estimate of the value of total building work done rose 0.2% and the seasonally adjusted estimate for the value of total building work done fell 0.2% to $20,353.0m; the seasonally adjusted estimate of the value of new residential building work done fell 0.7% to $10,284.6m. The seasonally adjusted estimate of the value of non-residential building work done in the quarter fell 0.3%. More...

Construction Activity: Chain Volume Measures, Australia, Jun 2013
Author: Australian Bureau of Statistics: 11 October 2013. More...

In practice and courts

GBCA Green Star Performance rating tool
Green Star – Performance is able to rate every type of building, with the exception of single detached homes. Green Star – Performance joins the suite of Green Star rating tools for offices, building interiors, retail and industrial facilities, healthcare, public and education buildings, and multi-unit residential dwellings (10 October 2013). More...

Forthcoming Conferences

Major Projects Conference 2013, Brisbane 7 November 2013 This will feature Industry leaders from Queensland and around Australia. Planning for the conference is almost complete and the program is now available. The program will feature two keynote addresses and a range of panel discussions about major projects, facilities and resource industries. 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...


NSW: Changed conflict of interest provisions for council certifiers - from 18 October 2013
Changes to the Building Professionals Regulation 2007 came into effect on 18 October 2013. The changes relate to the conflict of interest provisions for council accredited certifiers. An accredited certifier is prohibited from carrying out certification work if they have a 'conflict of interest' (as defined in the legislation), except in certain cases which are specified in the legislation. More...

NSW: New CSG well information online
The one-stop -shop CSG website -, providing a list of exploration, pilot and production wells. This is a comprehensive listing of the wells drilled in NSW for the purposes of exploring for or extracting natural gas from coal seams (14 October 2013). More...


QLD: Application for exploration approval permits
Under the new process: companies will now be formally advised within 90 days of lodgement whether their proposed exploration works program for a project has been approved or rejected. For successful applications not subject to native title, , a permit can be granted after annual rent has been paid (14 October 2013). More...

QLD: Coal Seam Gas Globe application and feedback
Coal Seam Gas Globe is an easy to use Google Earth application that provides access to a vast range of online spatial data that is relevant to landholders, industry and the community (October 2013). More...


VIC: ARB Homes in administration – alert,/br> Building company Australia's Residential Builder Pty Ltd, trading as ARB Homes, has recently gone into administration. Affected home buyers should contact ASIC)for information on the appointed administrators (15 October 2013). More...

VIC: Important information about partial and full demolition work
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) is providing advice to help improve awareness about the requirements and responsibilities for people wishing to do demolition work. Demolition work can only be done by registered builders and owner-builders (October 2013). More...


Proactive Building Solutions v Mackenzie Keck [2013] NSWSC 1500
Application for permanent stay dismissed with costs. BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION - construction contracts - conflict of laws - where contracts said to be governed by the laws of a foreign jurisdiction - where contracts said to require disputes to be determined by foreign courts - whether amounts to contracting out of provisions of Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW). More...

Kanatlarovski v Vasilkov [2013] NSWDC 185
Verdict and judgment for the plaintiff in the sum of $30,838.75. BREACH OF CONTRACT - s 32AA Home Building Act 1989 - whether contract made in contravention is void and unenforceable - Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth); Fair Trading Act 1987; Home Building Act 1989; Home Building (Amendment) Act 2004. More...

Attard and Ors v Transport for New South Wales [2013] NSWLEC 176
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - eight proceedings relating to compulsory acquisition of land for construction of the North West Rail Link - applicants seek for seven proceedings to be heard together and an eighth proceeding to be heard immediately after the seven proceedings - whether just, quick and cheap resolution of the seven proceedings assisted by hearing those seven together - consideration of relevant principles for hearing multiple proceedings together - substantial saving of time and cost if the seven proceedings are heard together - orders and directions made to this effect and regarding case management of the proceedings - costs to be costs in the cause - Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 s 61. More...

Patterson Building Group Pty Ltd v Holroyd City Council [2013] NSWSC 1484
CONTRACT - permits the principal to call on a guarantee when it has an arguable claim to entitlement to moneys - recourse to security before final determination of the claim does not interfere with the operation of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) or a prior adjudicator's determination - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW). More...

Jotham Property Holdings Pty Ltd v Cooperative Builders Pty Ltd & Ors [2013] VSC 552
BUILDING CONTRACTS - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) - Application for judicial review of a determination of an adjudicator – Application for writ of certiorari to quash a decision of an adjudicator – Jurisdictional error – Whether a payment claim can be served multiple times - Application of s 14(8) and s 14(9) of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) - Whether "single" or "one off" payment claim – Application of s 14(5) and s 9(2)(c) of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) – Whether payment claim made in time s 18 of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic). More...

Limin James Chen & Anor v Kevin McNamara & Son Pty Ltd & Anor [2013] VSC 539,/br> PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Non-compliance with time limit for filing and serving an originating motion applying for leave to appeal – Non-compliance with time limit for filing affidavit in support and summons associated with appeal – Length of delays – Whether reasonable or acceptable explanation for delays – Prejudice to other party – Prospects of success – Contravention of the overarching obligations of the Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic) – Kuek v Devflan Pty Ltd [2012] VSC 571 – Peter Schwartz (Overseas) Pty Ltd v Morton [2003] VSC 144. ARBITRATION – Domestic arbitral award – Leave to appeal an arbitral award - Manifest error of law - Commercial Arbitration Act 1984 (Vic), s 38 – Yesodei Hatorah College Inc v The Trustees of the Elwood Talmud Torah Congregation [2011] VSC 622 – Mediterranean Olives Financial Pty Ltd v Lederberger [2011] VSC 301 dispute with respect to the construction of an underground water tank, a tennis court and associated landscaping works. More...

Shahzad v Watpac Construction (Vic) Pty Ltd (Domestic Building) [2013] VCAT 1734
Sale of land "off the plan", proceeding between owner and owners corporation, space in car park not as promised by developer, s46 of the Owners Corporation Act 2006, "minor alterations" to the plan of subdivision, loss of head height, inability to install a wall mounted storage cage, alleged leak from pipe which is the property of the owners corporation, alleged damage to applicant's car caused by repairing plumber, plumber not engaged by owners corporation, alleged loss of rent. More...

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