Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 4 December 2013

Last Updated: 11 December 2013

In the media

Inland Rail Starts Here and Now

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development has committed the Coalition Government to fast-tracking delivery of the iconic Inland Rail project. The Australian Rail Track Corporation will, under the guidance of the Implementation Group, work with interested parties to construct the Inland Rail project through a staged 10-year schedule (28 November 2013). More...

Incentives for privatisation offer breakthrough
The announcement of an in-principle agreement between Australia's governments to protect state tax revenues after the privatisation of major assets is a major breakthrough for infrastructure funding, says Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (27 November 2013). More...

Housing must keep up with Population Growth
The peak association representing Australia's development industry says new ABS figures highlight

the critical need to improve the supply of land and new housing as well as increase investment in

new urban infrastructure. The figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics project Australia's population will double to 46 million people by 2075 (27 November 2013). More...

Resources investment falling: BREE
The value of investment in Australia's resources industry is falling as major developments are completed and companies scale back spending on new projects, according to the government's commodities forecaster. There were 63 mining and energy projects committed to by companies in Australia in October, worth a combined $240 billion (27 November 2013). More...

Australians short-changed by one-off mining boom: new report
A surge in profits generated during Australia's decade-long mining investment boom has failed to deliver the long--term economic benefits Australians deserve, according to a new report into the economic benefits of the resources boom. Record mining company profits have far outstripped growth in resource taxes and royalties (26 November 2013). More...

Mining Industry Pays More Than $116 Billion in Taxes And Royalties
The Australian minerals industry has paid almost $117 billion in company tax and royalties since 2006-07, new figures from Deloitte Access Economics (DAE) show. The figures do not include a range of other taxes and charges including the carbon tax, the Minerals Resource Rent Tax and payroll tax. The figures are included in the 2013 Minerals Industry Tax Data survey (26 November 2013). More...

Construction Data Lifts Building Industry Optimism
The ABS Construction Work Done data for the September quarter 2013 paints a positive overall picture for the building and construction industry, with a rebound in engineering construction driving the unexpected result. The value of work done in new residential building was also up by 1 per cent seasonally adjusted (current prices) and this upward trend is expected to continue into the future (27 November 2013). More...

One-stop-shop petroleum plan released for public comment
The Australian Government has made significant progress on establishing a 'one-stop-shop' environmental approval process for offshore petroleum and greenhouse gas storage activities with the release today of two draft reports for public comment (22 November 2013). More...

Threat of fraud and corruption to construction industry revealed by international report
As growth returns to the global economy, the international Construction industry risks being targeted as a weak link by fraudsters according to an international report released in Australia. It estimates the cost of fraud to account for between 5% and 10% of revenues in the construction industry (19 November 2013). More...

IPA: Infrastructure Australia reform welcomed
Infrastructure Partnerships Australia says the early introduction of legislation to fundamentally reform, deepen and upskill Infrastructure Australia is a welcome signal toward a high level of focus on infrastructure (20 November 2013). More...


MBA NSW: Planning Amendments will hurt jobs and home buyers – NSW
MASTER BUILDERS ASSOCIATION OF NSW 27/11/13 331Q2912. The proposed amendments to the NSW Planning Bill 2013 are putting the state's economy and the welfare of future generations at great risk, according to the Master Builders Association of NSW (MBA). MBA Executive Director, Brian Seidler, said "It is a sad indictment on both State and Local Government in NSW, where it cannot house its population, whether through home ownership or rental property. It is no revelation that pent-up housing demand is a growing daily issue for those who seek to live and work in NSW."

Heavily amended planning legislation passes Upper House of NSW parliament
After debate, the NSW Government's planning legislation has passed the Upper House in a heavily amended form. The government's plan to fast track the approval process for code-complying developments in high growth areas has been struck out along with an intention to have the economic significance of mining projects a principal consideration (27 November 2013). More...

NSW Government acts on ICAC recommendations on mining rights
The NSW Government has accepted the recommendations of the ICAC's report on the management of coal resources. ICAC handed down its third report arising from Operations Acacia and Jasper on the granting of mining rights, making 26 recommendations (21 November 2013). More...

Stakeholders agree with gas exploration law changes
The NSW Government has tabled modifications to the laws overseeing gas exploration after extensive consultation and discussions with key stakeholder groups. The changes include stipulation that permit provisions may only be utilised for environmental data collection and geological survey purposes such as water monitoring, flora and fauna – at the exploration phase only (19 November 2013). More...

New laws to protect sub-contractors when companies go bust
NSW MP says there may be scope in a new Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act to provide assistance to contractors if those seeking works aren't able to pay, under new state laws passed in Parliament (18 November 2013). More...


Coal Mine expands production at Lake Vermont
Jellinbah Resources has awarded Thiess a $550 million contract expansion at the Lake Vermont Coal Mine, near Dysart in central Queensland's Bowen Basin. Thiess has been contracted to provide mining engineering, operations and plant services to increase coal production from 6Mt/a to 8Mt/a over the remaining five years of the contract (21 November 2013). More...

Queensland mining industry 30 year vision with ResourcesQ
The Newman Government is developing a 30-year strategic vision to drive growth and jobs in Queensland's resources sector. The Government would partner with the resource sector to develop the project (19 November 2013). More...

Brisbane underground Legacy connection
Brisbane's newest tunnel will link up with Brisbane's future tunnel under a Newman Government plan to integrate public transport across south east Queensland. The project will include three state-of-the-art train stations located 35 to 40 metres below Brisbane's CBD and Woolloongabba (19 November 2013). More...


Builders' headaches relieved under new building standards
The Minister for Planning Matthew Guy has announced that under the new reformed building standards, boundary walls of new homes or extensions will have further setbacks and greater heights allowed without the need for a permit (29 November 2013). More...

Roads and Services contract awarded for Webb Dock project
Premier Denis Napthine announces the successful contractor for the extensive civil works package is BMD Constructions. As part of the $1.6 billion Port Capacity Project, the civil works contract will deliver important roads and services 'backbone' infrastructure that will enable the fast tracking of additional container and automotive capacity for Victoria (28 November 2013). More...

Victorian fracking ban continues Victoria's moratorium on coal seam gas fracking will continue until at least July 2015. Public feedback on the report would be sought through the Department of State Development website until March next year (21 November 2013). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Australian Resources Boom: Sharing the Benefits
Author: Graham Larcombe and SGS Economics and Planning
The report finds the share of industry income going to workers has fallen from 30% in 1990 to 20% now and mining industry cash flow after operating costs nearly doubled between 2006-07 and 2011-12 (26 November 2013). More...

Mining fact sheet
Author: Safe Work Australia
The preliminary data for 2011–12 show there were 3365 successful workers' compensation claims for serious injury or illness. Over the five years from 2007–08 to 2011–12, the Mining industry accounted for two per cent of all serious workers' compensation claims (27 November 2013). More...

Construction Work Done, Australia, Preliminary, Sep 2013 (cat no. 8755.0)
Author: Australian Bureau of Statistics
The trend estimate for total construction work done rose 0.8%. The seasonally adjusted estimate for total construction work done rose 2.7%, to $53,426.6m. The trend estimate for total building work done rose 0.6%. The trend estimate for non-residential building work done rose 1.5%. The seasonally adjusted estimate of total building work done rose 1.5%, to $20,959.3m. . The trend estimate for engineering work done rose 0.9% in the September quarter. The seasonally adjusted estimate for engineering work done rose 3.5%, to $32,467.3m in the September quarter. (27 November 2013). More...

Resources and Energy Major Projects-October 2013
Author: Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE)
Australia is now seeing a transition from the investment phase of the resources boom to the production phase as newly developed projects commence commercial production. Lower commodity prices and rising costs have created a more challenging investment environment and contributed to a decline in the number of projects moving through the investment pipeline (27 November 2013). More...

In practice and courts

ABCB BCA Information Seminars 2014
The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) is finalising updates to the 2014 National Construction Code (NCC), and as building practitioners you need to know what changes are coming into effect. Presenters from the ABCB will inform you of these changes at a series of Information Seminars, commencing in February 2014, in all capital cities. The NCC takes effect on 1 May 2014. More...

NSW: discussion paper on Retention Trust Scheme

The NSW Minister for Finance and Services, Andrew Constance, has released a consultation paper on a statutory trust scheme for subcontractor cash retention monies. The consultation paper can be downloaded here and a copy of the Minister's press release can be viewed here (14 November 2013).

QBSA: clarification of amendments to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act
The Queensland Building Services Authority has clarified aspects of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act, which is expected to commence on 1 December 2013. More...


Romaldi Constructions Pty Ltd v Adelaide Interior Linings Pty Ltd (No 2) [2013] SASCFC 124
CONTRACTS - BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS - REMUNERATION - STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OF PROGRESS PAYMENTS - ADJUDICATION OF PAYMENT CLAIMS. PROCEDURE - JUDGMENTS AND ORDERS - ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENTS AND ORDERS. EQUITY - EQUITABLE REMEDIES - INJUNCTIONS - INTERLOCUTORY INJUNCTIONS – JURISDICTION. An adjudicator determined under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2009 (SA) that the appellant, Romaldi Constructions Pty Ltd, was liable to pay a progress payment to the respondent, Adelaide Interior Linings Pty Ltd, for work performed under a construction contract. Romaldi sued Linings in the District Court claiming damages for breach of contract. More...



Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2013
Transcript of Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee hearing into the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2013, 26 November 2013. More...

Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal and Other Measures Bill 2013
Transcript of Senate Economics Legislation Committee - Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal and Other Measures Bill 2013, 27 November 2013. More...

Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Regulatory Levies) Amendment Bill 2013
The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Regulatory Levies) Act 2003 (the Act) to provide for the annual titles administration levy to be collected by the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator in relation to cash bid petroleum exploration permits in the offshore regulatory regime ( 20 November 2013). More...

Infrastructure Australia Amendment Bill 2013
The purpose of the Infrastructure Australia Amendment Bill 2013 is to amend the Infrastructure Australia Act 2008 (IA Act) which established Infrastructure Australia as an advisory body to governments, investors and infrastructure owners on a wide range of issues. These include:

  • Australia's current and future infrastructure needs
  • mechanisms for financing infrastructure investments
  • policy, pricing and regulation and their impacts on investment and on the efficiency of the delivery, operation and use of national infrastructure networks ( 20 November 2013). More...

Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (Cash Bidding) Bill 2013
The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (the Act) to provide an optimised model for allocating cash bid exploration permits in the offshore petroleum regulatory regime (20 November 2013). More...


Acts assented to

Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Amendment Act 2013 No 93 — Assented to 20 November 2013
Note: head contractors to pay sub-contractors within 30 days; principals pay head contractors within 15 business days of receiving a payment claim; a Retention Trust Scheme created to pay subbies when head contractors go bankrupt.

For the full text of Bills, and details on the passage of Bills. More...

NSW legislation. More...



No 240: Proclamation commencing remaining provisions of the Queensland Building Services Authority Amendment Act 2013 to commence on 01 December 2013 – 22-11-2013.

No 257: Building and Other Legislation Amendment Regulation (No. 3) 2013 – 27-11-2013 Amends the Building Act 1975; Professional Engineers Act 2002; Sustainable Planning Act 2009.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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