Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 4 February 2014

Last Updated: 10 February 2014
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media

Fair Work Building Construction boss slams culture
The head of the nation's construction industry watchdog has slammed building companies who treat corruption as the price of doing business. FWBC has almost 50 active investigations into allegations of illegal behaviour on construction sites (01 February 2014). More...

New boss for Queensland building industry watchdog (QBCC)
The former Deputy CEO of Service NSW Steve Griffin has been appointed as the head of Queensland's new building industry watchdog, the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) (30 January 2014). More...

Federal Government flags broader union inquiry
The Prime Minister says allegations of widespread corruption and criminal activity by union officials in the building industry demonstrate the need to bring back the ABCC. The Government has confirmed it is also pushing ahead with plans for a judicial inquiry into union corruption (28 January 2014). More...

Mt Penny, Doyles Creek and Glendon Brook mining licenses cancelled in response to ICAC corruption probe
Legislation to tear up three mining licences at the centre of major corruption hearings has been passed by the NSW Parliament. Under the legislation there will be no compensation for the mine's current owners, NuCoal and Cascade Coal (31 January 2014). More...

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority approves plan to dump Abbot Point spoil
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has approved a proposal to dump dredge spoil from the Abbot Point coal terminal expansion in the marine park area. The Abbot Point expansion will create one of the world's biggest coal ports, located about 25 kilometres north of Bowen on the central Queensland Coast and handling exports for companies mining coal reserves of the Galilee Basin

(31 January 2014). More...

Qld Government announces Toowoomba bypass to be toll road
The federal government is expected to announce that it will fund 80 per cent, or $1.36 billion, of the bypass around Toowoomba, west of Brisbane. The Queensland Treasurer says it will likely be a toll road to pay for ongoing maintenance once the bypass is built (31 January 2014). More...

Qld Consortium wins PNG Courts Project
Two Brisbane-based companies have been appointed principal design consultants for a Papua New Guinea courts construction project in Port Moresby worth $125 million scheduled to start in early 2015 (24 January 2014). More...

Ryan launches Gippsland Freight Master Plan
The Gippsland Freight Infrastructure Master Plan, which supports jobs growth and investment in Gippsland's transport and freight industry, was launched today by Deputy Premier. The Master Plan has been developed as a key component of the Victorian Coalition Government's Latrobe Valley Industry and Employment Roadmap, launched in 2012 (31 January 2014). More...

Macquarie Generation set to attract three final bids
Three final bids are expected by the February 5 deadline for Macquarie Generation's two coal-fired power stations, Liddell and Bayswater. Melbourne-based AGL Energy Ltd and Brisbane-based ERM Power Ltd are two of the final bidders for the Hunter Valley power stations (23 January 2014). More...

Victoria to pilot hybrid electricity storage and generation system
An ABB and Samsung consortium has been awarded a contract by SP AusNet to provide a new hybrid grid energy storage and diesel generation system (GESS) for the organisation's Victorian electricity distribution network. The project is scheduled for completion in 2014 (22 January 2014). More...

Maritime contract awarded for Port Capacity Project at the Port of Melbourne
The Port Capacity Project reached another significant milestone with the appointment of the maritime works contractor McConnell Dowell for a package of works at the Port of Melbourne including the new automotive wharf and waterside infrastructure at the Port of Melbourne's Webb Dock (24 January 2014). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Brighton Bypass Case Study
Author: Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner
The OFSC has released a case study detailing the outstanding safety performance of accredited contractors Thiess, John Holland, VEC Civil Engineering, and Hazell Bros Group while working on Brighton Bypass project in Tasmania (30 January 2014). More...

In practice and courts

NSW: BPB Report on Building Certification and Regulation -Public Comment Sought
The Building Professionals Board (BPB) is seeking public comment on a building certification and regulation report which has just been publicly released. Submissions close on Monday 24March 2014. More...


Chaimandos v Sydney Water Corporation [2014] NSWSC 10
Dismiss application for interlocutory relief; ancillary orders made. BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION - application for interlocutory relief - where structural integrity of the building threatened by soil loss - where cause of soil loss unclear - adequacy of damages - balance of convenience - Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW). More...

Kingston Building (Australia) v Dial D [2013] NSWSC 2010
PRACTICE & PROCEDURE - judgments - application for stay of judgment - whether abuse of process - whether set off available - whether basis for exercise of inherent jurisdiction – dismissed with costs. Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW). More...

Geotech v Northwest Civil Construction Group [2014] NSWSC 8
Stay execution of default judgment on conditions. Transfer proceedings to District Court. PRACTICE & PROCEDURE - application to stay execution of judgment - whether serious question to be tried - balance of convenience - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW); Evidence Act 1995 (NSW); Service and Execution of Process Act, 1992 (Cth). More...

Bannister & Hunter v Transition Resort Holdings (No.2) [2013] NSWSC 1943
Plaintiff's claim for fees made out subject to defence of set-off. Defendant's cross-claim for damages succeeds in part. Claims to be set off. Parties to bring in orders. CONTRACTS - building contracts - where contractor retained to provide design and construction management services - whether contractor charged for design work performed by another contractor - no question of principle. CONTRACTS - building contracts - where contractor retained to provide design and construction management services - where design defective - no question of principle. CONTRACTS - building contracts - where contract required contractor to call for tenders for certain works - whether requirement met - falls for decision on particular facts. BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION - progress claims - whether contractor used an inappropriate conversion rate to convert cubic metres to tonnes - whether contractor certified for a greater volume of fill than was delivered - whether the plaintiff was charged for fill that was offered free of charge and not delivered. CONTRACTS - building contracts - where contractor was required to manage and supervise other contractor's works - whether steps taken to supervise works appropriate in the circumstances. DAMAGES - rectification - costs of rectification - insufficient evidence to determine the extent and cost of rectification - whether those questions should be referred out. DAMAGES - building contracts - defective works - damages not limited to diminution of value in property - damages ordinarily calculated as a cost of making work conform to specifications - limitation that remedial work must be necessary to produce conformity with the specifications and reasonable in the circumstances. More...

Probert & Anor v Ericson [2014] QSC 004
PROCEDURE – SUPREME COURT PROCEDURE – QUEENSLAND – PROCEDURE UNDER UNIFORM CIVIL PROCEDURE RULES AND PREDECESSORS – SUMMARY JUDGMENT – where the defendant failed to reach practical completion under a building contract in relation to the construction of a house for the plaintiffs – where the parties entered into a deed about completion of the project – where the plaintiffs claim a liquidated debt under the deed – where the plaintiffs make application for summary judgment – whether the defendant has no real prospect of successfully defending the plaintiffs' claim. PROCEDURE – SUPREME COURT PROCEDURE – QUEENSLAND – PROCEDURE UNDER UNIFORM CIVIL PROCEDURE RULES AND PREDECESSORS – PLEADING – DEFENCE AND COUNTERCLAIM – where the defendant counterclaims against the plaintiffs – where the defendant has not particularised material facts relating to the counterclaim – whether the counterclaim should be struck out. More...

Cyclone Constructions Pty Ltd v Queensland Building and Construction Commission [2014] QCAT 003
Application for a stay – insurance claim already processed and paid – grant of stay without purpose or utility - Cyclone Constructions Pty Ltd v Queensland Building Services Authority [2012] QCAT 621 Cyclone Constructions Pty Ltd v Queensland Building Services Authority [2013] QCAT 484. More...

Urban Homes Pty Ltd v Allan & Anor [2014] QCAT 002
BUILDING – where the builder issued a progress claim for payment – where the builder claimed costs escalation for alleged delays – where owners failed to pay the progress claim – where builder suspended the works – where owners purported to terminate the contract – where the builder seeks final payment for completed building work - Shevill v Builders Licensing Board (1982) 149 CLR 620. More...

Ase Constructions Pty Ltd v Famation Pty Ltd (Domestic Building) [2014] VCAT 40
Schedule of Rates contract-Invoices challenged-Whether contractor failed to complete within a reasonable time-Whether contractor charged more than a reasonable amount for the works-Whether breach by the contractor-Technical breach resulting in no genuine loss-Rectification not undertaken- Whether damages other than rectification may be awarded-Bellgrove v Eldridge, Ruxley Electronics & Construction Ltd v Forsyth, Tabcorp Holdings Ltd v Bowen Investment Pty Ltd considered-No damages for physical inconvenience and discomfort-Damages for loss of amenity-Matters considered. Having awarded the applicant $25,037.70 in respect of its claim, and awarded the respondent $750 in respect of its counterclaim, the Respondent shall pay to the Applicant $24,287.70. More...

Elsayed v Miele Australia Pty Ltd (Civil Claims) [2014] VCAT 39
Installation of replacement refrigerator – agreement to repair damaged flooring and to adjust cabinet – neither repair or adjustment was adequate – compensation for cost of replacement of part of flooring and for cosmetic defect. The respondent shall pay the applicants $4,950.00. More...

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