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

Last Updated: 7 March 2014

In the media

Strategic Partnership for Northern Australia Agreed
The development of Northern Australia has taken a major step forward with the agreement of a Strategic Partnership between the Premiers of Queensland and Western Australia and the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory (29 February 2014). More...

Abetz Urges CFMEU to Act on Corruption
Employment Minister Eric Abetz has warned the CFMEU that if they are not prepared to change their ways others will do it for them. Senator Abetz told a building conference that Australia cannot afford to have an unproductive building sector and has flagged revised building laws (28 February 2014). More...

Streamlined offshore petroleum and greenhouse gas approvals commence
A new streamlined approach for offshore petroleum and greenhouse gas activity environmental approvals comes into effect today. NOPSEMA will now be the single point of contact for titleholders seeking regulatory approval (28 February 2014). More...

Lend Lease pull out of Abbot Port expansion plans
Expansion of the Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen on northeast Queensland has suffered a setback with Lend Lease pulling out of the project. The project was to expand Abbot Point's capacity to handle large scale coal projects in the region, particularly in the Galilee Basin, however Lend Lease would not elaborate on the move (28 February 2014). More...

Downer awarded coal processing plant contract
Downer EDI announced it has been awarded a $100 million contract for construction of the Maules Creek coal handling and processing plant at the Gunnedah basin in the northwest of NSW. The contract, is for the construction of all structures, buildings, facilities, equipment and services for processing plant, and includes civil, mechanical, electrical and instrumentation services for the erection of the 1600t/h facility (28 February 2014). More...

The Fair Work Amendment Bill 2014
The Government has introduced the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2014 which will address Greenfields agreements, Union right of entry, Individual Flexibility Arrangements (IFAs) and Fair Work Act Review Panel recommendations (27 February 2014). More...

Discussion paper for the review of the Federal Safety Commissioner released
A discussion paper informing the review to modernise the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner and the Australian Government Building and Construction OHS Accreditation Scheme is now available on the Department of Employment website. For more information please view the discussion paper, (24 February 2014). More...

Torres Strait Gets Funding for Coastal Protection
The Australian Government will invest a total of $12 million to support improvements to vital seawall infrastructure in the Torres Strait (26 February 2014). More...

State of Supply Report highlights need for action on housing supply
The UDIA has welcomed the Government's decision to release the first stage of the National Housing Supply Council's 2013 State of Supply Report. With the NHSC now disbanded, UDIA is calling on the Government to continue undertaking much of the Council's valuable research on housing supply within the Treasury Department (26 February 2014). More...

Green Property Index for green buildings released
The latest Australia Green Property Index has found that green office buildings continue to outperform the general market on investment return, net operating income, CAPEX, vacancy rates and weighted average lease expiry (20 February 2014). More...

National Standards published ten standards in the NS 11000 series
National Standards has published the first ten of a series of Standards on the labelling and declaration of the environmental attributes of building products (19 February 2014). More...

ADC forum: Underfunded infrastructure hurting growth
Major underinvestment in essential transport infrastructure has led to a yearly decline in Australia's national productivity growth rate, according to the ADC Forum. Investment in transport infrastructure has fallen behind by $250 billion since the mid-1980s, which has led to a decline of between 0.2 and 0.5 per cent in productivity growth (19 February 2014). More...

New South Wales

New pedestrian bridge for Moore Park sports precinct
NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and Roads Minister Duncan Gay announce a new pedestrian and cycling bridge to span Anzac Parade and to be known as the Albert (Tibby) Cotter Walkway. The bridge proposal will be displayed from 21 March to 13 April as part of the Review of Environmental Factors (28 February 2014). More...

Key rail, road infrastructure projects identified in reports
? Several rail infrastructure projects have been identified as key to boosting the capacity at Newcastle port and creating jobs in the Hunter. Two infrastructure planning documents, commissioned by the Federal Government, have been released today (26 February 2014). More...

$40m under New Program to Improve Regional Water Security
The NSW Deputy Premier announces $40million in funding for regional infrastructure projects to promote water security under a new program, Water Security for Regions, offering $40 million worth of funding for infrastructure projects in regional areas that enhance water security (25 February 2014). More...

Planning report shows record breaking housing approvals for Sydney
According to the latest monthly housing report released by the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Brad Hazzard, approvals for new homes in Sydney last year were higher than at any time since 1999 (21 February 2014). More...

Santos signs MOU with NSW Government
The Memorandum of Understanding will see Narrabri listed as a 'strategic energy project' by the state and ensure a decision on approval will be forthcoming by January 2015, in line with current plans (21 February 2014). More...

Sydney Airport Master Plan approved by Government
The NSW announces that the Master Plan meets the requirements of the Airport Act 1996 and sets out Sydney Airport's strategic direction for the next 20 years. Sydney Airport is required to publish the final Master Plan within 50 business days. (18 February 2014). More...


Underpass Relieves Congestion
The Australian Government has continued its productivity agenda, with work commencing on a new underpass at Warragul railway station in regional Victoria (28 February 2014). More...


Local firm to build Burdekin Cyclone Shelter
Work on the Burdekin's own cyclone shelter will begin soon with a local construction company winning the tender for the $2.7 million project (27 February 2014). More...

Mine expansion reflects resources strength in Queensland
Innovative technology to extract thick seams of coal will be used in Queensland for the first time thanks to a $1 billion expansion of a coal mine in the Bowen Basin (26 February 2014). More...

ARTC to Investigate Incorporating Queensland into National Rail Network
The Federal Abbott Coalition Government and Queensland's Newman Government have agreed to investigate incorporating Queensland into the national rail network with a view to expanding the ARTC's 8,500 kilometre national network (25 February 2014). More...

Contract Awarded for Gateway Motorway Project at Wishart
Major works are set to kick-off on Brisbane's south side, with McIlwain Civil awarded one of the Gateway Motorway project's main contracts (26 February 2014). More...

PPP in Queensland: construction starts on high school at Highfields
Local construction firm FK Gardner and Sons has commenced construction on a new high school at Highfields. Construction had also begun on a new primary school in Pimpama and a high school in Burpengary – two of the 10 schools to be built in Queensland as part of a $1.517 billion public private partnership (21 February 2014). More...

James Cook University to design engineering inspection scheme for extreme weather
James Cook University (JCU) has been engaged by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) to design an engineering inspection scheme for strata-title properties in North Queensland to ensure they are resistant to future extreme weather events (19 February 2014). More...

Santos GLNG marks 75% completion in Qld
The Santos GLNG project is now 75% complete and on track for the first shipment of LNG to sail out of Gladstone Harbour in Queensland next year. Santos GLNG construction milestones in 2014 include the breakthrough of the pipeline tunnel underneath Gladstone Harbour and the completion of the final modules which will form the first LNG processing train (18 February 2014). More...

In practice and courts

Master Builders New Period Trade Contract
Master Builders Australia has updated its Period Trade Contract with a 2014 version. The Period Trade Contract is designed for situations where builders need the ongoing, but intermittent, services of subcontractors. The Period Trade Contract permits the engagement of subcontractors on known terms and conditions (27 February 2014). More...

Office of the Federal Safety Commission review: Discussion paper
A discussion paper informing the review to modernise the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner and the Australian Government Building and Construction OHS Accreditation Scheme is now available (24 February 2014). More... More...

Review of the Renewable Energy Target: Terms of Reference
The review will consider the contribution of the RET in reducing emissions, its impact on electricity prices and energy markets, as well as its costs and benefits for the renewable energy sector, the manufacturing sector and Australian households (17 February 2014). More...


Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v Construction, Forestry, Mining & Energy Union [2014] FCA 126
INDUSTRIAL LAW – admitted contraventions of s 348 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) – statement of agreed facts – appropriate penalties to be imposed – agreement between the applicant and respondents on penalty – relevant considerations in the assessment of penalty – totality principle – course of conduct – prior relevant conduct – deliberate contravention - involvement of senior management – contrition, corrective action and cooperation – specific deterrence – general deterrence. More...

Anderson Street Banksmeadow Pty Ltd v JCM Contracting Pty Ltd [2014] NSWSC 102
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) - adjudication determination - whether plaintiff denied natural justice - whether denial of natural justice material to determination of adjudicator – summons dismissed with costs. More...


Croker Construction (SW) Pty Ltd and Stonewest Pty Ltd [2014] WASAT 19
Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA) - Contractual provisions required to avoid implication of statutory implied terms - Determination of what constitutes payment claim. Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA), s 3, s 6, s 16, s 17, s 18, s 26, s 31(2)(a), s 31(2)(b), s 46(1), s 46(2), s 53, Div 2, Div 4, Div 5, Pt 2, Sch 1. Result: Application granted; Decision under review set aside and reversed. Summary of Tribunal's decision: The applicant applied under s 46(1) of the Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA) to review the decision of an adjudicator dismissing an adjudication application. On the facts, the Tribunal found that particular correspondence and an invoice did not constitute a payment certificate as held by the adjudicator, and that the requirement to pay the certified amount within 14 days did not apply. More...

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