Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 2 April 2014

Last Updated: 5 April 2014

In the media

Agreement helps free billions for infrastructure
The confirmation of a new deal that will see the Federal Government provide one-off grants linked to the sale of state assets – and the reinvestment of all proceeds in new infrastructure – offers a real opportunity to accelerate the process of infrastructure delivery and reform across the Federation, says Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (28 March 2014). More...

Report Finding Go Against Reinstating ABCC
The supposed benefits of a reinstated Australian Building and Construction Commission are based on flawed evidence, a new parliamentary report says (28 March 2014). More...

IR Red Tape Strangles Construction Sector
As the government seeks to reduce the compliance burden on business, the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) National Survey: Burden of Government Regulation reveals that 95 per cent of CEOs surveyed who operated within the building industry expected industrial relations and occupational health and safety to be either a 'high' or 'medium' burden on their business in 2014 (28 March 2014). More...

Economic report reinforces value of Australia's resources industry
The mining industry continues to underpin the Australian economy, with new figures today showing the production phase of the boom is gathering momentum, with the latest Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) report showed Australia will reap an 8 per cent gain in export earnings each year for the next four years (26 March 2014). More...

Trends' to Guide Infrastructure Future
Australia's infrastructure outlook has been mapped and made public as never before with the release of the Government publication Trends, a forecast of the nation's infrastructure position through to 2030. Trends outlined a solid evidence base on the pressures affecting Australia's infrastructure needs (19 March 2014). More...

New South Wales

Accidents waiting to happen: Fire-trap buildings in NSW
Buildings across NSW are routinely declared safe despite being potential fire traps, and contractors are installing poor fire protection out of ignorance or to cut costs, two peak fire bodies have warned. Fire Protection Association Australia says up to 40 per cent of buildings in NSW do not meet basic fire safety standards (25 March 2014). More...

Resources for Regions Provides $75m Boost To Regional Infrastructure
The NSW Government has committed more than $75 million to regional infrastructure projects to support mining communities as part of the 2013-14 second and biggest-ever round of the Resources for Regions program (18 March 2014). More...


Master Builders: proposed levy reduction to provide boost for industry
A proposed QLeave levy reduction announced by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, as part of the Construction and Tourism (Red Tape Reduction) and Other Legislation Bill, will significantly reduce costs for the construction industry (19 March 2014). More...

Reforms for the economy and community groups: QLeave
Under the Construction and Tourism (Red Tape Reduction) and Other Legislation Bill, the QLeave levy rate for construction and building projects will be reduced from 0.30 per cent to 0.25 per cent. QLeave ensures building and construction workers have access to paid leave, regardless of whether they work on different projects or for different employers (19 March 2014). More...

Regional and Resource Towns Action Plan
Towns in resource regions have received infrastructure upgrades and State land for homes and industry through the Newman Government's Regional and Resource Towns Action Plan. The plan was finalised in March 2013 and committed the State, 11 local governments and Ergon Energy to 136 actions for delivery within one to two years (17 March 2014). More...


Major new jobs precinct for Melbourne's northwest
An exciting new employment precinct will deliver 25,000 jobs and potential investment of more than $2 billion in Melbourne's inner north western suburbs. The Essendon Airport area has now been identified in Plan Melbourne as a key transport gateway and importantly as a significant opportunity to create new jobs in the suburbs (19 March 2014). More...

Draft building and construction guidelines endorsed
The Victorian government has welcomed a draft report from the Productivity Commission on public infrastructure that recommends the commonwealth as well as all state and territory governments adopt Victoria's building code and implementation guidelines. Additional measures will require improvements to site security, and tackling drug and alcohol issues will be implemented shortly by the Victorian government (18 March 2014). More...

Victoria to remove commercial defects insurance
The Victorian Government plans to remove the requirement for commercial property builders to have defects insurance. The change recognises that commercial property owners can manage their own building risks (17 March 2014). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Review of Australian Construction Market Conditions to March 2014
Author: WT Partnership's Review
In this issue of the report we note the continuation of aggressive tendering across all levels of the construction market, despite an increase in the number of projects proceeding to tender. The report provides state by state analyses of tender price escalation and commentary on conditions likely to impact tender markets in the next 24 to 36 months (released March 2014). More...

Trends: Infrastructure and Transport to 2030
Author: Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
The outlook includes: economic conditions, trends in the global economy and the outlook for the Australian economy; infrastructure investment trends; Australia's transition, including industry, demographic and spatial changes; modal trends in the movement of goods and people; regulatory trends for the portfolio and challenges and opportunities (released March 2014). More...

In practice and courts

Reminder: Revision to Walkways, Ladders and Platforms Standard AS 1657
The new 2013 revised version will be referenced in the National Construction Code (NCC) on 1 May 2014 This revision is more reflective of the changes within the industry and seeks to align current Work Health Safety (WHS) regulations and the NCC (March 2014). More...

Public comment reminder: Fire Hydrant Installation [AS 2419.1]
Standards Australia has released the draft Standard AS 2419.1 Fire hydrant installations - Part 1 System design, installation and commissioning for public comment. The Standard applies to the design, installation and commissioning of any fire hydrant used to protect buildings, yards, marinas, wharves and plant. Submissions close on 02 April 2014. More...

Treasury Discussion paper: Exploration Development Incentive
Following the release of the discussion paper, there will be a period of consultation until 4 April. Peak industry bodies and other interested parties are invited to make submissions. Submissions should be sent to and the discussion paper is available on the Treasury website.


The Owners - Strata Plan No. 80436 v Sezone Pty Ltd and Daphne Street No 1 Pty Limited [2014]
DAMAGES - assessment of damages for defective building work - no question of principle. Civil Procedure Act 2005; Home Building Act 1989; Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005. More...

Kitchen Plus (Nerang) Pty Ltd v Queensland Building and Construction Commission [2014] QCAT 084
Application to review a decision by the respondent to issue a direction to rectify defective building work – discretion not to issue a direction where in all the circumstances it would be unfair to give the direction – circumstances where the factual matters in dispute had been previously adjudicated in a civil claim before QCAT – questions whether that civil adjudication comprises a circumstance that should inform exercise of the discretion. More...

Tyrrell & Anor v McNab Constructions Pty Ltd & Ors [2014] QCA 052
TORTS – NEGLIGENCE – ESSENTIALS OF ACTION FOR NEGLIGENCE – DUTY OF CARE – RELATIONSHIP OF PROXIMITY – where the appellants were the subsequent purchasers of a house built by the first respondent and first purchased by the third respondent – where the appellants' statement of claim alleged the house was negligently constructed and the appellants suffered loss as a result – where the statement of claim was struck out however the appellants were allowed to re-plead their case – whether at law a builder of a dwelling house owes a duty of care to subsequent purchasers – identification of the prerequisites for imposing on a builder of a defectively constructed building a duty of care to subsequent purchasers. PROCEDURE – INFERIOR COURTS – QUEENSLAND – DISTRICT COURTS – CIVIL JURISDICTION – PROCEDURE BEFORE TRIAL – COMMENCEMENT OF ACTION AND PLEADINGS – where the appellants appealed the striking out of their statement of claim – whether the reasons given for the strike out were insufficient – whether the pleaded facts were incapable of giving rise to a duty of care and a cause of action – where the respondents cross-appealed the primary judge's order to not strike out the action and allow the appellants to re-plead – whether there was a sufficient basis for the primary judge to conclude that the appellants would be able to re-plead sufficient facts to justify that they were owed a duty of care. More...

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