Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 30 April 2014

Last Updated: 2 May 2014



Construction recovery may not be "long enough and strong enough" for related businesses
Insolvency firm Ferrier Hodgson has raised concerns that the improvement in residential construction may not be "long enough and strong enough" to allow downstream construction businesses to recover from financial damage suffered over the past two years (23 April 2014). More...

MBA: new building code a weapon to boost productivity
The MBA backs the new building and construction code released by the Government this week. The code is another weapon in the armour against building union industrial thuggery that is shackling the productivity of the building and construction industry (22 April 2014). More...

ABS building commencements at ten-year high
The latest figures for dwelling commencements in Queensland deliver another confidence boost for the state's housing sector, with quarterly figures returning to 'above average' for the first time since the start of the GFC (17 April 2014). More... More...

Construction work to slump in mining states, rise in NSW A prominent economic forecaster is warning of a looming downturn in engineering construction, as mining investment grinds to a halt and the Commonwealth and state governments slash spending (14 April 2014). More...

New South Wales

New Sydney airport approval hits turbulence from industry
After the announcement by Prime Minister of a commitment of more than $3.5 billion over 10 years to the massive project, serious gaps in information over rail access and the potential for a curfew on operations have quickly emerged as the dominant questions facing the new facility (17 April 2014). More...

Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan: More jobs, better roads
A Western Sydney national shared plan, will invest $3.5 billion over 10 years in major infrastructure upgrades including the transport links to capitalise on the economic gains from developing an airport at Badgerys Creek (16 April 2014). More...

Sydney fast becoming Australia's construction hotspot says BIS Shrapnel
The NSW Government's record infrastructure building program is leading to Sydney becoming Australia's construction hotspot, according to an independent report from leading economic forecaster BIS Shrapnel (14 April 2014). More...


Real estate hot spots follow in wake of infrastructure projects
A new wave of property hot spots are predicted to flare up around Brisbane in the wake of more than $47 billion in planned infrastructure projects (27 April 2014). More...

Government plan for priority infrastructure
The Queensland Government announces new funding incentives for councils that use a new 'fair value schedule of charges' by having the State co-invest in Priority Development Infrastructure in the council's area (17 April 2014). More...


Landmark fine for kit home builder
A Magistrate has found a kit home supplier and its director guilty of building a kit home on a Bendigo property without being a registered builder. The director argued that the company was not the builder for the project, but that the company supplied the materials and was subcontracted to the homeowner (22 April 2014). More...

Court places CFMEU exclusion zone around Bald Hills Wind Farm site
The Federal Court of Australia has banned the CFMEU from placing or leaving vehicles or any other equipment within 200 metres of any entrance to the Bald Hills Wind Farm construction site in South East Victoria. Fifty-two wind turbines are being constructed at the site (16 April 2014). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Construction Activity: Chain Volume Measures, Australia, Dec 2013 (cat no. 8782.0.65.001) – 16 April 2014.

Building Activity, Australia, Dec 2013 (cat no. 8752.0) – 16 April 2014.

Practice and courts

Security of payment legislation changes in Australia: key dates
Significant changes have been made to security of payment legislation in NSW & Queensland, effective this year (17 April 2014). More...

Building and Construction Industry Payment Act 1999 NSW
The amendments commence on 21 April 2014 and will apply to contracts entered into from the 21 April 2014.The amendments include penalties of up to $22,000 and/or three months in prison where it is discovered a head contractor knowingly provides false information. Head Contractors are advised to review and implement enhanced administrative processes as soon as possible. More...

Building and Construction Industry Payments Act (BCIPA) QLD
These amendments are likely to take affect from 1 September 2014. Three key areas of reform which will apply to contracts entered into from this date include: Appointment of Adjudicators and Adjudication Process; Timeframes for Claimants and Respondents and Provision of Additional Information. More...

VBA: Do your homework before buying a kit home
Victorians wanting to construct a kit home should do their homework to ensure it is built to code. Anyone interested in purchasing a kit home should ensure they use a reputable supplier, and research the building and planning requirements for the particular region before getting started. Licensed tradespeople, such as plumbers and electricians, should be used to complete the installation. More...


Intercon Engineering Pty Ltd v Lend Lease Project Management & Construction (Australia) Pty Ltd; Christopher John Wright v Lend Lease Project Management & Construction (Australia) Pty Ltd [2014] NSWSC 441
CONTRACT - construction - whether subcontract incorporated terms of head contract – uncertainty – both proceedings dismissed. More...

Nefiko Pty Ltd v Statewide Form Pty Ltd [2014] NSWSC 442
Application for interlocutory relief dismissed. BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) - adjudication determination - whether denial of natural justice - jurisdiction of adjudicator - whether adjudicator took into account all relevant factual matters. Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW). More...

CMF Projects P/L v Riggall & Anor [2014] QDC 090
BUILDING ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – REMUNERATION – STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OF PAYMENT – DOMESTIC BUILDING CONTRACTS ACT 2000 ss 55(2), 55(3), 55(4) – effect on other remedies – where building contractor did building work pursuant to cost plus contract – where contract a regulated contract – where contract did not contain a fair and reasonable estimate by the building contractor of the amount which the building contractor was likely to receive under the contract as required by s 55(3) – whether builder may recover on quantum meruit basis from District Court. ESTOPPEL – BY REPRESENTATION – EFFECT OF STATUTORY PROHIBITION AGAINST CONTRACTING OUT – where builder alternatively claims that owners estopped from disputing that builder's quantum meruit claim may be brought in the District Court – whether s 55 confers rights which it is in the public interest to maintain – where s 93(2) prohibits contracting out of the Act – whether s 93(2) relevant to whether owner estopped from disputing builder's quantum meruit claim – whether builder confined to claim in tribunal under s 55(4). PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Pleadings – whether to strike out statement of claim and parts of reply and answer – where plaintiff seeks to allege that monies claimed are a debt due upon a fully executed contract rather than money payable pursuant to contract – whether plaintiff obliged to plead that contract fully executed or whether defendant obliged to plead that the contract was not fully executed – UCPR r 153 – whether the allegation that contract was fully executed is a condition precedent for the case of the plaintiff which may be implied in the plaintiff's pleading. PRECEDENTS – stare decisis – whether statement in a judgment of the Supreme Court was obiter dictum or ratio decidendi – where obiter dictum on interpretation of statute –whether appropriate to follow the obiter dictum without reconsidering the point. More...

Queensland Building & Construction Commission v Robuild Pty Ltd [2014] QCA 081
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – where a tribunal member of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) found that the applicant, Queensland Building Construction Commission, had not effected proper service of an infringement notice on the respondent – where the appeal tribunal of QCAT refused leave to appeal the tribunal member's decision – where the applicant sought leave to appeal what were said to be errors of law by the appeal tribunal – whether any question of general importance was involved – whether any substantial injustice had resulted from the appeal tribunal's decision – whether leave should be granted to appeal- refused. More...

Eliana Construction and Developing Group v Assad [2014] VSC 143
CONTRACT – Oral agreement for residential building project - Whether transaction was a loan or joint venture – Finding of joint venture from the outset of the project – Loan claimed – Finding that no loan agreement entered into from the outset of the project – Settlement of project disputes – Joint venture ceases - Proceeding referred for the taking of accounts and inquiry. EVIDENCE - Oral agreement for residential building project – Whether transaction was a loan or joint venture -Credit of witnesses found wanting – Findings made largely on contemporaneous documentation - Paucity of documentary evidence of entitlement of liability. More...

White v Noble trading as WR and EM Noble (Domestic Building) [2014] VCAT 413
Claim for damages for defective domestic building works brought by a subsequent owner of a home constructed by builder pursuant to a building contract with previous owners of the home. Claim brought against the builder and the relevant building surveyor. Claim as against the surveyor settled prior to hearing. Applicant's claim not time barred. Claim as against the builder succeeds. Sections 8 and 9 of the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995. No breach of duty of care owed by the surveyor. No apportionment of liability under Part IVAA of the Wrongs Act 1958. Settlement payment made by the surveyor to the Applicant taken into account, per the principle against double recovery, in assessing the damages payable by the builder. The First and Second Respondents must pay the Applicant $85,195.46. More...

Hyndman v Hurtob Homes Pty Ltd (Domestic Building) [2014] VCAT 380
Domestic Building – cost plus contract - Owner taking over aspects of work – delay – responsibility for – party wall in Class two building – sound transmission – ordinary brick ties used – wall of continuous construction – no special ties specified – no breach by Builder – Wrongs Act 1958 Part IVAA – claim against builder for breach of building contract not an apportionable claim. Order the Respondent to pay to the Second Applicant $67,173.12. More...



Commencing Acts

Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Amendment Act 2013 No 93 (2014-182) ( to amend the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 with respect to the timing of, and other requirements for, payments under construction contracts), commenced on 21/04/2014.

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Amendment (Supporting Statement) Regulation 2014 (2014-185) — published LW 11 April 2014 ( for a prescribed form requiring all relevant contracts between head contractors and subcontractors to be listed and identified as either paid or in dispute) commenced on 21/04/2014.

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