Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 24 June 2014

Last Updated: 27 June 2014

In the media

Changes to infrastructure bill ditched
Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said on Wednesday the government wanted to "clear up ambiguities" about planned changes to Infrastructure Australia, which had led to a "misunderstanding" that his intention was to make the body less independent (18 June 2014). More...

Housing Construction Set for Years of Boom: HIA
Activity in new residential building throughout Australia is set to remain well above levels experienced in the past decade for at least several years whilst activity in renovations of existing homes has bottomed out and will recover going forward, a key industry association says (18 June 2014). More...

Macroeconomics research: millenium mining boom for Australians
Research shows the millennium mining boom is adding $97billion a year to Australia's national output and is continuing to underpin Australia's economic growth. The macroeconomics data shows that mining contributed 27 per cent of growth in Australia's economy in the decade to2012-13 (10 June 2014). More...


Asset recycling and infrastructure expenditure sets the building blocks of the future prosperity of NSW
The NSW budget gives confidence that a strategy is in place to develop much needed infrastructure through asset sales so that future growth is supported, says the Urban Taskforce (17 June 2014).

NSW budget 2014-2015 to focus on infrastructure
The NSW Treasurer has confirmed there will be more than $60 billion in funding for roads, rail and hospitals in this year's state budget (16 June 2014). More...

$20 billion infrastructure fund can underpin Sydney's urban future
The Urban Task Force says partial sale of the poles and wires can raise much needed funds to position Sydney as a global city and underpin important projects in country NSW (10 June 2014).


Construction underway at $590 million South Bank development
Construction has started on the Anthony John Group's $590 million mixed-use development at SouthBank. Queensland builder Watpac is now working on the site's first building, a13-storey commercial tower (22 June 2014). More...

MBA: big challenges for Queensland's Construction Sector Reforming inefficient taxes, embracing innovation and overhauling contracting and procurement practices are among a range of areas which must be addressed if the construction industry in Queensland is to unleash its full potential over coming years and decades (12 June 2014). More...

URBIS report: Inner-Brisbane apartment construction booming
A new report has found inner-Brisbane apartment construction is booming, with unprecedented levels of new stock about to hit the market (12 June 2014). More...


The Napthine government has backed away from key building reforms
The new building legislation will be delayed until spring, while thousands of dwellings in Melbourne's western suburbs crack up from ''slab heave'', the result of volatile clay soils and poor building practices. The government is also expected to alter crucial sections of the legislation (21 June 2014). More...

Drug and alcohol screening to be enforced on construction sites
New requirements for tighter screening of drug and alcohol use at construction workplaces across Victoria will commence from 1 July, helping to ensure a safer and more secure environment for workers, Minister for Finance Robert Clark announced today (20 June 2014). More...

$2.37b building permits in April 2014
The Victorian Building Authority's (VBA) latest industry data shows that the value of building permit activity in Victoria in April 2014, was the highest total on record for any month (19 June 2014).

Plans progress quickly for Melbourne Park upgrades
A streamlined planning process will allow for timely works as the redevelopment progresses for sporting facilities, through quick and efficient updates to the precinct's master plan, with amendment C229 to the Melbourne Planning Scheme (13 June20014). More...

Red tape reduction cuts $8 million in building costs
Demands on commercial builders to take out costly and unnecessary insurance policies will be lifted this month. The Minister for Planning said the mandated requirement for commercial builders to hold structural defects insurance has been an impediment to growing business and development in Victoria (10 June 2014). More...

In practice

ABCB: National Construction Code Reforms
From 1 February 2015 registered users will have access to a free preview of NCC 2015 online and PDF prior to its adoption date of 1 May. Future NCC amendments will be made on a three-year cycle rather than every year. These important changes have been agreed to in principle, and the Australian Building Codes Board website has more information.

Reminder: proposed NCC changes consultation
You are invited to comment on proposed changes to the next edition of the National Construction Code (NCC). The period for comment on the draft proposals commences 2 June and closes on 1 August 2014. Visit the Australian Building Codes Board's website for more information and to submit your comment (04 June 2014)

QBCC: InsurancePremium Table Effective 1 July 2014
Premiums include GST. For multiple dwellings: one premium is payable on each individual residence e.g. round up to next whole value. Divide the total contract value by the number of units to calculate the premium (16 May 2014). More...

QLD: Building certification review
The review will examine probity, conflicts of interest, quality and accountability for private certifiers to ensure the certification system was responsive to the needs of consumers and the industry.The discussion paper is available at: ' Review of the Building Act 1975 and building certification in Queensland' discussion paper

QLD DEIR: Electrical safety in ceiling spaces
Homeowners and tradespeople are urged to turn off all the main power switches at the switchboard before heading up into the ceiling space (06 June 2014). More...

VIC: new VBA website launch
The website provides streamlined navigation and a contemporary look, designed with the needs of the end-user in mind. If you are unable to find the information you are seeking please use the Building/PlumbingA-Z or the search function located at the top of the website (20 June 2014). More...



Austral Masonry (NSW)Pty Ltd v Cementech Pty Limited [2014] FCAFC 72
CONTRACTS – construction and interpretation – survival of clause after termination – common intention of parties – commercial practicality – contractual scheme for enforcement of intellectual propertyrights against third party infringers – whether appellant obliged to contribute to respondent's costs of litigation against infringer – whether obligation only arose upon appellant giving notice of infringement by third party – whether scheme amounted to code between parties – whether parties intended obligation to continue beyond termination of contract in circumstances where litigation commenced during term of contract PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – declarations – exercise of discretion – whether declaration related to hypothetical matters or amounted toan advisory opinion
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – appeals – leave to raise issue not argued before primary judge – whether evidence could have been led on issue at first instance. More...

New South Wales

PPK Willoughby v Eighty Eight Construction [2014] NSWSC 760
Plaintiff's claims fail. Parties to bring in draft orders.
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - building contracts - Adjudication determinations - whether adjudicator's determination is void for failure to exercise the power given to him under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payments Act -whether adjudicator abrogated power by accepting the valuation assessed by the Superintendent
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - Building contracts - Certification of progress claims - whether Superintendent had power to issue payment certificate at the time that he did -meaning of 'business day' where undefined in Contract - whether 'business day' means 'working day' - whether Superintendent issued payment certificate prior to last business day of the month Building and Construction Industry Securityof Payment Act 1999 (NSW). More...

FAL Management Group v Denham Constructions [2014] NSWSC 747
Application for interlocutory injunctive relief dismissed with costs.
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - building contracts -adjudication determinations - whether plaintiff can appropriate payment made in respect of an earlier adjudication determination against a later payment claim
PROCEDURE - interlocutory injunctive relief - whether as a matter of discretion relief should be granted PROCEDURE - costs - general rule costs follow the event
Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW). More...


Ball Construction Pty Ltd v Conart Pty Ltd [2014] QSC 124
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS– THE CONRACT – CONSTRUCTION OF PARTICULAR CONTRACTS AND CONDITIONS – VARIATIONS– where the applicant and a company entered into a building contract – where that company and the first respondent entered into a deed of assignment with the consent of the applicant – where the director of the original construction company swore a statutory declaration – where the director of the first respondent also swore a statutory declaration – where the statutory declarations stated that no variations, claims or disputes existed – whether the statutory declarations and the agreement to enter into a deed of assignment created an estoppel
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS– REMUNERATION – STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OF PROGRESS PAYMENTS – ADJUDICATION OF PAYMENT CLAIMS – where a dispute about the date for practical completion under the contract arose – where liquidated damages and variations were also disputed – where an adjudicator appointed under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 adjudicated a payment claim – where the applicant and first respondent entered into a deed –where by that deed the first respondent undertook not to enforce the adjudication certificate – where the third respondent then adjudicated a further payment claim – whether there were jurisdictional errors in the third respondent's adjudication decision – whether the first respondent had engaged in an abuse of process – whether the adjudication should be declared void or quashed
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS– REMUNERATION – STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OFPROGRESS PAYMENTS – PROGRESS PAYMENTS – whether work carried out before the deed was work under the construction contract CONTRACTS – DISCHARGE, BREACH AND DEFENCES TO ACTION FOR BREACH – DISCHARGE BY AGREEMENT – NOVATION – whether the agreement between the applicant and the first respondent was an assignment or a novation. More...

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