Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 28 October 2014

Last Updated: 5 November 2014
Article by Stephen Natoli, Tony Britt and Stephen Pyman

Most Read Contributor in Australia, August 2019

In the media

MBA endorses Government reforms to building safety regulations
Master Builders Australia (MBA) has endorsed the reforms announced by the Government to safety regulations applicable in the building and construction industry. The CEO of Master Builders Australia said that the reforms will reinforce the primacy of safety on building sites and lead to better safety outcomes (24 October 2014). More...

Product non-compliance endemic in construction industry
The percentage of waste on all construction projects is around 30 per cent, according to experts, and a major contributor is the poor quality and non-compliant construction products and materials plaguing the industry, according to the Australasian Procurement and Construction Council (23 October 2014). More...

How to achieve compliance for construction products: APCC releases guide
The Australasian Procurement and Construction Council (APCC) have launched a new guide to help the building and design industry better choose construction products that are compliant with the relevant codes and standards (22 October 2014). More...

Tenders for apprenticeship support network opened
The federal government has moved a step closer to implementing its apprenticeship overhaul, announced as part of its competitiveness agenda and aimed at increasing completion rates (22 October 2014). More...

Reforms Reinforce Primacy Of Safety On Building Sites
Reforms announced by the Government to rebalance and fine-tune safety regulations in the building and construction industry will lead to better safety outcomes. The changes to the Government's Building and Construction Work Health and Safety Accreditation Scheme will streamline regulatory requirements for builders with good safety records (22 October 2014). More...

Green Star - Design & As Built: Creating sustainable places for everyone
The new Green Star – Design & As Built rating tool will challenge industry to evolve, innovate and improve. Released yesterday by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), "Green Star – Design & As Built represents the most significant advancement in sustainable design and construction since the Green Star launch in 2003 (21 October 2014). More...

Commercial Construction Recovers from GFC
Commercial construction has recovered to the highest level since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) according to the latest national survey of the building and construction industry (21 October 2014). More...

Construction Suicides Cost Dollars as Well as Lives
While dollar figures pale in comparison to the impact of lives lost, suicidal behaviour among construction industry workers costs around $520 million per year in New South Wales and around $416 million per year in Queensland, according to a new report (14 October 2014). More...

New South Wales

$148 million local infrastructure renewal scheme set for third phase
The LIR Scheme encourages councils across NSW to focus on the maintenance and renewal of important existing infrastructure assets. The third round of the LIR scheme provides councils with a 3% interest subsidy on bank loans for up to 10 years (15 October 2014). More...


Council decision sends positive message to investors
The Property Council of Australia congratulates Townsville City Council for being the first local government in the State to commit to the Fair Value Infrastructure Charges Schedule. Included in the package of reforms is an option for councils to adopt the lower Fair Value Infrastructure Charges Schedule in exchange for access to a new pot of infrastructure funding from the State (15 October 2014). More...

ACCC to focus on sale of Queensland electricity assets
Electricity generation assets will be the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's focus when the privatisation of Queensland electricity assets is triggered. The ACCC hopes that the Queensland government will use this opportunity to establish a competitive structure when privatising its generation assets (13 October 2014). More...


Mornington, Boroondara, Geelong top pool builders in the state
As Victoria moves into summer, new figures from the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) show that 10 municipalities account for almost half of the swimming pool and spa permits issued in Victoria in the past year. Having a safety fence or barrier around your swimming pool or spa is essential for safety (21 October 2014). More...

VBA reports record $25b building permit activity in first operational year
The Victorian Building Authority's (VBA) 2013-14 Annual Report was tabled in Victorian Parliament on 14 October 2014 and shows that the value of building permits reported reached a record $25.3 billion (14 October 2014). More... More...

VBA welcomes new Commissioner
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) welcomes a new Commissioner to the Board. Mr Hutcheon joins a Board of seven Commissioners which is responsible for the governance and strategic management of the VBA to ensure its effectiveness as a regulator (14 October 2014). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Builders' liability to Owners Corporations: the recent High Court decision NSW Parliamentary Research Service. This e -brief provides a summary of the High Court decision and the stakeholder reaction to it. It also explores the possible relationship between the decision and the amendments to the Home Building Act 1989 which are about to come into force (October 2014). More...

Committee for Economic Development of Australia
Speech: 'Winning the future: the Australian Government's infrastructure vision'. Shangri-La Hotel Sydney, NSW, 16 October 2014 - determining Australia's infrastructure needs and how to address them. More...

BREE has published on 15 October 2014. More...

Practice and courts

APCC: Procurement of Construction Products
This includes detailed explanations of the regulatory environment, the standards and conformance process and bodies, and how to determine whether a product is fit for purpose. It also lists 12 principles to guide procurers on matters relating to the conformance of construction products, including ensuring that evidence of products meeting standards are demonstrated by a conformity assessment (October 2014). More...

NSW: Loose fill asbestos insulation Inquiry
This inquiry is a current Parliamentary inquiry conducted by the Asbestos Insulation Committee. The inquiry was established on 18 September 2014, to report on loose fill asbestos insulation, also referred to as 'Mr Fluffy' insulation, in homes in New South Wales. The Inquiry into Loose fill asbestos insulation closes 31 October. More...

QBCC: Minister's letter to licensees - legislative reforms
The letter announces a number of new building industry reforms relating to licence renewal, early dispute resolution, better protection for sub-contractors and new minimum financial requirements for licencing. These changes are part of the ongoing reforms to the building and construction industry being undertaken by the QBCC (17 October 2014). More...


Queensland Mining Corporation Ltd v Renshaw (No 3)[2014] FCA 1126
COSTS – Where successful plaintiff's breach contributed to need for recovery proceedings Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), ss 200B, 200J. More...

Eastland Truss & Timber Pty Limited v Matthew John Byrnes t/as Qualibuilt Constructions [2014] NSWSC 1461
The Summons is dismissed. BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - whether adjudicator complied with obligations under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 in making determination - whether jurisdictional error Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999. More...

Douglas Aerospace v Indistri Engineering Albury [2014] NSWSC 1445
Summons dismissed with costs. BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - adjudication applications - whether there was a valid construction contract between the parties - where name in contract not the same as name on adjudication application - where invoices issued in a different name to the name in the construction contract - whether correct specification of ACN and ABN evidence an intention that the first defendant be "Contractor" to the construction contract - whether sufficient to show construction contract between the parties. BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - adjudication applications - whether first defendant gave plaintiff notice of intention to seek adjudication of the payment claim - where payment claim sent by facsimile transmission to facsimile number in contract - where facsimile transmission number in contract actually for a different company - where evidence that the plaintiff received s 17(2)(a) notice - whether sufficient evidence that letter sent to defendant asking them to no longer utilise the facsimile transmission number in the contract before notice was sent to that number - whether failure to give notice under s 17(2)(a) is jurisdictional error - application of s 17(2)(a) of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW). BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - adjudication applications - whether adjudication application served on plaintiff - whether service of adjudication application is jurisdictional - where respondent could not lodge adjudication response even if adjudication application were served - where adjudication application was received - application of s 17(5) of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW). Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW). More...

Patrick Stevedores Operations No. 2 Pty Ltd v McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust) Pty Ltd [2014] NSWSC 1413
The first defendant pay the plaintiff's costs. BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) - application for declarations that two adjudication determinations concerning same payment claim void - validity of payment claim - whether one-off payment due under contract after termination a "progress payment" capable of supporting a payment claim - whether reference date fixed by contract or s 8(2)(b) - effect of termination before contractual reference date arises - whether party entitled to withdraw adjudication application under s 26 and file new adjudication application - whether jurisdictional error where adjudicator failed to consider all claims and submissions - whether denial of natural justice where adjudicator decided matter on basis not put by either party. Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW), ss 4, 8, 9, 13, 21, 22, 26, 26A, 26B; Interpretation Act 1987 (NSW), s 6. More...

B & W Windows (Aluminium) Pty Ltd v Marcellos [2014] NSWLC 15
Dismissal of the plaintiff's claim CONTRACTS - assignability - unenforceable contract - claim in quantum meruit - unlicensed builder - work performed under supply and install contract - unlicensed builder sells assets to another - whether claim in quantum meruit assignable. More...



Responsible Mining (Protecting Land, Water and Communities) Bill 2014.

Newcastle Inner-City Rail Corridor Preservation Bill 2014.

Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament

Mine Subsidence Compensation Amendment Bill 2014.

Water Industry Competition Amendment (Review) Bill 2014.

Protection of the Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2014.



Queensland Building and Construction Commission and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014
Introduced on 7/08/2014; Stage reached: PASSED with amendment on 16/10/2014 Exp Note.

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.

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