Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 11 November 2014

In the media

National

Govt hands Infrastructure Australia wishlist
The revamped Infrastructure Australia (IA) has been given a to-do list from the federal government to complete within the next 12 months which includes driving private investment and financial funding for infrastructure over the next decade and beyond (07 November 2014). More...

Infrastructure Australia: clear reform, investment
The first statement of expectations for the renewed Infrastructure Australia provides public transparency and accountability for real progress on policies and projects, said Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (06 November 2014). More...

2014Australian PCI ® Construction surge eases in October
The National Construction Industry expanded for a fifth consecutive month in October but its rate of growth eased from September's record high, with the Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association Australian Performance of Construction Index falling 5.7 points to 53.4 (07 November 2014). More...

PM announces union taskforce
A joint federal and Victorian police task force has been established to crack down on widespread union corruption, violence and organised crime connections inside the construction industry. The move has been prompted by evidence given to the royal commission into trade union corruption (31 October 2014). More...

Cutting red tape through deregulation policy
Today's annual Spring Repeal Day has focused on improving growth and productivity by reducing compliance costs for industry. The Australian Government has committed to a net reduction of $1 billion per annum in red tape (29 October 2014). More...

Victoria

First contract awarded for $2.5b Melbourne rail corridor
The Rail Transformation Consortium has been awarded the first contract to deliver the Cranbourne Pakenham Rail Corridor Project in Melbourne. The construction of the rail corridor is expected to commence in 2015 (06 November 2014). More...

East West Link design team appointed
Hyder and Parsons Brinckerhoff have been appointed as the design team for the $6.8 billion East West Link. The first stage will be a 6.6 km, three lane road connecting the Eastern Freeway and CityLink (6 November 2014). More...

IBAC report finds $25 million in transport infrastructure contracts to be corrupted
Victoria's anti-corruption commission is preparing a brief of evidence for submission to the Office of Public Prosecutions, after finalising its investigation into the corrupt handling of $25 million in government contracts (30 October 2014). More...

New regulations for live music
An amendment to the Building Regulations 2006 sees changes made to the requirements for small live music venues in Victoria. Building Amendment (Live Music) Regulations 2014 were made, gazetted and commenced on 29 October 2014 (30 October 2014). More...

Update to approved plumbing training units
The VBA has approved an updated list of plumbing training competency units. Transitional arrangements have been included to ensure that apprentices currently enrolled in training competencies under the superseded list of approved units will not be disadvantaged by these changes (28 October 2014). More...

New South Wales

Plans for $490m Sydney intermodal terminal
State and federal planning approval has been granted for a proposed $490 million intermodal terminal and rail corridor. The project will enable freight to be moved by rail between Port Botany and Moorebank (07 November 2014). More...

New M5 tunnels and Westconnex interchange moving forward
A planning application has been lodged for the new M5 tunnels as part of WestConnex Stage 2 in Western Sydney. The new tunnels will double the capacity of the M5 East (04 November 2014). More...

Queensland

Plumbers, drainers, pool inspectors join building Commission
Plumbers, drainers and pool safety inspectors will be licensed by the building industry regulator from 10 November, to reduce red tape and the costs and burden for licensees. There were previously different regulators for occupational (PIC) and contractor (QBCC) licensing for the plumbing and drainage industry in Queensland (04 November 2014). More...

QBCC Better payment outcomes discussion paper
Calls for initiatives to boost better payment outcomes continue to be raised by stakeholders in the building and construction industry. This 'Better Payment Outcomes' Discussion Paper outlines further reforms proposed for the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (BCIPA) (28 October 2014). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Financing Impacts of amendments to the Renewable Energy Target
Clean Energy Council
Examines the risks that are likely to arise should the government's proposal to cut the target be implemented, and how this would impact financial and contractual arrangements for existing and future large-scale renewable energy projects (28 October 2014). More...

Practice and courts

Statement of Expectations: Board of Infrastructure Australia [07 November 2014]
For the period 1 November 2014 to 31 October 2015. The IA comprehensive to-do list over the next 12 months outlines what the organisation is to deliver:

  • a national infrastructure audit by the end of this year (previously requested) and an audit of northern Australia by the end of 2014
  • a rolling 15 year infrastructure plan by April 2015, to be updated every five years
  • develop a 'top down 'priority list based on the 15 year plan and other IA research, ensuring a project is included based on assessed merit (including in relation to cost benefit analysis)
  • evaluate infrastructure proposal assessments where federal funding in excess of $100 million is sought. More...

Mr Fluffy: Asbestos taskforce details compensation scheme for Canberra homeowners (29 October 2014)
The ACT Asbestos Taskforce has given details of a new buyback and demolition scheme. Participation in the buyback scheme is voluntary and buyback offers for properties will be based on two independent valuations. The buyback offer is open until June 2015. Interstate firms will be invited to tender for the demolition program. More...

QBCC Better payment outcomes Discussion Paper
Comment is invited on the paper and any additional ideas that you feel will strengthen the payment outcomes for subcontractors. More...

QLD: Changes to QBCC legislation (05 November 2014)
Changes to QBCC legislation were announced recently that will impact the building and construction industry. Changes have been made to the following sections:

Building disputes - commence 10 October 2014.

Financial reporting – commence 10 October 2014.

Domestic building contracts – commence 01 March 2015.

Statutory Home Warranty Insurance Scheme – commence 01 July 2014.

Demerit points and penalty points – commence 01 March 2015.

QLD: What the BCIPA changes mean for you
The Building and Construction Industry Payments Amendment Bill 2014 (the Bill) was passed on 11 September 2014 and expected to be enacted on 24 November 2014 (commencement date) (05 November 2014). More...

Changes to plumbing audits, inspections and technical assistance
Thursday November 6 2014
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) reminds licensed and registered plumbers that from today 6 November 2014, the VBA will be delivering the plumbing audit and inspection services. More...

VBA: Practice Note 68 – 2014 – Small Live Music Venue Classification
This provides guidance to practitioners, live music venue owners and operators on the classification of small live music venues in Victoria (30 October 2014). More...

Cases

Ku-Ring-Gai Council v Ichor Constructions Pty Ltd [2014] NSWSC 1534
The defendants be restrained from proceeding with adjudication application of 27 August 2014. BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - first adjudicator unable to assess defendant's delay damages claim on evidence before him - whether an issue estoppel arose - whether further adjudication application for same delay damages an abuse of process; Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999. More...

Sunshine Coast Regional Council v Earthpro Pty Ltd & Ors [2014] QSC 271
EQUITY – EQUITBALE REMEDIES – INJUNCTIONS – INTERLOCUTORY INJUNCTIONS – RELEVANT CONSIDERATIONS – BALANCE OF CONVENIENCE GENERALLY – where an adjudication decision was made by the second respondent under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) in favour of the first respondent and against the applicant – where the applicant has brought proceedings challenging the validity of the adjudication decision – where the applicant seeks an interlocutory injunction restraining the first respondent from taking steps to enforce the adjudication decision pending the determination of the principal proceedings – where the applicant was prepared to pay moneys into court pending the determination of the principal proceedings – where the applicant submits that if the injunction were not granted there is a risk that it would not be repaid if ultimately successful in the principal proceedings – whether an injunction should be granted. CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – REMUNERATION – STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OF PROGRESS PAYMENTS – ADJUDICATION OF PAYMENT CLAIMS – where an adjudication decision was made by the second respondent under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) in favour of the first respondent and against the applicant – where the applicant has brought proceedings challenging the validity of the adjudication decision – where the applicant seeks an interlocutory injunction restraining the first respondent from taking steps to enforce the adjudication decision pending the determination of the principal proceedings – where the intention of the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) is that an adjudication should have effect unless and until an inconsistent decision is made by a court of competent jurisdiction – whether in the circumstances of this case the policy of the Act outweighs considerations regarding the prospects of success or the balance of convenience. More...

J M Kelly (Project Builders) Pty Ltd v Toga Development No. 31 Pty Ltd (No 6) [2014] QSC 262
PROCEDURE – SUPREME COURT PROCEDURE – QUEENSLAND – PROCEDURE UNDER UNIFORM CIVIL PROCEDURE RULES AND PREDECESSORS – AMENDMENT – where the proceedings were commenced over eight years ago – where two separate proceedings were commenced by the defendant and consolidated with the current proceedings – where a large number of allegations and claims in the plaintiff's fourth further amended statement of claim were struck out – where the proceedings were being supervised – where there was a long history of non-compliance by the plaintiff – where the defendant filed its defence and counterclaim in April 2013 – where the plaintiff, for the first time, alleged a liquidated damages clause was a penalty in its reply and answer ("the penalty plea") – where the plaintiff and defendant by counterclaim were seeking leave to file and serve a fifth further amended statement of claim including the penalty plea – where the plaintiff and defendant by counterclaim were seeking leave to amend the penalty plea in the reply and answer to avoid it being struck out – where the defendant was seeking to strike out specific pleadings in the statement of claim alleging they were inconsistent with prior court rulings – whether the plaintiff and defendant by counterclaim ought to have leave to amend the reply and answer and to file and serve a fifth further amended statement of claim – whether any pleadings in the statement of claim ought to be struck out as being inconsistent with prior court ruling. More...

Newearth Constructions Pty Ltd v Scrohn Pty Ltd [2014] VCC 1735
Building contract – Progress claim – Claim including variations certified for payment by Superintendent's representative – Contractual provision entitling principal to suspend payments if contractor behind schedule – Principal alleged the contractor was behind schedule and payments were thereby suspended – Whether variations thereby not agreed and not claimable as 'second class' variations – s.17 Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic). More...

ACN 092675164 (in liq) v National Builders Group Pty Ltd [2014] VSC 530
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Self-executing order in relation to discovery – Affidavits of documents filed within time – Affidavits deficient – Whether self-executing order should be triggered – Legal principles in relation to inadequate steps taken in purported compliance with a self-executing order – Substantial deficiencies found – No bona fide attempt to provide the required information - Self-executing order set aside - Orders as to discovery enforcement made pursuant to s 56 of the Civil Procedure Act 2010. More...

The Owners Units Plan No 1917 v Koundouris & Anor [2014] ACTSC 269
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – Statutory warranties under s 58C of the Building Act 1972 (ACT) – whether entitlement to sue upon them ends when they "expire". PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Destruction of documents prior to commencement of proceedings – test to be applied. LIMITATION OF ACTIONS – Limitation Act 1985 (ACT) s 40 – latent damage – whether confined to claims in tort or extends to claims in contract. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Security for costs – body corporate established under the Unit Titles (Management) Act 2011 (ACT) – late application for security of costs – no reason to believe that the corporation will be unable to pay the costs of the defendants. PLEADINGS – Amended reply – whether amendments to reply going beyond matters responsive to amendments to defence required leave Building Act 1972 (ACT). More...

Legislation

Commonwealth

Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment (Solar Zones and Other Measures) Regulation 2014
SLI No 155 - This regulation amends the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001 to update solar zones and update references to documentation and definitions following the passage of the Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Act 2014 (03 November 2014). More...

Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Amendment Regulation 2014
SLI No 154 - This regulation amends the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Regulations 1995 to provide for provisions relating to licensing, import, export, manufacture, use and disposal of scheduled substances (03 November 2014). More...

Queensland

Acts as passed

No 55: Disaster Management and Another Act Amendment Act 2014 – 27 October 2014.

No 58: Queensland Plan Act 2014 – 27 October 2014.

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