Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 18 February 2015

In the media

Wharf and port sector to face RSRT scrutiny
Australia's major ports will soon come under scrutiny, after the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) announced an inquiry into the wharf and port sector of the trucking industry. The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal will investigate the container operations at Australia's five main ports (11 February 2015). More...

Australian Capital Territory energy contract to interstate wind farms blow to local operators
An inability to work with the wider community is one reason given for rejecting a number of wind farms in southern New South Wales vying to supply electricity to the Australian Capital Territory. Licenses to provide power were granted to two Victorian operations and one in South Australia (09 February 2015). More...

SA Establishes Royal Commission for Nuclear Power
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill on Sunday (8 February 2015) announced a formal inquiry into the future role of the state in the nuclear fuel cycle, which will be tasked with considering options across the full gamut of mining, enrichment, energy and storage (10 February 2015). More...

Rammed earth houses: Researchers aim to arrest declining popularity in WA
The popularity of rammed earth construction in Western Australia is falling due to its poor performance in computerised thermal assessments, despite the product's well-known insulation properties, researchers say (09 February 2015). More...

Contracts to shift with the times
An Australian standard that provides general guidance for legal contracts in all sectors of industry, including construction, engineering, health, manufacturing and infrastructure is currently being revised. Under the proposed revision, the two existing standards are to be merged into (and superseded by) a new suite of standards, AS 11000: General conditions of contract (06 February 2015). More...

Near miss earns engineering firm fine
In a legal first, an engineering company in WA has been fined $16,000 and $5000 in court costs for failing to design a crane to the appropriate Australian Standard, causing it to crash to the ground (06 February 2015). More...

Home builders gloomy despite record construction activity
Private research indicates Australia's construction sector continued to shrink last month, despite continuing record levels of home building. The Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association Performance of Construction Index improved by 1.5 points to 45.9 in the month (06 February 2015). More...

Free Online access to National Construction Code (NCC) commences
A new era begins for the building, construction and plumbing industries when the National Construction Code (NCC) becomes freely available online from the 1st of February 2015 (02 February 2015). More...

New South Wales

Development Industry working with pro-growth Western Sydney Councils
A forum with eight Western Sydney Councils and representatives of the major development companies demonstrated a common commitment to growth, says the Urban Taskforce (12 February 2015). More...

Council Administration Building achieves Australia's first 5 Star Green Star – Performance rating
Wollongong City Council's Administration Building has become the first building in Australia to achieve a 5 Star Green Star – Performance rating (05 February 2015). More...

NSW Number One Again for Housing Approvals
Minister for Planning Pru Goward said Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released show NSW housing approvals in December 2014 have increased 27 per cent from the previous month, signalling a positive start to 2015 (03 February 2015). More...

$1.1 billion Royal North Shore Hospital redevelopment completed
A new $153 million Clinical Services Building (CSB) at the Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) in Sydney has been completed ahead of schedule and is now open for patients, completing a $1.1 billion redevelopment of the hospital (02 February 2015). More...

Freight rail upgrade commissioned
The final sections of a federally funded $145 million upgrade to the Port Botany Rail Line in southern Sydney were commissioned over the holiday period (02 February 2015). More...

North West Rail Link $300 million under budget
NSW premier Mike Baird and minister for transport Gladys Berejiklian announced recently that the North West Rail Link (NWRL) project in Sydney is running ahead of schedule and is currently $300 million under budget (02 February 2015). More...


$1 Billion QLD solar power farm produces enough energy for 550,000 homes
A 200-hectare solar panel farm in South East Queensland will generate enough electricity to power 550,000 homes says the project's developer. The approval grants developers Solar Choice a total footprint of up to 2,000 megawatts (MW) over the next eight years (12 February 2015). More...


Work Begins on Victoria's Newest Prison
Work has begun on the new Ravenhall Prison Project. The total nominal undiscounted cost of construction and operations, including the cost of mental health services, is $6.3 billion over the 25-year life of the project (12 February 2015). More...

Stockland's billion dollar bet on outer Melbourne
Property development company Stockland is set to commence construction on its largest ever residential development project in Victoria (02 February 2015). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

NHMRC Information Paper: Evidence on Wind Farms and Human Health
This found no consistent evidence that exposure to wind farm noise affects human physical or mental health but concluded further high quality research is warranted. There is some evidence that wind farm noise is associated with annoyance and parallel evidence suggests that prolonged annoyance due to noise may result in stress, which can have adverse effects on human health (11 February 2015). More...

Westpac-Department of Industry and Science China Resources Quarterly February 2015
The most up-to-date Chinese trade, production and industry data. More...

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Building Approvals, Australia, Dec 2014 (cat no. 8731.0) – 03 February 2015.

Practice and courts

Productivity Commission Release: Issues Papers on Workplace Relations
The issues papers are intended to canvas all the big questions about Australia's workplace system from employees, employers, unions, people not in work and others, to give their views about the best system. The issues paper covers a range of issues on which the Commission seeks information and feedback. Initial submissions are due 13 March 2015. More...

Standards Australia: Draft contract standard available for comment
Standards Australia is seeking public comment on a draft of the new Australian Standard AS 11000, which combines general conditions of contract standards AS 2124 and AS 4000. The public comment period ends on 27 March 2015. More... More...

Projects Queensland launches unsolicited proposals framework
Projects Queensland has recently developed a range of guidelines, under which an unsolicited proposal may be considered (12 February 2015). All proposals would also be subject to the Projects Queensland Gateway review process for evaluation of a project. More information can be found in Appendix 1 of the National Public Private Partnership Guidelines Annexure 1 – Queensland departures. More...

QBCC: Smart forms offer speed, choice and flexibility
Smart forms already online include Monies Owed Complaint forms, Notification of Offences forms,
Residential/Commercial Construction Work Complaint forms, and application forms for Internal Review and Adjudication (BCIPA) (05 February 2015). More...

QBCC: Licensee disciplinary action report
This report presents a summary of the disciplinary action taken against licensees in the previous week. More...


Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Origin Energy Limited [2015] FCA 55
CONSUMER LAW – Penalty hearing – admitted contraventions – whether agreed orders sought by the parties appropriate in the circumstances – pecuniary penalties - false or misleading representation with respect to the price of electricity and natural gas - Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) Sch 2 (Australian Consumer Law) ss 29, 224; Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) ss 76, 76E. More...

General Trade Industries Pty Ltd v AGL Energy Limited [2014] QSC 319 [released 12/02/15]
GUARANTEE AND INDEMNITY – DISCHARGE OF SURETY – DISCHARGE OF SURETY BY AGREEMENT – whether deed of release gave rise to a present entitlement to the return of two guarantees provided by the applicant to the respondent under a construction contract. More...

Baldwin & Anor v Icon Energy Ltd & Anor [2015] QSC 012
CONTRACTS – GENERAL CONTRACTUAL PRINCIPLES – FORMATION OF CONTRACTUAL RELATIONS – MATTERS NOT GIVING RISE TO BINDING CONTRACT – VAGUENESS AND UNCERTAINTY – UNCERTAIN PROMISES – where the parties entered into a memorandum of understanding or deed to facilitate the development a gas supply agreement – where the parties agreed to use their "reasonable endeavours to negotiate" – where the defendants claimed the agreement to negotiate was uncertain and unenforceable. CONTRACTS – GENERAL CONTRACTUAL PRINCIPLES – CONSTRUCTION AND INTERPRETATION OF CONTRACTS – INTERPRETATION OF MISCELLANEOUS CONTRACTS AND OTHER MATTERS – where the parties entered into a memorandum of understanding or deed to facilitate the development a gas supply agreement. More...

Transport Welding Engineering P/L t/as Mansell Heavy Towing v Heavy Haulage Australia P/L [2015] QDC 006
Contract – oral – disputed terms and certainty – whether restitutionary remedies available – whether Consumer Law breached where future matter the subject of the conduct – whether "reasonable" value of benefit proved. More...

Press Metal Aluminium (Australia) P/L v Total Concept Group P/L (In Liquidation) & Anor (No 2) [2015] QDC 004
Costs – whether standard or indemnity – finalising security for costs. More...

Humphris v Connecteast Nominee Company Pty Ltd and Anor [2015] VSC 12
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Anshun estoppel: whether plaintiffs precluded from bringing a proceeding asserting a new cause of action in relation to the same facts upon which summary judgment had been granted in a proceeding – Whether unreasonable for the plaintiffs not to raise new causes of action in prior proceeding – Relevant considerations where no risk of conflicting judgments – Relevance of status of plaintiffs as litigants in person – Abuse of process – Whether new proceeding a collateral attack on judgments in earlier proceeding – Order that past costs be paid to alleviate prejudice to defendants- alleged excessive noise levels emanating from the Eastlink Freeway and remedial action required. More...

Tahiri & Anor v Castricum Brothers Australia Pty Ltd [2015] VSC 4
CONTRACT — Implied term — Whether term should be implied in fact in order to give business efficacy to the contract — Whether BP Refinery requirements met; BP Refinery (Westernport) Pty Ltd v Shire of Hastings (1937) 180 CLR 266; Codelfa Construction Pty Ltd v State Rail Authority (NSW) [1982] HCA 24; (1982) 149 CLR 337 – rendering equipment. More...

Celsius Fire Services Pty Ltd v CBC Facilities Maintenance Pty Ltd [2015] VCC 31
Practice and procedure – Summary judgment – Building and Construction Industry (Security of Payment) Act 2002 (Vic) – Increase in scope of work and fee to be paid following an audit and completion of "due diligence" – Whether a claimable variation under the Act. More...

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