Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 13 April 2015

Last Updated: 17 April 2015
Article by Troy Lewis, Janelle Kerrisk and Stephen Burton

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media


Australia's Atlas to suspend mining due to low iron ore price
Australia's Atlas Iron Ltd said on Friday it will progressively suspend mining this month due to low iron ore prices, the latest casualty in a strategy by larger producers to flood the sea-traded market into China (10 April 2015). More...

Mining giants to front tax inquiry
Andrew Forrest's iron ore miner Fortescue Metals is among several mining giants fronting a Senate inquiry examining corporate tax avoidance. Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and multinational Glencore will also be quizzed on the amount of tax they pay in Australia (10 April 2015). More...

Cooroy to Curra—Section C tender launched
The Bruce Highway received a major boost today with tenders now being sought for an early works package as part of the $624 million Cooroy to Curra—Section C project, south of Gympie. Detailed design for the remainder of the Cooroy to Curra—Section C project is currently underway, with major works expected to start in early 2016 (09 April 2015). More...

Abbot Point expansion makes world's most controversial projects list
The Abbot Point port expansion has been ranked as 2014's third most controversial project, by the RepRisk Most Controversial Projects report, which focuses on environmental, social and corporate governance risks of companies involved in projects such as mines, ports and factories (08 April 2015). More...

Walton Construction: Failed firm continued trading for over a year despite finance concerns
Failed construction firm Walton Construction continued to trade and obtain licences from regulators despite serious concerns about its finances that began at least a year before its collapse (08 April 2015). More...

Barriers to Efficient Gas Markets
With recent and prospective increases in gas prices, there have been calls for the Australian Government to require gas exporters to reserve some of their production for domestic users. A recent research report by the Productivity Commission cautions against this approach, pointing out that a reservation policy may be ineffective in preventing gas prices from rising in the future (01 April 2015). More...

Aboriginal heritage test case overturns decision to deregister Port Hedland site
The Supreme Court has quashed a decision by a West Australian Government committee to deregister a Port Hedland Aboriginal sacred site, in a test case that opens the door to a class action by traditional owners (01 April 2015). More...

Record-breaking building approvals bolster housing supply pipeline
The number of new dwellings approved has climbed once again to set a new record for the third month in a row with total national ABS Building Approvals reaching 205,796 in seasonally adjusted terms for the year ending February 2015. There was a 9.8 per cent increase in dwellings approved nationally, month on month, seasonally adjusted. All states and territories recorded a positive upswing in trend terms (01 April 2015). More...


Mining industry says 10km buffer zone is 'unrealistic'
The mining industry has dismissed as 'unrealistic' calls for a larger buffer zone to protect the Hunter's wine and horse industries, saying it would wipe out much of the region's mining (10 April 2015). More...

Victoria to lead the way on Renewable Energy
Premier Daniel Andrews has announced changes to wind farm planning laws, opening Victoria back up to investors in renewable energy to create more jobs. The changes reduce the household veto for a proposed wind turbine development from two kilometres to one kilometre from a dwelling (20 March 2015). More...

New South Wales

Getting Down To Business: Early Work Begins On Sydney Rapid Transit
NSW Premier and Minister for Transport and Infrastructure announced over coming weeks, geotechnical drilling will occur up to 70 metres below Sydney Harbour to help determine the best location for the new Sydney Rapid Transit railway tunnels. Geotechnical drilling will also take place at Sydenham, in the Sydney CBD, North Sydney, Crows Nest and Artarmon (08 April 2015). More...

Record breaking Apartment Approvals underpin NSW Housing Performance
The approval of 3,221 higher density apartments during February is the highest monthly number ever in NSW, says the Urban Taskforce (02 April 2015). More...

A Fresh Team for Rebuilding NSW
NSW Premier Mike Baird and Deputy Premier Troy Grant have announced the team that will deliver on the Coalition's mandate to provide an extra $20 billion for vital infrastructure in cities and regions (01 April 2015). More...

New approach needed on infrastructure levies
NSW needs a new approach to funding urban infrastructure after a levy totalling over $83,000 per lot was proposed in new release areas, according to the Property Council of Australia (01 April 2015). More...


A massive pipeline of infrastructure projects to reignite property market
Research put out by market analyst and Propertyology managing director Simon Pressley found 37 major infrastructure projects worth "a staggering" $123 billion had been put on the table in Queensland (11 April 2015). More...

Construction begins at Carrara Commonwealth Games venue
Construction at the $122 million Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Carrara Sports Precinct is officially underway (09 April 2015). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Examining Barriers to More Efficient Gas Markets
Productivity Commission research paper. This paper was released on 31 March 2015 and it examines issues relating to different stages of the gas supply chain in the eastern Australian gas market, against the backdrop of integration with the Asia-Pacific market. More...

The great Australian lockout: inequality in the housing market
The Australia Institute: Molly Johnson, David Baker. Home ownership rates in Australia are falling across all age groups, most significantly for people in their 50's (30 March 2015). More...

ABS: Engineering Construction Activity, Australia, Dec 2014
The trend estimate for the value of total engineering construction work done fell 2.8% and the seasonally adjusted estimate for the value of total engineering construction work done fell 0.6% in the December quarter to $27,854.1m. The trend estimate for the value of work done for the private sector fell 2.8% and the seasonally adjusted estimate for the value of work done for the private sector fell 1.9%. The seasonally adjusted estimate for the value of work done for the public sector rose 4.3% to $6,308.5m (01 April 2015). More...

ABS: Building Approvals, Australia, Feb 2015
ABS Building Approvals show that the number of dwellings approved rose 1.6 per cent in February 2015, in trend terms. Dwelling approvals increased in February in NSW (5.4 per cent), Queensland (2.1 per cent) and Victoria (1.3 per cent) but decreased in ACT (16.2 per cent), NT (2.7 per cent), WA (2.5 per cent), SA (2.4 per cent) and Tasmania (0.7 per cent) in trend terms (01 April 2015). More...

December 2014 Notifiable Fatalities Monthly Report: SafeWork Australia
There were 24 work-related notifiable fatalities during December 2013 — 19 male workers and 1 female worker and 2 male and 2 female bystanders. Of these fatalities, 11 workers and 4 bystanders died as a result of incidents in the air or on public roads (31 March 2015). More...

Practice and courts

Four Emissions Reduction Fund methods released for public consultation
Draft methods on High efficiency commercial appliances, Commercial and public lighting, Oil and gas fugitives and Refrigeration and ventilation fan upgrades released for public consultation. More...

Reminder: ABCB Building Code of Australia online
From 1 May 2015, the ABCB (Australian Building Codes Board) will only be providing a PDF version of the Building Code Australia.

Construction Standards April 2015 - DR AS 1668.1:2015
The use of ventilation and air conditioning in buildings - Fire and smoke control in buildings Standards Australia. More...

NSW: The Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Amendment (Retention Money Trust Account) Regulation 2015 (NSW)
This introduces new requirements for head contractors to hold retention money under subcontracts in a trust account. The Regulation commences on 1 May 2015. More...


Reitsma Constructions Pty Ltd v Davies Engineering Pty Ltd t/as In City Steel [2015] NSWSC 343
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - Validity of payment claim - Whether two payment claims served in respect of one reference date - Whether parties agreed to service of second payment claim in substitution of the first ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - Judicial review - Adjudication determination - Jurisdictional error - Existence of jurisdictional fact. More...

The Owners – Strata Plan SP 73014 v Bowcon Pty Ltd [2015] NSWSC 351
BUILDING AND ENGINEERING CONTRACTS – Remedies – Claim for breach of statutory warranties – Whether claim in time – Home Building Act, 1989 ss 18B, 18E PRACTICE – Adjournment – Discretionary considerations – Extended failure to comply with directions to file evidence - No proper or adequate explanation – Adjournment to file evidence refused. More...



Statutory Rules

No 21: Building Amendment Regulations 2015
Date of Making: 31/03/2015 Commencement: 01/05/2015: reg. 3. Not yet in operation: Regs 1-5: on 01/05/2015: reg. 3 Sunset Date: 31/03/2025. The objective of these Regulations is to amend the Building Regulations 2006— (a) to reflect changes to the BCA which come into operation on 1 May 2015. More...

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