Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 12 May 2015

Last Updated: 18 May 2015
Article by Troy Lewis, Janelle Kerrisk and Stephen Burton

Most Read Contributor in Australia, July 2017

In the media

Opportunities for developing Northern Australia
Infrastructure Australia has completed the first ever audit of Northern Australia's infrastructure, identifying key challenges, and opportunities to support the region's projected growth over the next 15 years. The audit highlights the importance of collaboration between governments and the private sector to achieve the best results in developing and maintaining infrastructure (08 May 2015). More...

Engineering construction market collapsing
The current decline in engineering construction is set to become a sharp collapse over the next few years, a new report shows. BIS Shrapnel new report, Engineering Construction in Australia 2014/15 – 2028/29, reveals that the total work done in the sector is set to fall by 13%, a steeper drop than expected (08 May 2015). More...

New 'Recognised Provider' status to deliver faster Green Star certification
Wood & Grieve Engineers is the first company to be validated for its ability to deliver Green Star points consistently, and is now a Green Star 'Recognised Provider' in energy modelling. Recognised Providers will provide project teams with increased confidence in the outcomes of their Green Star submissions," says the GBCA's Chief Executive Officer, Romilly Madew (06 May 2015). More...

HIA Hotspots Signal Further Momentum in Home Building
The latest HIA/ACI Population and Residential Building Hotspots Report shows Western Australia again dominating the latest league table, with Victoria and New South Wales also strongly represented. "The national new home building recovery gathered full steam last year, and this is evident in the Hotspots report, with the results much stronger than the previous year," (01 May 2015). More...

Continued strength in dwelling approvals for March 2015
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Building Approvals show that the number of dwellings approved rose 1.8 per cent in March 2015, in trend terms, and has risen for ten months. This continued strength was driven by increases in new flats, units or apartments in residential buildings. The value of total building approved rose 0.9 per cent in March, in trend terms, and has risen for nine months (01 May 2014). More...

ACCC concludes assessment of Fortescue chairman's call for cap on iron ore production
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has concluded its review of public comments made by Andrew Forrest, Chairman of Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (Fortescue) calling for a cap on iron ore production (30 April 2015). More...

New taxes target foreign investment
Latest figures reveal that foreign investment is accelerating new housing supply and creating jobs in construction, but new taxes and fees jeopardise this growth. The Victorian and Federal governments both announced punitive new taxes and fees on foreign investment in newly constructed housing (05 May 2015). More...

Foreign investment delivers more jobs, new homes
The 2013-14 FIRB Annual Report released today shows foreign investment is helping accelerate much needed new housing supply in Australia and creating jobs in construction. Property Council of Australia Chief Executive Ken Morrison said foreign investment is helping combat a decade of housing undersupply in Australia (30 May 2015). More...

Builders fear new union powers to enter sites
Master Builders fears the industry will face future turmoil should the government appeal the 24-hour notice period for union official entry to building and construction sites (30 April 2015). More...


Victoria's big plans for infrastructure
The establishment of Infrastructure Victoria, the new role of chief engineer of the state and $22 billion in infrastructure plans has been welcomed by Engineers Australia. The creation of the new independent body was announced as part of Victoria's state budget last week (08 May 2015). More...

$1.5 Billion To Get Started On Melbourne Metro Rail Project
The Andrews Labor Government has announced $1.5 billion to cover all anticipated planning, design and significant early works ahead of major construction of the Melbourne Metro Rail Project in 2018 (28 April 2015). More...

Non-compliant cladding fuelled Melbourne apartment tower fire, MFB finds
External cladding used in the construction of the Lacrosse Apartments in Melbourne's Docklands precinct has been found to have fuelled a fire that broke out last year, causing more than $2 million worth of damages (28 April 2015). More...

New South Wales

Baird Government Cutting Corners On Independent Assessment Of Project Viability
The independent Auditor General has slammed the Baird Liberal Government for failing to independently assess the viability of large government construction projects at key stages in their lifecycle to ensure value for taxpayers. Only 30 per cent of the mandatory strategic Gateway reviews and 66 per cent of the mandatory final business case Gateway reviews have occurred for the new construction projects costing $10 million or more included in the 2014-15 Budget Papers (07 May 2015). More...

ACCC releases draft views on appropriate level of regulation at Port of Newcastle
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released draft determinations proposing to exempt Newcastle Agri Terminal and Qube Holdings Limited from the full extent of regulation at the Port of Newcastle (07 May 2015). More...

Fire-risk cladding a legal mine field, apartment owners warned
The viability of Australia's booming $500 billion strata industry is under threat as tens of thousands of high-rise apartment owners brace for the possibility of having to pay to rip out and replace flammable cladding (05 May 2015). More...

$1 billion in infrastructure levies sits idle
More than $1 billion collected from levies sits unspent in the accounts of councils across Sydney – and it continues to grow as councils fail to plan, fund and build essential infrastructure (28 April 2015). More...

Construction mid-point identified for first WestConnex tunnel
The mid tunnel point allows all tunnelling work to be carried out from the one location —with the M4 East joining the M4 Widening at Homebush and providing a tunnel to Haberfield —all tunnelling can be carried out in each direction from one construction point (29 April 2015). More...


Origin pushes back Gladstone timing
Origin Energy has pushed back the timetable for sustained production at its $24.7 billion Australia Pacific LNG project at Gladstone until the final quarter of the year (07 May 2015). More...

Conviction and $15000 in fines for unlicensed building work
An unlicensed individual was fined over $15,000 and convicted of nine charges concerning five properties in the Proserpine area. The QBCC Commissioner, Steve Griffin, said that Mr Preston had made a name for himself carrying out unlicensed and defective building work with a previous conviction recorded in Western Australia (05 May 2015). More...

Independent investigation announced for Moreton Bay flooding
The Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Jackie Trad has this morning announced an immediate independent review into flooding concerns raised by those Moreton Bay residents, residing near the Moreton Bay Rail Link (MBRL) (05 May 2015). More...

Commission of Inquiry seeks Grantham flood answers
The Queensland Government will hold a new Commission of Inquiry into the flooding of the Lockyer Creek between Helidon and Grantham in January 2011 (05 May 2015). More...

Queensland building approvals rise in March to be up 26 per cent in 12 months
Treasurer Curtis Pitt has welcomed the latest ABS Building Approvals data which show the total number of dwelling approvals (trend) in Queensland rose 3.0 per cent in March (04 May 2015). More...

Safer Bruce Highway en route along the Fraser Coast
Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports. A $7.1 million upgrade to the Bruce Highway south of Torbanlea is about to begin, with SGQ awarded the contract to improve a 2.2 kilometre stretch of the highway. The Coalition Government is building a safer and more flood immune Bruce Highway through our record $6.7 billion investment in projects through our Infrastructure Investment Programme,' Mr Truss said (29 April 2015). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Australian Bureau of Statistics
04 May 2015 - Building Approvals, Australia, Mar 2015 (cat no. 8731.0). More...

Northern Australia Infrastructure Audit Report
Key audit findings include that: backlogs in maintaining existing assets must be a priority to fund and resolve cost-benefit analysis is essential to evaluating and prioritising investment decisions communities and the private sector need to drive decisions to ensure infrastructure meets the needs of users (08 May 2015). More....

NSW economic update Autumn 2015
NSW Parliamentary Research Service; Andrew Haylen. While the NSW economy is currently in a relatively strong headline position, largely off the back of the housing market, other areas of the State economy will need to perform over the longer run if economic growth and improved labour market outcomes are to be sustained once the housing sector slows (30 April 2015). More...

Practice and courts

The ABC of the BCA, 15 June 2015
This one-day seminar provides participants with a general overview and understanding in using and Navigating around the Housing Provisions – Volume Two of the Building Code Australia (BCA). The interactive training program will help those with a limited understanding gain an appreciation of the basics of the BCA and develop skills to navigate through the Housing Provisions. More...


Pollock v Hicks [2015] NSWCA 122
TRADE AND COMMERCE – Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) and Fair Trading Act 1987 (NSW) – false or misleading representations – unconscionable conduct – accessorial liability – whether appellant involved in a contravention – statements made by appellant's husband – whether appellant knew representations made and of facts which made them false or misleading or unconscionable – appellant lacked requisite knowledge – appellant not involved in a contravention - dispute concerning the engagement of the respondent, Mr Ricky Hicks, by Rosebid Pty Ltd (Rosebid) to undertake earthmoving work. More...

Southern Han Breakfast Point Pty Limited v Lewence Construction Pty Limited [2015] NSWSC 502
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – adjudication determination – jurisdictional error – whether adjudicator committed jurisdictional error due to non-existence of a jurisdictional fact – Building and Construction Industry Security of Payments Act 1999 (NSW) s 8, s 13 – whether existence of a reference date is an essential requirement for a valid payment claim under the Act and consequently for the adjudicator's jurisdiction ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – natural justice – whether adjudicator denied natural justice to party due to failure to have due regard to submissions – content of duty to provide natural justice dependent on context – whether adjudicator determined dispute on a basis not advocated by either party. More...

Coleman v Prentice & Anor [2015] QSC 118
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – REMUNERATION – RECOVERY – where the plaintiff seeks recovery of unpaid invoices – where the plaintiff claims agreement was for payment of hours worked with payment terms of 7 days from invoice – where the defendants claim payment was subject to reconciliation of mined product – where the plaintiff claims unclaimed rent on leased storage facility – where the defendants deny entering lease for storage – where the plaintiff exercised a lien over stored product for unpaid monies. CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – CONSTRUCTION OF PARTICULAR CONTRACTS AND IMPLIED CONDITIONS – DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT ON DEFAULT AND LIKE GROUNDS – where the plaintiff terminated the contract on account of unpaid invoices – where the defendant claims termination was unlawful – where the defendant counterclaims an amount for damages for loss of profit on mined product – whether the plaintiff was liable for any loss on account of unsaleable mined product – whether the plaintiff is liable for unaccounted for mined product. CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – PERFORMANCE OF WORK – GENERAL – where the parties made an oral contract to perform road and mining works – where the plaintiff worked under the direction and supervision of a representative of the second defendant – where the defendant claims for damages for loss of profit caused by the plaintiff's work. CONTRACTS – GENERAL CONTRACTUAL PRINCIPLES – PARTIES – GENERALLY – where the first defendant was the director of the second defendant – whether the contract for works was made with the first defendant or second defendant. More...

Ide Enterprises Pty Ltd v Hale's Engineering Pty Ltd [2015] QDC 098
CONTRACT – whether the Court should find a breach of an implied term of an entirely oral contract for the construction of agricultural machinery, through lack of reasonable care and skill in the workmanship of the defendant – whether there was any relevant failure of the plaintiff, to exercise due care and skill in the design of the machinery and amounting to contributory negligence – whether and to what extent the plaintiff has suffered damage and how to measure any such damage – whether there should be an allowance for interest and whether that would be allowed from the date of the accrual of loss. More...

Doran v Simon Jobling t/a SAJ Constructions [2015] QCAT 113
LIQUIDATED DAMAGES – DAMAGES FOR DELAY – whether delay – where contract did not nominate date for practical completion or commencement – where home owners did not provide 'Notice of Lender Approval' before builder commenced work – where builder did not properly deliver 'Notice of Practical Completion'. PREVENTION PRINCIPLE AND CAUSATION –whether delay caused or contributed to by home owners or builder or other factor – where delay in homeowners supplying water. ESTOPPEL – whether parties' conduct accepted delay as part of relationship – where builder failed to formally request extensions and send notices – where home owners delayed approvals and notices – where home owners did not deliver any notice to remedy or notify that time would continue to be of essence – where correspondence showed mutual responsibility for and mutual commitment to work through delays – where home owners and builder did not seek to enforce contractual rights – where owners and builder acquiesced to delays. EVIDENCE – where builder adduced no invoice or evidence of costs or lost profit margin – where sub-contractor invoices unsigned – where no attendance by witnesses. Clarke v Cascade Pools (Qld) Pty Ltd [2010] Coastal Patios v Bennett & Anor [2013] QCAT 268 Commonwealth v Verwayen (1990) 170 CLR 394 Contrast Constructions Pty Ltd v Bartlett [2014] QCATA 262 Hayes v Aramac Developments Pty Ltd [2014] QCAT 119 Hughes v Metropolitan Railway Co. (1877) 2 App Cas 439 Lida Build Pty Ltd v Miller & Anor [2013] QCATA 139 Olindaridge Pty Ltd & Anor v Tracey & Anor [2014] QCAT 207 Peak Constructions (Liverpool) v McKenney Foundations Limited (1970) 69 LGR 1 SMK Cabinets v Hili Modern Electrics Pty Ltd [1984] VR 391 at 397 Turner Corporation Limited (Receiver and Manager Appointed) v Austotel Pty Ltd (1994) 13 BCL 378. More...

TJ King v Qld Building and Construction Commission [2015] QSC 079
PROFESSIONS AND TRADES – BUILDERS – STATUTORY POWER TO REQUIRE RECTIFICATION OF DEFECTIVE OR INCOMPLETE BUILDING WORK – where the applicant submits that work carried out by the applicant was not 'building work' under the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991 – where the work undertaken included preparing a building for relocation, relocating that building, digging footings and providing stumps – whether reg 13(1)(c) of the Queensland Building Services Authority Regulation 2003 excluded this work from the definition of 'building work' under Schedule 2 of the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991. PROFESSIONS AND TRADES – BUILDERS – STATUTORY POWER TO REQUIRE RECTIFICATION OF DEFECTIVE OR INCOMPLETE BUILDING WORK – where two directions pursuant to section 72(1) of the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991 were issued to the applicant – where the first paragraph of the second direction was in the same terms as the first direction – where the second and third paragraphs of the second direction were expressly in contemplation at the time the first direction was issued – where the applicant submits there is no express power in the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991 to issue a second direction under section 72(1) of the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991 – whether the Queensland Building Services Authority has power under section 72(1) of the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991 to issue multiple directions concerning the same building work – whether the Queensland Building Services Authority has power under section 72(1) of the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991 to issue multiple directions concerning the same defect. PROFESSIONS AND TRADES – BUILDERS – STATUTORY POWER TO REQUIRE RECTIFICATION OF DEFECTIVE OR INCOMPLETE BUILDING WORK – where the direction issued included directions to rectify damage to work which was not the subject of a contract between the applicant and the home-owners – whether a direction under s 72(1) of the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991 can be issued to a person to rectify work that was not carried out pursuant to a contract between that person and a home-owner. PROFESSIONS AND TRADES – BUILDERS – STATUTORY POWER TO REQUIRE RECTIFICATION OF DEFECTIVE OR INCOMPLETE BUILDING WORK – where the direction issued included directions to rectify damage alleged to be consequential to the building work carried out by the applicant – where the respondent submits that a power to rectify consequential damage caused by carrying out building work should be implied under s72(1) of the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991 – whether a direction under s 72(1) of the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991 can be issued to rectify consequential damage. More...

OZ Minerals Holdings Pty Ltd & Ors v AIG Australia Ltd [2015] VSC 185
INSURANCE CONTRACT – Construction of major shareholder exclusion clause – Whether clause requires assessment of claimant's status at two points in time, the time of the wrongful act and the time of the claim – HELD: Clause requires assessment of the claimant's status at the time of the wrongful act and the time of the claim – Electricity Corporation v Woodside Energy [2014] HCA 7; (2014) 251 CLR 640; Darlington Futures Ltd v Delco Australia Pty Ltd [1986] HCA 82; (1986) 161 CLR 500; Mobbs v Powell [1965] VicRp 33; [1965] VR 222. More...

Burbank Australia Pty Ltd v Owners Corporation [2015] VSC 160
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Appeal on question of law – Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal – Whether Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 applies to multi-apartment developments – Whether legal proceedings commenced without being authorised by special resolution - Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 s 148 – Owners Corporation Act 2006 ss 18, 97 – Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 ss 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9 – Building Act 1993 ss 3 and 136. More...

Hanson Construction Materials Pty Ltd v Cardinia SC (No 2) [2015] VCAT 471
I direct, pursuant to section 85(1)(e) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 that planning permit T140140 issued by the responsible authority on 1 October 2014 must not contain condition 9 or conditions 54 to 64 as they appeared in the permit as originally issued. Green Wedge Zone, Schedule 1.Significant Landscape Overlay, Schedule 3. The review site abuts a Road Zone Category 1.Planning Permissions Required. Clause 35.04-1 Permission for the use of the land as a sand quarry. More...

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