Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's news - 25 May 2015

Last Updated: 2 June 2015
Article by Troy Lewis, Janelle Kerrisk and Stephen Burton

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media

Infrastructure Australia: Australia's infrastructure must face the challenges of growth
Australia's productivity and quality of life will be tested, with population and economic growth set to cause increasing congestion and bottlenecks, according to the nation's first-ever comprehensive infrastructure audit (22 May 2015). More...

Roads to Recovery: Local governments get another $135 million today
The final 2014-15 quarterly instalment of the Australian Government's $2.1 billion Roads to Recovery programme is being paid to 354 local governments across Australia today. 'Today's payments bring the amount paid to local governments in 2014-15 under the Roads to Recovery programme to $321.7 million (21 May 2015). More...

Record housing construction forecast to continue for F2016
New analysis of key residential development market indicators released this May points to continued record levels of housing construction into the 2016 financial year (21 May 2015). More...

Plans for $700m Gladstone oil refinery revealed
Plans are being drawn up to build Australia's first major oil refinery in 50 years in central Queensland. The United States based Eagle Ford Oil and Gas Corporation and Australia's Casper Energy will jointly develop the $700 million project near Gladstone (19 May 2015). More...

New tools for BIM and PTI
New tools to help the industry get the best from Building Information Modelling and Project Team Integration are about to be released. The tools come after more than 12 months of work by the ACIF/APCC BIM Summit and its dedicated working groups (18 May 2015). More...

Governments Should Take Infrastructure Audit as a Warning
The Australian Infrastructure Audit Report provides a stark warning for governments to start improving investment in urban infrastructure, or face the consequences, says the Urban Development Institute of Australia (22 May 2015). More...

Road Congestion can be reduced by Job Location
The extensive audit by Infrastructure Australia on road congestion across Australian cities raises the crucial question of where jobs are located, says the Urban Taskforce (22 May 2015). More...

CEFC supports Australia's growing commercial solar market
Solar is playing an increasingly important role in Australia's energy mix and Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) Australia has more than 4GW of installed rooftop solar PV with residential systems accounting for the bulk of that capacity. However, commercial solar is now rapidly ramping up with just under 25 per cent of new solar PV installed capacity (13 May 2015). More...

Budget ignores cities and climate change
With no plan for city infrastructure and no additional funding to tackle climate change or sustainable building upgrades, the 2015 Budget is one of missed opportunities, says the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) (13 May 2015). More...

CFMEU official allegedly causes chaos on site after his demands not met
Fair Work Building & Construction has launched Federal Circuit Court proceedings against the CFMEU and one of its officials after he allegedly disrupted two major concrete pours, causing significant financial loss to the head contractor (13 May 2015). More...

IPA: Budget maintains high infrastructure spend
The 2015/16 Federal Budget was welcomed by the national infrastructure sector tonight, because it maintains historically high levels of national investment despite the failure of key savings measures in the last Budget (12 May 2015). More...

MBA: Dip In Housing Finance Highlights The Need For The Budget To Reboot Confidence
The dip in finance commitments for the construction and purchase of new dwellings highlights the need for the Budget to reboot confidence," Peter Jones, Chief Economist of Master Builders Australia said. Housing finance commitments for housing dipped by 0.4 per cent in March, and 4.2 through the year, according to data released by the ABS (12 May 2015). More...

Audit assesses northern Australia's infrastructure
The Commonwealth Government released the first Infrastructure Australia audit of northern Australia's infrastructure. The Commonwealth will work with northern jurisdictions to develop a pipeline of critical infrastructure projects—roads, rail, water, electricity, ports and communications—to cater for the growing population and deliver economic growth (08 May 2015). More...


Help for Vic infrastructure planning
Two peak engineering associations have joined forces to help advise the Victorian government on key issues that would be of most benefit to infrastructure planning in the state (22 May 2015). More...

Consultation On Regional Public Transport Plan To Kick Off Next Month
Community consultation on Victoria's first ever long-term strategy for regional public transport will kick off next month. The Regional Network Development Plan will set out priorities for regional public transport services, infrastructure and investment over the next 20-30 years (15 May 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...

New South Wales

Minimum apartment sizes to be confirmed
The NSW Government will retain minimum apartment sizes to provide clarity for the community, councils and industry. The minimum apartment sizes for studios, one, two and three bedroom apartments will be: Studios 35m2; 1 bedroom apartments 50m2; 2 bedroom apartments 70m2; 3 bedroom apartments 90m2 (15 May 2015). More...


Building Queensland Bill introduced to Parliament
The Honourable Jackie Trad MP, Minister for Transport, Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, and Minister for Trade, introduced the Building Queensland Bill 2015 (the Bill) to Parliament on the 19th of May. The Bill provides the head of power for the commencement of the new independent statutory advisory body (21 May 2015). More...

Queensland keen to capitalise on a solar future
Minister for Energy and Water Supply Mark Bailey said Queensland is open for business and keen to capitalise on the state's world class solar resources. The government wants to see one million Queensland rooftops fitted with solar panels by 2020, as part of our Solar Future program (15 May 2015). More...

Qld exploration release underpins $1.9 billion gas industry
The Palaszczuk Government is seeking interest from around the globe in exploring for potentially-rich petroleum and gas resources of Queensland's far south-western corner (14 May 2015). More...

MBA: Recourse for building work good for consumers and builders
Moves to make Queensland building licensees accountable for defective work have been welcomed by Master Builders, with the peak body hopeful the next step will ensure engineers and all other building professionals are also held to account (19 May 2015). More...

Queensland action protects consumers from defective building products
Queensland is leading the nation in efforts to protect consumers and the building industry against defective and non-compliant building products. The recently formed Queensland Building and Construction Product Committee aims to protect home owners and industry members from non-compliant and non-conforming products (14 May 2015). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Australian Infrastructure Audit Report
Released by Infrastructure Australia Chairman Mark Birrell, 22 May 2015. The report makes 81 recommendations and strategically identifies the drivers of infrastructure demand and the impact they are having. It also outlines the policy, funding and delivery challenges Australia must face. More...

Australian Bureau of Statistics: Housing Finance, Australia, March 2015
The trend estimate for the total value of dwelling finance commitments excluding alterations and additions rose 0.8%. Owner occupied housing commitments rose 0.8% and investment housing commitments rose 0.8%. In seasonally adjusted terms, the total value of dwelling finance commitments excluding alterations and additions rose 3.5% (12 May 2015). More...

Australian Parliamentary Service Budget Guides (11 May 2015)
More... More...

Budget 2015-2016
On the science side, the Federal Government has funded key scientific research facilities for two years as part of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). More...

Budget 2015-2016 Fact Sheets
Partnership for regional growth 2015. Infrastructure investment 2015. More... More...

Partnership for Regional Growth 2015-16
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. More...

Budget Media Releases 2015–16
More... More...

Practice and courts

Reminder: Amendments to the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure regime
Under the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010, energy efficiency information must be disclosed to a lessee/purchaser when commercial office space of 2,000 sq m or more is offered for sale or lease. Changes to this disclosure regime will commence on 1 July 2015 as a result of amendments made to the Act by the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Amendment Act 2015. More... More...

NSW: BP Act review - discussion paper and consultation
The independent review of the Building Professionals Act 2005 is examining the effective operation of certification and building regulation in NSW Review of certification and building laws: discussion paper. Submissions to the Review close 12 June (04 May 2015). More...

QBCC: More accountability for defective building work

From June 1, subcontractors will be held accountable for defective work they've performed (18 May 2015). More...

QBCC:Suspended or cancelled licensees - 10 to 17 May 2015

QLD: Hit the Road with Roadshow
Major changes to the building and construction industry will be spotlighted as part of the Master Builders BUSSQ Roadshow which is set to traverse Queensland's major regions in May. More...


Tamawood Limited v Habitare Developments Pty Ltd (Administrators Appointed) (Receivers and Managers Appointed) [2015] FCAFC 65
COPYRIGHT – whether contractual licence created – whether infringement of copyright occurred – whether defence of indirect copying available – whether defence of innocent infringement under s 115(3) of Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) available – whether there was an authorisation of infringement – whether additional damages available under s 115(4) of Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). TRADE PRACTICES – whether misleading conduct under s 72B of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth). COSTS – costs order set aside. Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) ss 36(1),(1A), 115(3),(4). More...

Delaney v Winn [2015] NSWCA 124
TORTS – negligence – duty of care – whether primary judge erred in not finding duty of care contended for on appeal though not pleaded at trial and inconsistent with manner in which appellants' case was conducted at first instance TORTS – negligence – breach of duty – whether primary judge erred in finding that there was no breach of duty to carry out inspection complying with relevant Australian Standard and that the respondent had not provided negligent advice to the appellants CAUSATION – whether primary judge erred in formulating the test for causation of damage in a pure economic loss claim APPEAL – evidence - challenge to factual findings – adequacy of reasons given for findings – credibility of witnesses – whether error in assessing credibility - appellant discovered "new looking" cracking at the property and sought advice from another building consultant and a structural engineer as to defects in the property. More...

MJ Arthurs Pty Ltd & Anor v Portfolio Housing Pty Ltd & Anor [2015] QCA 086
APPEAL AND NEW TRIAL – APPEAL – GENERAL PRINCIPLES – INTERFERENCE WITH JUDGE'S FINDINGS OF FACT – OTHER MATTERS – where from 2005 the second appellant and second respondent had undertaken building projects together – where the second respondent would identify building project opportunities and the second appellant would undertake the building work – where after the building construction was completed, the second appellant and second respondent would share net profits equally – where routinely, a corporate vehicle and a business trust structure were used to carry out each project – breach of construction contracts. More...

Acron Pty Ltd v Couran Cove Holdings Pty Ltd [2015] QDC 113
Uniform Civil Procedure Rules considered. Rule 69 — Including, substituting or removing partyRule 377(1) — Amendment of originating process. amended claim and statement of claim, the applicant claims against the third respondent $180,709.82 "for services rendered" and further and in the alternative as a debt due and owing. The claim concerns the installation by the applicant of a water treatment plant and sewerage treatment plant on land at Couran Cove. More...

Matthew Mahoney Architect Pty Ltd v Board of Architects of Queensland [2015] QCAT 137
GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW – Architects Act 2002 – where applicant seeks disciplinary action by Architects Board against a registered architect – where Architects Board declines to investigate – where applicant seeks review of Architect Board's decision – whether Tribunal has jurisdiction to entertain that application – whether decision not to investigate distinguishable from decision, after investigation, to take no action – where jurisdiction lacking – where applicant maintains application after advice of error – where order to strike out application made - whether costs may be awarded to respondent. ACN 005 057 349 Pty Ltd v Commissioner of State Revenue [2015] VSC 76 Armstrong v Kawana Island Retirement Village [2014] QCAT 51 C & E Pty Ltd v The Board Of Architects of Queensland [2004] QCCTA 1 Finance Facilities Pty Ltd v Federal Commissioner of Taxation (1971) 45 ALJR 615 Gleeson, Re [1907] VLR 368 Ward v Williams (1955) 92 CLR 496. More...

Owners Corporation 2 v MAV Group Pty Ltd (Building and Property) [2015] VCAT 661
Abandonment of application for joinder – application for costs by proposed party. The first respondent must pay the costs of ECM Group Pty Ltd ('ECM') of and incidental to the first respondent's application to join ECM as a party to the proceeding - first respondent builder entered into a contract with Rose Anna Pty Ltd for the construction of a three storey residential building on top of existing commercial premises - applicant owners' corporation commenced these proceedings seeking orders for the payment of damages for, or the rectification of, allegedly defective building work by the builder. More...

Ternovsky v Kirishian (Civil Claims) [2015] VCAT 657
Construction of new home; no written contract; applicant proceeds as owner-builder; licensed builder acts as project manager and is paid a management fee; applicant advances funds to project manager through manager's company for payment of contractors and suppliers; project manager dies before completion of construction; amount of advanced funds unaccounted for; recovery sought from estate of deceased manager and from company; relevant considerations about personal rather than company liability; sections 2,18,184 and 236 of Australian Consumer Law; restitution.. More...

Helti (Australia) Pty Ltd v Vulcan Steel Pty Ltd [2015] VSC 192
The plaintiff, Helti (Australia) Pty Ltd, applies to set aside a statutory demand served on it by the defendant, Vulcan Steel Pty Ltd. The demand claims that the plaintiff is indebted to the defendant in the sum of $126,231.34. More...

Sugar Australia Pty Ltd v Lend Lease Services Pty Ltd [2015] VSCA 98
BUILDING CONTRACTS – Bank performance security – Security for claims by proprietor acting reasonably – Application by contractor for interlocutory injunction to restrain recourse to security – Construction of security clause – Whether serious issue whether proprietor acting reasonably in seeking recourse to security – Whether serious issue to be tried as to validity of recourse notice – Balance of convenience. More...



Construction Industry Amendment (Protecting Witnesses) Bill 2015
The Construction Industry Amendment (Protecting Witnesses) Bill 2015 (the Bill) amends the Fair Work (Building Industry) Act 2012 (Fair Work (Building Industry) Act) to extend the period during which the Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate can apply to a nominated Administrative Appeals Tribunal presidential member for an examination notice by a further two years. 11/05/2015 Senate: Second and third reading agreed to and passed; 13/05/2015 third reading and passed both houses. More...


A Bill for An Act to establish Building Queensland and to amend this Act, the Industrial Relations Regulation 2011 and the Public Service Act 2008. The Building Queensland to provide independent expert advice to the State on matters relating to infrastructure in Queensland. Queensland is the host jurisdiction for the Heavy Vehicle National Law Act and, as such, the Queensland Parliament must first pass amendments to the legislation before they can be applied by the other participating jurisdictions (19 May 2015). More...

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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