Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's news - 9 June 2015

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

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2017

In the media

Construction material prices on the rise
Prices for construction materials are back on the rise as record levels of home building activity underpins strong level of demand and a declining Australian dollar drives up the cost of imported products (05 June 2015). More...

CEFC supports diversification of Australia's future energy mix
The CEFC welcomes the release of the Clean Energy Australia Report 2014 by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) and looks forward to increased certainty surrounding the Renewable Energy Target (RET) in order to enable commercially-viable, proven, utility-scale projects to get access to finance more readily (04 June 2015). More...

Engineers Australia: A clear picture on infrastructure
Public and private investment must increase to ensure that the nation's infrastructure meets the needs of our growing population and economy, according to Australia's first comprehensive infrastructure audit. Infrastructure Australia will consult with community, governments and business to prepare a national 15 year infrastructure plan, due in late 2015 (04 June 2015). More...

Red tape reduction a boost for home building sector
Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello has announced a boost for the NSW building industry by cutting red tape for insurance applications required for residential projects worth over $20,000 (04 June 2015). More...

Agreement reached for Sydney freight project at Moorebank
The Government's Moorebank Intermodal Company (MIC) has signed an agreement with the Sydney Intermodal Terminal Alliance (SIMTA) for the development of the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal (04 June 2015). More...

Progress on M1 upgrade as environmental report released
Tenders have now been invited for detailed design work on the M1 Pacific Motorway upgrade between the Kariong and Somersby interchanges following finalisation of the review of environmental factors (REF) (03 June 2015). More...

Federal compensation fund opens for Home Insulation Program businesses
Home insulation companies that went out of business after the collapse of the Rudd government's insulation scheme will be able to re-register and apply for compensation set aside in a federal compensation scheme. Nearly 200 companies have already registered interest in the scheme which will be open for the next six weeks (01 June 2015). More...

NSW Construction output overtaken by Victoria
The Australian Bureau of Statistics figures on the March Quarter building work done indicates that Victoria is moving upwards and NSW downwards, says the Urban Taskforce (27 May 2015). More...

ACCC takes action for alleged cartel conduct in the NSW government's Mount Penny coal exploration licence tender process
The ACCC has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against eleven respondents for alleged bid rigging conduct involving mining exploration licences in the Bylong Valley (25 May 2015). More...

Toowoomba second range crossing on track
Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the announcement is due mid-year, with the Australian Government committing funding on an 80:20 basis with the Queensland Government for the $1.6 billion project. The successful bidder would construct, operate and maintain the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing in a 25-year public-private partnership (28 May 2015). More...

Construction's strong role in economy 'confirmed' by latest ABS data
Building and construction continues to be a strong performer driving new investment and jobs and in the economy according the latest ABS construction work done results for the March quarter (28 May 2015). More...

$74M boost for minerals processing and manufacturing CRCs
Industry-led research to improve resource extraction and support innovative manufacturing will be boosted with $74 million in Government funding for two Cooperative Research Centres (26 May 2015). More...

Urgent, state-by-state audits called for on dangerous imported cladding
The CFMEU has written to every state and territory government calling for urgent audits to be undertaken on the use of a dangerous imported aluminium cladding product (29 May 2015). More...

Transport-oriented development reshaping cities
Cities around the world are being shaped by the emergence of transit-oriented developments situated near major public transport hubs, according to new research by CBRE (26 May 2015). More...


Community has a say in better apartment design
Victorians are invited to contribute to the state's first-ever discussion into future apartment design, as part of the Andrews Labor Government's consultation into apartment living (30 May 2015). More...

Victoria's building regulation failing consumers: VAGO
Building industry regulation in Victoria is failing to provide reasonable levels of consumer protection, with the current registration system being insufficient to ensure that registered builders were competent to perform their tasks or were of good character, a damning new report has said (29 May 2015). More...

VBA active on cladding
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) is taking action on several fronts in relation to the non-compliant use of cladding following the Lacrosse building fire in Melbourne's Docklands last year (03 June 2015). More...

Victorian move to recognise social impacts of developments will slow down the production of housing
The move by the Victorian Government to require the VCAT to recognise social impacts and to involve communities more in planning determinations will slow down building production, says the Urban Taskforce (28 May 2015). More...

New South Wales

Funding secured: Sydney Metro to be a reality
Sydney's much–needed second harbour rail crossing will become a reality now that funding has been secured for the NSW government's $20 billion Rebuilding NSW plan. The Sydney Metro project will be a new 66 kilometre high capacity rail line that will bust congestion and revolutionise public transport in our city (04 June 2015). More...

NSW Government welcomes lower gas network prices
Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy has welcomed the decision by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) to reduce gas network charges by the privately-owned NSW gas distribution network operator, Jemena (03 June 2015). More...

Legislation introduced to unlock $20 billion in major infrastructure
The Electricity Network Assets (Authorised Transactions) Bill 2015 and the Electricity Retained Interest Corporations Bill 2015 will allow the Government to undertake a long–term lease of 49 per cent of the electricity network and deliver on its mandate to invest $20 billion in new infrastructure (26 May 2015). More...


Master Builders opposes new WHS right of entry laws
Master Builders is in the process of formulating a full submission to the Finance and Administration Committee to oppose the state government's WHS right of entry bill. he decision to repeal these laws will open the floodgates for more unlawful industrial conduct and the industry believes there are better ways to resolve this matter than repealing this legislation (05 June 2015). More...

New state government $200 million infrastructure bonanza generates regional jobs
A new Government infrastructure bonanza will pump $200 million over the next two years into regional projects, supporting about 600 jobs across the state (25 May 2015). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Construction Industry Profile
SafeWork Australia (released 27 May 2015). The Construction Industry Profile presents an overview of the main causes of workers' injuries and fatalities in the construction industry. More...

Australian Bureau of Statistics
01 June 2015 Building Approvals, Australia, Apr 2015 (cat no. 8731.0)
01 June 2015 Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, Mar 2015 (cat no. 8412.0)

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...

Opinion: Best Practice in Construction Contracting In a modern building project, few documents are as important as the construction contract. Contracts which are not standard industry contracts are invariably designed to transfer as much risk as possible away from the party drawing up the contract (26 May 2015). More...

Practice and courts

Taller timber buildings code change could save industry millions over next decade
The Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) proposal to allow taller timber buildings to be built in Australia under the National Construction Code (NCC) could lead to construction cost reductions of 10-15 per cent, preliminary economic modelling from the group suggests (05 June 2015). More...

Safety alert after workers' deaths
The results of an investigation into the deaths of two electrical workers conducting maintenance on a combined fuse switch (CFS) unit in February have been released, with changes to procedures in mines recommended (01 June 2015). More...

The ABC of the BCA Seminar, 15 June 2015
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...

NSW: Review of certification and building laws: discussion paper
The review will look at whether the certification and building regulation system is functioning as well as it should and suggest recommendations for improvement. Submissions to the Review close 12 June. More...

QLD Building and Plumbing Newsflashes

No 541: Pimpama-Coomera area approved to opt-in to the Queensland Development Code for supplementary water supply - 5 June 2015.

No 540: Position of hot water indicators for mixing taps - 4 June 2015.

No 359: Commencement of building code for farm buildings - 1 June 2015.

QLD: Current Queensland Government Inquiries

Building Queensland Bill 2015
Heavy Vehicle National Law Amendment Bill 2015
Local Government and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015
Fly in, fly out and other long distance commuting work practices in regional Queensland
Sustainable Ports Development Bill 2015

QBCC: More accountability for defective building work From June 1, subcontractors will be held accountable for defective work they've performed. More... More...

QBCC: Licensees suspended or cancelled. More...

VIC: VBA welcomes VAGO report
VAGO has today issued a report into Victoria's consumer protection framework for building construction, which includes recommendations for the Victorian Building Authority (VBA).he VBA accepts the recommendations contained within the report and has already committed to taking steps to implement them (28 May 2015). More... More...

VIC: Non-compliant use of cladding - VBA to audit
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) is issuing audit notices to builders and building surveyors in relation to some 170 buildings around inner Melbourne (27 May 2015). More...


Champion Homes Sales Pty Limited v DCT Projects Pty Limited [2015] NSWSC 616
CONTRACT – whether owner entitled to terminate contract – liquidated damages for delay – turns on own facts. TRADE AND COMMERCE – misleading or deceptive conduct – whether builder engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by failing to disclose need for construction of large retaining walls – turns on own facts. BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – whether owner entitled to recover sums paid for variations under building contract – whether prevention principle applies to prevent owner from claiming liquidated damages for delay. More...

Vella v Paragon Consulting Engineers P/L & Anor [2015] QDC 135
Building and engineering contracts – design and construction of access road to subdivision – whether any non-compliance with technical specifications causally related to damage – whether proportionate liability open. More...

The MCF Group Pty Ltd v Coleman & Ors [2015] QDC 130
PRACTICE – INJUNCTIONS AND DECLARATIONS – where the applicant/plaintiff claimed that it owned a number of excavators in the possession of the first, second, third and fourth respondent/defendant – where the applicant/plaintiff seeks to extend an injunction prohibiting the sale of excavators in the possession of the first, second, third and fourth respondent/defendant – whether the applicant/plaintiff is the owner of the excavators – whether there is a serious issue to be tried – whether the balance of convenience favours the granting of the injunction – whether applicant/plaintiff's undertaking as to damages is sufficient. More...

AL Builders Pty Ltd v Fatseas [2015] QCAT 166
Building dispute – Fixed price contract or costs plus contract – Contract not in writing – Acceptance by conduct – Written contract a sham – Effect of Domestic Building Contracts Act 2000 on oral costs plus contract and s. 55(4) discretion – implication of terms – quantum meruit claim – Failure to mitigate. More...

Advance Building and Engineering Pty Ltd v Jovevski (Building and Property) [2015] VCAT 740
Domestic building – claim for variations – evidence – Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 – s.38(2) effect of - claim for delay damages – meaning – payment of instalments of price – whether made late – when instalments fell due – counterclaim for defective work – evidence – loss of amenity damages – when allowed. Order the Applicant to pay to the Respondents $69,825.44. More...



Iron Ore Supply and Demand (Commission of Inquiry) Bill 2015
Representatives 1/6/2015 Introduced and read a first time. A Bill for an Act to establish a Commission of Inquiry into Iron Ore Supply and Demand, and for related purposes. The object of this Bill is to establish a full judicial Commission of Inquiry into Iron Ore supply and demand, specifically the increases in production by certain iron ore producing companies at a time when the world-wide demand for iron ore is steadily decreasing. More...


Subordinate Legislation

No 28: Proclamation commencing certain provisions of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014 – 29 May 2015.

No 29: Queensland Building and Construction Commission and Other Legislation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2015 – 29 May 2015 – amends the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004; Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991; State Penalties Enforcement Act 1999.

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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