Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 4 August 2015

Last Updated: 10 August 2015
Article by Troy Lewis, Janelle Kerrisk and Stephen Burton

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2017

In the media

ACCC to Master Builders: "We're not responsible for building product regulation"
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has made it clear that they are not responsible for building product regulation in Australia and that concerns about non-compliant products in this sector should be directed at specialist regulators (31 July 2015).  More...

Alleged cartel conduct in the Canberra construction industry
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is aware of serious allegations and evidence presented to the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption concerning alleged cartel conduct in the construction industry in Canberra, particularly concreting and scaffolding (30 July 2015).   More...

What's holding Australia back on project collaboration?
Peter Barda, CEO of the Australian Construction Industry Forum, says one reason surrounds an industry culture in which too often subcontractors are not given adequate levels of respect on the part of builders and designers (29 July 2015).   More...

26MW solar farm & battery set for construction in Northern Queensland
Lyon Infrastructure Investments announced that it expects to commence construction on a 26MW solar PV farm plus 5MWh battery system near Cook Town in the fourth quarter of this year (31 July 2015).   More...

Record building approvals but figures moderating
Despite reaching new record levels for the year, building approvals are showing the first signs of having peaked according to the latest ABS data for June released on Thursday (30 July 2015).  More...

Furious industry unites to tackle new Building Code failure
Some of the proposed changes to the National Construction Code are so dodgy, the new modelling protocol would allow an apartment that scored ZERO NatHERS stars under the old system to actually pass as compliant, leading ESD practitioners say (26 July 2015).  More...

Construction industry changing gear
The overall outlook for construction work is positive for most areas of Australia, with activity in the eastern states particularly expected to strengthen, according to new forecasts from the Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) (23 July 2015).   More...

Adani suspends major contractors
The Indian mining giant Adani has suspended two contractors on its $16.5 billion Carmichael coal project in Queensland, following a recent halt in engineering work (23 July 2015).  More...


Push for safer material in high-rises to keep the community safe
Minister for Planning Richard Wynne has led a push for stronger rules around building product certification to improve fire safety, while at a national Building Ministers Forum held in Melbourne (31 July 2015).   More...

Melbourne a growing hub for global mining businesses
The Government has reaffirmed its support for the resources sector and has pledged to work with the industry to grow Melbourne as a hub for mining businesses and resource services in the lead up to the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) (30 July 2015).  More...

Fracking ban incites 'fear, concern' about coal seam gas, inquiry told
Successive Victorian governments have incited "fear and concern" in the community about coal seam gas exploration by imposing a lengthy ban on fracking, a parliamentary inquiry has been told (23 July 2015).  More...

Audit of cladding on high rise buildings
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) has announced it is taking a number of actions to address the use of non-compliant cladding on high rise buildings. The purpose of the audit is to identify where cladding has been used in a potentially non-compliant manner with the National Construction Code (23 July 2015).  More...

New South Wales

Historic orchard uprooted amid fears of toxic runoff from NSW gold mine
Tens of thousands of fruit trees will be bulldozed at the historic Wisbey's Orchards in NSW after concerns toxic runoff from a nearby gold mine will impact the water catchment (02 August 2015).  More...

NSW approvals drop 20% for apartments and non-residential buildings
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) June 2015 approvals for apartments and non-residential buildings in NSW have dropped 20% since February 2015, says the Urban Taskforce (30 July 2015).   More...

Solar energy giant chooses New South Wales
One of the world's largest renewable energy companies, SunEdison, has chosen New South Wales as the home of its new Australian base (29 July 2015).   More...

Queanbeyan property tests positive for loose fill asbestos
Another Queanbeyan property has tested positive for loose-fill asbestos as part of the New South Wales Government's free ceiling insulation testing program. The property is the 15th to test positive during the program and seventh from the local government area (28 July 2015).  More...


Queensland leads way on building approvals
Treasurer Curtis Pitt says that ABS figures released this week point to the continued strength of Queensland's property and construction sectors (31 July 2015).  More...

Public warning about trio's unlawful building activities
QBCC has issued public warnings about three people in relation to unlicensed and unlawful building work activity in Brisbane (31 July 2015).  More...

Powering up the local gas industry
Queensland's $60 billion gas industry has been given another boost following the completion of construction on a vital hub substation in the North West Surat Basin. The Yuleba North Substation will act as the central point for supplying power to six gas processing facilities owned by Santos GLNG and Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) (27 July 2015).  More...

Community voices to be heard on Queensland resources future
The Government is establishing a Community Ministerial Roundtable to give agricultural, landholder, conservation, Indigenous and community groups and local government a voice on resource issues. Its terms of reference include promoting innovation and technology adoption in the resources sector (24 July 2015).   More...

Echo consortium wins Queen's Wharf Brisbane prize
The Destination Brisbane Consortium - including Echo Entertainment - has won the right to develop the multi-billion dollar Queen's Wharf project in Brisbane's CBD. This decision will mark the largest staged construction development in Brisbane City since the evolution of South Bank (21 July 2015).  More...

PCA: Budget highlights infrastructure challenge
No new or increased taxes and renewed commitment to the first home owners' grant are applauded by industry, but funding infrastructure projects remains a challenge for the Queensland Government (21 July 2015).  More...

Changes to permanent exclusion of contractors
Significant changes have been made to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act in dealing with contractors or construction companies facing bankruptcy or insolvency (20 July 2015).  More...

New Plumbing Industry Regulator to be established
The new organisation will be called the Service Trades Council and will take over the plumbing and drainage regulatory responsibilities, while still operating under the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) framework (17 July 2015).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Australian Infrastructure Metric March 2015
Infrastructure Partnerships Australia. The average work won index for the first nine months of FY2014/15 was down significantly on FY2013/14, suggesting that public investment – while strengthening – will not offset the retreat in mining (30 July 2015).  More...

Australian leaders' retreat communiqué
Government of Australia: Council of Australian Governments. The 2015 COAG Leaders' Retreat issued a communique outlining the steps agreed to by the leaders in working towards major reform of Australia's Federation, with a focus on health, education, infrastructure and housing (23 July 2015).  More...

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Building Approvals, Australia, Jun 2015 (cat no. 8731.0) – 30 July 2015.

Practice and courts

NSW BPB: Residential apartments: certification changes from 17 July 2015
Amendments to the Environmental Planning and Assessment (EP&A) Regulation 2000 came into force on 17 July 2015 and relate to residential apartment developments (24 July 2015).  More...

QLD: Destination Brisbane Consortium – including Echo Entertainment
Site works are anticipated to commence in 2017 and run until 2022.  The scheme sets out the land uses, development criteria and infrastructure envisaged for the Queen's Wharf priority development area (21 July 2015).  More...  More...

QBCC Notices

Licensees suspended or cancelled - 19 July to 26 July 2015.  More...

Licensees excluded - 19 July to 26 July 2015.  More...

VIC: Better Apartments - A Discussion Paper
Comments are invited via the online survey or online submission form by 31 July 2015.


Basetec Services Pty Ltd v Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd (No 3) [2015] FCA 767
Paragraphs 32, 33, 160 and 194 of the Amended Statement of Claim are in the following terms: At all times from 24 October 2012 up to 23 November 2012 Leighton and Neil Flounders knew but did not disclose to Basetec ('the Silence') that the tender package did not accurately describe the true scope of the GRP Interconnecting works at Condabri and Reedy Creek. The respondent provide further and better discovery of the drawings and any documents providing the drawings to RPC Technologies Pty Ltd.  More...

Hancock v Conergy Pty Limited (in liquidation), in the matter of DCM Solar Pty Limited (in liquidation) [2015] FCA 738
CORPORATIONS – voidable transactions – insolvent transactions – whether deed entered into by parties and/or payments made giving effect to deed constitute unfair preferences. CORPORATIONS – leave to proceed against company in liquidation. Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) ss 9, 95A, 439C, 500, 513A, 513C, 588FA, 588FB, 588FC, 588FE, 588FF, 588FG; Federal Court Rules 2011 r 39.06. More...

Camporeale Holdings Pty Ltd v Mortimer Construction Pty Ltd & Anor [2015] QSC 211
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – REMUNERATION – STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OF PROGRESS PAYMENTS – ADJUDICATION OF PAYMENT CLAIMS – where the applicant seeks to set aside a statutory demand for payment of a claim adjudicated under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) – whether the payment claim was valid – whether the adjudicator had jurisdiction. CORPORATIONS – GENERALLY – CORPORATIONS LEGISLATION – where the applicant seeks to set aside a statutory demand for payment pursuant to s 459H of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) – where the applicant claims there is a genuine dispute and that it has an offsetting claim against the first respondent - whether there is adequate evidence of the offsetting claim.  More...

Marveldale Pty Ltd, Re [2015] QSC 208
BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – REMUNERATION – SUBCONTRACTORS' CHARGES ACT – where the applicant carried out work on a project pursuant to a subcontract with the first defendant – where the second defendant was the first defendant's employer – where the first defendant was placed into voluntary liquidation on 8 September 2014 – where, on 23 September 2014, the applicant issued a Notice of Claim of Charge to the first defendant under s 10 of the Subcontractors' Charges Act – where another subcontractor commenced proceedings against the defendants on 17 October 2014 without obtaining leave under s 500 of the Corporations Act – where the second defendant has paid into court a sum of money otherwise payable to the first defendant to satisfy claims under the Subcontractors' Charges Act – whether the applicant should be granted leave to commence proceedings against the first defendant under s 500 of the Corporations Act – whether the applicant has given a Notice of Claim of Charge pursuant to s 10 of the Subcontractors' Charges Act, within one month of the action of the other subcontractor being commenced – whether the applicant's charge has been extinguished under s 15 of the Subcontractors' Charges Act – whether 'notice' in s 12(3A) of the Subcontractors' Charges Act refers to a notice to an employer or a contractor.  More...

Grocon Constructors (Victoria) Pty Ltd v APN DF2 Project 2 Pty Ltd [2015] VSCA 190
BUILDING CONTRACT – Principles for construction of commercial contracts – Relationship between building contract and side deed – Meaning of phrase 'actual ... cost payable' – Judge erred in interpreting phrase as meaning 'costs actually paid' – Application for leave to appeal granted and appeal allowed. BUILDING CONTRACT – Principles for implying a term into a commercial contract – Judge erred in implying a term requiring builder to provide to principal documents evidencing payment to subcontractors. BUILDING CONTRACT – Principles for determining when a term of a contract is to be inferred – Judge correctly held that no term is to be inferred requiring builder to provide to principal documents evidencing payment to subcontractors.  More...

Idameneo (No 123) Pty Ltd v Ashraf [2015] VSC 317
CONTRACT — Construction — Performance — Breach — Frustration — Purported termination — Liability determined — Issues concerning damages deferred – Compulsory mediation ordered - Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic), ss 7(2)(c)(ii), 66(1); Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2005 (Vic), r 50.07(1). More...


New South Wales

Proclamations commencing Acts

Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Act 2014 No 79 (2015-419) — published LW 31 July 2015.

Fair Trading Legislation (Repeal and Amendment) Act 2015 No 12 (2015-442) — published LW 31 July 2015.

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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