Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's news - 1 September 2015

In the media

Mining downturn leads bigger than forecast fall in business investment
Australia's capital expenditure falls more than expected, with a steep fall in mining construction to blame, leading one analyst to label it recessionary (27 August 2015).   More...

Is Australia Heading for a Construction Trade Shortage?
Around Australia, concern is growing about a long-term shortage of skilled construction tradespeople amid fears not enough apprentices are being trained to replace retiring workers and meet growth in demand for new labour (26 August 2015).  More...

CFMEU Chiefs Besieged By Criminal Allegations
Australian law enforcement authorities have launched multi-state investigations into alleged criminal conduct by some of the senior-most members of the CFMEU (26 August 2015).  More...

Builders want inquiry into union corruption to continue if Dyson Heydon quits
Former Liberal Party leader John Hewson says Dyson Heydon might need to resign to preserve the integrity of the Royal Commission Into Trade Union Governance and Corruption. Justice Heydon will make his ruling on an ACTU application for him to disqualify himself (24 August 2015).  More...

Government vows to continue fight for return of construction watchdog
The Federal Government vows to keep fighting for the re-establishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission, after it fails to reintroduce the body (17 August 2015).  More...

New South Wales

Have Your Say On Security Of Payment Laws In The Building Industry
Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe is inviting the building industry to participate in a new online survey on security of payment laws. The purpose of this survey is to find out what areas of the Act are of interest to industry groups and their members and will include topics such as recovery of progress payments and adjudication of disputes (28 August 2015).  More...

$100 million infrastructure upgrades for the Murrumbidgee and Murray
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment Bob Baldwin has announced the shortlisted applications for the latest round of funding under the Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Programme (PIIOP) in New South Wales (21 August 2015).  More...

Santos Leewood Project
The NSW Division of Resources and Energy has approved, with conditions, an application by Santos for a water management project known as the Leewood Produced Water Treatment and Beneficial Re-use Project (20 August 2015).   More...

Queensland

Funding security and relationships among top priorities
Securing more funding for critical projects, lobbying for permanent infrastructure programs and forging stronger ties with State and Federal Governments are among the top priorities for Queensland's local councils over the next year (26 August 2015).   More...

Construction to start on major Cape York road upgrade
Work will start this week to upgrade a 29 kilometre section of the Peninsula Developmental Road north of Coen on Cape York Peninsula, as part of the Australian and Queensland government's $260 million Cape York Region Package (26 August 2015).  More...

Industry survey reflects construction & building upswing in QLD
Master Builders' latest Survey of Industry Conditions for the June 2015 quarter shows business confidence in the Queensland economy and the building and construction industry is on the upswing, after a fall in the last quarter (24 August 2015).  More...

Victoria

Labor Government Fixing Schools And Building The Education State
More than 150 public schools will share in $27 million to fix ageing buildings and infrastructure, Minister for Education James Merlino announced today (17 August 2015).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Outcomes Of The Building Ministers Forum 27th August 2015
The Forum made progress on a range of building matters, including strategies to minimise the use and risk of building products that don't conform to relevant state/territory building laws, and ways to limit local government interventions that set standards for building and plumbing that are over and above the National Construction Code or state regulations. BMF Communique that outlines the outcomes which can be now.  More....

How to Improve Construction Productivity
The construction industry is a major contributor both directly and indirectly to the Australian economy. It is an industry that employs around 1 million Australians, and had turnover of $233 billion in 2013-14, equating to 14 per cent of GDP. Yet the construction industry in Australia commonly wastes over 30 per cent of its efforts (28 August 2015).  More...

Arbitration: Final and Binding
Arbitration is an established feature of dispute resolution in the construction sector. The point many fail to appreciate is that if arbitration is identified as the dispute resolution process of choice in a contract, an arbitrator's "final award" is usually just that – final ( 28 August 2015).  More...

Practice and courts

$100 million "leaky building" class action against James Hardie gaining momentum
More than 1,400 "leaky building" owners have registered to join a $100 million class action suit against the James Hardie Group of companies, seeking compensation for damages caused by the cladding manufacturers faulty products. Those registered for 'The Plaster Cladding Class Action' come from as far as Britain and Australia, but the majority of the registered are New Zealand-based.  More...  More...

New Safety Standards in Building

NSW BPB:  Have your say about proposed certification and building regulation reforms
Submissions close at 5pm on 21 September 2015.  More...

VIC: Tenders invited for Midland Highway—Doyles Road Intersection Upgrade
Tenders have been called for a $7.5 million roundabout upgrade project in Shepparton East. The roundabout and approach will be upgraded to two-lanes, to increase traffic capacity and improve access and safety (21 August 2015).  More...

VIC: VBA Mail 21 August
Expanding the National Construction Code to include on-site gasfitting; ESV warning about non-compliant fire-resistant boards; What is protection work; Accreditation update for home energy rating software; Upcoming EPA inspections; Victorian compliance certificate activity for June 2015.  More...

Cases   

Illawarra Retirement Trust v Denham Constructions Pty Ltd [2015] NSWSC 1173
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – adjudication determinations – whether adjudicator failed to decide an essential element of contractor's claim – where principal claimed liquidated damages for delay, and took cash security to set-off those damages – where contractor claimed that extent of delay was reduced by extensions of time that it was or should have been allowed – where an earlier adjudication determination had found that principal's entitlement to liquidated damages was nil – where that position was re-affirmed in the present adjudication determination – result that it was unnecessary to decide contractor's submission as to extensions of time – consequence that adjudicator decided all that was necessary for the determination under review – alternative issue estoppel argument does not arise   BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – adjudication determinations – error of law on the face of the record – unavailability as a ground of review for determinations of adjudicators   BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – adjudication determinations – whether enforcement of statutory right can be restrained by permanent injunction – whether superintendent's certificate later issued, determined final rights of parties – where that certificate issued under a contractual clause which discharged liability only in relation to termination itself – whether liability in other respects discharged – consequence that both the statutory right to enforce the adjudication determination, and the contractual right to enforce the superintendent's certificate, remain available to the parties.  More...

H K Developments Pty Ltd v Carter [2015] QCAT 297
BUILDING – where the builder issued a progress claim for payment – where owner failed to pay the progress claim – where builder suspended the works – where owner terminated the contract – where the builder seeks final payment for completed building work and variations – where owner alleged practical completion not reached.  More...

Commercial Industrial Construction Group Pty Ltd v King Construction Group Pty Ltd & Anor [2015] VSC 426
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) - Application for judicial review of a determination of an adjudicator – Application for writ of certiorari to quash a decision of an adjudicator – Jurisdictional error – Error of law on the face of the record – Adjudication set aside – Validity of payment claim – Calculation of reference date for payment claim – Payment claim served more than once in respect of reference date – Right to progress payment – Whether work required to be done since preceding reference date – Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) application of ss 9(1), 9(2), 14(8), 14(9).  More...

Other

Adapt Constructions Pty Ltd v Whittaker and Luff [2015] ACTSC 188
CONTRACTS – Building, Engineering and Related Contracts – defective building work – damages – whether cost of demolition and rebuild reasonable – liquidated damages – rate of liquidated damages for delay 'zero' – whether intended to exclude claim for unliquidated damages for delay – procedural fairness – natural justice – credibility of witnesses.  More...

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