Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 18 January 2016

In the media

ARENA selects 22 large-scale solar projects to take next step
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced the short-list of projects invited to progress to the next stage of its $100 million large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) competitive round (14 January 2016).   More...

Charges laid for Brazil dam collapse
Brazil's federal police say they will charge three mining companies, including Samarco and Vale, and seven executives of those firms with environmental crimes in connection with a deadly tailings dam breach last November (14 January 2016).  More...

Strengthening the Government's affordable housing agenda
The Commonwealth Government will establish a working group to investigate innovative ways to improve the availability of affordable housing. The Terms of Reference for the working group and an Issues Paper will be released before the end of January, along with a call for proposals from interested parties (07 January 2015).  More...

Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption – Final report released
The final report of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption has found there is a 'widespread' and 'deep-seated' culture of lawlessness among many union officials (30 December 2015).   More...

40% increase in certifications confirms sustainability is here to stay
The GBCA certified 218 Green Star projects in 2015, a 40 per cent increase on 2014 (16 December 2016).   More...

Victoria

Engineering cadets benefit from Major Projects Skills Guarantee
Ten per cent of the work on all Victorian funded Major Projects will be undertaken by apprentices, trainees or engineering cadets following the announcement of the Major Projects Skill Guarantee (14 January 2016).  More...

Warrant for arrest issued for convicted sham builder Michael Issa
The Acting Fair Trading Commissioner said Mr Issa had traded falsely through a number of company names including Instyle Developments and First Class Group NSW. Mr Issa has dishonestly caused financial disadvantage to his customers, by entering into a building contract he had no intention of honouring and without the appropriate building licences or home building compensation fund cover (07 January 2016).  More...

New South Wales

NSW housing approvals still at record highs
The NSW housing sector continues to go from strength to strength, confirmed by today's ABS housing approvals, which are the sixth-consecutive month of record-breaking figures. Official ABS data showed there were nearly 66,500 homes given the green light in the year to November in NSW – the highest result on record (07 January 2016).  More...

NSW breaks construction record for 2014 2015
Planning Minister Rob Stokes welcomed figures showing a record $34 billion worth of construction was approved last financial year, driving economic growth and supporting jobs through a simpler, streamlined planning system (20 December 2015).  More...

Queensland

Building Approvals skyrocket in SEQ
Queensland regional building approvals are operating at two speeds, with South-East Queensland recording positive results and much of the rest of the state experiencing a slowdown during November (15 January 2016).   More...

First shipment from Australia Pacific LNG project
Queensland's LNG industry passed another milestone today with the first shipment from the $US24.7 billion APLNG project destined for Asia (11 January 2016).   More...

Security for subcontractor payments a step closer
Queensland's subcontractors are closer to being better protected from non-payment, with the Palaszczuk Government today releasing the Security of Payment discussion paper (17 December 2015).   More...

Published

Royal commission into trade union governance and corruption
John Dyson Heydon; Attorney-General's Department (Australia) Report
Royal Commissioner John Dyson Heydon AC QC delivered his final report on the Commission's national inquiry into trade union governance and corruption to the Governor General on 28 December 2015.  More...

Progress in Australian Regions—Yearbook 2015
The new Progress in Australian Regions—Yearbook 2015 identifies trends across Australia's regions tracking social, economic, environmental and governance indicators (23 December 2015).  More...

The Dangers of Poorly Conceived Building Law
Professor Kim Lovegrove, January 15th, 2016
Reforming jurisdictions often look to other jurisdictions as models for legal and microeconomic reform.  This is an established law reform methodology, but nevertheless is attended by considerable danger if the reforming jurisdiction fails to carry out thorough due diligence on that which purports or is sometimes "spruiked" as being best practice.  More...

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Engineering Construction Activity, Australia, Sep 2015 (cat no. 8762.0) – 13/01/2016.

Building Approvals, Australia, Nov 2015 (cat no. 8731.0) – 07/01/2016.

Practice and courts

Infrastructure Australia: CEO's newsletter January 2016
The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Major Projects, Territories and Local Government has issued a new Statement of Expectations to Infrastructure Australia for 1 November 2015 to 30 June 2017. The Department has responded to the Minister with the new Statement of Intent, released publicly on 12 January 2016.  More...

Better Apartments Public Engagement Report
The State Government has released a summary of key findings from its flawed engagement on the internal design and amenity of new apartments. The  Better Apartments Public Engagement Report tables feedback to a discussion paper released in mid-2015, which invited comments on various issues affecting amenity such as daylight, sunlight, outlook, space, natural ventilation, noise, outdoor space, adaptability, landscape, universal design, energy and resources, waste, car parking and entry/circulation (December 2015).

Cases

BlueScope Steel Limited v Somanchi [2016] FCA 4
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – ex parte application before the start of proceeding for orders in the nature of a Search Order, and order prohibiting use of certain identified material – allegation of misuse of confidential material by Prospective Respondent, being former employee of Prospective Applicant – strongly arguable case demonstrated – prohibiting order made – order in nature of Search Order not made as sought – order requiring delivering-up of identified material made; issue of inspection deferred to future inter parties hearing.  More...

Nichols Constructions Pty Ltd v Mt Marlow Pty Ltd & Anor [2016] QSC 001
PROCEDURE – SUPREME COURT PROCEDURE – QUEENSLAND – PROCEDURE UNDER THE UNIFORM CIVIL PROCEDURE RULES AND PREDECESSORS – SUMMARY JUDGMENT – where the respondent entered into a loan agreement with a company – where the second defendant was the sole director and shareholder of the company – where the loan agreement was secured by a mortgage debenture given by the company to the respondent – where the second defendant also gave an irrevocable authority as to the disposition of proceeds of sale of properties being sold by the first defendant – where the company did not repay the loan – where the respondent commenced proceedings alleging breaches of contract by the defendants – where the statement of claim alleges misleading or deceptive conduct in making the irrevocable authority – where damages claimed are measured in the amount as if the proceeds of sale were received – where the applicants apply for summary judgment or alternatively a strikeout of relevant paragraphs in the amended statement of claim – whether summary judgment should be granted – whether the amended statement of claim should be struck out -  plaintiff is a construction  company the  second defendant approached  the  plaintiff seeking funding  for  a  construction  project  at Laidley.  More...

AJ Lucas Operations Pty Ltd v Gladstone Area Water Board & Anor [2015] QCA 287
CONTRACTS – GENERAL CONTRACTUAL PRINCIPLES – FORMATION OF CONTRACTUAL RELATIONS – AGREEMENTS CONTEMPLATING EXECUTION OF FORMAL DOCUMENT – WHETHER CONCLUDED CONTRACT – where the appellant and the respondents were negotiating to try and settle a dispute between them about the termination of a joint project for the construction of water and sewerage pipelines between Gladstone and Curtis Island – where the primary judge made a declaration that the parties had entered into a binding contract – where the appellant argues that the parties did not intend to be bound before the formal execution of the deed of settlement – where the appellant argues that no offer capable of acceptance was made by the respondents – where the appellant argues that the acceptance of the final offer by the CEO of the appellant was not on the precise terms of any earlier offer – where the appellant argues that the representatives of the respondents did not have authority to bind the respondents and could not have made an offer capable of acceptance by the appellant – whether there was an intention to be bound by the parties – whether an offer capable of acceptance was made by the respondents – whether there was a difference between the terms of the final offer and the earlier oral agreement – whether the parties entered into a concluded agreement.  More...

Gambaro Pty Ltd as Trustee for the Gambaro Holdings Trust v Rohrig (Qld) Pty Ltd; Rohrig (Qld) Pty Ltd v Gambaro Pty Ltd [2015] QCA 288
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – REMUNERATION – STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OF PROGRESS PAYMENTS – OTHER MATTERS – where the contractor served a payment claim pursuant to the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) – where the principal only paid a portion of the claim – where an adjudicator appointed under BCIPA subsequently made an adjudication decision that the amount to be paid by the principal to the contractor was greater than what had been paid – where the principal paid this amount – where the principal commenced proceedings for a declaration that it was not liable for this amount and an order for restitution of the difference – where the principal argued that because the adjudicated amount exceeded the total of the amounts assessed by the superintendent in prior progress certificates it was unjust for the contractor to retain the excess – where the object of BCIPA is to ensure that building contractors are entitled to receive and recover progress payments – where ss 99 and 100 of BCIPA prohibit the contracting out of the provisions of BCIPA – where BCIPA contemplates that a statutory payment might differ from the contractual payment – whether the object of BCIPA was exhausted upon the payment of the adjudicated amount by the principal – whether the contractor was liable to repay the adjudicated amount.  More...

Monadelphous Engineering Pty Ltd & Anor v Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Pty Ltd [2015] QCA 290
CONTRACTS – BUILDING ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – THE CONTRACT – CONSTRUCTION OF PARTICULAR CONTRACTS AND IMPLIED CONDITIONS – OTHER MATTERS – where the respondent contracted the appellants' firm to perform construction work in relation to the construction of a coal export terminal – where the respondent purported to call on bank guarantees to secure performance of its contractual obligations – where the appellants claimed that the contract was governed by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (Qld) such that the respondent was precluded from calling upon the guarantees – where the primary judge found that the contract was not a "building contract" for the purposes of the Act – where the primary judge relied upon an earlier decision of this Court – where that decision considered the meaning of "building works" and "building contract" under the Act – whether that decision was wrong and should be overruled.  More...

Kalabakas v Chubb Insurance Company of Australia Ltd [2015] VSC 705
INSURANCE —Insurance contracts —Non-disclosure and misrepresentation — Whether relevant matters were 'known' to insured —Knowledge of insured's agent of relevant matters —Matters relevant to decision of insurer —Whether non-disclosure or misrepresentation was fraudulent —If non-disclosure or misrepresentation not fraudulent, whether insurer entitled to reduce its liability to nil — Insurance Contracts Act 1984, ss 21(1), 26, 28 — Permanent Trustee Australia Limited v FAI General Insurance Company Limited (in liq) [2003] HCA 25; 214 CLR 514 — Twenty-First Maylux Pty Ltd v Mercantile Mutual Insurance (Australia) Ltd [1990] VicRp 81; [1990] VR 919.- insurer of CGB was ordered to pay an amount of about $400,000 to the Newlands and $80,000 to Mr Ratcliffe as a result of the property being designed in such a way that it was structurally  defective  and should have been demolished.  More...

Winyu Pty Ltd v King & Anor[2015] ACTSC 387
JUDICIAL REVIEW – Adjudication decision under the Building and Construction Industry (Security of Payment) Act 2009 (ACT) – payment claim brought outside prescribed period – adjudication decision found invalid – no issue of principle.  Building and Construction Industry (Security of Payment) Act 2009 (ACT) s 15.  More...

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