Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 30 March 2016

Last Updated: 1 April 2016
Article by Troy Lewis, Stephen Burton and Janelle Kerrisk

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2017

In the media

Latest GBCA partnership to boost healthy building in Australia
The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) will collaborate with the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) to promote good health and wellbeing in the design, construction and operations of buildings, fitouts and communities in Australia (24 March 2016).   More...

Australian Infrastructure Metric
The December quarter Australian Infrastructure Metric forecasts a construction recovery ahead, led by major transport infrastructure projects in New South Wales and Victoria, according to data produced by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) (21 March 2016).   More...

Northern Australia Infrastructure facility moves ahead
The Government has introduced legislation to establish the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF), a centrepiece of the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia (17 March 2016).   More...

Housing construction to fall sharply over the next two years
The Housing Industry Association expects new home building activity will begin to slowly decline in the latter part of 2016, before falling sharply in 2017 and 2018 (16 March 2016).   More...

New South Wales

City of Sydney to provide more creative space by easing building regulations
A new plan championed by the City of Sydney aims to support creative enterprises by allowing old buildings to be transformed into creative spaces. New Ideas for Old Buildings is on public exhibition until 29 April (22 March 2016).   More...


Queensland's infrastructure spending too important for grandstanding
Queensland's Deputy Premier Jackie Trad says $35 billion worth of planned infrastructure spending – including $500 million in new funding – is too important to be used for political grandstanding by the crossbench (18 March 2016).   More...


Victorian building permits top $29 billion in 2015
At almost $30 billion, Victoria has just recorded its biggest year ever for the value of building work reported to the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) (23 March 2016).   More...

Trial looks to space to help detect water leaks
Technology developed to search for water on other planets could benefit the Victorian Water Industry, with a trial now under way to test its capacity to detect leaking water mains (16 March 2016).  More...

Charges laid following EPA investigation into Hazelwood mine fire
The EPA has charged a number of companies with air pollution offences under the Environment Protection Act following a comprehensive investigation into the Hazelwood mine fire which started on 9 February 2014 (15 March 2016).   More...


IPA: Australian Infrastructure Metric - December Quarter 2015
The December 2015 quarter maintained strong levels of civil construction work won;
underpinned by strong roads and gas-related investment. However, headline work won
continues to be held down by vanishing investment in the mining sector (21 March 2016).   More...

Practice and courts

ABCB NCC Seminars 2016
The national seminars, running in February and March 2016 are presented by the ABCB and Standards Australia. These seminars will be held in each Australian capital city and will provide valuable information to building and plumbing practitioners on the changes included in the NCC 2016, which comes into effect on 1 May 2016. Visit the ABCB website.

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans

Queensland: New adjudication qualification course starts April 2016
A three day course will be delivered by Contract Administration Group Pty Ltd.   More...

Queensland: Have your say on the Security of Payment discussion paper
The Security of Payment discussion paper has now been released and is available for detailed feedback. This aims to improve security of payment for subcontractors in the building and construction industry. Submissions close on 31 March 2016.   More...


Queensland Nickel Pty Limited v Commonwealth of Australia [2016] FCA 290
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – amendment of pleadings – where amendment raises a separate cause of action – meaning of 'action on the case' – express or implied threat by Government Authority – causation of damage
Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) ss 472, 477, 506, 1321
Corporations Regulations 2001 (Cth) regs 5.6.23, 5.6.47, 5.6.49, 5.6.50, 5.6.63, 5.6.65.  More...           

Thiess Pty Ltd v Dobbins Contracting Pty Ltd [2016] NSWSC 265
NEGLIGENCE – duty of care – application of ss 5B and 5D of Civil Liability Act – whether Second Defendant owed duty of care to the Plaintiffs – where Second Defendant followed instructions of senior worker – where Second Defendant found to have exercised such duties with reasonable care and diligence – no breach of duty by Second Defendant – causation does not arise   CONTRACT – breach of contract – whether Second Defendant breached express or alleged implied terms of the contract – whether course of dealing existed to give effect to those terms – court held implied term of contract that Second Defendant would exercise reasonable care and skill in undertaking work under the contract – determination of breach of contract unnecessary as liability falls under ss 5B and 5D of Civil Liability Act   BAILMENTS – bailment for reward – whether employees take constructive possession of excavator – in circumstances of the case bailment not made out – each employee was taking a necessary safety precaution, not asserting a possessory right.   More...

QNI Resources Pty Ltd & Anor v Sino Iron Pty Ltd & Ors [2016] QSC 062
PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEDURE IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – PLEADINGS – STRIKING OUT – DISCLOSING NO REASONABLE CAUSE OF ACTION OR DEFENCE – where the plaintiffs allege that the defendants' refusal to make payments to a related corporation constituted unconscionable conduct under s 21 of the Australian Consumer Law – where the plaintiffs allege that the refusal, and consequent lack of payment to the plaintiffs by the related corporation, prevented the plaintiffs from converting some of their plant and thereby saving costs – where the costs savings not made were claimed as loss or damage – where the defendants apply to strike out the claim and statement of claim – whether the plaintiffs' allegation of unconscionable conduct is adequately supported by the pleaded facts that could reasonably support inferences of the alleged motives, intentions or other conditions of mind – whether the loss or damage claimed by the plaintiffs is recoverable as loss or damage suffered "because of" the contravening conduct.  More...

BM Alliance Coal Operations Pty Ltd & Ors v BGC Contracting Pty Ltd [2016] QSC 055
PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – PLEADINGS – STRIKING OUT – DISCLOSING NO REASONABLE CAUSE OF ACTION OR DEFENCE – where the plaintiff owner entered into a contract with the defendant contractor to construct an earthworks dam – where the plaintiff terminated the contract – where the plaintiff's claim is for damages for breach of contract and repudiation – where the plaintiff alleges it is necessary to rectify the defendant's breaches of the contract specified in the statement of claim and claims the costs of rectification as loss and damage – where the defendant applies to strike out paragraphs of the plaintiff's statement of claim on the basis that the paragraphs failed to assert a causal nexus between the alleged breaches and the items of loss or damage – where the plaintiff relies on the application of the "ruling principle" for the assessment of damages for breach of contract – whether sufficient material facts are pleaded by the plaintiff to support the cause of action for damages for breach of contract.  More...

Griffin v VWA & Ors [2016] VSC 101
NEGLIGENCE – Contribution between defendants – employee on building site – contribution between employer, head contractor and subcontractors – scope of duty owed by head contractor and subcontractors – contract between defendants – breach of statutory duty – apportionment between defendants – contribution from other tortfeasors – Wrongs Act 1985 (Vic) Part IV.  More...

Krongold Constructions (Aust) v SR & RS Wales [2016] VSC 94
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Judicial review – Adjudication Determination under Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) – Whether Adjudication Determination reviewable for jurisdictional error
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) – Payment claim – Whether construction work sufficiently identified – Whether adjudication application made pursuant to the Act.  More...



Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Bill 2016
A Bill for an Act to establish the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility
(Registered 18 Mar 2016; Introduced HR 17 March 2016).  More...

Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2016
A Bill for an Act to deal with consequential matters arising from the enactment of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Act 2016 (Registered 18 March 2016; Introduced HR 17 March 2016).  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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