Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 9 May 2016

In the media - National

Performance Construction Index shows first growth in 5 months

Mixed signals are emerging from the construction sector with renewed vigour in larger infrastructure projects, but a significant fall in activity in housing and apartment work (06 May 2016) More...

Building surge drives construction prices higher

Tender prices in the construction sector throughout Australia are rising at their fastest pace in many years as massive levels of investment in apartments and infrastructure put contractors in a strong bargaining position, especially in eastern states (06 May 2016)  More...

Perth Airport expansion problems leave sub-contractors unpaid

A multi-million-dollar legal battle is brewing over delays and cost blowouts on the Perth Airport expansion as dozens of sub-contractors are left thousands of dollars out of pocket (05 May 2016) More...

IPA: 2016/17 Federal Budget

The Federal Budget shows that just a few billion in Commonwealth funding incentives to state governments has unlocked more than $20 billion through asset recycling (03 May 2016) More...

Weak regulation allowing asbestos-laden building materials to slip into Australia: report

Glaring weaknesses in regulations and border protection issues are allowing building products contaminated with potentially deadly asbestos into Australia, a Senate committee has warned. (04 May 2016) More...

Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility passes the Parliament

Legislation to establish the Government's $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) has passed the Parliament enabling it to commence from July (04 May 2016)  More...

Engineers Australia: Infrastructure for the new economy

Australia must deploy a radically different approach to the way we plan for our future infrastructure needs, according to the National Infrastructure Investment Update 2016 released by Engineers Australia (02 May 2016) More...

GBCA: Smart cities are sustainable cities

The Australian Government's new Smart Cities Plan can drive investment in projects that improve the sustainability of our cities (29 April 2016) More...

$50bn 'investment-banking style' unit to fund transport projects

Malcolm Turnbull is promising an investment-banking style "innovative financing unit" to devise funding deals for multibillion-dollar transport projects as part of a grand plan to reduce commuting time and make Australian cities more livable (28 May 2016)

In the media - New South Wales

Getting the flight paths right for Western Sydney Airport

The Turnbull Government has determined, based on community feedback received to date, that the single merge point over Blaxland as illustrated in the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will not be part of the airspace plans for a Western Sydney Airport (06 May 2016)  More...

Developers to offer design collaboration with community through 'urban pinboard'

When developers plan new housing projects in the future, they might go directly to locals to explain their schemes, and show sketches of what they'll look like, to receive community feedback before going anywhere near council (29 April 2016)  More...

In the media - Queensland

Cutting red tape to drive productivity in Queensland's construction industry

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and the Palaszczuk Government are slashing red tape for the Queensland construction industry with the announcement today business will no longer have to apply for permits to move cranes or special purpose vehicles on state-controlled roads (05 May 2016) More...

Construction jobs boost in Queensland's largest suburban renewal project

In a major boost to apprenticeships and construction jobs, work has commenced on the biggest stage of Queensland's largest suburban renewal project (29 April 2016) More...

Population growth underlines need to create and plan for jobs

Treasurer Curtis Pitt says the latest forecasts showing Queensland's population could reach close to seven million in the next 20 years underlines the importance of all levels of government working together to plan for growth and create jobs (26 April 2016)  More...

Cross River Rail plan set to slash travel times by 15 minutes

Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has said all funding options are on the table. He has also pointed to the number of jobs the project is expected to create, as well as the benefits that would be delivered to businesses near new stations (26 April 2016)  More...

In the media - Victoria

Protecting Victorians from powerline-related bushfires

Victorian electricity companies will have to introduce world-first technology that will halve the risk of powerlines starting bushfires, under new safety regulations that come into effect this week (05 May 2016) More...

Victorian Budget 2016/17

Victorian Budget has delivered a strong, ambitious and positive infrastructure agenda with a focus on Metro Rail that has been welcomed by the nation's infrastructure sector (04 May 2016)  More...

Proactive inspections team visit site of North Melbourne wall collapse

The Victorian Building Authority's Proactive Inspection team is working with WorkSafe inspectors to understand how a wall collapsed at a North Melbourne building site on 20 April (02 May 2016)  More...

Positioning Victoria as a State of next century cities

The Victoria Government's Budget will help to underpin our future as a State of successful next century ready cities, according to Engineers Australia with significant transport and infrastructure funding outlined (28 April 2016)  More...

Arrested development: Melbourne city height limits lowered

The Andrews government is moving to permanently restrict the heights developers can build to in the city. It will introduce new laws dictating that a developer who wants to build to the borders of their site can only go to 18 floors (26 April 2016) More...

Published

Engineers Australia: Infrastructure in the 2016 Budget

This Policy Note compares infrastructure allocations in the 2016 budget, and compares them to the allocations in the last three budgets (05 May 2016) More...

State of the states: April 2016 economic performance report

Commonwealth Securities: 2 May 2016

Analyses eight key indicators: economic growth; retail spending; equipment investment; unemployment; construction work done; population growth; housing finance and dwelling commencements.  More...

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Building Approvals, Australia, Mar 2016 (cat no. 8731.0) (03 May 2016)

Practice and courts

Smart cities plan

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Australia)

Turnbull Government plan representing a new framework for cities policy at the federal level, that will guide action across various portfolios, to deliver better outcomes for our cities (29 April 2016)  More...

Current Senate Enquiries

Select Committee on Unconventional Gas Mining

Unconventional Gas Mining

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2016

New South Wales

Register loose fill asbestos properties

Property owners whose homes have been affected by loose-fill asbestos insulation have until August to register with the Fair Trading Loose-Fill Asbestos Insulation (LFAI) taskforce.  More...

Queensland

Regional projects in spotlight at 2016 Major Projects Series

The department's regional offices are hosting a series of Regional Major Projects Forums throughout 2016 that focus on important issues and challenges in specific regions. The full 2016 event schedule Regional Major Projects Forums is now available, so join us and be sure to put these dates in your business diary.

Victoria

Building Regulations have been extended

On Tuesday 16 February 2016, the Governor made the Subordinate Legislation (Building Regulations 2006) Extension Regulations 2016, which extends the operation of the Building Regulations 2006 until 5 June 2017.  More...

Cases

Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Pty Ltd v Monadelphous & Ors [2016] QSC 096

ESTOPPEL – ESTOPPEL BY JUDGMENT – ISSUE ESTOPPEL – APPLICATION OF ESTOPPEL TO WHAT MATTERS – MATTERS NOT DIRECTLY ADJUDICATED ON – where the parties contracted to construct a coal export terminal including an offshore wharf and a jetty road connecting the shore to the wharf – where construction of the wharf and jetty was to commence at the same time, and all labour, plant and equipment would be supplied over water until the jetty road was complete – where completion of the jetty road was delayed – where the respondents served payment claims under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) ("Payments Act") and several adjudication decisions were made – where the respondents made claims in both Payment Claim 34 and Payment Claim 38 relating to delay and disruption costs that included increased labour, plant and transportation required for two hours each day, and were calculated using a similar methodology – where the claim for such delay or disruption costs in Payment Claim 34 was withdrawn from the adjudication decision for that payment claim – where claims relating to the additional period of delay as a result of being unable to access the wharf work front via the jetty road were made in Payment Claim 34 and Payment Claim 38 – where the earlier claim sought an extension of time whereas the later claim did not, and also different rates, number of hours per day and periods were used to calculate the claims – where the earlier claim was disallowed in the adjudication decision because of a lack of jurisdiction – where claims were made in Payment Claim 34 and considered in the adjudication decision for that claim relating to inclement weather causing delay and a further inclement weather claim was included in Payment Claim 38 for an overlapping period - whether an issue that was essential to an earlier adjudication decision was re-agitated such that an issue estoppel available under the Payments Act arose

ESTOPPEL – ESTOPPEL BY JUDGMENT – ANSHUN ESTOPPEL – PARTICULAR CASES – where both parties accepted that an Anshun estoppel was available to preclude a claim under the Payments Act – where the respondents made claims in Payment Claim 34 and Payment Claim 38 relating to delay and disruption costs that raised largely the same issues - where the relevant claim in Payment Claim 34 was withdrawn by the respondents from the adjudication decision for that claim – where the respondents made claims as a result of being unable to access the wharf work front via the jetty road in both Payment Claim 34 and Payment Claim 38 that related to different periods of time – whether it was unreasonable for the respondents not to have raised such claims in an earlier payment claim, such that they are precluded from doing so

PROCEDURE – SUPREME COURT PROCEDURE – QUEENSLAND – JURISDICTION AND GENERALLY – GENERALLY – where both parties accepted that where there is an abuse of process under the Payments Act an order may be made staying the process of an adjudication decision or enjoining a claimant from proceeding upon an adjudication application – where several claims in Payment Claim 38 were re-agitated, or allegedly re-agitated, in the sense that they were either the same as or similar to previous claims that had already been adjudicated upon – where the respondents did not include some of the re-agitated claims in the adjudication application – where the applicant submitted that it was an abuse of the processes of the Payments Act to serve and pursue Payment Claim 38 and so require them to respond to those claims that were not included in the adjudication application – whether the duplication was sufficient to take Payment Claim 38 outside the meaning of a "payment claim" under s 17 of the Payments Act – whether there was alternatively a discretionary procedural power or supervisory jurisdiction for the Supreme Court to interfere where there is an abuse of the Payments Act's processes More...

Landmark Building Services Pty Ltd v Tsekouras & Ors [2016] VCC 501

Building contract – Payment claim under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) – Reference date under the contract for a "final claim" – Whether defective or incomplete work meant that the works had not reached completion – Whether construction work the subject of the final claim sufficiently identified. More...

UBM Plastering Pty Ltd & Anor v. Idevelopment Group Pty Ltd [2016] VCC 458

Building contract – Payment claims – Conflicting evidence as to the identity of the parties to the "construction contract" to whom the claims related –  Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002  (Vic) – Grave v Blazevic Holdings Pty Ltd [2010] NSWCA 324 followed. More...

Legislation

Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2016

Introduced with the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Bill 2016, the bill amends the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation Act 1991 to enable the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation to: assist the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility; assist, on agreement, the states and territories; and charge fees to the facility and the states and territories for the services it provides in performing its functions for them.

(Read a third time, passed all stages Finally passed both Houses 02 May 2016; Assent Act no: 42 Year: 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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