Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 7 June 2016

In the media – National

A five-point plan puts sustainable buildings, communities and cities within our grasp
The GBCA's plan outlines the policies that can drive down emissions while enhancing productivity, liveability and sustainability in our cities (01 June 2016). More...

MBA: Building approvals defy expectations
Building approvals are up for the second month in a row off the back of increases in units – proof that there's still no sign of waning demand for units. According to the latest ABS figures, April approvals for units increased by 20.1 per cent over the month from 2,336 to 2,806 (seasonally adjusted) – up 22.5 per cent over the year (01 June 2016). More...

$1.5 million tall timber buildings research grant awarded
Hyne Timber, in partnership with the University of Queensland, has welcomed the announcement of more than $1.5 million funding for tall timber buildings research (31 May 2016). More...

Lack of awareness and limited disposal options contributing to national illegally dumped asbestos problem
A report commissioned by the national Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency has shone a light on the cost to the community of illegal dumping of asbestos (31 May 2016). More...

Cyclone resilience in the north
The James Cook University Cyclone Testing Station, with support from the Queensland Government and Suncorp, recently commenced the Resilient Residence project. The project will target homes built before 1982, when more stringent requirements were adopted as part of the Building Code of Australia to prevent wind and cyclone related damage to homes (26 May 2016). More...

Huge risks for off-the-plan apartment buyers
A businessman who lost more than $15 million in an off-the-plan penthouse purchase is warning ordinary apartment buyers to be aware they can lose much more than their deposit if they break the contract (26 May 2016). More...

Industry bodies call for infrastructure spending commitment
Eight infrastructure and construction industry bodies have joined forces to call on political parties to make a commitment to maintaining long-term infrastructure spending ahead of the July election (25 May 2016). More...

ACCI warns Australia's living standards are in jeopardy without budget repair
Major business lobby group the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry warns living standards in Australia are in jeopardy without significant budget repair (25 May 2016). More...

In the media – Victoria

Blueprint for better regional public transport released
The Victorian Government today released the first ever long-term strategy for public transport in regional Victoria. The Regional Network Development Plan (RNDP) sets out a short, medium and long-term plan for more trains, improved stations and better bus and coach services (30 May 2016). More...

Australian Energy Regulator issues final decisions for Victorian electricity distributors
The Australian Energy Regulator has announced its final decisions on revenues for the five businesses that run Victoria's electricity networks. The cost of running these electricity networks makes up between 20 and 40 per cent of electricity bills in Victoria (26 May 2016). More...

In the media – New South Wales

Boost to housing pipeline: Home approvals jump by 10 per cent
NSW's housing supply will soon receive a big boost after the ABS confirmed that building approvals rose by more than 10 per cent in April – extending the string of recent record highs (31 May 2016). More...

Newcastle Light Rail needs integrated mindset
Engineers Australia is urging changes to the final design of the proposed Newcastle Light Rail to ensure the project contributes to an effective integrated transport system (27 May 2016). More...

Urban Taskforce: Intergenerational report highlights the need to change urban structures in New South Wales
The Intergenerational Report released by the New South Wales Treasurer highlights major changes over the next 40 years that will affect our urban areas, says the Urban Taskforce (26 May 2016). More...

In the media – Queensland

Construction starts on $170M Fortitude Valley tower creating more than 1,300 jobs
Acting Premier Jackie Trad has turned the first sod on a $170 million office tower on Brisbane's city fringe, which is set to support more than 1,300 local construction jobs across the next two years (03 June 2016). More...

Queensland triples solar ambition for clean energy future
The Palaszczuk Government has tripled its election commitment in providing long-term financial support to up to 120 megawatts of installed large-scale solar generation (01 June 2016). More...

Queensland records highest building approvals growth in Australia for April
In another encouraging sign for the Queensland Economy, we have recorded the highest growth in building approvals in April of any State and are above the national growth rate Treasurer Curtis Pitt said today (31 May 2016). More...

Published

Securing renewables: How batteries solve the problem of clean electricity
The Australia Institute: Dan Cass; 31 May 2016
As batteries become more widespread, this will answer the final objection to vigorously developing our clean energy resources.

ACI Construction Brief: Interest rates: more reductions on the way?
Insights into the effect of the RBA interest rate cut at the beginning of May, the eleventh such reduction since rates started coming down in late 2011, with the Official Cash Rate down to an all-time low of just 1.75 per cent, which is well below the 3.00 per cent trough reached during the depths of the GFC in 2008 (23 May 2016).

Building and Construction Law Journal update: May 2016
The latest Part of the Building and Construction Law Journal includes the following article: "The procurement decision – John Cooper and Greg Begaud". Also in this Part is an Editorial; Book Reviews; a Speech; and Reports on the following cases: Gregory Paul Saville v Hallmarc Construction Pty Ltd; and Lewence Construction Pty Ltd v Southern Han Breakfast Point Pty Ltd.

In practice and courts – National

Subcontractors cannot be required to enter into specific enterprise agreements
Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC) has become aware that at least one building contractor in Victoria appears to be making it a requirement for its subcontractors to enter into the proposed draft CFMEU Enterprise Agreement (31 May 2016). More...

In practice and courts – New South Wales

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2016

New South Wales Loose-fill asbestos insulation regulatory amendments
Additional requirements for managing loose fill asbestos insulation are now in place and more will take effect this year, including a requirement for councils in relation to section 149 certificates. More (Finance, Services & Innovation NSW)... More (Fair Trading NSW)...

In practice and courts – Queensland

2016 Major Project Series launch in Brisbane
In Brisbane on 12 July for the launch of the Department of State Development launches the 2016 Major Projects Series. With guest speakers from The Star Entertainment Group, hear first-hand about how Queensland businesses can access new markets and opportunities for the $3 billion Queen's Wharf Brisbane Integrated Resort Development.

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. More...

Cases

Ottoway Engineering Pty Ltd v Westpac Banking Corporation [2016] FCA 635
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – application for an interlocutory injunction to restrain the respondent from having recourse to a bank guarantee – whether bank guarantee should be construed as a performance bond by way of bank guarantee or as an ordinary commercial guarantee – construction of the bank guarantee – whether there is a serious question to be tried – whether balance of convenience favours granting injunction Australian Consumer Law (Sch 2 to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010) (Cth) ss 18, 20 It is common ground, at least for the purposes of this application, that Ottoway and Bluenergy entered into a building contract for the performance of building work by Ottoway for Bluenergy.

SSC Plenty Road Pty Ltd v Construction Engineering (Aust) Pty Ltd [2016] VSCA 119
BUILDING CONTRACTS – Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 ('the Act') – Whether a contractual provision in the relevant construction contract that mandates attendance of the parties at mediation is a 'method of resolving disputes' for the purposes of s 10A(3)(d)(ii) of the Act – Purpose of the Act considered – Whether adjudicator valued work in accordance with the Act – Valuation task of adjudicator under the Act considered – Whether terms of construction contract void under s 48 of the Act for inconsistency with the Act.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Judicial review – Determination of an adjudicator appointed under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 – Whether error of law amounting to jurisdictional error – Whether adjudicator is bound to adopt pricing by the superintendent. STATUTORY INTERPRETATION – Construction of legislation to be borne out by its context – CIC Insurance Ltd v Bankstown Football Club Ltd (1997) 187 CLR 384.

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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