Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - What's News - 14 September 2016

Last Updated: 21 September 2016
Article by Troy Lewis, Stephen Burton and Suzy Cairney

Most Read Contributor in Australia, December 2017

In the media – National

Four new business cases assess for an Infrastructure Priority List
Infrastructure Australia, the nation's independent infrastructure advisor, has updated its Infrastructure Priority List following the positive assessment of four business cases (12 September 2016). More...

July Housing Finance – better than it first looks
Latest ABS figures on housing finance highlight a sharper than expected fall in July 2016 which is not as bad as it looks, says the Housing Industry Association (09 September 2016). More...

Building company penalised for "blatant" discrimination against subcontractor
The Federal Circuit Court has this week published its decision to penalise lead contractor Hutchinson Builders and two of its employees a total of $29,175 for discriminating against a subcontractor who did not have an enterprise agreement with the CFMEU (02 September 2016). More...

Tax and workplace relations in building industry warrant early attention
Improving Australia's tax system and changing the toxic culture in the building and construction industry need to be key priorities for the new Parliament, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on 31 August 2016 (01 September 2016). More...

Building approvals reaffirm need for strong construction cop on the beat
The Government remains committed to re-establishing the ABCC and building code. The ABCC laws will ensure that Australia's building and construction industry is not hampered by unnecessary and costly industrial action, as well as bullying, intimidation and unlawful behaviour that promotes inefficiency and pushes up costs (30 August 2016). More (Hon Scott Morrison- Media Release)... More (Master Builders Australia)...

In the media – Victoria

Expert oversight for Victoria's infrastructure pipeline
The Andrews Labor Government has established the Office of Projects Victoria to oversee how major infrastructure projects are developed, contracted for and implemented (09 September 2016). More...

Construction booming in world's most liveable city
Melbourne's record breaking levels of residential development continue according to the City of Melbourne's latest Development Activity Monitor report. Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said there were 20,000 residential dwellings, 790 student accommodation beds and 1,080 hotels and serviced apartments under construction as at May this year (06 September 2016). More...

In the media – New South Wales

Housing supply boost - 10,000 new home sites
The New South Wales Government is boosting the State's housing supply by delivering new home sites on Government land over the last 18 months. The New South Wales Government's urban transformation agency UrbanGrowth NSW is charged with releasing land for delivery of a range of housing including terraces, townhouses and apartments from Government land holdings (10 September 2016). More...

Maximising benefits from the infrastructure boom
The New South Wales Government will ensure its record infrastructure investment provides new job opportunities for young people and helps existing workers learn new skills (06 September 2016). More...

New South Wales' housing approvals hit new high
Monthly housing approvals for July 2016 for New South Wales have hit an all-time high with 6,545 approvals. The apartment market is taking over New South Wales and Sydney housing numbers with 4,178 approvals in July, compared to a previous 2,367 house approvals (30 August 2016). More...

In the media – Queensland

New LNG operations facility to be constructed in Gladstone
Treasurer Curtis Pitt and Minister for Ports Mark Bailey have announced works are underway on a new marine operations terminal located on Gladstone Port Corporation land (09 September 2016). More...

North Queensland Stadium momentum builds with local survey work underway
Momentum continues to build for the North Queensland Stadium as local surveyors get to work on site ahead of two further Expressions of Interest being released next week for the $250 million project (09 September 2016). More...

Super solar boost to jobs and investment for Queensland
Queensland is set for a solar jobs bonanza following the Australian Renewable Energy Agency's announcement of support for six large-scale solar generation projects in Queensland (08 September 2016). More...

History in the making, our newest rail line gets its name
The newest rail link in South East Queensland, the Moreton Bay Rail Link (MBRL) Project, will be officially called the Redcliffe Peninsula Line on Queensland Rail's timetable when it comes into service on Tuesday, 4 October 2016 (07 September 2016). More...

Major expansion secured at Brisbane Airport's International Terminal
Laing O'Rourke has secured another key expansion project at Brisbane Airport, being confirmed as Managing Contractor for the International Terminal Building's Northern Concourse Expansion in Queensland (05 September 2016). More...

Queensland becomes national leader in smoke alarm legislation
Queensland households will be the safest in the country after new smoke alarm legislation was passed in Parliament last month (31 August 2016). More...

$100M Government-led housing construction in pipeline The Palaszczuk Government is backing in the state's building industry with $100 million worth of Government-led housing construction currently underway or set to commence (30 August 2016). More...


Housing, productivity and economic development
The research drew on international evidence assessing connections between housing and productivity and economic growth as well as interviews with economic development and housing practitioners in Victoria and Western Australia. More...

Construction Economics and Building, Volume Vol 16, No 3 (2016)
A study of best management practices for enhancing productivity in building projects: construction methods perspectives
A conceptual model of psychological contracts in construction projects
Construction insolvency in Australia: reining in the beast
Vectors of technical innovation delivery by small and medium Australian construction firms

Practice and courts

Infrastructure Australia: Infrastructure Priority List
The Infrastructure Priority List has been updated following the positive assessment of four business cases. The Infrastructure Priority List identifies nationally significant projects and initiatives in every state and territory. The updated Infrastructure Priority List is now available at (09 September 2016). More...

Consultation: GRESB Infrastructure Assessment
The GRESB Infrastructure Assessment, which offers a new global benchmark for the environmental, social and governance performance of infrastructure assets. Results will be published in October 2016.


Ocean Energy Construction Pty Ltd v Oceanlinx Limited (in liq) (Receivers and Managers Appointed) [2016] FCA 1055
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – security for costs – where plaintiff company impecunious – whether order for security would stultify proceedings.

Shade Systems Pty Ltd v Probuild Constructions (Aust) Pty Ltd [2016] NSWCA 234
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – stay of costs order pending appeal – expedition – reasonable prospects of success – issue of general importance - possibility that enforcement of costs order would stultify appeal. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – security for costs – respondent to show order against corporation would not stultify appeal – whether those standing behind company have means to provide security – application for adjournment – respondent seeking subpoenas to test statements as to lack of means of shareholders and directors.

Telvent Australia Pty Ltd v Acciona Infrastructure Australia Pty Ltd & Ors [2016] QSC 201
CONTRACTS GENERAL CONTRACTUAL PRINCIPLES – CONSTRUCTION AND INTERPRETATION OF CONTRACTS – INTERPRETATION OF MISCELLANEOUS CONTRACTS AND OTHER MATTERS – where the applicant gave the respondents an unconditional bank guarantee under a construction contract as a performance security – where the contract prohibited the applicant from taking steps to restrain the respondents by injunction from making a demand on the guarantee except to the extent the respondents took steps for the purposes of making the demand that were fraudulent or unconscionable – where the respondents made a demand on the guarantee – where the final relief sought was that the respondents be restrained by injunction from demanding or receiving payment under the guarantee – whether the respondents took steps that were fraudulent or unconscionable. EQUITY – EQUITABLE REMEDIES – INJUNCTIONS – INTERLOCUTORY INJUNCTIONS – SERIOUS QUESTION TO BE TRIED – where the contract permitted the respondents to have recourse to the guarantee at any time to the extent of any bona fide claim notified in writing – where over a year after practical completion and at a time when items included on minor defects lists had been resolved at close-out meetings, the respondents sent a letter setting out further claims – where the claims lacked particularity and were later reduced – whether there was a serious question to be tried that there was no bona fide claim and the respondents were not entitled to have recourse to the guarantee.
EQUITY – EQUITABLE REMEDIES – INJUNCTIONS – INTERLOCUTORY INJUNCTIONS – RELEVANT CONSIDERATIONS – BALANCE OF CONVENIENCE GENERALLY – where the contract provided for an unconditional guarantee upon which the respondents could make demand at any time – where the applicant submitted that it would suffer a loss of reputation for which damages would not be adequate compensation – whether there was a risk of reputational damage – whether granting an interlocutory injunction in the circumstances would be akin to granting final relief or deprive the respondents of the benefit of an unconditional guarantee – whether the balance of convenience favoured granting the injunction.

Maxcon Constructions P/L v Vadasz & Ors [2016] SASC 148
CONTRACTS - BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS - REMUNERATION - STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OF PROGRESS PAYMENTS - ADJUDICATION OF PAYMENT CLAIMS. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - JUDICIAL REVIEW - POWERS OF COURTS UNDER JUDICIAL REVIEW LEGISLATION - STAY OF PROCEEDINGS AND INTERLOCUTORY RELIEF. BANKRUPTCY - SCOPE AND POLICY OF LEGISLATION – GENERALLY. The plaintiff has demonstrated an arguable case on the application for judicial review. It is arguable on the material before the court that the adjudicator lacked the jurisdiction to make a determination pursuant to the Act on the basis that a construction contract did not exist at ([34] - [35]).

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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