Australia: Construction & Infrastructure - Whats News – 12 April 2017

Last Updated: 16 April 2017
Article by Troy Lewis, Stephen Burton, Suzy Cairney, Stephen Natoli, Christine Jones, Scott Alden, Kyle Siebel and Helena Golovanoff

Most Read Contributor in Australia, December 2018

In the media – National

Where is Australia's Construction Strategy?
Since the Australian construction industry directly employs over 1.1 million people and since every $1 million invested creates about nine jobs in the construction industry and 37 jobs in the economy as a whole, it is critical to Australia's social fabric and well-being and Australia's future economic prosperity (06 April 2017). More...

Building boom surprisingly resilient, while retail sales disappoint
Australia's record-breaking building boom rolls on, with a further increase in construction approvals during February, however the retail sector continues to struggle (03 April 2017). More...

HIA: Population growth underpins strong housing demand
ABS building approvals data again showed building activity firmly anchored in Sydney and Melbourne (03 April 2017). More...

Leaking buildings, mould and court battles: The dark side of the apartment boom
As apartments are built at a breakneck pace along Australia's east coast, experts fear a coming glut of problem buildings that cannot keep the rain out will trap many buyers in legal limbo (31 March 2017). More...

Lyon Solar to build world's biggest solar and battery storage plant with or without tender
One of the companies that said it was better placed than Tesla to deliver a 100MW battery storage system for South Australia has announced it is going ahead (30 March 2017). More...

Australian Digital Built Environment Principles
The Australian Digital Built Environment Principles (Principles) released this week, mark an important step in the adoption of digital technologies to improve the design and operation of our cities and infrastructure. The Principles are a policy tool created within a technical context that enable stakeholders to focus on those actions that will help to ensure the delivery of long term benefits (30 March 2017). More... More...

In the media – Victoria

Victoria's West Gate Tunnel needed, must go well
The appointment of preferred contractors to deliver Victoria's West Gate Tunnel Project sees Melbourne's vital second river crossing becoming a reality – and it's an important project for Victoria's reputation - says Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (06 April 2017). More...

Melbourne's City Square closed for Metro Tunnel works
Melbourne's City Square has closed to allow for construction to begin on the biggest public transport project in Victoria's history, the Metro Tunnel. By 2022, City Square will be returned to the City of Melbourne as public open space, with an entrance to the new station underneath. The Metro Tunnel Project will be complete by 2026 (05 April 2017). More...

Watersun Homes administrators find companies to complete half of unfinished homes
Half of the homeowners caught up in the collapse of a Victorian building company will now have their homes completed by alternative builders, administrators say (27 March 2017). More...

In the media – New South Wales

New South Wales housing approvals still at all-time highs
Housing approvals in New South Wales have continued at near-record highs according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data, in a further sign the New south Wales Government's commitment to boost housing supply is delivering results (03 April 2017). More...

Sydney's housing crisis needs strong actions to maximise supply
With indicators showing a slow-down in housing approvals in Sydney some strong actions are needed to boost supply and help with affordability, says the Urban Taskforce (28 March 2017). More...

In the media – Queensland

Wivenhoe Dam $900m facelift considered to prevent flood disaster
Seqwater is considering a massive upgrade of Wivenhoe Dam that could raise the dam wall by 4 metres in a bid to prevent a "rare" catastrophic flood event in Brisbane in the future (05 April 2017). More...

Boost for frontier exploration in North West
Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said seven mineral and resource companies had gained more than $600,000 in total to support drilling projects for copper, lead, zinc, silver and gold (05 April 2017). More...

Deadline extended for infrastructure funds
Councils have an extra three weeks to lodge applications for the Palaszczuk Government's $375 million Building our Regions program to give them time to recover from Tropical Cyclone Debbie (05 April 2017). More...

"Jewel" construction project ramps up with 2,500 Gold Coast jobs
2,500 workers who will gain jobs and employment opportunities through the $1 billion "Jewel" residential tower project on the Gold Coast. Locally designed by Gold Coast architect Barry Lee, of DBI Design, and being built by Australian construction company Brookfield Multiplex, Jewel will be Australia's largest hotel and residential complex (04 April 2017). More...


ACI Construction Brief
27 March 2017 - Update: Last week the first HIA Renovations Roundup for 2017 was released. This is the most comprehensive quarterly update regarding renovations activity available in Australia. More... More...

Retirement of coal fired power stations: final report
Senate Environment and Communications References Committee: 29 March 2017
This report recommends that the Australian government, in consultation with industry, community, union and other stakeholders, develop a mechanism for the orderly retirement of coal fired power. More...

Black system South Australia 28 September 2016: final report
Australian Energy Market Operator: 28 March 2017
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has published its fourth and final incident report into the South Australian (SA) state-wide power outage (referred to as the 'SA region Black System). More...

Australian Bureau of Statistics
29/03/2017 - Engineering Construction Activity, Australia, Dec 2016 (cat no. 8762.0).

Demand, deposits, debt: Housing affordability in Sydney
Briefing Paper No 1/2017 by Chris Angus: 03 April 2017
This paper presents the issue of housing affordability in Sydney in three parts. More...

Practice and courts


ABCC Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016
The Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 applies to companies who wish to undertake Commonwealth-funded building work. Building industry participants covered by agreements made prior 2 December 2016 have until 29 November 2018 to ensure their agreements are Code compliant.

Senate Inquiry Update
Non-conforming building products
Status: Accepting Submissions; Date Referred: 11 October 2016; Submissions Closed: 01 December 2016; Reporting Date: 25 May 2017.


QBCC Connections – April 2017
In this issue: Smart forms give licensees convenience, speed and flexibility; Tradies podcast; High-wind events and garage doors; Do you really want to surrender your licence? A single swimming pool standard; Brisbane South PIPE (Plumbing Industry Panel and Expo). More...

Queensland Building Plan: discussion paper
The government would be rolling out a comprehensive consultation program through early 2017 with public consultation sessions right across the state. The Queensland Building Plan discussion paper and information about the consultation can be found at More...


VBA: Invitation to comment on Draft Australian Standard on Stormwater drainage
Standards Australia is inviting all interested people to comment on the draft Australian Standard for AS/NZS 3500.3 Plumbing and drainage - Stormwater drainage (30 March 2017). More...


Mineralogy Pty Ltd v Sino Iron Pty Ltd [2017] FCAFC 55
CONTRACTS – construction – power of private parties to create rights inconsistent with legislative and regulatory regimes – alleged variation by subsequent contracts of contractual terms contained in formal deed – where subsequent contracts do not refer expressly to the term allegedly being varied – importance of context and nature of variation – breach of contract – construction and validity of termination notices.
ESTOPPEL – estoppel by convention – requirements for an estoppel by convention – whether estoppel by convention can apply to future rights and future conduct – test for causation and connecting links. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – joinder of necessary parties – failure by Mineralogy to join a directly interested party, the State of Western Australia, as a party to the proceedings. Government Agreements Act 1979 (WA) ss 2, 3

El-Bayeh v Bayeh t/as JARS Engineering & Contracting Services [2017] NSWSC 322
CONTRACT – project management of construction of warehouse – proper construction of agreement – whether defendant failed to exercise reasonable care and skill in project management – whether defendant should have procured plaintiff to apply for relevant consents earlier – whether defendant caused delay to project; EVIDENCE – admissibility – expert report – whether conclusions reached based on expert knowledge – whether expert's reasoning process disclosed – where to admit report would result in prejudice to defendant; LIMITATIONS – whether part of plaintiff's claim statute barred – whether complaint was that defendant failed to perform a single act capable of determination – whether defendant's alleged breaches of contract were made repeatedly; DAMAGES – whether plaintiff had proved damage by loss of chance to lease premises earlier.

Skyworks v 32 Drummoyne Road [2017] NSWSC 343
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – freezing order – whether there is a good arguable case – whether there is a risk of removal or dissipation of assets - danger that a prospective judgment will be unsatisfied – whether evidence supports such a finding – Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW), r 25.11, 31.27, 26.17. Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW); Home Building Act 1989 (NSW); Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW).

Fitz Jersey v Atlas Construction Group [2017] NSWSC 340
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 – whether adjudicator had jurisdiction – PROCEDURE – application for summary dismissal – application for discovery – application to amend the summons and technology and construction list statement – no question of principle.

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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