Australia: Residential Focus - 14 February 2018: Part 2

Last Updated: 19 February 2018
Article by Christine Jones, Stefanie Dunnicliff and Divya Chaddha
Most Read Contributor in Australia, March 2019

In the media

Raising the bottom line: New report finds opportunities in new homes
Simple energy efficiency improvements in new housing stock can slash energy bills, cut Australia's emissions by 10.8 million tonnes, and deliver comfortable and resilient homes, finds a new report. The Bottom Line – Household impacts of delaying improved energy requirements in the Building Code, has been developed by the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) and ClimateWorks Australia (08 February 2018). More...

ASBEC: Expert report: Improve home energy standards or risk bigger bills, more emissions
Implementing changes in the report now could deliver Australians savings of up to $150 per household per year on energy bills, with savings more than offsetting additional capital costs. It could also deliver more comfortable homes, reduce stress on the electricity grid, and cut emissions by around 10.8 million tonnes to 2050 (08 February 2018). More...

New South Wales

New tool to empower homeowners
A new online tool was officially launched by the NSW Government today that will help protect homeowners against uninsured and unlicensed building work. Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello said HBC Check will enable homeowners to independently verify if any building or renovation work over $20,000 has a valid insurance certificate (09 February 2018). More....

Second phase of Social and Affordable Housing Fund opens
The NSW Government has officially opened the Expressions of Interest for the second phase of its Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF), which will deliver up to 1,200 additional social and affordable homes (07 February 2018). More...

Be fire-safety aware: Campaign commences for residents of apartment buildings with cladding
The Fire Safety and External Wall Cladding Taskforce will launch an advertising campaign aimed at residents and tenants of high-rise apartment buildings in NSW that may have cladding installed. The new laws require dangerous building products to be located and removed (06 February 2018). More...

Consumers warned: do not deal with Matthew Rixon
Consumers should not deal with unlicensed building contractor Matthew Rixon who's been permanently banned from working in the home building industry, Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said today (02 February 2018). More...

NSW housing approvals continue to soar
Housing approvals across the state continue to soar with over 70,000 home approvals granted in 2017, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) (01 February 2018). More...


Australian Bureau of Statistics
01/02/2018: Building Approvals, Australia, Dec 2017 (cat no. 8731.0).

The Bottom Line: The household impacts of delaying improved energy requirements in the Building Code
Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) and ClimateWorks Australia (Interim Report) February 2018. The full report will be released in early 2018.
The report finds that simple energy efficiency changes – such as sealing air leakages, installing ceiling fans in warmer climates, and improving insulation in cooler climates – could cut energy consumption for heating and cooling by up to 51 per cent across a range of housing types and climate zones. More...

Practice and courts

ABCB: NCC 2016 Volume One Amendment 1
The Amendment preview and Evidence of Suitability handbook are now available. Accompanying the preview is a summary of changes, the Consolidated Performance Requirements preview and a new Evidence of Suitability Handbook. NCC 2016 Volume One Amendment 1 is scheduled for adoption by all States and Territories from 12 March 2018.

ABCB: NCC 2019 Public Comment Draft is now available
The consultation period for proposed changes for NCC 2019 is now open and the ABCB is seeking your feedback. Full details of the changes are provided in the NCC 2019 Public Comment Draft. Feedback should be submitted using the NCC response sheet and uploaded to the online form located on the ABCB website. Submissions close 13 April 2018 (08 February 2018). More...

ABCB: NCC 2019 Public Comment Draft addendum
An addendum has been issued for NCC 2019, Volume One - Version 1.1 (08 February 2018). More...

Registration is now open for the 2018 NCC Information Seminars
In February and March 2018, a representative from the ABCB will be coming to a capital city near you. Don't miss out on your opportunity to hear about the following BCA initiatives: NCC 2016 Volume One amendment addressing fire safety; NCC 2019 public comment draft; The improved CodeMark scheme; and The practical development and assessment of Performance Solutions. Register here...

Economics References Committee Inquiries
Non-conforming building products
Status: Submissions Closed Date Referred: 11 October 2016. Reporting Date: 30 April 2018.

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.

New South Wales

NSW BPB: 5-minute survey about our services
Building Professionals Board invites you to complete an anonymous, 5-minute survey about their accreditation, investigation and advisory/education services (05 February 2018). 5-minute survey about our services

NSW BPB: Approved E1 CPD activity worth 6 hours
The Board has approved the University of Technology to deliver a continuing professional development (CPD) activity worth 6 CPD hours for E1 certifiers (31 January 2018). More...

HBC Check
HBC Check will enable homeowners to independently verify if any building or renovation work over $20,000 has a valid insurance certificate. HBC Check also protects licensed builders and tradespeople against unfair competition and weeds out unscrupulous operators. The HBC Check includes details of more than 460,000 projects (09 February 2018). More...

Proposed Reforms for Buildings with Combustible Cladding
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) has released a package of proposed reforms requiring owners to: register their building/s with the NSW Government and engage an expert to do a fire risk assessment of the cladding. The package is on exhibition until 16 February 2018. More...


Roberts v Morphett Constructions Pty Ltd [2018] NSWCATAP 33
Appeal – Home Building – dispute clause in contract – whether clause had been complied with – clause imposes no substantive requirement – no basis for stay of proceedings – Leave to appeal – interlocutory decision to refuse an adjournment – no error of principle – Content of contract – issue of fact – no error.

B & M Mitchell Pty Ltd v Mikell Investments Pty Ltd & Divlist Pty Ltd t/as Contemporary Homes [2018] NSWCATAP 35
Appeal dismissed. Building contract – fixed price – cost plus. Applicants are builders that brought proceedings for payment by the respondent (the homeowner) of an amount said to be owing under a home building contract. Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (NSW); Civil and Administrative Tribunal Rules 2014 (NSW).

Rockwall Constructions Pty Ltd v Nayak (No 2) [2018] NSWCATAP 32
1. A hearing on costs is dispensed with pursuant to s 50(1)(c) of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013.
2. Rockwall Constructions Pty Ltd is to pay Srinivas Nayak and Deepti Nayak's costs of the appeal, on the ordinary basis until 25 April 2017 and on an indemnity basis thereafter.
COSTS – r 38A – successful party – indemnity costs.
Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act; Civil and Administrative Tribunal Rules 2014; Home Building Act 1989; Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014.

Deacon v National Strategic Constructions Pty Ltd; National Strategic Constructions Pty Ltd v Deacon (No 2) [2018] NSWCATAP 31
COSTS – cl 38A – indemnity costs. Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013; Civil and Administrative Tribunal Rules 2014; Home Building Act 1989.

Singh v Verdi Group Pty Ltd [2017] NSWCATCD 94
Home Building – Breach of Contract – misleading and deceptive conduct. Competition and Consumer Act (2010); Fair Trading Act 1987; Home Building Act 1989 (NSW).

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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