Australia: Construction & Infrastructure News - 12 March 2018

Last Updated: 16 March 2018
Article by Troy Lewis, Stephen Burton, Suzy Cairney, Stephen Natoli, Kyle Siebel, Scott Alden, Christine Jones and Helena Golovanoff

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2018

In the media – National

Who is responsible for balcony collapses?
On several occasions after first leasing a residential property in the New South Wales suburb of Collaroy in 2005, architect Joanne Gillies had complained to her landlord and the landlord's managing agent about the structural integrity of her balcony (09 March 2018). More...

RBA shines spotlight on planning regimes
The Reserve Bank of Australia released a Research Discussion Paper today on The Effect of Zoning on House Prices, which reports that zoning raised detached house prices 73 per cent above marginal costs in Sydney, 69 per cent in Melbourne, 42 per cent in Brisbane and 54 per cent in Perth (08 March 2018). More...

HIA: Apartment boom rolls on
Building Approval results were released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and report that new apartment approvals were up by 5.5 per cent during the three months to January 2018. Over the year to January 2018, new apartment approvals totalled 106,000 a very high level by historic standards (05 March 2018). More...

Why regional sourcing makes sense for building projects
When it comes to sourcing materials for a building project, thinking local can have huge benefits, including sustainability wins, greater transparency around compliance and enhanced financial flexibility (05 March 2018). More...


Banning combustible cladding in Victoria
Minister for Planning Richard Wynne today released new ministerial guidelines to building surveyors – a key recommendation of the Victorian Cladding Taskforce – which focuses on buildings where people sleep or gather. The new ministerial guidelines spell out precisely what can't be used on Victorian building sites for suppliers and practitioners in the building chain, spelling an end to the use of dangerous, flammable materials (10 March 2018). More...

Melbourne's West Gate Tunnel planning revoked
Planning approval for Melbourne's West Gate Tunnel toll road has been revoked in state parliament and work on the project has stopped (09 March 2018). More...

Registration scheme introduced for engineers in Victoria
The Victorian State Government will be introducing a mandatory registration scheme for engineers, which according to them, will be giving Victorian engineers an edge. The new scheme will ensure highly-qualified and experienced engineers develop and oversee the State's most important projects – including the Metro Tunnel, West Gate Tunnel and the Level Crossing Removal Project (09 March 2018). More...

Victoria leads the nation on building approvals
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data released this week shows Victorian building approvals reached a record high of $40 billion in the 12 months to January 2018. In the construction sector, both residential and non-residential building approvals contributed to Victoria's extraordinary growth of 22.3 per cent in the 12 months to January – the highest growth of all mainland states (08 March 2018). More...

Land use Victoria proceeds to deliver infrastructure boost
The Andrews Labor Government's record infrastructure program is set to receive a boost from the commercialisation of the land titles and registry functions of Land Use Victoria. The government will shortly issue an Expression of Interest to proceed with the transaction, with proceeds going towards the record investment in the State's transport infrastructure (07 March 2018). More...


Case Study – Barangaroo Fire – March 2018
This case study draws on the circumstances related to a major fire incident at the Lendlease Barangaroo South Construction Project in March 2014. More...

Australia's identified mineral resources 2017
Geoscience Australia; Government of Australia: 05 March 2018
This assessment provides useful long-term indicators of potential resource life and future supply capability. Its broad outlook should assist with government policy decisions, as well as programs and planning associated with the minerals sector and the sustainable development of Australia's mineral resources. More...

Housing affordability: Re-imagining the Australian dream
John Daley, Brendan Coates, Trent Wiltshire; Grattan Institute: 04 March 2018
Building an extra 50,000 homes a year for a decade could leave Australian house prices 5 to 20 per cent lower than they would be otherwise, and stem rising public anxiety about housing affordability, according to this Grattan Institute report. More...

Clean, reliable power: roadmap to a renewable future
Andrew Stock, Petra Stock, Greg Bourne, Louis Brailsford; Climate Council of Australia: 02 March 2018
This Climate Council roadmap outlines how Australia can cut its rising greenhouse gas pollution levels, while continuing the transition to clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage technology. More...

New South Wales

Check the cladding on your apartment building is fire safe
The New South Wales Government is working to address the fire safety risks associated with external wall cladding in high-rise buildings and has developed and started implementing a co-ordinated, whole of government policy response (09 March 2018). More...

City of Sydney pushes for a net zero office sector
Increased building standards, mandatory disclosure of NABERS tenancy ratings and increased amounts of renewables are being pushed by the City of Sydney in a bid to get office buildings to net zero by 2050 (06 March 2018). More...

HIA: Be prepared for blitz on falls
From 1 November 2017 SafeWork New South Wales inspectors will have the power to issue on the spot fines of up to $3,600 to corporations and $720 to individuals for breaches relating to falls from heights. Fines may be issued where risk to workers is imminent or serious, or if the workplace is considered to be a repeat offender (02 March 2018). More...

New South Wales Green Star brand caught up in waste scandal
New South Wales construction waste sent to Queensland for recycling is instead ending up dumped in landfill, a Fairfax investigation this week has revealed, raising fears that the practice could compromise the legitimacy of NSW Green Star ratings (01 March 2018). More...


Brisbane Queen's Wharf construction starts
Construction on Brisbane's Queen's Wharf development will officially begin on Thursday, more than a year after the project started (09 March 2018). More...

GE starts Coopers Gap wind farm construction
GE has commenced the construction of the Coopers Gap Wind Farm with a sod turning ceremony earlier last month. Upon completion in 2019, the 453 MW wind farm will produce approximately 1,510,000 MWh of renewable electricity annually. It will be the largest wind farm in the country on completion, and GE's first wind project in Queensland (09 March 2018). More...

Palaszczuk Government securing payment for subbies
The Palaszczuk Government's landmark building industry fairness reforms mark an important milestone today with the commencement of Project Bank Accounts (PBAs) as part of the Building Industry Fairness Act (08 March 2018). More...

Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project ready for take-off
Sunshine Coast Council's largest construction project will now get underway, with council today announcing John Holland has been awarded a contract worth around $225 million (08 March 2018). More...

Solar farm forums shed light on new planning guidelines
New planning and community engagement guidelines are in development to guide Queensland's solar farm boom, says the Queensland state government. Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said with 17 large-scale solar farms under construction across the state and another 40-plus potentials, specific planning guidelines were needed (07 March 2018). More...

Practice and courts

'Think Big' Regional Australia—the Regional Growth Fund is now open
The Australian Government's highly anticipated $272 million Regional Growth Fund is officially open for applications from across regional Australia. All interested parties are encouraged to apply by 27 April 2018. For more information on the program, including the guidelines and application process, please visit (01 March 2018). More...


QBCC: Security of Payment - Project Bank Accounts
Phase One of PBAs will begin on State Government funded projects valued between $1 million and $10 million (including GST), from 1 March 2018. PBAs will need to be established by head contractors for each project. They will be required to open three trust accounts, a general account, a retention account and one for any amount of money subject to a dispute. PBAs will not apply to engineering and infrastructure projects including bridges, roads and ports, unless 'building work' makes up 50% or more of the contract value. For more information on the responsibilities of each party to a PBA, visit the Department of Housing and Public Works series of guidelines here. More...


Andriotis v Victorian Building Authority [2018] FCAFC 24
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Mutual Recognition Act 1992 (Cth), Part 3, mutual recognition of occupations –appeal from decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal affirming the decision of the local registration authority – where the applicant, a registered waterproofer in New South Wales, applied for registration as a waterproofer in Victoria – whether the applicant was entitled to registration in Victoria – whether registration authority was entitled to take account of the applicant's "good character" in an assessment of the application for registration – where s17(2) provides for an "exception" to the mutual recognition principle for operation of laws which "regulate the manner of carrying on" an occupation – where s17(2)(b) provides a qualification to that exception that those laws may not relate to the "possession of some qualification" relating to "fitness to carry on" the occupation – whether "good character" is a qualification engaging s17(2)(b) – "good character" is a qualification according to the natural and ordinary meaning of "qualification" – nothing in the context and purpose of the provision requires a meaning other than the natural and ordinary meaning of "qualification" to be employed – whether the Tribunal retained a residual discretion to refuse under s20(2) – s20 not concerned with refusal – registration authority had no power to refuse application on any ground other than those contained in ss23(1)(a)–(b) – registration authority not entitled to separately consider applicant's "good character" – appeal allowed. Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth) ss43, 44; Building Act 1993 (Vic) ss1, 4, 169, 170, 176, 179, 193, 197. Mutual Recognition Act 1992 (Cth) ss3, 4, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 33, 34; Building Regulations 2006 (Vic) reg 1503, Sch 7; Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997 (NZ) s15.

Fulton Hogan Construction Pty Ltd v Cockram Construction Ltd [2018] NSWSC 264
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – judicial review – grounds of review – whether an adjudicator failed to provide adequate reasons under Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) s22(3)(b). ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – prerogative writs and orders – certiorari – whether discrete aspects of a determination affected by jurisdictional error can be severed and quashed. INTERPRETATION – whether an adjudicator's determination under Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) s22(1) is an instrument under Interpretation Act 1987 (NSW) s32.

Trinco (NSW) Pty Ltd v Alpha A Group Pty Ltd [2018] NSWSC 239
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – Building and Construction Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) – whether adjudication determination valid – whether payment claim made on or from a reference date – where subcontract was terminated – where subcontract did not provide for reference dates after termination – whether work was completed under the subcontract or under a separate and later subcontract – whether a payment claim comprising work under two construction contracts is valid – adjudication determination quashed.

Shade Systems Pty Ltd v Probuild Constructions (Aust) Pty Ltd [2018] NSWCA 33
PROCEDURE – release of funds paid into Court – Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) – unsuccessful appeal to High Court of Australia – stay of recovery of progress payment on terms that progress payment be paid into Court – whether proceedings should be remitted to Equity Division or progress payment released to successful High Court respondent.

NSW Commissioner for Fair Trading v Rixon (No. 4) [2018] NSWSC 1
CONTEMPT OF COURT – sentencing – breach of consent orders preventing conduct with respect to residential building work – plea of guilty to knowingly breaching orders in five respects – contempt committed during period of suspended prison sentence imposed for a similar breach of the same orders – aggravating factors - no demonstration of remorse – high likelihood of reoffending – significance of both specific and general deterrence – no penalty other than fulltime imprisonment appropriate. Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW); Home Building Act 1989 (NSW); Home Building Regulation 2014 (NSW); Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW).

Enpresionante Pty Ltd v Australian Securities Ltd & Anor [2018] VSC 87
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Summary judgment – whether plaintiff has real prospects of success on its statement of claim – where events subsequent to the filing of the statement of claim mean that the plaintiff has no real prospects of success – Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic), ss62 and 63 – Lysaght Building Solutions Pty Ltd v Blanalko Pty Ltd [2013] VSCA 158; (2013) 42 VR 27 – application for summary judgment allowed.
Enpresionante and ASL entered into an agreement or agreements whereby ASL agreed to provide finance to Enpresionante to complete the building works and ASL took a registered mortgage over the Property. By notices dated 4 May 2016, ASL gave notice to Enpresionante that it was in default of the finance agreement and to Ridgecon that it was in default under the building contract and the finance agreement, as a result of not completing the works under the building contract within a reasonable time or in accordance with the plans and specifications.

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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