Australia: Construction & infrastructure news update 26 March 2018

Last Updated: 3 April 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

55 sustainable investment options for a brave new world
Produced by the UN Global Compact, a new report is based on a survey and consultation with more than 17,000 business leaders across five continents. The construction industry – with constructed objects accounting for 25-40 per cent of the world's carbon emissions and a large percentage of total solid waste – is targeted for action (22 March 2018). More... More...

Australia needs better regulation for building certifiers
"They are in a very difficult position because, on the one hand, they have been given a responsibility to protect the public interest — that is, the regulatory — and, on the other hand, they have been given a commercial relationship with the client," noted Australian Building Codes Board general manager Neil Savery before the Senate Inquiry into Non-Conforming Building Products (21 March 2018). More...

Business conditions at record high despite sluggish economy
Last week's GDP numbers may have been sub-par but business is happy, as higher sales and profits boost conditions to a record high, according to the NAB (13 March 2018). More...

In the media – Victoria

Shovels in the ground for MREP an Australian first
Melbourne Renewable Energy Project partners and Pacific Hydro will today celebrate the official start of construction on a new 80 MW wind farm in Crowlands, near Ararat. The wind farm will provide electricity to 14 leading organisations which have combined their purchasing power to support the development of new renewable energy infrastructure in regional Australia (23 March 2018). More...

Builder deregistered, disqualified and fined $15,000 for 21 breaches
The Victorian Building Authority has deregistered, disqualified and fined a registered building practitioner $15,000 for 21 breaches of the Building Act (20 March 2018). More...

Goulburn Valley receives major regional jobs and funding boost
Businesses, jobseekers and workers in the Goulburn Valley are the big winners from the announcement of successful projects under the Australian Government's Regional Jobs and Investment Package (16 March 2018). More...

Victorian infrastructure investment reached $4.7bn over last six months
The Victorian Government has reported that its economy is strong, growing and well equipped to meet current and future challenges according to their 2017-18 Mid-Year Financial Report. Net infrastructure investment for the general government sector totalled $4.7 billion over the six months, up $700 million on the previous period (16 March 2018). More...

In the media – New South Wales

Call for submissions on cladding
NSW Fair Trading Commissioner, Rose Webb, has today called for public submissions about whether a building product use ban is warranted on certain types of external cladding. This is the first time a call for submissions about building product safety has been made in New South Wales since the new Building Product Safety Act was passed by Parliament last December (23 March 2018). More...

New South Wales infrastructure vision released
State Premier Gladys Berejiklian released the New South Wales State Infrastructure Strategy, the state's Future Transport Strategy 2056 and the Greater Sydney Region Plan. For the first time, these plans were developed together to deliver important long-term outcomes for the future (18 March 2018). More...

In the media – Queensland

Brisbane's Eagle Street to be transformed under 'city-shaping' proposal
Development company Dexus proposes to resume parts of Eagle Street in order to build a new waterfront hub, with two new towers and about 1.5 hectares of public space (23 March 2018). More...

Solar trial shines on local communities
Almost 500 public housing households in Lockhart River, Cairns and Rockhampton are hooked up to clean energy, and saving money, under a Palaszczuk Government's solar energy initiative (22 March 2018). More...

Collaboration leads to lower-cost, quality infrastructure
Queensland's Department of Transport and Main Roads has partnered with the Australian Road and Research Board (ARRB) to research and develop solutions for improving the state's roads and pavements (21 March 2018). More...

Anti-Adani protesters say $80k in fines 'out of balance' with miner's $12k pollution penalty
Protesters who shut down part of Adani's north Queensland coal port have questioned why they were collectively fined almost $80,000 — more than six times what the mining company faces for dumping coal-polluted water (16 March 2018). More...

Void of high rise to be filled by housing
Master Builders Deputy CEO, Paul Bidwell said the latest building approvals data from Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) painted an optimistic picture for the Sunshine State and specifically, regional Queensland as detached dwellings and ouses move to the fore (15 March 2018). More...


Future transport strategy 2056
Transport for New South Wales; Government of New South Wales: 18 March 2018
Continued planning is critical if New South Wales is to have a world-class transport system with infrastructure investments that support growth and meet the aspirations for how we want to travel and live. More...

ACI Construction Briefs
A fortnightly communication highlighting key updates related to Australia's construction industry (19 March 2018). More...

Negotiate and stay out of court - the case of mediation in real estate
RICS Feature Article: 23 March 2018
Mediation is growing rapidly in popularity as a dynamic and multi-faceted practice in many countries, including Australia, which has been increasingly integrated into both new and existing legislation. More...

Practice and courts

Economics References Committee Inquiries

Governance and operation of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF)
Status: Submissions Closed. Date Referred: 14 June 2017. Reporting Date: 24 April 2018.

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

Infrastructure Australia: Updated assessment framework
In accordance with its requirements under the Infrastructure Australia Act 2008, Infrastructure Australia is committed to undertaking regular reviews of the cost–benefit analysis methodology that forms part of our Assessment Framework, which is used by Infrastructure Australia to assess submissions and proposals.
The review was completed and the Assessment Framework has been finalised following feedback from stakeholders on previous editions. A report into the review and the new Assessment Framework documentation is available here.

New South Wales

Department of Finance: Update on the Fire Safety and External Wall Cladding Taskforce
22 March 2018: Update on the Fire Safety and External Wall Cladding Taskforce.

Public submissions on cladding
Submissions are being sought about a range of issues set out in the Notice issued by the Commissioner. The call is seeking input about the kinds of issues that should be considered including the range of uses of products, uses on different types of buildings, and by different people, and whether any conditions should be attached to product uses. Submissions close on 23 April 2018 and can be made in writing to More information about cladding and the call for submissions can be found at (23 March 2018). More...


QBCC: Does your company contract for fire protection work? Find out what licences are required.
When it comes to fire protection work, companies contracting for fire protection work and all practitioners carrying out or supervising fire protection work require a licence. Details are outlined here (22 March 2018). More...

Master Builders Queensland: BIF changes to impact subcontracts
Upcoming BIF legislation changes require an interim change to Master Builders' Period Subcontract Agreement and Subcontract Agreement. A Special Conditions addendum to each of these contracts is now available to take care of the changes required for contracts signed now that will run past 1 July 2018 (20 March 2018). More...


Primelime (NSW) Pty Ltd v B.A.E.C. Contracting Pty Ltd [2018] NSWSC 372
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – Building and Construction Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) – whether adjudication determination valid – whether construction contract existed between the parties to the adjudication application – whether payment claim made on or from a reference date – where contract was terminated – where contract did not provide for reference dates after termination – whether work performed under a subsequent, fresh contract – adjudication determination quashed.

Mann v Paterson Constructions Pty Ltd [2018] VSC 119
RESTITUTION – Work and labour done – Building contract – Wrongful repudiation accepted by builder – Quantum meruit as alternative to contract damages – Measure of value – Relevance of contract price – Relevance of builder's actual costs – Undocumented variations to scope of works – Whether such variations affect quantum meruit claim by virtue of Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 s38.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Appeal from VCAT on questions of law – Whether VCAT erred in law in calculating quantum meruit for building work – No error of law – Appeal dismissed – Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 s148.


Duro Felguera Australia Pty Ltd -v- Samsung C&T Corporation [2018] WASCA 28
Administrative law - Judicial review - Determination by adjudicator under Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA) - Whether jurisdiction of adjudicator limited to determination of merits of payment claim giving rise to the payment dispute - Whether open to adjudicator to find that amount payable was to be increased on the basis of wrongful denial of liability in relation to an earlier payment claim - Whether court has power to sever invalid and valid portions of adjudicator's determination and enforce valid portion. Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA); Interpretation Act 1984 (WA). Appeal allowed in part.

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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Suzy Cairney
Kyle Siebel
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