Australia: Construction & Infrastructure News - 11 April 2018

Last Updated: 13 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, October 2018

In the media

AIBS: External Wall Cladding – A Warning for Australia's Building Industry
Issues arising from external wall cladding are the subject of investigations, insurance claims for rectification works, litigation and a soon to be completed Senate Inquiry in the Federal Parliament. They are causing great angst for building industry professionals and building owners and feature in media reports contributing to continuing public disquiet and a loss of confidence in the existing governance framework (04 April 2018). More...

Infrastructure List is big ticket item
Infrastructure Australia (IA) has published its latest Infrastructure Priority List, identifying $55 billion worth of nation-building projects across the country. For the first time, the Priority List has been published alongside an interactive map which provides an up-to-date view of the nationally significant investments (02 April 2018). More...

Blackmail case against CFMEU officials set to go ahead after court judgement
The Supreme Court rules that secondary boycott laws do not give two CFMEU officials, John Setka and Shaun Reardon, immunity from criminal prosecution, meaning blackmail charges against the pair will go ahead (28 March 2018). More...

New South Wales

Right rail for Newcastle
Expected to be fully operational in 2019, the Newcastle Light Rail will form the centrepiece of a fully integrated, vastly improved public transport network for Newcastle, which will stimulate urban revitalisation and provide a solution to transport demand for years to come (03 April 2018). More...

Millions for Hambledon Road upgrades to fast track new homes
NSW Government has injected about $27 million of funding for key road infrastructure in Schofields that will help deliver new homes in the area sooner. The project is being funded by the Government's Housing Acceleration Fund (HAF) initiative to accommodate future traffic growth (03 April 2018). More...

Company fined $80,000 after worker injured in building site fall
A Macquarie Park civil engineering company has been fined $80,000 after a worker suffered head, spinal and chest injuries when he fell more than three metres at a Mascot building site, where the man was a subcontractor (31 March 2018). More...

Western Sydney's future transport corridors to be preserved
The NSW Government has released draft corridors for four major future road and rail infrastructure corridors which will help establish the Western Sydney Parkland City (29 March 2018). More...


Gas continues to flow in south-west
Leading gas producer Santos has gained rights to explore for more gas near Injune in Queensland's south-west. Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said Santos and its joint venture partners - TOTAL, Petronas, KOGAS and APLNG - had been awarded exploration rights to an 86 square kilometre area about 65 km north of Injune in Queensland's Bowen Basin (06 April 2018). More...

Ipswich Motorway Upgrade flying through
A mammoth roads project set to make life easier for people living west of Brisbane is a step closer to completion, with detailed design for the $400 million Ipswich Motorway Upgrade: Rocklea to Darra—Stage 1, now finalised (03 April 2018). More...

New FIFO law reinforces local jobs for local communities
The Palaszczuk Government's Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act was due to come into force on Friday 30 March. This means major resource projects adjacent to nearby regional communities will no longer be able to employ 100 per cent fly-in fly-out workforces in Queensland (29 March 2018). More...


Parliament approves Snowy Sale to benefit all Victorians
The Victorian Parliament has approved the historic sale of Victoria's share of Snowy Hydro Limited, ratifying the agreement reached with the Commonwealth. As part of the historic agreement, Victoria will receive more than $2 billion from the Commonwealth that will benefit all Victorians (29 March 2018). More...

Victoria's nation-leading building boom boosting jobs
New figures show the Andrews Labor Government has overseen an unprecedented building boom in Victoria, with engineering construction growth the strongest in the nation since December 2014 (28 March 2018). More...

Builders invited to build homes of the future
The $2.18 million Zero Net Carbon Homes pilot aims to recruit up to three partnerships between land developers and volume home builders to facilitate the design, marketing and construction of zero net carbon homes that will be sold and marketed in growth areas (25 March 2018). More...


Seymour Whyte Constructions Pty Ltd v Ostwald Bros Pty Ltd (in liq); Ostwald Bros Pty Ltd (in liq) v Seymour Whyte Constructions Pty Ltd [2018] NSWSC 412
CONTRACTS – Rectification – Intention – Common intention – where contract comprised formal instrument and additional conditions – where special conditions contained clause purporting to replace clause in formal instrument – where clause in formal instrument was said to be "non-negotiable" prior to agreement – whether contract should be rectified by deleting clause in special condition BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – CORPORATIONS – where subcontractor wound up after obtaining adjudication determination under Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) – whether Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act remains available to subcontractor – whether subcontractor remains a "claimant" after being wound up – whether decision of Court of Appeal of Victoria on this question is plainly wrong – effect of s 553C of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) on subcontractor's rights – whether there should be a stay of any judgment obtained by subcontractor based on an adjudication certificate issued under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act pending the taking of accounts under s 553C of the Corporations Act

Watkins Contracting Pty Ltd v Hyatt Ground Engineering Pty Ltd [2018] QSC 065
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – REMUNERATION – STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OF PROGRESS PAYMENTS – ADJUDICATION OF PAYMENT CLAIMS – where the applicant (Watkins) and the first respondent (Hyatt) entered into a construction contract – where Watkins alleges it terminated the contract for Hyatt's breach arising out of an onsite incident – where the terms of the contract are in dispute – where the alleged termination of the contract is in dispute – where Hyatt denies that the alleged termination was effected – where the Hyatt served a payment claim under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 – where the adjudicator found in Hyatt's favour and determined the adjudicated amount – whether the adjudicator refused to consider Watkins' submission that the construction contract had been terminated – whether jurisdictional error or denial of natural justice – whether the adjudicator denied natural justice in making his decision on a basis not raised by either party – whether the Court could determine jurisdictional fact – whether alternative reference date available

Civil Mining & Construction Pty Ltd v Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Pty Ltd (No 3) [2018] QSC 060
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – THE CONTRACT – CONSTRUCTION OF PARTICULAR CONTRACTS AND IMPLIED CONDITIONS – DETERMINATION OF COSTS – QUANTIFICATION OF DELAY CLAIM – where the parties had identified on-Site overheads by reference to an Overheads Spreadsheet – where the plaintiff sought to depart from the Overheads Spreadsheet – where the plaintiff sought leave to re-open its case to lead expert evidence as to the quantification of the delay claim – where on subsequent appeal the Court of Appeal set aside the grant of leave to re-open – the effect of the decision of the Court of Appeal on the quantification of the delay claim

INTEREST – RECOVERABILITY OF INTEREST – AWARD OF INTEREST ON DEBTS AND SUMS CERTAIN – INTEREST ON MONEYS SECURED BY BANK GUARANTEE – MONEY – GENERALLY AND WHAT CONSTITUTES – whether interest was payable on moneys secured by bank guarantee pursuant to section 58 of the Civil Proceedings Act 2011 (Qld) – the meaning of 'money' in section 58 – the purpose of an award of interest

INTEREST – RECOVERABILITY OF INTEREST – AWARD OF INTEREST AS DAMAGES – IN QUEENSLAND – where the Court had previously held interest to be payable under section 67P of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (Qld) – whether section 67P provided for 'penalty interest', entitling the plaintiff not only to interest under the QBCC Act, but also contractually agreed interest – the meaning of 'penalty rate' in section 67P

INTEREST – RATE OF INTEREST – RATE IN OTHER CASES – where the parties had agreed the plaintiff was entitled to interest under the Contract – where the defendant later submitted that neither the contractual rate of interest, nor the statutory rate of interest under the QBCC Act, was applicable – whether the plaintiff's claims were more accurately characterised as claims for unliquidated damages, or as moneys owed under the Contract – whether, if a determination of a court or arbitrator results in an adjustment of a claimed sum, interest accrues retrospectively or only from the date of the determination – the effect of certification of a claim under the Contract

PHHH Investments No 2 Pty Ltd v United Commercial Projects Pty Ltd (No 2) [2018] VSC 92
CONTRACT – Specific performance – Building and construction contract – Contract required the contractor to provide two unconditional bank guarantees of an approved type – Where guarantees with expiry dates provided – No express approval – Whether approval can be inferred from conduct – Guarantees 'approved' by conduct within the meaning of the contract – Proceeding dismissed.



High Speed Rail Planning Authority Bill 2017
Senate Second reading debate 26/03/2018 - The Bill establishes a High Speed Rail Planning Authority to advise on, plan and develop high speed rail on the east coast of Australia. More...

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Suzy Cairney
Kyle Siebel
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