Australia: Construction Bulletin: News In Brief - October 2008

Last Updated: 5 November 2008

Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme To Lead To Significant Infrastructure Investment?

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) recently released its paper entitled, 'Impact of infrastructure gaps on the objectives of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme'. The paper, based on a report by KPMG, comprises an analysis and recommendations of IPA in response to the Australian Government's Green Paper on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

The IPA paper concludes that to facilitate an orderly transition to a greener economy, the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme must allow for and facilitate the required investment in key sectors of the economy, including critical infrastructure.

It is estimated that infrastructure investment totalling $120 billion in key sectors including energy, freight and passenger networks, is a critical step in avoiding unwarranted economic shock and ensuring the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is effective.

Click here to view the paper at

Housing Affordability Fund To Tackle Supply Side Barriers Facing Home Buyers

From 15 September, Local, State and Territory Governments and private companies can apply for grants from the Federal Government's Housing Affordability Fund (the Fund) to help reduce the cost of building new homes.

The Fund aims to invest $512 million over five years to target the planning and infrastructure costs that are incurred when building new housing developments. It seeks to address two significant barriers to the supply of housing:

  • Holding costs incurred by developers as a result of long planning and approval waiting times.
  • Infrastructure costs, such as water, sewerage, transport and open space.

In addressing the first barrier, the Rudd Government aims to improve the efficiency of the planning and development paper trail by allocating $30 million from the Fund to fast track the roll-out of an electronic development assessment system. It is hoped that the new system will be faster, more accessible and more user-friendly than the 19th century paper-based system.

The first round of Expressions of Interest for the Fund commenced on 15 September 2008 and will cover the 2008/09 financial year. A second round is scheduled for March/April 2009, covering the 2009/10 financial year.

Click here to view the Housing Affordability Fund Guidelines at

SA Security Of Payment Legislation Back On The Agenda

In the July edition of our Construction Bulletin we profiled the proposed South Australian Security of Payment legislation that had been introduced into the South Australian parliament by Nick Xenophon. We expressed some doubt as to whether the draft would make it into law because Mr Xenophon, who had introduced the draft legislation, has now had left South Australia's parliament following his election as Federal Senator. The draft legislation however, now seems to be back on track. It was re-introduced to the South Australian parliament on 24 September 2008. In re-introducing the legislation, the Hon John Darley said 'I would like to ensure that South Australia will not be the winner in the race to be last in implementing security of payment legislation'.

We will keep you posted.

CONSTRUCT 2009: Assisting Professionals Adapt To Change

The CONSTRUCT 2009 conference will be held in Sydney on 26-27 February 2009. Over the two days the conference will address key issues relevant to all building and construction professionals and other industry stakeholders. Organised by the Australian Institute of Building, the conference program includes real-life case studies, presentations on construction research and updates from regulators.

Click here for more information on the event at

Feasibility Study To Begin On One Of The Largest Commercial Global Projects In History

A two year, A$150 million feasibility study is set to commence on the proposed development of two major integrated steelmaking, service industry and infrastructure smelting hubs on the West Australian and Queensland coasts. The hubs are to be linked by 3,300 km of railway, from Port Headland in Western Australia to the Abbot Point Precinct, near Bowen in Queensland.

The project, known as 'Project Iron Boomerang', is estimated to cost US$45 billion, of which the construction and operation of the rail link, procuring of rolling stock and industrial land will total US$12.4 billion.

The project is being developed by East West Line Parks Pty Ltd and will link Australia's main coal and iron ore reserves, while six blast furnaces on each coast will convert iron ore to slab steel for export to overseas steel makers.

Click here to read more about Project Iron Boomerang at

Phillips Fox has changed its name to DLA Phillips Fox because the firm entered into an exclusive alliance with DLA Piper, one of the largest legal services organisations in the world. We will retain our offices in every major commercial centre in Australia and New Zealand, with no operational change to your relationship with the firm. DLA Phillips Fox can now take your business one step further − by connecting you to a global network of legal experience, talent and knowledge.

This publication is intended as a first point of reference and should not be relied on as a substitute for professional advice. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to any particular circumstances and no liability will be accepted for any losses incurred by those relying solely on this publication.

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