Australia: Construction and infrastructure news update 8 May 2018

Last Updated: 16 May 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


RICS: International Fire Safety Standards
Despite rapid globalisation, with investment flowing across borders, money pouring into built assets and increasing numbers of different professionals operating across the world, the industry currently lacks a consistent set of high-level principles for design, construction and management of buildings for fire safety (03 May 2018). More...

Australia's green building floor space has boomed
In 2006 less than one per cent of Sydney and Melbourne's CBD commercial floorspace was certified green. Twelve years later we're sitting at 46 per cent for Sydney and 28.8 per cent for Melbourne (03 May 2018). More...

Support for stronger construction standards
The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) is strongly supporting proposals by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) to lift the energy efficiency standard of our buildings (01 May 2018). More...

WorldGBC case studies show strong business case for healthy buildings
The financial benefits of healthy green buildings have been highlighted in a new report from the World Green Building Council (26 April 2018). More...

New project to help reduce congestion in Australian suburbs
A new project designed to help reduce congestion in our suburbs has been launched today, using data collected from pedestrian smartphones and cutting-edge traffic-counting technology to track patterns of movement in a bid to better plan cities and build infrastructure where it is most needed (26 April 2018). More...

CFMEU and seven officials penalised $522,000 for month-long work stoppages across Brisbane sites
The CFMMEU and seven of its officials have been penalised $522,000 by the Federal Court for month-long strikes and work stoppages at construction sites across six Brisbane sites in 2016 (24 April 2018). More...

Governments must wake up to the forces redefining global construction
Following is a transcript Western Sydney University Adjunct Professor David Chandler presented to the Australia-China Council on 17 April regarding what is needed to develop competitive advantages in the design and construction marketplace (24 April 2018). More...

New South Wales

South Sydney builder sentenced to home detention over fake insurance
A builder from south Sydney has been sentenced to eight months home detention after using fake home warranty insurance to win two building contracts, Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said. The court was told he provided fraudulent home warranty insurance certificates to customers in Minto and Prestons in 2015 to retain his building contracts (03 May 2018). More...

Unlicensed builders putting consumers in jeopardy
The rap sheet against Matthew Rixon was damning and, for his 2015 offence, he was finally thrown behind bars. He was given an 18-month sentence with a 12-month non-parole period. Whilst the judgement intended to send a message to repeat offenders, the case underscored the problems which consumers – often elderly – face from unlicensed and unscrupulous builders and trade contractors (01 May 2018). More...

New commercial buildings in Sydney set to be minimum 5.5 star NABERS
New office developments and retrofits in the City of Sydney will have to target a base building rating of 5.5 star NABERS, under proposed changes to the council's development control plan (01 May 2018). More...

New South Wales successfully calls for national report on liability for rectifying unsafe aluminium cladding
The New South Wales Government has successfully called for a national report to examine who is liable for having unsafe cladding rectified on buildings, Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said. The report is the latest step in a series of ongoing reforms regarding the use of cladding across NSW (27 April 2018). More...


Queensland passes land-clearing laws after gruelling three-day debate
The Queensland parliament has passed a suite of new land-clearing laws, a move welcomed by environmental groups as a step towards curbing the state's soaring deforestation rates (04 May 2018). More...

Connection woes increase building costs
Tardy electricity connections are causing project delays and budget blowouts for two out of three builders. The flow-on effect is increased construction costs, which range anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. The results come from Master Builders' latest Survey of Industry Conditions which explored the issue of utility connection delays in the building industry (04 May 2018). More...


Jobs and construction boost for Bendigo
The Andrews Labor Government will support the next stage of Bendigo's development, with a new GovHub office in the heart of the city's CBD. The Bendigo GovHub is one of three GovHub projects currently being developed, with work in Ballarat and Latrobe Valley also underway (01 May 2018). More...

GBCA: Communities win from Victorian infrastructure investment
The impressive social and transport infrastructure investment unveiled in today's Victorian State Budget will go a long way to meeting the challenge of population growth and ensuring the state's cities, towns and communities are better connected and supported (01 May 2018). More...

Engineering boom from Victorian Budget infrastructure spend
With the growing need for engineers the Association argues that now more than ever it is important to ensure quality and accountability across the profession. The Association's Victorian President Alesha Printz congratulated the Andrews Government for the big funds injection to rollout new transport, construction and road work (01 May 2018). More...

Making Victorian buildings safer
The Victorian Budget 2018/19 includes $25 million to give authorities the resources they need to check more buildings for dangerous and combustible materials and crack down on builders who flout the law. The Victorian Building Authority is charged with the task of assessing 1,369 priority sites with planning or building permits identified by the Taskforce (29 April 2018). More...


ACI Construction Briefs
A fortnightly communication highlighting key updates related to Australia's construction industry.
ACI Construction Brief: Are we Dancing the Global Gangnam Style? (30 April 2018).

Australian Bureau of Statistics
03/05/2018: Building Approvals, Australia, Mar 2018 (cat no. 8731.0)/

Practice and courts


Draft Design report released for Brisbane Metro

Brisbane City Council has released the Brisbane Metro Design Report for public consultation. Brisbane Metro will comprise of a 21-kilometre metro network that services 18 stations. In March 2018 the Brisbane Metro was confirmed as a 'High Priority Project' on the nation's infrastructure Priority List. Brisbane City Council is asking residents and stakeholders to provide their feedback, before 25 May 2018.


New South Wales

Central Projects Pty Ltd v Davidson [2018] NSWSC 523
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – Progress payments – Effect of omission of information from a supporting statement under Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) s.13(9) – Effect of failure to serve a supporting statement under Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) s.13(7).

Bettergrow Pty Limited v NSW Electricity Networks Operations Pty Ltd as trustee for NSW Electricity Networks Operations Trust t/as TransGrid (No 2) [2018] NSWSC 514
TORTS – Negligence – Liability for others' negligence – Non-delegable duties of care TORTS – Negligence – Essentials of action for negligence – Duty of care – Definition of "physical damage to property" – Reasonable foreseeability of physical damage to property in recognised classes of case – Determination of existence of duty of care in novel cases – Whether a principal owes a duty of care to supervise its contractors and subcontractors – Breach of duty of care – Causation under Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) s.5D; CONTRACTS – Implied terms – Terms implied in law – Terms implied in fact – Necessary to give business efficacy – Breach of contract CIVIL PROCEDURE – Pleadings – Amendment – Court's discretion to refuse application for amendment made after commencement of hearing TORTS – Negligence – Essentials of action for negligence – Duty of care – Whether a supplier of goods pursuant to a contract owes a duty of care to protect against economic loss arising from defects – Breach of duty of care TORTS – Defences – Apportionment of responsibility and damages under Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) s.35; TORTS – Defences – Contributory negligence under Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) s.5R – Reasonableness of plaintiff's assumption of counterparties' compliance with their legal obligations; CIVIL PROCEDURE – Cross-claims – Court's discretion to refuse leave to file cross-claim after commencement of hearing.


Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Pty Limited v Civil Mining & Construction Pty Ltd [2018] QCA 078
APPEAL AND NEW TRIAL – PROCEDURE – QUEENSLAND – APPEAL COSTS FUND – POWER TO GRANT AN INDEMNITY CERTIFICATE – WHEN REFUSED – where the Court allowed the appeal against the decision of the primary judge and ordered the respondent to pay the costs – where the unsuccessful respondent seeks an indemnity certificate – where the appeal was from a decision of the trial judge to grant leave for the respondent to re-open its case – where the trial judge raised the necessity for the respondent to re-open its case, but where it was effectively a consequence of the respondent's attempt to rebuild its case and it was not forced to do so – whether an indemnity certificate should be granted.

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
Scott Alden
Christine Jones
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