Australia: Construction & Infrastructure News - 21 May 2018

Last Updated: 31 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


2018-19 Budget—Infrastructure: Busting Congestion, Connecting Our Regions, Improving Safety and Creating Jobs
Federal Government: The Liberal and Nationals Government will invest more than $75 billion in nationally significant transport infrastructure projects over the next 10 years, including new funding of $24.5 billion for projects and initiatives which will improve Australians' lives across every State and Territory. Project highlights and funding for all states and territories are outlined here (14 May 2018). More...


Offshore gas exploration to build future supply
The Andrews Labor Government has today released five new oil and gas exploration blocks to help build long-term supply of gas for Victorian homes and businesses. The blocks are all located in the offshore Otway Basin in State waters (up to 3 nautical miles off the coast) extending from Port Campbell to the South Australian border and are part of the national 2018 Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release (16 May 2018). More...

Construction begins on Bulgana Green Power Hub
The Victorian government today announced commencement of construction on Bulgana Green Power Hub, a major new wind farm with battery storage in Stawell in western Victoria (16 May 2018). More...

New South Wales

ACCC fears Transurban will gain too much advantage from WestConnex buy
The competition tsar says Transurban holds a near-monopoly over toll roads in Sydney, leaving it to weigh up whether motorists would be better off if a competitor gained a majority stake in the $16.8 billion WestConnex toll road project (17 May 2018). More...

Western Sydney Airport Lease granted to WSA Co Limited
The Australian Government has today officially signed over the Western Sydney Airport site to WSA Co Limited (WSA Co), the company established to build the airport (17 May 2018). More...


Cladding fire risk for 12,000 Queensland buildings
Flammable cladding blamed for London's Grenfell Tower fire may have been used on as many as 12,000 buildings in Queensland, a taskforce has found. A year-long inquiry by the taskforce has found 880 buildings required further investigation and at least 70 need rectification work (17 May 2018). More...

Turnbull Government investing $300 million in Brisbane Metro
The Turnbull Government will invest $300 million in the Brisbane Metro, improving travel times and reducing congestion in Queensland's capital (16 May 2018). More...

Federal funding to deliver Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Upgrade
The Federal Government is committing $390 million to duplicate Queensland's North Coast Rail Line between Beerburrum and Landsborough, and build capacity upgrades from Landsborough to Nambour, delivering improved passenger and freight movement between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane (14 May 2018). More...


2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap
Alan Finkel, Government of Australia: 12 May 2018
The 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap outlines national research infrastructure required for the coming decade, so that Australia's world class research system continues to improve productivity, create jobs, lift economic growth and support a healthy environment. More...

Practice and courts

LCA Budget highlights
On 8 May 2018, the Law Council of Australia attended the Federal Budget 'lock-up' and has prepared the following summary of key announcements of interest


  • the Government will invest over $75 billion in significant transport infrastructure projects over the next ten years, including new funding of $24.5 billion for projects and initiatives to benefit each State and Territory
  • the Government will provide significant investment in rail infrastructure, with $7.9 billion allocated towards rail projects across Australia
  • a $1 billion Urban Congestion Fund will focus on alleviating congestion by investing in projects in urban areas to improve traffic flow
  • the Government is establishing the $3.5 billion Roads of Strategic Importance initiative to upgrade key fright routes to improve roads and improve connections for key sectors (for example, agriculture and mining) to export markets , as well as connecting communities to essential health, education and other services
  • a further $200 million has been allocated to deliver a third round of the Building Better Regions Fund, which is delivering over 250 projects across regional Australia and creation approximately 26,000 jobs. The Stronger Communities Programme will be extended for a fourth round through a commitment of an additional $22.5 million. This program provides grants of between $2,500 and $20,000 to community organisations and Local Governments for capital projects, such as aged care facilities and community halls


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

Murphy, McCarthy & Associates Pty Limited v Zurich Australian Insurance Limited [2018] NSWSC 627
INSURANCE – PROCEDURE – civil – whether leave should be granted to proceed against the insurer under s.4 of the Civil Liability (Third Party Claims Against Insurers) Act 2017 (NSW) – exclusion clauses – whether insurer can disclaim liability – discretion of the court; HELD: leave to proceed granted. Note: Zurich stands in the place of CFC Fibre Cement Pty Ltd (CFC), against which, MMA has a claim for damages in connection with waterproofing and coating the internal walls of a well at Balmain by CFC in 2015. MMA had been retained by Sydney Water to install the well and MMA sub-contracted the coating work to CFC. MMA, on the instructions of Sydney Water, required CFC to use an epoxy coating product called Ultra High Build Epoxy Coating (epoxy coating). MMA, in turn, imposed this requirement on CFC and the contract price took it into account.

Ku-ring-gai Council v Ichor Constructions Pty Ltd [2018] NSWSC 610
COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION – consideration of s.27D of the Commercial Arbitration Act 2010 (NSW) – discussion of requirements for arbitrator to act as mediator – where arbitrator so acted – arbitrator's mandate terminated pursuant to s.27D(6) absent subsequent written consent of the parties – whether such consent can be inferred from the written record of the transcript – such inference of consent impermissible – consequently no written consent provided. COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION – statutory waiver – consideration of s.4 of the Commercial Arbitration Act 2010 (NSW) – whether first defendant waived its right to insist on written consent – s.4 requires actual knowledge of the provision which is to be waived – no such knowledge in present case – no waiver established. EQUITY – whether first defendant estopped from insisting on written consent – no evidentiary basis for either conventional estoppel or estoppel by representation – no detriment suffered by plaintiff in any event – proceedings dismissed. Dispute over construction contract – overpayment, liquidated damages for delay and general damages entitlements.

Access Housing Pty Ltd v Rayfield [2018] NSWSC 599
APPEAL – appeal from Appeal Panel of New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal – appeal under s.83 of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 – appeal by leave – appeal "on a question of law" – no basis for alleged errors giving rise to a question of law – leave refused – Building contracts - Country Kit Homes supplied the kit home and Access Housing was to supply the management services for the construction and/or erection of the kit home.
Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (NSW), s.83; Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal Act 2001 (NSW); Criminal Appeal Act 1912 (NSW); Evidence Act 1995 (NSW), ss.11, 26(a), 28, 29, 37; Home Building Act 1989 (NSW).

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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