Australia: Construction & Infrastructure News - 12 September 2018

Last Updated: 15 September 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

Project to offset gas pipeline damage 'years behind schedule'
A plan to deliver landmark conservation work to protect marine megafauna and offset environmental damage caused by the $34 billion Ichthys-INPEX gas pipeline is years behind schedule (31 August 2018). More...

Business investment and building approvals fall as construction slowdown bites
Expectations of a rebound in capital expenditure investment by the private sector are dashed again by weaker-than-expected June quarter figures (30 August 2018). More...

New South Wales and Victoria lead national infrastructure league table
For the second year running NSW is leading the nation in infrastructure investment, with Victoria moving to second place and WA coming in last according to our 2018 Australian Infrastructure Budget Monitor (28 August 2018). More...

New South Wales

Desane loses legal battle for prime Sydney development site
The long-running dispute between residential property developer Desane and the New South Wales government is over, after a Court of Appeal judgement handed down found in favour of the Roads and Maritime Services authority. The Supreme Court judgement in favour of Desane cast a cloud of uncertainty over government acquisitions for major projects including the $16.8 billion Westconnex (07 September 2018). More...

Resources Regulator begins prosecution proceedings against holders of Cowra mining lease
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment's Resources Regulator has commenced prosecution proceedings against the holders of mining lease ML1616, located approximately 18 kilometres west of Cowra, for failing to comply with a condition of its mining authorisation (04 September 2018). More...

Landmark WestConnex deal delivers a historic win for New South Wales taxpayers
New South Wales taxpayers are once again reaping the rewards of the Berejiklian Government's Asset Recycling programme, securing a landmark $9.3 billion for the 51 per cent divestment of Sydney Motorway Corporation (SMC) (31 August 2018). More...

Subcontractors working on $87b of infrastructure need protection, commissioner says
"Unconscionable" practices of contractors using subcontractors' payments for their own operations remain rife in the building and construction sector, the New South Wales small business commissioner says (29 August 2018). More...

Sydney light rail: businesses join class action to sue New South Wales Government for $40 million
More than 60 businesses have joined a class action seeking around $40 million in compensation over disruption caused by Sydney's light rail project. The Government has to date handed out $9 million in rental assistance to affected businesses (28 August 2018). More...


Reforms strengthen high standards of Queensland's building and construction industry
The Palaszczuk Government has passed new laws for plumbing and gasfitting, delivering a safer Queensland (5 September 2018). More...

Townsville Port expansion: supporting the powerhouse of the North through City deal
The Morrison Government is investing in the future of Townsville, funding an expansion of the city's port that will create hundreds of jobs and increase trade opportunities for North Queensland (4 September 2018). More..

Palaszczuk Government welcomes Bill Shorten's roads announcement
The Palaszczuk Government has welcomed the announcement that a Shorten Labor Government will invest $500 million to deliver a staged upgrade of Queensland's inland road network (1 September 2018). More...


Victoria – The nation's economic powerhouse
Public investment lead growth for the June quarter, up 5.8 per cent is a direct reflection of the Andrews Labor Government's significant infrastructure investment pipeline. Government infrastructure investment will reach $13.7 billion in 2018-19, with a total of $78.9 billion in state capital projects commencing or underway (05 September 2018). More...

VBA wins right to appeal Federal Court decision on Mutual Recognition application
The Victorian Building Authority has won the right in the High Court of Australia to appeal a decision of the Federal Court that overturned the Administrative Appeals Tribunal's decision to permit character to be taken into account in relation to applications for registration under the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 (Cth) (24 August 2018). More...

Published - articles, papers, reports

Australian Infrastructure Budget Monitor 2018-19
IPA Major Report: 28 August 2018
The 2018-19 Australian Infrastructure Budget Monitor reaffirms the two-economy divide in infrastructure across Australia. New South Wales and Victoria, ranked first and second, have large infrastructure funding commitments facilitated by strong fiscal positions. Asset recycling continues to support growth, with both states benefiting from selling their shares in Snowy Hydro to the Commonwealth, among other asset divestments.

In practice and courts

ABCC E-Alert: Deadline for reporting payment disputes and delays
Code covered contractors are reminded that from 1 September 2018, the ABCC will treat any failure to report disputed or delayed payments as a breach of the Code. For further information and to report any disputes or delays visit. More... More...

New South Wales

BPB: Building and Development Certifiers Bill 2018
The Building and Development Certifiers Bill 2018 seeks to strengthen the certification system in NSW. Comments are invited on the proposed Building and Development Certifiers Bill 2018 by 4 September 2018. More...


QBCC: Update to QBCC Regulation
The Queensland Building and Construction Commission Regulation 2018 came into effect on 1 September 2018. The new regulation replaces the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Regulation 2003, reflecting current drafting standards and removing obsolete provisions (03 September 2018). More...


VBA: Victorian building permit activity for July 2018
The VBA has released building permit activity data for July 2018 (28 August 2018). More...


Harris v Morabito Holdings Pty Limited [2018] NSWSC 1353
Defendant to pay 80% of the plaintiff's costs assessed on the ordinary basis. Plaintiffs to have interest on costs. Parties to bring in draft orders.
COSTS – Home building dispute – owners awarded damages of $400,000 against claim of $1.6 million – whether commencement and continuation of proceedings in Supreme Court warranted – matter must be judged prospectively – whether costs should be reduced on account of either the conduct of the owners' expert or proportion of success achieved – where owners succeeded in each category of defects alleged but did not persuade referee as to the consequent quantum – owners were required to go to court to vindicate rights – hearing was extended as a result of the inflated claim – impossibility of scientifically assessing costs in these circumstances – broad brush of justice indicates that owners should have 80% of their costs.
COSTS – Application for indemnity costs – Calderbank offer sent from owners to builder – offer sent at a time when builder could not properly assess the offer – not unreasonable for builder to reject offer.
Civil Procedure Act 2005 (NSW); Home Building Act 1989 (NSW); Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW)

Seirlis & Ors v Queensland Building and Construction Commission [2018] QCAT 291
PROFESSIONS AND TRADES – BUILDERS – STATUTORY INSURANCE SCHEME – Applications to review – claims under statutory insurance scheme under QBSA Act for allegedly defective building work – where subject properties sold prior to determination of the claims – where insured a corporate trustee for family trust holding rights of Insured on behalf the trust – where Liquidator of Insured purports to assign interests of the Insured to the Second Applicant – where Third Applicant claims rights of insured as successor trustee in the event that assignment to Second Applicant ineffective – questions as to nature of the right of an Insured under statutory policy of insurance and whether these rights now assignable as a chose in action – whether rights of original Insured may be passed as trust property to Third Applicant in circumstances where insured property previously sold to a third party – questions regarding the assessment of quantum on a claim under the statutory policy if assessed on a theoretical basis where defects not rectified prior to sale – issues relating to assessment of claim calculated on the basis of loss in value upon a sale of the impacted property – sufficiency of evidence in proof of claim.

Midson Construction (Qld) Pty Ltd v Queensland Building and Construction Commission [2018] QSC 199
STATUTES – ACTS OF PARLIAMENT – INTERPRETATION – PARTICULAR WORDS AND PHRASES – GENERALLY – Where Midson Construction (NSW) Pty Ltd was placed into liquidation – where Midson Construction (NSW) Pty Ltd had not at any relevant time carried on construction or building services in Queensland – where Midson Construction (Qld) Pty Ltd and Midson Construction (NSW) Pty Ltd had one common director – where a result of Midson Construction (NSW) going into liquidation the first, second and third applicant were sent a Notice of Reasons for a proposed cancellation of a builder's licence pursuant to ss 56AF and 56AG of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (Qld) – whether Midson Construction (NSW) Pty Ltd was a construction company within the meaning of s 56AC of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (Qld).
STATUTES – ACTS OF PARLIAMENT – VALDITY OF LEGISLATION GENERALLY – Where the applicants submit that a question arises as to whether s 56AC of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (Qld) purports to regulate conduct in another State which offends the proscription against extraterritorial regulation – where the Attorney-General for the State of Queensland submits that the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (Qld) seeks to protect Queensland consumers rather than purport to regulate building work in any other State – whether s 56AC of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (Qld) is constitutionally invalid.
STATUTES – ACTS OF PARLIAMENT – STATUTORY POWERS AND DUTIES – EXERCISE – DELEGATION OF POWER CONFERRED BY ACT – Where the applicants contend that the purported delegation to the third respondent is ineffective as it is not in accordance with s 115A of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (Qld) – whether the appropriate delegations have been made.

Pegasus Building Pty Ltd v Curlis; Laghaien v Curlis [2018] VSC 484
BUILDING AND PLANNING – Appeal from Magistrates' Court – builder found guilty of undertaking building works beyond scope of building and planning permits – whether building and planning permits impliedly authorised works – works claimed to be necessary for structural integrity – interpretation of permits – implied authority – Building Act 1993 s 61 – Planning and Environment Act 1987 s 126(1).



Subordinate legislation as made – 31 August 2018
No 138 Queensland Building and Construction Commission Regulation 2018
This regulation commences on 1 September 2018

Reminder: Building and Other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation 2018 (Qld)
The Regulation is made under the Building Act 1975, and the State Penalties Enforcement Act 1999. The policy objectives of the Regulation are to determine the extent of the use of potentially combustible cladding on existing private buildings in Queensland and raise awareness with building owners of the risks associated with potentially combustible cladding. The Regulation commences on 1 October 2018 .


Legislative Council second reading – 24 August 2018
Building Amendment (Registration of Building Trades and Other Matters) Bill
Victorian legislation is available here.

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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