Australia: Construction & Infrastructure News - 9 October 2018

Last Updated: 11 October 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, November 2018

In the media


Social Value: the new currency in construction and infrastructure
Recent major project awards have vividly illustrated that it is no longer good enough to offer the cheapest price to win a bid - you must also show that you are contributing positively to society. Federal and state governments are also regulating and legislating for it in the form of many initiatives (04 October 2018). More...

Cost over-runs and delays hit more solar projects and contractors
Talk of cost-over-runs, and contract disputes between developers and EPC contractors have been widespread through the industry over the last year, with at least some of the issues caused by strict new rules imposed by networks and the Australian Energy Market Operator (21 September 2018). More...

Housing Industry Association: Bi-partisan support for a Federal Housing Minister
Appointing a Housing Minister is one of 37 recommendations contained in the "Building Up and Moving Out" report released by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities. The report also lists a number of actions that a new Minister for Housing would be responsible for (20 September 2018). More...

New South Wales

Sydney Light Rail delayed again, completion now May 2020
The civil construction company building Sydney's troubled light rail tells a NSW parliamentary inquiry the project has been delayed again, and will not be complete until May 2020 (04 October 2018). More...

Tradies to save $52 million thanks to Better Business reforms
Tradies will save $52.3 million over 10 years from not having to renew their licenses every three years, as part of the NSW Government's Better Business reforms. Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said it followed extensive public consultation, which also showed significant support for retaining 13 home building licenses (04 October 2018). More...

Dodgy certifiers on notice with new laws
Conflicts of interest between building certifiers and developers will be stamped out by tougher regulations being proposed in NSW. Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said an options paper is being released which sets out new ways of improving transparency around the appointment of certifiers (02 October 2018). More...

$9.26 billion landmark transaction finalised
New South Wales Treasurer Dominic Perrottet today confirmed the transaction for a 51 per cent stake in Sydney Motorway Corporation (SMC) to Sydney Transport Partners (STP) had officially closed. The proceeds will fund the M4-M5 Link - the final stage of WestConnex - and contribute to future infrastructure projects across NSW (27 September 2018). More...


Multiplex breaks its silence on Yuhu saga
Tensions between Jewel developer Yuhu and Multiplex continue to simmer, with reports from the site that Yuhu refused to meet with its contractor as hundreds of workers walked off the $1 billion project (05 October 2018). More...

Kidston renewable energy hub one step closer
Genex Power's Kidston Renewable Energy Hub in Far North Queensland has been fast tracked with the $330 million Kidston Pumped Hydro Storage project (K2H) today declared a coordinated project (28 September 2018). More...


$19b plan for regional plan welcomed
The national infrastructure sector welcomes the Victorian Coalition's plan to rebuild Victoria's regional and country rail network. (03 October 2018). More...

Delivering Stage Two of the Monash Freeway Upgrade
More relief is on the way for drivers in the south east, with the Andrews Labor Government getting early works underway on the second stage of the Monash Freeway Upgrade. The business case for the $711 million project shows a cost-benefit-ratio of 4.6 to 1, with the project set to create 600 jobs during construction (03 October 2018). More...

Victorian building permits record $38.4 billion in FY2017–18
Victoria recorded its highest-ever number of building permits and highest-ever value of building work in a year during the 12 months to 30 June 2018 (26 September 2018). More...

Published - articles, papers, reports

Australian Infrastructure Budget Monitor 2018-19
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 (1 October 2018). More...

Remarkably adaptive: Australian cities in a time of growth
Marion Terrill, Hugh Batrouney, Diana Hourani, James Ha; Grattan Institute.
Australia's population is growing rapidly. The major cities of Sydney and Melbourne, in particular, are booming. Many people are asking whether the growth rates of the past decade are sustainable, or whether Australia has reached a tipping point (1 October 2018). More...

Resources 2030 Taskforce: final report - Australian resources — providing prosperity for future generations
Resources 2030 Taskforce: Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (Australia)
This report presents the recommendations of the Resources 2030 Taskforce to significantly enhance the performance and competitiveness of Australia's resources sector (21 September 2018). More...

In practice and courts


Australian Building Codes Board Accessible Housing Options Paper
The ABCB's Accessible Housing Options Paper has been released for public consultation. The Options Paper provides a preliminary menu of options and costings on the possible inclusion of a minimum accessibility standard for housing in the NCC. Feedback on the Options Paper is invited until Friday 30 November 2018. More...

New South Wales

New dates for Environmental Planning & Assessment Act updates
Councils, certifiers and other industry practitioners have more time to implement some of the recent EP&A Act updates. Changes affect new provisions for building and subdivision certification, Local Strategic Planning Statements for councils in the Greater Sydney Region and Community Participation Plans. While most of the changes will commence on 1 March 2018, there will be a number of other changes that will involve further design and consultation from mid to late 2018.


Minimum financial requirements discussion paper
Have your say on improving financial oversight in the building and construction industry. Queenslanders working in the building and construction industry are encouraged to have their say on proposed new financial reporting laws under the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act Closes: 9 October 2018. More...


Victorian building permit activity for August 2018
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) has released building permit activity data for August 2018 (01 October 2018). More...


New South Wales

The Owners - Strata Plan 81837 v Multiplex Hurstville Pty Ltd [2018] NSWSC 1488
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – separate questions – "owner" – Home Building Act 1989 – whether development manager and another party named in development management agreement were owners and thus developers of land for the purposes of the Home Building Act 1989.
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – separate questions – " contract to do residential building work" – Home Building Act 1989 – development management agreement – whether development management agreement is a contract to do residential building work.
MISLEADING OR DECEPTIVE CONDUCT – separate questions - representations made to principal certifying authority under Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 – whether made in trade or commerce.
Building Professionals Act 2005 (NSW). Separate questions each answered "No".
Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW); Fair Trading Act 1987 (NSW).
Home Building Act 1989 (NSW); Home Building Amendment (Warranties and Insurance) Act 2010 (NSW); Home Building Amendment Act 2011 (NSW).


Gold Coast City Council v Adrian's Metal Management Pty Ltd [2018] QPEC 45
DECLARATIONS AND ORDERS – where the local authority sought declaratory relief and other orders against the respondents – where first respondent was a company carrying out alleged unlawful works on subject land – where second respondent was the sole director of the first respondent – where third respondent was the owner of the subject land – where primary use of subject land involved the dismantling and crushing of car bodies for scrap metal purposes – where other scrap metal activities also carried out – where current use extended over two separate parcels of land.
WHERE ALLEGED USE OF THE LAND WAS UNLAWFUL – where respondents sought to rely on a development permit issued in 2001 in respect to only one of the lots – where no relevant development approval or permission had been granted in respect of the other lot – where originally scrap metal/junk yard uses were contained to one lot – where other lot historically used for sand blasting purposes – where intensification of the operations being conducted on the land expanded into second lot without necessary approvals in place.
WHETHER THE 2001 DEVELOPMENT APPROVAL AUTHORISED THE RESPONDENTS' USE OF THE LAND OVER BOTH LOTS – whether an alternative respondents enjoyed the benefit of historical existing lawful user rights.
WHETHER OPERATIONS BEING CONDUCTED IN BREACH OF THE 2001 DEVELOPMENT APPROVAL –where the noise emanating from the land amounted to an environmental nuisance for the purposes of the Environmental Protection Act 1997 – where primary source of noise was caused by the use of an excavator – where use of excavator an integral part of respondents' operations being conducted on the subject land – where subject land located in an industrial estate but where recipients of noise were residents of a nearby group title residential development.
WHETHER DECLARATIONS OUGHT BE MADE –concerning the validity and/or currency of the 2001 development permit – whether in the event that it was found that the use being made of the land was unlawful and the use of the land was creating an environmental nuisance the use of the land ought be ordered to be ceased.
WHETHER DISCRETIONARY GROUNDS MILITATED AGAINST GRANTING THE RELIEF SOUGHT – where operations being conducted on the land were achieving material environmental benefits – where operations being conducted on the land employed an excess of 40 employees – where current operations on the land had been in existence for a number of years – whether the local government was estopped from seeking relief sought.
JOINDER – whether another director of first and third respondent ought be joined to the proceedings – where primary purpose of joinder was a concern that the existing corporate entities would be dissolved but the operations on the land continued but under new corporate names.


Mirboo Ridge & Ors v Minister for Resources [2018] VSC 557
STATUTORY INTERPRETATION — Construction — Reconciliation of conflicting provisions — Amendments to Petroleum Act 1998 introduced by enactment of Resources Legislation Amendment (Fracking Ban) Act 2017 — Provision creating statutory moratorium to prohibit onshore petroleum activities — Plaintiff resource companies holders of existing authorities to carry out activities prohibited by moratorium — Provision that moratorium does not affect existing requirements or obligations under the conditions of existing authorities — Meaning of 'requirement' and 'obligation' — Whether provision creating moratorium should be read down — Whether resource companies are permitted to conduct any onshore petroleum activities during the moratorium — Project Blue Sky v Australian Broadcasting Authority (1998) 194 CLR 355 and Alcan (NT) Alumina Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Territory Revenue (Northern Territory) [2009] HCA 41; (2009) 239 CLR 27 applied — Declaratory relief refused.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW — Wednesbury unreasonableness — Whether purported variations to permits by Minister invalid — Minister given broad discretionary power under s 102 of the Petroleum Act 1998 to vary conditions of permits issued — Purported variations required permit holders to carry out work at future, unspecified time at which time the permit would not authorise the work — Purported variation contains obligation to carry out work illegal under the conditions of permit — Minister for Immigration and Citizenship v Li & Anor [2014] FCAFC 1; (2013) 249 CLR 332, considered — Order made quashing variations.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW — Implementation of executive policy — Non-statutory moratorium prohibiting onshore petroleum activities — Whether alleged decisions made by the Minister in an administrative capacity to implement the moratorium until March 2017 were unlawful - Discretionary nature of declaratory relief - Ainsworth v Criminal Justice Commission [1992] HCA 10; (1992) 175 CLR 564 considered - Declaratory relief refused on the basis relief lacked utility.

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
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