Australia: Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure –media releases, articles, papers, reports, in practice, in courts, cases

Last Updated: 14 November 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, December 2018

In the media


Approvals for detached houses sink to five year low
Approvals for new detached houses across Australia are at their lowest ebb since late 2013, according to Shane Garrett, Chief Economist of Master Builders Australia. ABS figures which have just been released indicate that detached house approvals fell by 2.1 per cent during September to record their weakest monthly result since December 2013 (30 October 2018). More...

The future of on-site construction
Known as Smart Site Hubs, they will redefine the construction narrative as the on-site workplace changes to incorporate more off-site fabrication and factory-led innovations to change the way buildings are made, assembled and operated (25 October 2018). More...

Uncertainty and interventions putting hard won reputation under threat
Australia is still the destination of choice for infrastructure investors, but that hard-won reputation is under material threat, with investors spooked by increased market intervention and policy uncertainty, according to a new report from Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and Perpetual Corporate Trust (24 October 2018). More...

New South Wales

First look at Western Sydney Airport visitor centre
The first concept design of the Western Sydney Airport visitor centre has been revealed following the awarding of the construction contract. Australian construction company Watpac were the successful bidder following a rigorous procurement process (31 October 2018). More...

Closing loopholes for certifiers
The Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said the reforms passed in Parliament would allow the New South Wales Government to come down hard on dodgy operators with the toughest penalties to date. Changes in the Building and Development Certifiers Bill 2018 are outlined here (26 October 2018).

Prompter payments for subbies
Building contractors and sub-contractors will now enjoy more financial security and prompter payments for their work under reforms introduced to Parliament. Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said the Government was continuing to consult on the potential for a statutory trust arrangement, which would quarantine money for paying sub-contractors (24 October 2018). More...


Queensland continues to fuel the nation
More than 6600 square kilometres of unexplored land in gas-rich Queensland is to be opened up for exploration – more than 900 km2 of it to supply the Australian market only (02 November 2018). More...

Researcher develops robot to detect structural faults in buildings
A researcher that's developing a robotic system to detect structural faults in buildings has received an innovation grant from the Palaszczuk Government (01 November 2018). More...

QBCC: Mandatory reporting of safety incidents
Licence holders in Queensland's building industry have been reminded that reporting of serious safety incidents is now a mandatory requirement for industry members and people can be prosecuted for failing to do so (31 October 2018). More...

Tradies 'numb', subcontractors unpaid after JM Kelly construction collapses
Rick Evans' work as a concrete driller in Rockhampton is gruelling work — but it is not nearly as stressful as being left stranded with unpaid bills (25 October 2018). More...


Fire protection registration and licensing
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) met with industry and government stakeholders on Friday, 26 October 2018, to discuss the proposed process for establishing restricted classes of registration and licensing for routine servicing of fire protection equipment, so that those competently carrying out this critical work can continue with certainty (30 October 2018). More...

200,000 new residents: Melbourne's northern suburbs need huge infrastructure injection
A report for a group representing Melbourne's north calls for a range of big infrastructure projects to be started over the next decade (26 October 2018). More...

Faster processing times for company registration
The Victorian Building Authority has received a higher than expected number of company registration applications since 1 July 2018 and is implementing a range of improvements to reduce application processing times to two to three weeks (26 October 2018). More...

Published - articles, papers, reports

Outer urban public transport: Improving accessibility in lower-density areas
Infrastructure Australia
This paper assesses the quality and accessibility of public transport services in Australia's five largest cities. The paper reveals the extent of public transport disadvantage in some areas compared to others and the impact on travel patterns and liveability (26 October 2018). More...

Australian Infrastructure Investment Report 2018
Infrastructure Partnerships Australia; Perpetual Corporate Trust (PCT)
This year's report captures the views of sophisticated international and Australian investors who together collectively own or manage circa AUD$380 billion of infrastructure assets across the globe (24 October 2018). More...

ACI construction briefs
A fortnightly communication highlighting key updates related to Australia's construction industry (29 October 2018). More...

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Building Approvals, Australia, Sep 2018 (cat no. 8731.0) (30 October 2018). More...

In practice and courts

New South Wales

Better Business Reforms
The Fair Trading Legislation Amendment (Reform) Bill 2018 passed Parliament on 24 October 2018. More...
The bill implements the majority of reforms first explored in the Easy and Transparent Trading paper. More...


Doka Formwork Australia Pty Ltd v Complex Formwork Pty Ltd, Romeo Ibrahim, and Toplace Pty Ltd [2018] NSWDC 326
Guarantees and Indemnities between principal and subcontractors – allocation of payments – implied or actual relationship of agency – misappropriation of cheques – supply and sale of goods and services – Mercantile law.

Burrell v Mullin [2018] NSWLEC 165
INTERLOCUTORY APPLICATION: application to restrain building and construction works below residential and commercial premises – serious issues to be tried in relation to the validity of a complying development certificate issued by a private certifier – balance of convenience in favour of granting interim injunctive relief – expedited final hearing ordered.

Lendlease Building Contractors Pty Ltd v Insurance Australia Limited [2018] NSWSC 1595
CIVIL PROCEDURE - Parties - Necessary and proper - Whether joinder necessary - Rectification - Existing parties to contract do not wish to be joined - Existing parties to contract consent to be bound by orders - Joinder not necessary. Builders arranged professional indemnity insurance for the Project by submitting a proposal via the Broker to the Insurers.

JM Kelly Builders Pty Ltd & Ors v Queensland Building and Construction Commission [2018] QCAT 333
PROFESSIONS AND TRADES – BUILDERS – LICENSES AND REGISTRATION – OTHER MATTERS – where son in family business was entitled 'General Manager' but had no other formal position – whether excluded individual because he was influential – whether individual was influential person for other companies in group construction company – interpretation of words 'control' and 'substantially influence.

Coal Projects Pty Ltd v Maicome Pty Ltd [2018] VCC 1730
JUDGMENT – whether ex parte judgment entered irregularly under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) Act because the plaintiff was not a 'claimant'.
STAY – whether stay should be granted where set-off claimed - application of s47 of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) and s553C of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) – whether stay should be ordered subject to provision of further security.
Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic), Building Act 1993 (Vic), Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), County Court Act 1958 (Vic), County Court Civil Procedure Rules 2008.
Held: I do not consider Maicome should be ordered to provide security as a condition of the stay being granted because of the prejudice it might cause Maicome in circumstances where its claim for a set-off may well exceed the amount of the interim judgement entered by Coal.

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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