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

Last Updated: 21 May 2019
Article by Troy Lewis, Stephen Burton and Suzy Cairney

Most Read Contributor in Australia, May 2019

In the media

Australia's current building compliance issues
With the Lacrosse fire in Melbourne, the Opal Tower scenario in Sydney, along with other fires and building safety and defect issues in buildings in Australia and overseas, we are increasingly seeing that prior to the drama occurring, the problems or potential problems with the building were known (18 April 2019). More...

Changing construction: Consistency is key
Traditionally, construction tends to be a local industry; it's largely domestic players, tapping into local labor, materials and technology where available, otherwise importing them. There are increasingly international players with access to international finance, particularly on "big ticket" infrastructure projects and Grade A buildings (15 April 2019). More...

The ultimate challenge for sustainable building
A push to net zero carbon buildings is among the raft of changes proposed in the next evolution of the Green Building Council of Australia's Green Star system (10 April 2019). More...

New South Wales

Labourer takes company to court over construction site accident
The company at the centre of a catastrophic scaffolding collapse at Macquarie Park that resulted in the death of one man is being sued over a separate incident in which scaffolding allegedly fell and struck a worker on the north shore (16 April 2019). More...

'It's been a long process': Almost 170 Opal Tower apartments still empty, repairs only just beginning
Almost four months after it was evacuated, about half of the units inside Sydney's troubled Opal Tower remain unoccupied — and rectification work has only recently begun (15 April 2019). More...

'Significantly higher': Spotlight on noise levels at Sydney's new airport
The noise levels at the new Western Sydney Airport could be "significantly higher" than the Federal Government predicted ahead of approving its construction, a study finds (14 April 2019). More...

World-first relocatable solar pods power up commercial rooftops
Solpod today launches a potential game changer in commercial solar PV. Substantially funded by ARENA, supported by energy retailer, ERM Power, and trialling across 25 shopping centres and NSW Government sites, this innovation has the legs to go global (12 April 2019). More...

Queensland

Queensland's big infrastructure spend in Brisbane and what it means
The Labor government has begun substantial infrastructure projects, committing to a $944 million urban Metro service and a $5.4 billion second Cross River Rail project to be tunnelled under the Brisbane River (11 April 2019). More...

Changes to Building Queensland's operations
Important operational amendments will be implemented enabling Building Queensland to drive greater efficiencies in developing robust business cases and advice to inform government decision-making. Building Queensland will develop business cases for road transport projects over the $500 million threshold and continue to lead business cases for all other infrastructure projects valued over $100 million (12 April 2019). More...

Victoria

Better infrastructure to help grow Victoria's potential
Infrastructure Victoria has called for better integration of land use and transport infrastructure and more targeted regional infrastructure initiatives to help the state reap the benefits of its unprecedented population growth, releasing a discussion paper titled Growing Victoria's Potential (16 April 2019). More...

Contractor APM issued exclusion sanction following building code breach
A Victorian building company has been issued a one-month exclusion sanction for its failure to comply with state security of payments legislation. APM was found to have breached the Building Code 2013 by failing to pay a subcontractor over $40,000, and failing to resolve a payment dispute with a subcontractor in a reasonable, timely and cooperative way (10 April 2019). More...

Up to 100 Victorian workers tested after fears of PFAS exposure
The Victorian workplace regulator is paying to test 100 workers exposed to the toxic chemical PFAS while working in the gas industry in eastern Victoria (08 April 2019). More...

Published - articles, papers, reports

Commonwealth Orange Book 2019: Policy priorities for the federal government
John Daley, Stephen Duckett, Peter Goss, Andrew Norton, Marion Terrill, Danielle Wood, Tony Wood, Brendan Coates; Grattan Institute: 16 April 2019. This report rates Australia's performance against similar countries and proposes policy reforms for schools and universities, hospitals and housing, roads and railways, cities and regions, budgets and taxes, retirement incomes, and climate change. More...

Commonwealth orange book 2019 (chart data) policy priorities for the federal government
Grattan Institute: 16 April 2019
This chart data accompanies the book report which rates Australia's performance against similar countries and proposes policy reforms to schools and universities, hospitals and housing, roads and railways, cities and regions, budgets and taxes, retirement incomes and climate change. More...

Key issues for the 57th Parliament
Parliamentary Research Service (NSW): 11 April 2019
This briefing paper provides Members of the 57th Parliament of New South Wales with an authoritative overview of 45 key issues affecting the State in 2019. It examines the demographic profile of NSW and considers the current state of our economy and the ongoing challenges of planning and transport. More...

Practice and courts

ABCC E-Alert: Contractor APM issued exclusion sanction following building code breach
Victorian building company APM Group (Aust) Pty Ltd (APM) and its related entity APM Holdings (Aust) Pty Ltd has been issued a one-month exclusion sanction for its failure to comply with state security of payments legislation (10 April 2019). More...

New South Wales

City of Sydney: Alternative housing idea challenge
The community will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the short-listed concepts as part of the City's consultation to shape Sydney 2050. The Alternative Housing Ideas Challenge will close on 8 May 2019. More...

Queensland

Special joint taskforce: Subcontractor non-payment in the Queensland building industry
The Special Joint Taskforce will investigate complaints or allegations of fraudulent behaviour that have led to subcontractor non-payment in the building industry and will also consider if any legislative changes are required to strengthen the laws protecting people against illegal conduct. Submissions close on 17 May 2019. A final report and recommendations due to State Government by 30 June 2019. More...

Cases

New South Wales

BM Sydney Building Materials Pty Ltd v AWT Building Group (Aust) Pty Ltd; BM Sydney Building Materials Pty Ltd v AWT Building Pty Ltd; Harpro Group Pty Ltd v BM Sydney Building Materials Pty Ltd [2019] NSWSC 421
EQUITY – estoppel – debtors raised, as a defence to admitted debts, an equitable estoppel based on a disputed oral conversation in which it alleged that the plaintiffs agreed, on certain conditions, not to claim payment – debtors claimed that they suffered prejudice in buying goods from the plaintiff and in procuring another party not to sue the plaintiffs on a different claim – approach to be taken to factual findings where the terms of an oral conversation are relied upon; HELD: conversation not established – no sufficient basis to ground an estoppel in equity; EQUITY – alleged breaches of statutory and equitable duties on the part of a de facto director and knowing participation by his company in the alleged breaches – alleged breaches consist of procuring payment to another party of monies due to the plaintiff object of the duties – where the recipient lent money to the plaintiff and the payments were made in reduction of the loan; HELD: no breach established and in any event no loss caused to the plaintiff – claim dismissed.

Queensland

Niclin Constructions Pty Ltd v SHA Premier Constructions Pty Ltd & Anor [2019] QSC 91
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – OTHER MATTERS – where the applicant submits that the adjudicator's decision is void for jurisdictional error – Whether service of an adjudication application as soon as possible after it is made is necessary to confer jurisdiction on an adjudicator

Victoria

Midland Metals Overseas Pte Ltd v Powercor Network Services Pty Ltd [2019] VSCA 76
CORPORATIONS – Contract – Setting aside of statutory demands – Contract for supply of electricity cables – Technical specifications – Genuine dispute as to whether cables supplied complied with specifications under the contract – Construction of contract – Ultimate questions not decided – Corporations Act 2001, ss 459G, 459H – Leave to appeal refused.

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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