Australia: Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure - in the media, in practice and courts, cases and legislation

Last Updated: 22 May 2019
Article by Troy Lewis

Most Read Contributor in Australia, July 2019

In the media

National Construction Code 2019 adopted by all States and Territories
1 May 2019, was the adoption date for the 2019 edition of the NCC by all States and Territories. The adoption date signifies that, NCC 2019 is given legal effect by relevant legislation in each State and Territory (01 May 2019). More...

Investigation reveals nine multi-storey Darwin buildings are non-compliant
An investigation into a private Darwin engineer that has been running since 2017 reveals that nine multi-storey residential buildings in the Top End city have a non-compliant components that can cause structural problems (29 April 2019). More...

New South Wales

WestConnex Transaction named Australia's best infrastructure project
The WestConnex Transaction in New South Wales has been named Australia's best infrastructure project at the National Infrastructure Awards (02 May 2019). More...

Unlicensed contractor fined $67,000 for breaking home building and consumer laws
A western Sydney man has been fined $67,000 after being found guilty of accepting multiple payments from consumers while unlicensed and then performing unfinished and defective residential work (30 April 2019). More...

Queensland

Economic boost for regional Queensland with $1b Winchester South project declared
A $1 billion metallurgical coal mining project in central Queensland's Bowen Basin is a step closer to being realised after being declared a coordinated project by Queensland's independent Coordinator-General (03 May 2019). More...

Queen's Wharf Brisbane main works preferred contractor announced
Destination Brisbane Consortium has awarded preferred contractor status to Multiplex for the major construction works at the transformational Queen's Wharf Brisbane Integrated Resort Development (30 April 2019). More...

Victoria

La Trobe's $100m mass timber construction project takes off
Construction has begun on a new student accommodation project for La Trobe University at its Melbourne campus in Bundoora. The structures will be built utilising the mass timber construction method, making this the largest project of its kind in Victoria (03 May 2019). More...

Record year for building work in Victoria as permits nudge $40 billion
Applications for building permits in Victoria continued at record levels in 2018, with the cost of works in permits reported to the Victorian Building Authority reaching almost $40 billion for the first time (24 April 2019). More...

Practice and courts

HIA: 1 May 2019 - National Construction Code 2019 starts
HIA has developed a range of member resources and ran a series of seminars to assist members in understanding and applying the changes. You can get access to these resources here. You can download the new editions of the NCC from the ABCB website here. More...

Queensland

QBCC: What to expect from the National Construction Code (NCC) 2019
The NCC 2019 was adopted by all states and territories on 1 May 2019. Coinciding with this updated edition of the NCC is the QBCC's new Standards and Tolerances Guide 2019. Some of the key changes are described here.

Cases

Bundanoon Sandstone Pty Ltd v Cenric Group Pty Ltd; TWT Property Group Pty Limited v Cenric Group Pty Limited [2019] NSWCA 87
APPEAL – contract – where parties entered into various contractual arrangements to undertake excavation works including harvesting natural sandstone – whether the primary judge erred in finding the parties formed a concluded agreement to vary the terms of the head contract and the sub-contract – where credit findings are challenged – importance of establishing a Fox v Percy type error APPEAL – contract – whether the primary judge erred in finding the cross-appellant's show cause notice and termination of the head contract were invalid – effect of variation of the head contract – whether the primary judge erred in finding a breach of an implied term of good faith and reasonableness APPEAL – contract – where parties entitled to share in royalties from sale of sandstone – whether the primary judge's construction of the term capping the contractor's share of the royalties was wrong. Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW), s 96 Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW), r 42.1, Pt 51.36(2)

Lawrence v Ciantar; Ciantar v Lawrence [2019] NSWSC 464
CONTRACTS – written terms – oral terms – construction – whether plaintiff contractually obliged to carry out and complete certain works – whether joint venture agreement or contract caught by Home Building Act 1989 (NSW)
CONTRACTS – interpretation – ambiguity – evidence of surrounding circumstances – evidence of prior negotiations – evidence of subsequent conduct –STATUTORY INTERPRETATION – definitions – Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) – meaning of "residential building work" – contract to do sub-division works including construction of a driveway, retention tank and drainage works – whether preparatory works under contract constituted "residential building works" Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) ss 4, 6, 7, 7BA, 7D, 10; sch 1 cls 1, 2, 3.

Shao v AG Advanced Construction Pty Ltd [2019] VSCA 93
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – Major domestic building contract – Termination by owner under Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 s 41 – Builder entitled to reasonable price – Defects – Whether termination under s 41 extinguishes damages claim for defective work – Shevill v Builders Licensing Board [1982] HCA 47; (1982) 149 CLR 620; McDonald v Dennys Lascelles Ltd [1933] HCA 25; (1933) 48 CLR 457, applied – Whether costs of rectifying defects to be calculated in builder's reasonable price under s 41(5) – Builder paid more than reasonable price – Whether owner entitled to refund – Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 s 53(2)(b) and (f).
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Appeals – Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998, s 148 – Appeal allowed – Whether to exercise power of Tribunal to order refund – Whether to remit proceeding to Tribunal – Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 s 148(7)(b) and (c).

Legislation

Queensland

Subordinate legislation as made – 03 May 2019
No 65 Standard Plumbing and Drainage (Plumbing Code of Australia Compliance) Amendment Regulation 2019

Government Owned Corporations (Generator Restructure-CleanCo) Regulation 2019 (Qld) - 26 April 2019
The purpose of this Regulation is to effect the progressive transfer of the assets, liabilities, instruments and employees relating to the Foundation Portfolio from Stanwell and CS Energy to CleanCo.

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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