Australia: Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure - In the media, reports and cases

Last Updated: 24 June 2019
Most Read Contributor in Australia, July 2019

In the media

What we know about the Mascot Towers cracks
Hundreds of residents had to find alternative accommodation with friends and family or pay for hotels and it is not known when they will be able to return (15 June 2019).   More...

MBA national survey results show need to fast track project pipeline
The results of the latest Master Builders Australia's National Survey of Building & Construction show that Australia's builders are feeling the chill from the weaker conditions now facing the industry, commented MBA Chief Economist Shane Garrett (12 June 2019). More...

GBCA: Building a sustainable future: a new era of green infrastructure
As industry, markets and governments respond to global climate change agreements, how we deliver a more sustainable economy is a necessary and increasing focus of industry, the public and governments (11 June 2019). More...

How Hansen Yuncken is disrupting the Australian construction sector
As one of Australia's leading privately owned construction companies, Hansen Yuncken is at the forefront of change and innovation in the building industry (07 June 2019). More...

How construction will look in 2030: Better standards, off-site construction, more wood
The Australian construction industry needs to radically shake up its approach to construction to help save the environment, experts say (05 June 2019). More...

New South Wales

Residents of Sydney high-rise unsure when they can return after 'cracks'
Engineers Australia said cracks appearing in a unit complex in Sydney is further evidence that changes are needed in the building and construction sector (15 June 2019). More...

Tzannes and Lendlease reveals new engineered timber building for UNSW
The University of New South Wales (UNSW) has lodged a new development application for the construction of a new timber building designed by Tzannes and Lendlease, using engineered mass timber as a construction material (12 June 2019). More...


Cladding loopholes in Queensland
Queensland may ban provisions allowing combustible cladding on high-rise buildings, with concerns the global insurance fallout from the Grenfell Tower disaster could affect the state's construction industry (16 June 2019). More...

Adani gets final environmental approval for Carmichael mine
Adani has passed its final environmental approval and can now begin work on its Carmichael mine in Central Queensland after nearly nine years of planning, fierce protests and endless political debate (13 June 2019). More...

Housing construction rates fall to lowest level in six years as mortgage lending stalls
Construction rates across Australia had their sharpest falls in six years in May as the building of houses and apartments slowed and jobs in the sector continued to trail off, according to a survey of businesses in the industry (07 June 2019). More...

$122 million capital injected into Queensland construction sector
New powers given to the state's building and construction regulator have seen more than $122 million worth of capital injected into the industry after financial reviews of only 269 licensees (07 June 2019). More...


Building activity remains flat in April
Building activity worth $3.12 billion was approved in April, after Victoria's building surveyors issued 8144 permits during the month. The number of permits issued was the second lowest this year and extends the current downward trend into its third consecutive month (13 June 2019). More...

Mega-project secrecy slammed by former infrastructure boss
The former head of Infrastructure Australia says he regrets not standing up to state governments that pressured his agency to keep the business cases of multibillion-dollar transport projects secret. Victoria's infrastructure boom shows that three big building firms have earned $10.5 billion between them since Premier Daniel Andrews came to office four years ago (11 June 2019). More...

Expansion of stamp duty for developers agreements passed
The HIA asked all parties in the Upper House to remove the clauses that relate to the additional duty on developer agreements and similar transactions from the Bill to as further clarity is required. The changes may create a stamp duty liability where a project involves land with an unencumbered value of over $1million (12 June 2019). More...


2019 AFR National Infrastructure Summit
Speech, 12 June 2019
'Access, quality and cost: A community-centred approach to infrastructure planning and delivery' outlines the major trends impacting infrastructure and previews our forthcoming release, the 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit. More...

Ports and a Sustainable Australia
Ports Australia: released 30 May 2019
The report is separated into five categories provided by the World Ports Sustainability Program, these categories are Climate and Energy, Community and port-city dialogue, Governance and Ethics, Resilient Infrastructure, and Safety and Security. More...

Practice and courts

API: Risk rating to be assigned to flammable cladding buildings
Inconsistent approaches to flammable cladding across the country has prompted the Australian Property Institute (API) to lead the way with a valuation protocol which will assign a risk rating on properties that appear to be clad, is known to be clad or is known to have non-compliant cladding (03 June 2019). More...


Department of State development Consultation
Cross River Rail Project – application for proposed change to the project Closed: 14 June 2019. The proponent for the project, the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority, has applied to the Coordinator-General for a fourth change to the project.

Consultation on plans to introduce new licence classes for commercial air-conditioning or medical gas systems
Under the new framework, people already performing mechanical services work may need to undertake some additional training or have their skills assessed, to be eligible to obtain the new licence To provide feedback on the mechanical services licensing framework, please complete the survey here by 5 July 2019.


Goodwin v Rana [2019] NSWDC 247
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – plaintiff and defendants settle proceedings by deed – plaintiff commences proceedings after defendants default in payment – defence asserts faulty workmanship and foreshadows cross-claim – plaintiff seeks summary judgement for a sum in excess of the amount in the deed – accord and satisfaction – repudiation – whether evidence sufficient for summary judgement – application for summary judgement refused.

Lendlease Engineering Pty Ltd v Timecon Pty Ltd [2019] NSWSC 685
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – adjudication – whether determination of adjudicator void – jurisdiction of adjudicator – Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) – whether there was a construction contract – whether there was a construction contract under which there was an undertaking to carry out construction work or to supply related goods and services


Lake Laurel Pty Ltd & Ors v Nichols Constructions Pty Ltd & Ors (No 2) [2019] QSC 145
CONTRACTS – GENERAL CONTRACTUAL PRINCIPLES – CONSTRUCTION AND INTERPRETATION OF CONTRACTS – IMPLIED TERMS – GENERALLY – where the parties were involved in a project to subdivide land – where the first plaintiff and the first defendant entered into a loan agreement, with the second defendants as guarantors, which was secured by a registered mortgage, under which the first defendant agreed to pay the principal sum of $3,775,000.00 to the first plaintiff, by incremental instalments on the sale of each lot in the proposed subdivision, with the balance to be repaid 12 months from registration of the plan(s) of subdivision – where the debt under the loan agreement and mortgage were later assigned to the third plaintiff – where the third plaintiff claims the debt has become due and payable, as a consequence of the first defendant's breach of express and implied terms of the loan agreement and mortgage, by allowing the development approval for the land to lapse, and failing to obtain registration of the plan(s) of subdivision within a reasonable time – where the defendants do not challenge the contention that the first defendant breached the loan agreement and/or the mortgage in the ways contended by the third plaintiff, but argue the principal sum has not become payable because of an earlier breach by the first plaintiff of the implied obligation under the loan agreement and the mortgage to cooperate – whether the implied obligation to cooperate required the first plaintiff to take steps to ensure that plan(s) for subdivision of the land were registered, or not to hinder or obstruct the first defendant's efforts in that regard – whether such a breach, even if established, could be relied upon to defend the claim by the third plaintiff, as assignee, to recover the principal sum – whether the first plaintiff breached the implied obligation to cooperate – whether the principal sum under the loan agreement is due and payable to the third plaintiff.

Lake Laurel Pty Ltd & Ors v Nichols Constructions Pty Ltd & Ors [2019] QSC 129
INTERPRETATION – GENERAL RULES OF CONSTRUCTION OF INSTRUMENTS – GENERAL MATTERS – determination of separate questions under r 483 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld) – construction of provisions of a loan agreement dealing with time of payment.
Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 Qld r 483.


Queensland Phosphate Pty Ltd v Korda [2019] VSCA 119
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Stay – Winding-up order – Applicants granted stay pending appeal – Stay unopposed by respondents – Order for payment of arrears of rental and annual fees in respect of mining tenements – Undertaking to inform authorities of appeal – Breach by applicants of order and undertaking – Application by respondents to lift stay – Whether mining tenements at risk of cancellation for non-payment of rent and annual fees – Mineral Resources Act 1989 (Qld) ss 160, 308(2); Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) ss 278(2)(f), 280, 316I – Whether onus on applicants to establish special or exceptional circumstances – Stay varied to require payment of arrears within 14 days.

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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