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

Last Updated: 2 August 2019
Most Read Contributor in Australia, August 2019

In the media

Australian construction industry stabilising
Australia's construction industry will contract by 2.4% in 2019, but will regain its growth momentum in 2020, according to a report from data analytics and consulting company GlobalData (25 July 2019). More...

Developers would need to prove they can afford to fix defects under proposed law
Developers would be required to engage in a range of transparency measures designed to stop them avoiding debts and defect bills, and nominate a person to take responsibility for the company's actions, under a proposal being considered by the ACT Government (23 July 2019). More...

Ministers agree to act on PI impasse
A consultation on professional indemnity insurance is expected in coming weeks after the Building Ministers' Forum in Sydney last week agreed on a co-ordinated response to the impasse in the construction industry. The near-collapse of the PI market for certifiers and surveyors, triggered by the withdrawal of exemption-free covers, was among key issues discussed at the meeting in Sydney (22 July 2019). More...

No 'windfall' for insurers under cladding fix: ICA
The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has rejected suggestions that insurers will enjoy a "significant windfall gain" from Victoria's cladding rectification plan and should therefore help fund the repairs (22 July 2019). More...

Energy efficiency hits home for Australia's Building Ministers
As we strive to reduce Australia's carbon emissions, whilst at the same time tackling rising energy bills, the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) has warmly welcomed the agreement of building ministers across the country to advance energy efficiency provisions for new homes in the National Construction Code (18 July 2019). More...

PCA: Joint Statement by industry groups on building regulation
Australia's fragmented approach to regulatory enforcement and compliance with building regulations requires a renewed commitment to national action to maintain public confidence in our built environment (15 July 2019). More...

New South Wales

Prominent Sydney buildings at risk from combustible fire cladding
More than 40 Sydney buildings need combustible fire cladding replaced due to the risk of fire, new documents released under freedom of information laws reveal (18 July 2019). More...

Former Sydney tip owners awarded $50 million compo for WestConnex site
The New South Wales government has been ordered to pay more than $50 million compensation to the former owners of a tip site that it acquired for WestConnex (18 July 2019). More...


$70 million up for grabs for job-creating regional infrastructure projects
The Palaszczuk Government's successful $365 million Building our Region's (BoR) program has entered its next phase, with details of the $70 million Round 5 revealed (25 July 2019). More...

Jobs to flow as local contract awarded for Haughton upgrade
The Bruce Highway – Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade project is continuing to generate local jobs, as a North Queensland company puts the call out for businesses to help deliver the major project (19 July 2019). More...


Victoria to spend $600m to strip flammable cladding from hundreds of buildings
Hundreds of millions of dollars will be spent to deal with the flammable cladding crisis in Victoria, where about 500 buildings need rectification work to be made safe (16 July 2019). More...

In practice and courts

ABCB: Advisory Note released on the intent of the timber framing concessions
22 July 2019 – This explains the intent of the concession in Specification C1.1, Clauses 3.10 (a) and 4.3 (a) of NCC Volume One. More...


State Infrastructure Plan 2019 (SIP) update released
The Queensland Government has released the Part B 2019 update of the State Infrastructure Plan (SIP), and launched the Strategy for Social Infrastructure. The strategy provides a framework for the planning, design, location and use of the state's social infrastructure (24 July 2019). More...


Victorian Building Practitioners' Insurance - Ministerial Order
The Victorian Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne has announced a Ministerial Order regarding professional indemnity insurance to come into effect on August 12 2019. The details of this order can be read on the Victorian Government Gazette No. S 293 which can be accessed here.


Grocon Constructors (Qld) Pty Ltd v Dexus Funds Management Limited as Trustee for the Dexus 480Q Trust (No 2) [2019] FCA 1117
CORPORATIONS – application to set aside statutory demands – whether statutory demands should be set aside on basis that they were issued for a collateral and improper purpose – whether statutory demands should be set aside on basis that there is a genuine dispute as to whether certain amounts were due and payable as at the date of the demand. Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), ss 459G, 459H, 459J

New South Wales

The Owners – Strata Plan 83572 v Jackson Teece Chesterman Willis Pty Ltd [2019] NSWSC 942
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – residential building work – statutory warranties – remedial work to leaking façade – scope of work to be undertaken by the remedial builder – whether work done without due care and skill – whether any loss shown to have resulted from builder's work

AEA Constructions Pty Ltd v Wharekawa;; AEA Constructions Pty Ltd v Building Partners Pty Ltd [2019] NSWCA 176
TORTS — negligence — apportionment of responsibility and damages — primary judge held that appellant vicariously liable for injury and breached duty of care owed to respondent — primary judge found no negligence on part of worker's employer — whether primary judge erred in finding worker's employer not in breach of duty and liable in damages to respondent such as to entitle appellant to contribution from employer — whether primary judge erred in assessment of non-economic loss by applying a 10% reduction to percentage of most extreme case to reflect for contingency — whether primary judge's assessment as to past economic loss supported by evidence — whether primary judge's estimation of working life of 60 years and application of 20 per cent buffer for vicissitudes sufficient to account for fact that surgery brought about by negligence would have been necessary at some point in future in any event

Style Timber Floor Pty Ltd v Krivosudsky [2019] NSWCA 171
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – payment claim under Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) – payment schedule – claim related to seven invoices and five sites – email in response proposed a meeting and referred to many emails, photos, back charges and complaints – email said claimant would understand why he couldn't be paid and that the damages done were more than had been claimed – whether email in response was a payment schedule – whether email indicated reasons for withholding payment within meaning of s 14(3) – no particular site indicated – scope of dispute unable to be determined – court at first instance correct to conclude email not a payment schedule – appeal dismissed


Zulin Formwork Pty Ltd v Valeo Construction Pty Ltd [2019] VCC 936
BUILDING CONTRACTS – Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) – plaintiff's application for judgment on payment claim – whether judgment precluded because payment claim wrongfully included "excluded amounts", being amounts said to represent damages or, alternatively, non-claimable variations
Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic), s16(2)(a)(i)

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