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

Last Updated: 12 September 2019

In the media

Why construction standards need to be free
Standards for Australia's construction industry should be free to access to help combat poor building quality, according to many people in the industry. For years, experts have said that cost and lack of access to the hundreds of standards contained in Australia's National Construction Code has been a problem (06 Australia 2019). More...

Productivity Commission to review resources sector regulation
Streamlining regulation in the resources sector will be the focus of a 12-month review by the Productivity Commission. The Productivity Commission will look at best-practice examples of regulation that removes unnecessary costs for business, while maintaining sound oversight (05 September 2019). More...

Apartments could be the crack in the housing market recovery
Evacuations, cracking, flammable cladding — the apartment market has been plagued by damaging, high-profile problems this year. So could it be the thorn in the side of the emerging property market pick-up (05 September 2019). More...

Building crisis: we need an injection of good evidence
Rectifying an information and evidence shortfall in the now widely cited building and construction crisis needs to be an important part of improving policy making and regulation (05 September 2019). More...

Construction recession deepens and spreads across all sectors
Construction work fell by a far sharper than expected 3.8 per cent in the second quarter and, more worryingly, work completed fell across all sectors and in all states and territories (28 August 2019). More...

New South Wales

Sydney Modern Takes another step forward
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for the Arts Don Harwin today announced that Richard Crookes Constructions has been selected as the contractor to build the Art Gallery of New South Wales' Sydney Modern Project, which remains firmly on track to be delivered within its $344 million budget (01 September 2019). More...

Opal Tower builder Icon put aside $1 million for building defects but has spent $24 million so far
Construction giant Icon claims it has spent $24 million since the evacuation of its cracked Opal Tower skyscraper, despite putting only $1 million aside as a "provision for defects" (28 August 2019). More...


Concrete poured onto Sunshine Coast beach after truck gets bogged in sand
A Sunshine Coast business defends its decision to dump concrete on a beach north of Noosa, as the Department of Environment launches an investigation into the matter (28 August 2019). More...

Master Builder Qld: Queensland buildings more than they are cracked up to be
We have the benefit, nationally, of one of the best Building Codes in the world. And unlike other states and territories, in Queensland we are fortunate to already have a comprehensive system of regulation for building work. Combine the two and it means that Queenslanders should be confident in the quality and safety of our buildings (27 August 2019). More...


World's best builders compete to build North East Link
Three consortiums featuring the world's leading construction companies have been shortlisted to build the North East Link's twin road tunnels. The three shortlisted consortia include some of the biggest construction firms in Australia and around the world (01 September 2019). More...

Engineers Australia welcomes compulsory registration of engineers
Engineers Australia has welcomed the passage of the Professional Engineers Registration Bill 2019 through the Victorian Parliament, saying it will result in higher levels of community safety (29 August 2019). More...

Published- articles, papers, reports

Innovation in infrastructure: barriers and opportunities to unlock innovation for a better future
Consult Australia: 03 September 2019
Governments across Australia are facing increasing pressure to deliver fit for purpose infrastructure on time and on budget. This report demonstrates a consensus amongst clients, consultants and contractors in Australia that innovation in infrastructure design and delivery is possible. More...

Infrastructure pipeline report: August 2019
Building Queensland: 26 August 2019
Queensland's growing and ageing population, coupled with ageing infrastructure assets and increased risks of extreme weather are just some of the challenges being addressed by the proposals in this report. More...


New South Wales

White Constructions Pty Ltd v PBS Holdings Pty Ltd [2019] NSWSC 1166
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION LAW – CONTRACT – DAMAGES – Contract to design a sewerage system for a subdivision and submit it for approval – alleged breach consisting of failure to create and submit a design acceptable to the approval authority allegedly having the effect of delaying completion of the subdivision – whether breach established – whether damages established – programming experts called on question of delay – appropriate method of delay analysis – requirement to have regard to evidence – requirement for the plaintiff to establish damages. HELD – no breach established – damages not established.


J.Mac Constructions Pty Ltd v Queensland Building and Construction Commission [2019] QCAT 249
STATUTES – ACTS OF PARLIAMENT – INTERPRETATION – costs – interpretation of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (Qld) – meaning of 'for the benefit of a creditor'
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL ACT – costs – Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) – s 100 – s 102
PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – COSTS – Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) – s 100 – s 102
Professional Engineers and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014 Qld
Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 Qld s 56AC
Queensland Building and Construction Commission and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014 Qld
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 Qld s 32, s 100, s 102, s 102(3)(a), s 102(3)(b), s 102(3)(c), s 102(3)(d), s 102(3)(e), s 102(3)(f), s 107(1)

Sanrus Pty Ltd & Ors v Monto Coal 2 Pty Ltd & Ors (No 5) [2019] QSC 210
EVIDENCE – ADMISSIBILITY – OPINION EVIDENCE – EXPERT OPINION – GENERALLY – where the plaintiffs sought to adduce expert evidence in the form of a report from an expert in rail and other infrastructure as it relates to the development of a mine – where the defendants objected to extensive parts of the reports produced by the expert and some portions of the joint expert reports he was responsible for – where the bases of the objections included that the matters contained in the report are not properly the subject of expert opinion, that the expert is not adequately qualified to make the impugned statements and that the opinions stated are not based wholly or substantially on the expert's expertise – whether the objections to the expert reports should be upheld


United Commercial v PHHH [2019] VSCA 192
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Security for costs – Delay – Significance of delay absent evidence of prejudice – PPK Willoughby Pty Ltd v Baird [2019] NSWCA 48 applied.
PHHH Investments No 2 Pty Ltd engaged United Commercial to carry out construction work at that property in 2016. In 2017 there was litigation in this Court between United Commercial and PHHH under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 - agree that the amount of such security be the sum of $85,000 specified by Whelan JA.

Mirvac Victoria Pty Ltd v Liszka & Anor; Mirvac Victoria Pty Ltd v Pahor [2019] VSC 561
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Appeal from decision of Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal – Whether Tribunal failed to give proper and adequate reasons for decision - Bellgrove v Eldridge – Whether application of Bellgrove v Eldridge measure of damages correct where claimant is subsequent owner not contracting party - Leave to Appeal granted – Appealed dismissed – Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (Vic), s 148, Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (Vic), s 8, 9.

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