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

Last Updated: 30 September 2019
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2019

In the media

Stable population growth will support building activity
Stable population growth is a welcome development for the residential building industry as it will support the industry as it recalibrates to a new equilibrium level, states the HIA's Economist (19 September 2019). More...

World-first green concrete trial
The City of Sydney is trialling the world's first 'green' road on a major high-volume traffic road leading to Sydney Airport, with the concrete made from industrial by-products of coal-fired power stations and co-products from the steel industry (18 September 2019). More...

Two Australian airports receive highest score worldwide for sustainability
The APAC has been recognised for its commitment to sustainability, with the highest global score for an airport awarded to the Corporation by the 2019 GRESB Infrastructure Assessment. Melbourne and Launceston Airports, both run by APAC, landed an overall score of 88 out of 100 – the highest score awarded to an airport worldwide (13 September 2019). More...

Sensible and evidence based: Infrastructure Australia audit
The release of the 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit provides a solid foundation and evidence base for decision makers to help ensure the benefits of infrastructure can be shared right across the nation, says industry think tank Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (13 September 2019). More...

Multimillion Pitt Street metro station contract awarded
The NSW Government has awarded contracts to a consortium of Oxford Properties, CPB Contractors and Grocon to deliver the new station and two new buildings above to form a vibrant new commercial and residential hub around Pitt and Bathurst Streets (18 September 2019). More...

Queensland

Tradie Register to protect homeowners rebuilding after bushfires
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has urged home and property owners affected by bushfires to protect themselves and their family during rebuilding works by using a licensed contractor (19 September 2019). More...

Queensland cracks down on asbestos work
In the past 12 months, WHSQ has cancelled five asbestos removal licences and suspended three others over unsafe and incompetent asbestos removal. Another eight licence holders are currently being assessed. The crackdown is ongoing, with a specialist asbestos team enforcing compliance with state laws (10 September 2019). More...

Victoria

Nearly 500,000 jobs created In Victoria
Australian Bureau of Statistics data released shows 20,300 jobs were created in Victoria in August – more than in any other state in the nation. It shows Victoria's Big Build is continuing to drive construction and support our economy, while delivering the important infrastructure projects that will benefit generations of Victorians (19 September 2019). More...

VBA determined to fight fire engineer's attempt to avoid disciplinary action
The Victorian Building Authority is opposing a registered fire engineer's attempt to halt the disciplinary process against him for cladding-related matters. The Victorian Building Authority is unapologetic for pursuing a disciplinary process against the fire engineer who worked on a Melbourne apartment that caught fire in February 2019 (18 September 2019). More...

Lack of extractive construction materials challenges planned projects
With Victoria's fast-growing population, the race is on to deliver affordable infrastructure and skilled labour within the civil construction sector. Key to this is the maintenance of a robust and efficient supply chain of extractive construction materials (11 September 2019). More...

Premier warns of 'deadly outcomes' in cladding crisis blame game
Premier Daniel Andrews has warned that lives could be lost unless the state and federal governments work together to resolve the cladding crisis. Mr Andrews said the federal government must also play its role, particularly in relation to importation, customs, labelling and product safety issues (08 September 2019). More...

Published

Infrastructure choices: Evaluation and politics
John Daley; Grattan Institute: 12 September 2019
This presentation demonstrates that elections are increasingly about big transport infrastructure 'announceables.' But these election promises are usually driven by politics more than evidence. They don't show much influence from the advice of independent expert bodies, and are often made well before business cases have been completed, let alone publicly released. More...

In practice and courts

New South Wales

New South Wales Fair Trading: Security of Payment laws start soon
The Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Amendment Act 2018 (the Amendment Act) and the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Amendment Regulation 2019 (the amending Regulation) will commence on 21 October 2019. More...

BPB releases summary of key audit findings for 2019
The Building Professionals Board has released a summary of key findings so far from its 2019 program of certifier audits. Read more about the audit program, including the objectives and summary of findings. As audits continue, more findings will be added (August 2019).

Queensland

QBCC unites with the ATO and ASIC to highlight illegal phoenixing
QBCC, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and ASIC have joined forces in an educational offensive against illegal phoenixing in the building industry, with a series of free road shows for building industry members across the State. Seminar information, including registration details, is available from the QBCC website.

Victoria

Better Apartments in Neighbourhoods: Public Consultation
DELWP is seeking feedback on the Better Apartments in Neighbourhoods Discussion Paper. The paper proposes changes to the Better Apartments Design Standards, focused on improving the relationship between new apartment developments and the amenity of existing neighbourhoods. Click here to have your say on changes to the planning rules for apartment developments. Submissions are due by 27 September 2019.

Cases

Queensland

CCIG (Australia) Pty Ltd v Amicus Hospitality Group Pty Ltd [2019] QSC 232
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – THE CONTRACT – CONSTRUCTION OF PARTICULAR CONTRACTS AND IMPLIED CONDITIONS – SECURITY AND RETENTION FUNDS – where the contract incorporated the Australian Standard General Conditions of Contract (AS2124-1992) as amended by Annexure Part B to the general conditions – where clauses 5.2 and 5.3 of the general conditions required the contractor to provide two unconditional bank guarantees each for 2.5% of the contract sum – where the bank guarantees that were provided each had an expiry date – where the second guarantee expired after the date of practical completion but before the date on which the principal is bound to release any security then held by the principal – whether the principal is entitled to demand the contractor provide a bank guarantee to replace the expired bank guarantee – whether the principal had impliedly approved the form of the bank guarantees with expiry dates.

Melaleuca View Pty Ltd v Sutton Constructions Pty Ltd & Ors [2019] QSC 226
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – REMUNERATION – STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OF PROGRESS PAYMENTS – ADJUDICATION OF PAYMENT CLAIMS – where the applicant and first respondent entered into a contract for construction of townhouses - where the first respondent sent emails attaching invoices to the applicant on the 5th and 15th of February 2019 – where the applicant then sent an email to the first respondent in response to matters raised in the email of 15 February 2019 – where the adjudicator on application of the first respondent subsequently determined the applicant had not provided a payment schedule pursuant to s 69 of the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (Qld) and the first respondent was entitled to payment of an adjudicated amount by the applicant - where the applicant seeks to challenge by way of certiorari the decision of the adjudicator - whether the adjudicator made a jurisdictional error in finding that the applicant had failed to provide a payment schedule – whether there was jurisdictional error because the two payment claims served by the first respondent were invalid.
Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 Qld s 17; Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 Qld s 68, s 69, s 70, s 75.

Cherwell Creek Coal Pty Ltd v BHP Queensland Coal Investments Pty Ltd & Ors (No 20) [2019] QLC 37
PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – DISCOVERY AND INTERROGATORIES – DISCOVERY AND INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS – PRODUCTION AND INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS – GENERAL MATTERS – DOCUMENTS IN POSSESSION OF NON-PARTY – where the respondents applied to lift the stay of 10 notices of non-party disclosure – where the principle ground of objection to the notices was relevance – where the applicant had indicated it would refine its pleadings once all joint expert reports were filed – where the applications were adjourned with no order as to costs until the pleadings are revised.
Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 Qld r 242(1)(a)

National Management Group Pty Ltd v Biriel Industries Pty Ltd trading as Master Steel & Ors [2019] QSC 219
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – OTHER MATTERS – where the applicant seeks to set aside two adjudication decisions made under the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (Qld) ("the Act") on the basis of jurisdictional error – where, for one of the adjudication decisions, there were two payment claims issued with the same reference date – whether there was a valid payment claim – whether the adjudicator had jurisdiction to determine that adjudication application.
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – OTHER MATTERS – whether the adjudication applications were served in accordance with section 79(3) of the Act – whether, in any event, substantial compliance with section 79(3) of the Act would satisfy the service requirement.
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – OTHER MATTERS – whether an adjudication application document referring to the project name, the reference date and the amount due is enough to identify the payment claim pursuant to section 79(2)(c) of the Act.
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – OTHER MATTERS – where the applicant submits that the adjudicator failed to provide the applicant with natural justice by refusing to accept submissions about jurisdiction – whether there was any practical injustice or substantial breach of natural justice that warrants setting aside the adjudicator's determination.
Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 Qld ss 67, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 82(2), 84(2), 210
Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 Qld ss 20A, 21(5)

Niclin Constructions Pty Ltd v SHA Premier Constructions Pty Ltd & Anor [2019] QCA 177
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – REMUNERATION – STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OF PROGRESS PAYMENTS – OTHER MATTERS – where the appellant failed to serve the respondent with its adjudication applications until 12 business days after the applications were lodged – where the adjudicator concluded he did not have jurisdiction to decide the applications because there had not been effective service in accordance with s 21(5) of the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) – where the appellant sought a declaration that the decisions of the adjudicator were void – where the primary judge found that compliance with s 21(5) is required for a valid adjudication decision – where s 21(5) contains no express timeframe for service – where the primary judge applied s 38(4) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1954 (Qld) and found service must occur "as soon as possible" after lodging an application – where the appellant submits that the primary judge erred in in applying s 38(4) and in finding that 12 business days was not as soon as possible – whether service of an adjudication application as soon as possible after it is made is necessary to confer jurisdiction on an adjudicator – whether service of an adjudicator's application twelve business days after the adjudication application was "as soon as possible".
Acts Interpretation Act 1954 Qld s 38(4); Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 Qld s 21(5), s 21(6)

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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