In the media

A road map to improve the fire safety in buildings
The Australian Modern Building Alliance outlined a holistic approach to the fire safety in buildings at the Fire Conference 2021 Conference, highlighting seven layers of fire safety in buildings and a proposed European regulatory framework known as BIO – covering building, installation, and organisational requirements for fire safety in high-rise buildings (12 May 2021). More...

HIA: Housing and jobs lead economic recovery
The budget will help support the home ownership aspirations for thousands of households and create more opportunities for young people to embark on careers in the housing industry (11 May 2021). More...

Recovery will continue riding on the ute's back – builders and tradies back budget
Builders and tradies will strongly back the budget. It will boost the confidence of the industry that the "recovery can continue to largely ride on the ute's back," Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia said. This is not an accountant's budget it is a nation-builders (11 May 2021). More...

HIA: Support for home ownership will help families
The announcement of new support measures aimed at helping families into their own home will make a real difference in the lives of thousands of Australians. Research in 2019 found that 92 per cent of renters aspire to own their own home yet just 49 per cent of renters felt they would achieve home ownership (08 May 2021). More...

First home buyers have driven demand
There were over 155,000 loans issued to first home buyers over the past 12 months. This is the most loans to first home buyers since the post-GFC stimulus measures in 2009 and 50 per cent higher than the long-term average (07 May 2021). More...

New home sales halve as HomeBuilder winds up
New home sales halved nationally in April as the federal government's $25,000 HomeBuilder stimulus package came to an end, new figures from the Housing Industry Association reveal (13 May 2021). More...

Sydney most expensive city to build in Australia
Sydney has topped Australian cities as the most expensive place to build – and prices are expected to rise. The Arcadis 2021 International Construction Costs report ranks 100 cities around the world based on a survey of costs and market conditions. Sydney was 29th in the world, ahead of Melbourne (41), Brisbane (42), Perth (45) and Adelaide (55) (11 May 2021). More...

Construction code changes can future-proof homes
Australia's building ministers at their meeting on April 30 decided to include minimum accessibility standards in the 2022 National Construction Code. The new standards will come into effect in September 2022 and reflect the fact that our housing needs are changing as our population ages (07 May 2021). More...

Helping communities rebuild and recover from natural disasters
By bringing together critical data from the nation's key climate research institutions, the Australian Climate Service will not only help save lives and money through a more informed emergency response, it will inform long-term planning for infrastructure, housing and basic services like power, telecommunications, and water (05 May 2021). More...

Hazard 2020 – scaffolding audit results continue to raise concern
The latest Hazard 2020 safety campaign data up to the end of April 2021 continues to show that while accredited companies are making solid progress in improving the safety of mobile plant, compliance with scaffolding requirements remains too low (04 May 2021). More...

Engineers at Sydney towers with 'structural issues' must be 'accountable', says Building Commissioner
The NSW Building Commissioner says he wants to know why an apartment complex being built in the Sydney suburb of Castle Hill has "structural issues" and will refer the principal engineers to the industry's peak body (14 May 2021). More...

'Structural issues' found in 'luxurious' Sydney apartment tower
One of Sydney's biggest residential property developments is under review amid the discovery of "structural issues" that will require "specialist engineering advice" (13 May 2021). More...

Engineering company fined after crane collapses onto building
A structural engineering company has been fined $225,000 after three workers were injured when a tower crane collapsed onto an apartment block in Wolli Creek, NSW. S&T Services Pty Ltd was investigated by SafeWork NSW and pleaded guilty to a breach of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 in the NSW District Court (13 May 2021). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Building Approvals, Australia 05 May 2021.

ABCC industry update – 13 May 2021 edition
Read about the state of the industry, litigation news and more in this month's edition of Industry Update.

Practice and courts

HIA: Have your say on changes to the building code for 2022
HIA encourages all members to take time and review the changes to the National Building Code that will impact on housing from September 2022. Have your say on changes to the building code for 2022 here.

Consultation on NCC 2022 public comment draft (stage 1) now open
10 May 2021 – consultation on stage 1 of the National Construction Code (NCC) 2022 public comment draft is now open. This first stage of consultation seeks comment on all proposed NCC amendments except energy efficiency and condensation proposals that arise from project work. Responses are invited until 2 July 2021.

Discussion paper: Building Manuals – a response to the Building Confidence Report
A discussion paper is now open for public consultation in response to the Building Confidence Report. Recommendation 20 of the Building Confidence Report states that each jurisdiction should require a comprehensive building manual for Class 2 – 9 buildings to be lodged with the building owners and made available to successive purchasers of the buildings. Read more here.

Discussion paper: Draft National Building Product Assurance Framework – a response to the Building Confidence Report
A discussion paper is now open for public comment in response to the Building Confidence Report. The Framework seeks to address the problems associated with building product safety. Read more here. Closes 6 June 2021.

ABCB: Improvements to the code's structure and format will be implemented for NCC 2022
To guide users through the changes, the ABCB has developed a range of supporting resources that will be released in stages leading up to the publication of the NCC 2022 public comment draft on 10 May 2021.

Adoption of NCC 2022 to be delayed
The delayed adoption will also see adjustments to key dates in the amendment cycle process for NCC 2022 to allow stakeholders time to participate. These adjusted dates include:
May – July 2021: NCC 2022 public comment draft released for public consultation.
May 2022: NCC 2022 preview published here.
If you have any questions regarding the delayed adoption of NCC 2022, please submit an online enquiry.

Conflicts of interest – savings and transitional arrangements
Clause 71 of the Regulation introduces savings provisions for certain conflict of interest situations where the certifier was appointed before 1 July 2020 and the work will be completed before 1 July 2022. The provisions relate to council-certified developments and to developments where the certifier gave advice on how to comply with the BCA deemed to satisfy provisions. For all the changes, access the Amendment Regulation here.


The Owners – Strata Plan 64757 v Sydney Remedial Builders Pty Ltd [2021] NSWSC 536
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – application to amend list response to allege proceedings out of time – whether building contract made date in Certificate of Practical Completion conclusive as to when completion took place.

Patel v Redmyre Group Limited [2021] NSWCATAP 132
APPEAL – building and construction – finding that appellant owners had failed to prove that the respondent builder failed to diligently proceed with the works – whether owners validly terminated the contract – whether contract repudiated by owners-held owners not entitled to recover damages for breach of contract – entitlement of builder to recover costs of additional works on basis of quantum meruit – appeal dismissed with costs.
CIVIL PROCEDURE – application to refer question of law to Supreme Court of NSW – application made on basis of factual assumption not established in the proceedings – application refused.

BuildPlatinum Pty Limited v Micaleff [2021] NSWCATAP 129
APPEALS – building and construction – residential building – evidence – expert evidence – assessment of expert evidence – whether evidence established breach of statutory warranty.
APPEALS – civil procedure – re-opening of case – applicable principles.

Sydney RV Group Pty Ltd v Mark Anthony Vallender [2021] NSWCATAP 125
APPEALS – procedural fairness – effect of r 13, Civil and Administrative Tribunal Rules 2014 – service of Notice of Hearing by Tribunal taken to be effective unless otherwise proven – obligation on party to comply with directions – discretion of appeal panel to allow appeal even if error demonstrated.

Wilderness Blue Pty Ltd v Frasers Putney Pty Ltd [2021] NSWCATAP 115
HOME BUILDING CONTRACT – whether contract to do residential building work, meaning of "procure" – claim for breach of warranties as successor in title – whether time for lodgment of application should be extended.

Lane v Bloc Constructions (NSW) Pty Ltd [2021] NSWCATAP 114
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) – residential building work – statutory warranty – proceedings for breach – damages – claimed loss of rent cause by breach of statutory warranty – no evidence to support claim – claim dismissed – no error in Tribunal rejecting evidence not previously served – fresh evidence rejected on appeal as not established that evidence not reasonably available at the time of the Tribunal hearing.

Slotwinski v Nutek Constructions Pty Ltd [2021] NSWCATAP 113
COSTS – party/party – successful defence by way of equitable set-off which extinguished the respondent's claim – costs should follow the event.

HSL Group Pty Ltd v Commissioner for Fair Trading, Department of Customer Service [2021] NSWCATAP 112
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) – improper conduct – disciplinary action – appellants failed to obtain insurance and made false or misleading applications – residential building work not carried out under a contract – appellants not fit and proper persons to hold an authority under the Act.
APPEALS – whether finding that appellants not fit and proper persons to hold an authority under the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) against weight of evidence – inferences from primary facts – inconsistency of findings – conclusion not supported by findings – whether finding of unacceptable risk of reoffending not justified by evidence – whether Tribunal had regard to irrelevant consideration in taking candour into account – whether Tribunal disregarded relevant consideration in concluding subjective state of mind and understanding of conduct not to the point – appeal dismissed.
APPEALS – leave to appeal – principles governing.
APPEALS – procedural fairness – failure to give reasons – adequacy of reasons.

Mangadha v Commissioner for Fair Trading
(1) The application in respect of the Mutual Recognition Act Decision is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
JURISDICTION – Mutual Recognition (New South Wales) Act 1992 – extent of Tribunal's jurisdiction – continuation of proceedings misconceived and lacking in substance when substantive reasons for application no longer apply.
Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth) – Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (NSW) – Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) – Mutual Recognition (New South Wales) Act 1992 (NSW).


Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Coal Mine Subsidence Compensation Amendment (Contributions) Regulation 2021 (2021–210) – published LW 7 May 2021.

Bills introduced Government – 12 May 2021
Better Regulation Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill 2021
Building Legislation Amendment Bill 2021

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Reminder: Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2021 (2021–152) – this Regulation commences on 1 July 2021 and is required to be published on the NSW legislation website.

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.