In the media

HomeBuilder drives surge in new home building
"The number of new houses that commenced construction in the December quarter was the second highest level on record," stated Tim Reardon, HIA's Chief Economist. House commencements surged by 27.0 per cent in the final quarter of 2020 to their highest level since March 2000 (14 April 2021). More...

Global construction industry forecast to grow by 5.2 per cent in 2021
Following the historic collapse in construction activity in 2020 amid the severe disruption caused by restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19, the global construction industry is set to grow by 5.2 per cent in 2021, according to data and analytics company, GlobalData. Output in 2021 is expected to be 2.5 per cent higher than the 2019 level (12 April 2021). More...

Crane numbers tell a story of changing housing demand
The number of cranes across Australian city skylines rose to 691 in Rider Levett Bucknall's latest count, the first increase in two years, as education and infrastructure projects pushed the number of cranes on non-residential work to its highest level since counting began in 2013 (07 April 2021). More...

'A perfect storm': New home builders 'frustrated' amid trades shortage and supply chain delays
Australia's building sector bears the brunt of a "perfect storm" of events, with near-record new home approvals straining supply chains and sparking construction delays (07 April 2021). More...

NSW to modernise heritage protections
The New South Wales Government is taking the first steps to review and modernise the NSW Heritage legislation with the referral of a discussion paper to a Parliamentary committee for inquiry and consultation (08 April 2021). More...

NSW Government working to digitise trade licences
Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation, Kevin Anderson, has announced that the NSW Government will digitise the licence card for more than 30 Home Building and SafeWork licence categories (06 April 2021). More...

Extension of time to start HomeBuilder projects
The Government has announced an extension of time to commence HomeBuilder projects pushing the current six month requirement out to 18 months (17 April 2021). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Australian Bureau of Statistics
14 April 2021 – private new house commencements increase in December
Building Activity, Australia

09 April 2021 – Building Approvals data for small geographic areas
Building Approvals, Australia

Practice and courts

ABCC industry update – 15 April 2021 edition
Read about the latest court outcomes, litigation news, and everything you need to know about our upcoming security of payment audits in this month's edition.

High Court determination settles right of entry permit requirement
The requirement for union officials to hold a valid federal right of entry permit when entering work sites under state or territory OHS laws has been upheld following a High Court determination. The High Court on 8 April 2021 refused to allow the CFMMEU special leave to appeal a 2020 Full Federal Court decision. Click here to read more (13 April 2021).

Discussion paper: Integrity of private building surveyors and their role in enforcement – a response to the Building Confidence Report
A discussion paper is now open for public consultation in response to the Building Confidence Report. The report made 24 recommendations for a best practice model for compliance and enforcement, to strengthen the effective implementation of the National Construction Code (NCC). Read more here. Closes 27 April 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. Closes 17 May 2021.

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.

NSW Land and Environment Court
Design at the heart of new planning policy. The Explanation of Intended Effect for the Design and Place State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP), proposes to consolidate and replace existing design-focused policies, including SEPP 65 and BASIX SEPP to ensure good design outcomes for any new major development. The Explanation of Intended Effect for the Design and Place SEPP is now on public exhibition, with submissions now open until 28 April 2021. For more information and to submit feedback, click here.

Have your say on changes to how building design and construction is regulated in NSW
The development of supporting regulations is the next step on delivering on this piece of the Government's building reform agenda, with the scheme commencing on 1 July 2021. The Design and Building Practitioners Regulation commences on this date. The Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2021 was published on 9 April 2021.

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.

NSW Revenue: Land tax build to rent
The NSW Government is introducing a land tax discount for new build-to-rent housing projects until 2040 and a new Housing Diversity SEPP to provide more housing options, greater surety for renters, boost construction and support jobs during the COVID-19 recovery.



Cappello v Hammond & Simonds NSW Pty Ltd [2021] NSWCA 57
CONTRACT – cost plus contract for building work – claim in debt following non-payment of final invoice – belated submission that condition precedent requiring provision of details of cost of building works accompany builder's invoice not satisfied – submission not made to trial judge – whether point available on appeal.
CONTRACT – building contract – claim for defective work – owner directed re-pouring of lowered slab – whether that work was a consequence of incorrectly built ceiling – whether owner entitled to damages.
CONTRACT – quantification of damages – building contract – delay in performance – whether owner entitled to damages for diminution in market value of residential house – whether owner entitled to general damages for limited use and loss of amenity while building works continued.
PLEADINGS – conditions precedent – implied allegation that all conditions precedent to plaintiffs' claim satisfied – obligation on defendant to identify with specificity non-satisfaction of condition precedent to plaintiffs' claim – Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW) rr 14.11, 14.14 – history of rules – consequences of failure to comply with rules.

Wilmot v Commissioner for Fair Trading [2021] NSWCATOD 43
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – home building – application for contractor licence – whether applicant satisfied criterion in respondent's policy of having experience in a wide range of building construction work – whether applicant satisfied criterion in respondent's policy of having been supervised by the holder of a contractor licence when doing that work – whether applicant satisfied statutory criterion of having experience enabling him to do, or to supervise, the work for which a supervisor certificate is required – whether applicant is capable of doing or supervising work for which a supervisor certificate is required.

Shoveller v Dak-Wal Constructions Pty Ltd (No 2) [2021] NSWSC 352
NEGLIGENCE – occupiers' liability – duty of care of builder/occupier for hazard created during building works and causing damage to invitee after handover to owners – relative liability of owners, builder and contractor.

Grandview Pty Ltd v Bacon [2021] NSWCATAP 83
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – contract – identity of parties – terms of contract – damages – betterment – apportionment – contribution between builders for cost of unpaid variations.

Fastway Plumbing Pty Ltd v Castle [2021] NSWCATAP 82
APPEAL – adequacy of reasons – whether the tribunal engaged with the cases of each party.



Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2021 (2021–152) – published LW 9 April 2021.

Environmental Planning Instruments
State Environmental Planning Policy (Major Infrastructure Corridors) Amendment 2021 (2021–184) – published LW 16 April 2021.

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.