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Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

03 June 2020

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

In the media

ABCC court action sees building director penalised $54,000 for ‘wage theft’
The Federal Circuit Court has imposed penalties totalling $54,000 against the former director of Victorian building company, SWAT Building Systems (29 May 2020).  More...

Fears for 800,000 jobs as construction and tourism say there will be no economic 'snap back'
With no "snap-back" in sight, leaders in construction and tourism are warning of swathes of further job losses after JobKeeper expires at the end of September (29 May 2020).  More...

HIA: Housing weighing heavily on economy
In a quarter that largely preceded the COVID-19 disruption, residential building activity chalked up the sixth  consecutive  quarterly contraction in  the  volume  of  building  work  done. The  persistent  credit squeeze  throughout  2019  contributed  to  home  building  activity  dropping  back  to  levels  last  seen  in 2014 (27 May 2020).  More...

Building tomorrow’s homes for the post-COVID economy
The ASBEC has called on Australian governments to build better homes and help Australia’s post-COVID economy. Tomorrow’s Homes, a new platform released, explains that with Australia’s population forecast to reach 41 million people by 2050, we’ll need to build up to 197,000 homes each year (26 May 2020).  More... 

Builders call for $13 billion stimulus action plan
A $13.2 billion building and construction stimulus action will stimulate over $30 billion in new economic activity and create more than 100,000 new jobs across the economy according to new economic modelling commissioned by Master Builders Australia (25 May 2020).  More...

Commercial construction forecast to suffer steep decline
The commercial construction sector is facing a devastating downturn due to the impact of COVID-19 unless governments act to provide stimulus. Compared to their previous forecasts Master Builders now expects commercial building activity to be 15.7 per cent lower in 2020/21 and 11.5 per cent lower in 2021/22 (21 May 2020).  More...

New South Wales

Mascot Towers owners seek $15m from developer of neighbouring building
The state's consumer watchdog is also investigating the certification of the apartment building next to the cracked Mascot Towers (28 May 2020).  More...

Urgent need to stimulate New South Wales private sector construction work before it is too late
The value of private construction activity has dropped sharply in the first three months of 2020 according to ABS data released. When you look at the value of construction per capita, it is clear that the construction sector in NSW is in freefall and needs urgent support or the NSW economy is in big trouble (27 May 2020).  More...

More planning projects to propel future of New South Wales
New South Wales will lead Australia to economic recovery, with the New South Wales Government announcing another 24 priority projects, including a new retail centre, industrial precincts, three new schools and the relocated Sydney Fish Markets, that could inject more than $5.37 billion into the State’s economy (26 May 2020).  More...


Infrastructure bonanza to create hundreds of new jobs in regional Queensland
Tens of millions worth of infrastructure investment will fuel the economic recovery of regional and remote Queensland, with 48 new council projects backed by the Palaszczuk Government’s $365 million Building our Regions (BoR) program (20 May 2020).  More...

$400 million for Queensland infrastructure to boost economic recovery
The Queensland Government has finalised arrangements for a $100 million Resources Community Infrastructure Fund (RCIF), aimed at supporting regional resource communities. The Fund will deliver $100 million over three years towards projects targeted at improving economic and social infrastructure across Queensland’s resources communities (21 May 2020).  More...

Parliament supports jail for bosses on mine deaths
Australia’s toughest mine safety laws passed in Queensland Parliament today with executives facing up to 20 years’ jail if Queensland mine and quarry workers die because of their criminal negligence (20 May 2020).  More...

We're creating jobs': The resource companies expanding during the coronavirus
Some resource companies expand in regional Queensland, creating much needed jobs as economies tank from the coronavirus (18 May 2020).  More...


$25,000 fine for unregistered, unlicensed person who provided illegal plumbing certificates
A man who pretended he was a registered and licensed plumber and provided South African plumbing compliance certificates for work he did has been fined $25,000 by the Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court (28 May 2020).  More...

Construction begins on one of Melbourne’s last ‘super tower’
Construction of one of Melbourne’s last ‘super towers’, ​Aspire Melbourne​, is officially underway, with Hickory appointed to carry out the circa $180 million construction contract. It is estimated that 1,000 jobs will be created throughout the project’s roughly three-year construction life-cycle (27 May 2020).  More...

Building Recovery Taskforce continues fast tracking
The Victorian Government has fast tracked more than $1.2 billion worth of building and development projects as part of its ongoing work to kickstart Victoria’s economy and create thousands of jobs. The Taskforce is calling for submissions of priority projects of state and regional significance that could be considered for development assistance, including those that may be awaiting a decision at VCAT (25 May 2020).  More...

Practice and courts


Brisbane Airport Corporation: Projects and planning
Brisbane Airport Corporation has invested a further $1.8 billion worth of infrastructure to be delivered between now and 2022. Projects to be delivered include Brisbane's New Runway, the Auto Mall development and Terminal redevelopments. Explore airport plans, major projects and development information below (May 2020).

QBCC: Safer Buildings program enters final stage
The QBCC is administering the three-part Safer Buildings program to understand the extent of combustible cladding use in Queensland’s private buildings. The Safer Buildings program has advanced considerably with Part 3 of the combustible cladding checklist now underway. The deadline for building owners to finalise the Part 3 assessment is 3 May 2021. For more information on the Safer Buildings program, visit


Vannella Pty Ltd Atf Capitalist Family Trust v TFM Epping Land Pty Ltd and Katoomba Residence Investment Pty Ltd;; Decon Australia Pty Ltd v TFM Epping Land Pty Ltd and Katoomba Residence Investment Pty Ltd [2020] NSWSC 659
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – Building and Construction Industry Security of Payments Act – where builder served payment claim and developer did not serve a payment schedule – where builder obtained summary judgment – where developer unsuccessfully appealed from that judgment – where developer now brings a cross claim in main proceedings – where developer sought a “Grosvenor stay” – where stay brought on basis of developer’s parlous financial position rather than builder’s financial position – whether stay sought truly a “Grosvenor stay” – whether any stay should be granted. 

Cohen v Zanzoul trading as Uniq Building Group [2020] NSWSC 592
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – residential building work – whether plaintiff principals repudiated their obligations under the contract – whether defendant builder thereby exonerated from any liability for defective work – accrued rights of parties   CONTRACTS – residential building work – whether plaintiff principals repudiated their obligations under the contract – whether defendant builder thereby exonerated from any liability for defective work – accrued rights of parties   RESTITUTION – whether restitution on the basis of a quantum meruit available where there is an enforceable contract and rights have accrued under that contract


Acciona Agua Australia Pty Ltd v Monadelphous Engineering Pty Ltd [2020] QSC 133
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – REMUNERATION – STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OF PROGRESS PAYMENTS – ADJUDICATION OF PAYMENT CLAIMS – where adjudicator determined respondent to payment claim was entitled to contribution for shared costs under contract – where adjudicator set off respondent’s entitlement against claimant’s payment claim to reach adjudicated amount of nil – whether respondent’s reasons were “new reasons” not raised in payment schedule – whether adjudicator, in improperly considering new reasons, fell into jurisdictional error – whether adjudicator’s reasons for determination were sufficient – how relief can be formulated to allow that part of the adjudicator’s decision not affected by jurisdictional error to remain binding on the parties
Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 Qld s 88, s 101(4)


Bayside Design & Construct Pty Ltd v Nureddin Kanbur [2020] VCC 691
Building contract – mixed use development comprising single residential unit and two shops – owner to occupy residential unit as home and not in the business of building residence – contract a domestic building contract despite commercial component – application of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) excluded by s7(2)(b) of that Act - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) s7(2)(b), Domestic Building Contract Act 1995 ss3, 5, 6 and 12

The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this newsletter is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

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