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Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

13 July 2021

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

In the media

BEC scams hit Australian construction sector
The Australian Cyber Security Centre has issued a high alert for construction companies and their customers in Australia. The ACSC has reported in the past six months there has been an increase in cybercriminals targeting builders and construction companies to conduct business email compromise scams within Australia (09 July 2021).  More...

Australian PCI: Construction expansion hit with high prices and capacity squeeze
The Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association Australian Performance of Construction Index (Australian PCI®) fell by a further 2.8 points to 55.5 in June, trending lower after hitting a record high in March (readings above 50 indicate expansion in activity, with higher results indicating a faster expansion) (05 July 2021).  More...

Detached dwelling approvals remain elevated in May
The Australian Bureau of Statistics released its monthly building approvals data for detached and multi-units data covering all states and territories. “Detached approvals are expected to remain elevated for several more months as approval authorities work through the remaining HomeBuilder projects (05 July 2021).  More...

HIA: Loans for new home building remain elevated but below peak
Confidence in the broader housing market is strong, supported by low interest rates and ongoing house price growth” added MsLillicrap.“This has seen the number of loans for established homes increase by 10.3 per cent in the three months to May, reaching the third highest level since the series began in 2002 (02 July 2021).  More...

Timber supply can't keep up with demand as housing boom comes after Black Summer bushfires
The federal government is being urged to intervene in the national timber industry, as the construction and forestry union forecasts the sector will not be able to meet demand fuelled by the national construction boom (02 July 2021).  More...

Intergenerational Report highlights urgent need for reform
Australian Constructors Association CEO Jon Davies said the report sends a clear message that Australia’s productivity performance needs to improve. Government and clients need to move away from a focus on procuring based simply on lowest tender cost and instead consider overall value and options for innovation (28 June 2021).  More...

Four big steps on the way to sustainable social infrastructure
Our new report released with New Zealand Green Building Council, Green Star in focus: The case for sustainable social infrastructure, finds that sustainable infrastructure doesn’t just help governments achieve climate targets and reduce costs, it also gives communities the healthy, sustainable and resilient places they are asking for (28 June 2021).  More...

State of play: Local governments and city networks accelerating climate action in Australia
As we move into the critical decade for climate action, the ambition of local governments across Australia towards significant emissions reduction in their communities make them the perfect partner to deliver a national net zero target well before 2050, suggests a new report from ICLEI and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (28 June 2021).  More...

New South Wales

New tool to determine quality and trustworthiness of New South Wales residential buildings
The NSW Government has announced a collaboration to develop a world-first construction assurance tool, utilising multiple data points to help Fair Trading and the insurance industry to access a residential apartment building’s quality and compliance with construction standards (09 July 2021).  More...

Latest infrastructure grants funding now open
The next round of the NSW Government’s Infrastructure Grants program opens, with community organisations impacted by COVID-19 encouraged to apply for funding (05 June 2021).  More...

Construction watchdog: Body corporates are not reporting known defects
Fewer than a fifth of new buildings in NSW with serious defects had been reported to the government officials charged with cleaning up the construction industry and restoring public confidence (03 July 2021).  More...

Building sites fail on falls while solar firm fined $300k
Employers across NSW are being put on notice after recent SafeWork visits to construction sites in northern Sydney and the Sutherland shire revealed more than 20 per cent of sites had working at heights risks while two thirds required intervention on unsafe practices (02 July 2021).  More...

List of developer's 'defective' residential buildings in Sydney revealed in court
A string of "defective" residential buildings across Sydney, constructed by developer Toplace, have been revealed as part of a court battle between the company and shock-jock Ray Hadley (03 July 2021).  More...

Sydney's fish market revamp leaves locals feeling 'cast aside'
Local community groups say they have had little say in plans for the development, which include more than 1,000 apartments to be built over the Sydney Fish Market site (02 July 2021).  More...

Residents banned from Sydney apartment block after 'serious defects' discovered
A 22-storey twin-tower complex in Parramatta in Sydney's west is slapped with a serious defects prohibition order, after the NSW Building Commissioner discovered major issues with the development's "load-bearing component" (01 July 2021).  More...

Next stage for Sydney Metro West’s nine new stations
Construction plans are in motion for the next stage of the Sydney Metro West project, involving nine new metro stations between Westmead and Hunter Street in the CBD (pictured) and their surrounding precincts. A Scoping Report, lodged with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, is seeking approval for major building works (30 June 2021).  More...

Queensland

Agreement for Burleigh Heads light rail construction
The Broadbeach to Burleigh Heads light rail extension is a step closer to beginning construction, with an early works agreement seeing GoldlinQ and John Holland undertaking detailed planning, identifying and inspecting underground services and establishing a site presence along the 6.7km corridor (06 July 2021).  More...

Free help for builders and homeowners caught in COVID storm
Homeowners and builders caught in the “perfect storm” of rising prices and material shortages now have access to free help to get their homes built. The Accelerated Builder / Consumer Dispute (ABCD) service went live on July 1 with free professional mediators to help frustrated homeowners and embattled builders find a way to get their homes completed (05 July 2021).  More...

Accelerated builder/consumer dispute process now available
In response to our lobbying for industry in the face of chronic trade and materials shortages and drastic cost hikes, the QBCC has launched a new Accelerated Building/Consumer Dispute process to help address the challenges currently facing the residential construction industry (01 July 2021).  More...

New scaffolding rules protect building workers
New rules around scaffolding kick in from tomorrow to protect the lives of Queensland construction workers (30 June 2021).  More...

Victoria

Delivering a stronger social housing sector in Victoria
The review into Victoria’s social housing regulatory system is underway, responding to significant changes in the sector as the Andrews Labor Government builds thousands of new social housing homes across the state uunder the 5.3 billion Big Housing Build investment (02 July 2021).  More...

Preferred bidder selected for North East Link tunnelling package
The Victorian Government has chosen a preferred bidder to construct twin three-lane tunnels and key interchanges as part of the North East Link tunneling package, to be delivered as a Public Private Partnership. (29 June 2021).  More...

Practice and courts

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 The first stage of articles and resources are being released here.

Update: National Construction Code (NCC) 2022 public comment draft (stage 1)
Please note The Australian Building Codes Board wishes to advise that consultation on stage 1 of National Construction Code 2022 public comment draft has now been extended until 11 July.  More...

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 at ncc.abcb.gov.au
If you have any questions regarding the delayed adoption of NCC 2022, please submit an online enquiry.

Comcare Consultation: Proposed change to plant registration – removal of a condition
Comcare is considering removing its imposed condition on all plant registrations that “a registration holder must notify Comcare annually of any maintenance, repair, inspection or testing of an item of plant”. Plant includes items such as cranes, machinery, vehicles, forklifts, lifts, boilers, gas cylinders, Comcare invites submissions on the proposed removal of the condition until 24 June 2021.  More...

New South Wales

The draft Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2020
The NSW Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 provisions of the Act will commenced on 1 July 2021.  More...

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. In response to your feedback, we've drafted a report that explains the changes that were made to the draft Regulation.  More...

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.

New mandatory standards for building rectification
The standard will be reviewed and updated prior to the 1 July 2021 commencement of the Government’s game changing building reform agenda underpinned by the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020.
The first Practice Standard will initially apply to certifiers working on residential apartment buildings, where the majority of problems and complaints have been received. The Practice Standard for registered certifiers is available on the Fair Trading NSW website.

Queensland

Master Builders Qld: Scaffolding Code of Practice 2021 comes into effect 1 July
The Scaffolding Code of Practice 2021 comes into effect from 1 July 2021.  More...

QBCC: No increase for Queensland Home Warranty Scheme premiums
The premium review for the financial year 2021-2022 has been finalised. We can confirm that premiums for residential construction will not increase for the financial year, from 1 July 2021. When calculating the premium payable, contractors should use the insurance premium fee tables that are effective from 1 July 2020. You can find these tables on the Insurance premium fees page on our website.

QBCC reminder: Extension to PI insurance cladding exemption
The Building (Professional Indemnity Insurance) Amendment Regulation 2020 commenced on 18 September 2020, giving effect to the extension of the external cladding exclusion. Now, certifiers can continue to obtain a licence to operate with PI insurance containing exclusions in relation to non-compliant external cladding until 30 June 2022.  More...

Build-to-Rent update – approved projects
The Queensland Government has approved two Brisbane-based affordable housing projects by developers following a Request for Detailed Proposals from shortlisted applicants from the Expression of Interest Phase of the Pilot Project. It is anticipated construction will commence mid-2021 following the finalisation of designs for the projects, with operations expected to commence in 2023.  More...

Victoria

Advancing Victoria’s climate change strategy
Rebates of $4,000 per home are now available for builders who take on the development of 7-star NatHERS rated homes. The 7 Star Homes program forms part of the Victorian Government’s 1.6 billion Clean Energy package and will support Victoria’s Climate Change Strategy to cut emissions by 28 per cent to 33 per cent by 2025 and 45 per cent to 50 per cent by 2030. To learn more about the program or to register for a rebate or training opportunity, visit 7 Star Homes Program (updated 02 June 2021).

Consumer Affairs Victoria: Engineers have their say on proposed registration fees
The Victorian Government is inviting feedback before new fees are set for the registration and endorsement of professional engineers under new laws starting on 1 July 2021. For more information, view Professional engineers.  here

VBA: Revised AS/NZS plumbing standards – transition period
The VBA has applied a transition period for plumbers to familiarise themselves with revised AS/NZS standards, before they need to be applied to plumbing practices on 1 September 2022.  More...

VBA: Fire protection equipment servicing registration/licensing deadline extended
Anyone working on the routine servicing of fire protection equipment must be registered or licensed with the VBA. After 31 July 2021, unregistered or unlicensed practitioners carrying out this work will be subject to VBA enforcement action. Due to COVID-19, the date for registration/licensing was extended from 31 December 2020 to 31 July 2021.  More...

VBA: Carpenters selected for first stage of trades registration
Carpenters will be the first group of trades registered under Victoria’s recently developed trades registration framework. Provisional registration and licensing for carpenters is expected to commence in mid-2021. For more information and answers to frequently asked questions, refer to the Engage Victoria website.

Cases

New South Wales

CPB Contractors Pty Ltd v DEAL S.R.L. [2021] NSWSC 820
COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION – claim under the Australian Consumer Law – alleged pre-contractual representations – proceedings commenced on last day of limitation period – application for stay – whether court or arbitrator should determine scope of arbitration clause – kompetenz-kompetenz – principles at [48]-[59] – prima facie approach applied – arbitrator to determine jurisdiction – proceedings stayed. CONDITIONS OF STAY – plaintiff seeks conditions on stay regarding limitation period and applicable law – principles at [92]-[111], [116]-[117] – condition regarding limitation period would substantively alter rights – conditions not imposed
Seeks an order under section 7(2) of the International Arbitration Act 1974 (Cth) for these proceedings to be stayed and referred to arbitration in Singapore by reason of an arbitration clause in its contract with the plaintiff, CBP Contractors Pty Ltd (formerly known as Leightons Contractors Pty Ltd).

Disclaimer
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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