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Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

18 May 2021

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

In the media

Building expert says Australians can benefit from European fire safety practices
The presentation from Modern Building Alliance Executive Chair Quentin de Hults at the Australian Modern Building Alliance’s Fire Safety 2021 Conference & Tradeshow saw European data presented to Australian building personnel that highlighted seven layers of fire safety in buildings (13 May 2021).  More...

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...

A resilient Australia is a sustainable Australia, says nation’s green building authority
A $15.2 billion boost for infrastructure, new agencies to enhance resilience and climate research, and $1.2 billion for green technology are among the measures welcomed by GBCA. The federal government is building on its 10-year $100 billion infrastructure pipeline with an extra $15.2 billion for projects drawn from Infrastructure Australia’s priority list, (12 May 2021).  More...

HIA: Housing and jobs lead economic recovery
Tonight’s 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...

Federal budget maintains historic high on Infrastructure funding
The Federal Government has walked its talk on infrastructure funding backing up last year’s record spending with an even bigger outlay in this year’s Budget, said industry think tank Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (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...

Report: More funding needed for civil construction
A Civil Contractors Federation National commissioned economic report has found that there needs to be additional civil construction funding to garner economic and employment growth in the recovery from COVID-19. The study, also analyses the risks to an infrastructure-led recovery that require urgent attention by all levels of government (10 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)3.  More...

How spending on sustainable infrastructure will lift Australia up
Australia has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make our country more resilient, prosperous and sustainable. Last month, Infrastructure Australia released its new Sustainability Principles, meaning that for the first time, sustainability will inform its appraisal of infrastructure priorities across social, economic, environmental and governance parameters  (05 May 2021).  More...

Over $100 million to build Australia’s first large-scale hydrogen plants
On behalf of the Australian Government, the ARENA has announced that it has conditionally approved $103.3 million towards three commercial-scale renewable hydrogen projects, as part of its Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round (05 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...

New South Wales

'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...

Sydney’s newest metro stations revealed
Pyrmont and Hunter Street have been announced as the locations for two new metro stations in Sydney’s CBD as part of the Sydney Metro West project (12 May 2021).  More...

Central Coast Highway upgrade contract awarded
The NSW Government has awarded the concept design contract for its 3.8km Central Coast Highway upgrade between Wamberal and Bateau Bay. WSP Australia was awarded the contract (10 May 2021).  More...

New South Wales proposes Australia’s longest road tunnel
The NSW Government is exploring the potential for a new 11km tunnel as a critical component of an upgraded Great Western Highway between Katoomba and Lithgow, which would be the longest road tunnel in Australia (03 May 2021).  More...

Queensland

Federal funding for Gold Coast Light Rail
The Gold Coast Light Rail project will receive $126.6 million in federal funding to create more jobs, boost investment and improve local transport connections. This additional funding brings our total commitment to Stage 3 of the light rail to $395.6 million, helping deliver what is the most significant transport infrastructure project ever carried out on the Gold Coast (10 May 2021).  More...

Coomera Connector’s preferred northern route confirmed
The preferred route for the new Coomera Connector’s northern section has been identified following an independent study of potential routes, with $1.5 billion in funding already secured for stage one of the project. The route is proposed to cross the Albert River east of Eagleby, connecting to the M1 and Logan Motorway at Loganholme (04 May 2021).  More...

Victoria

Castlemaine ecovillage to launch 12 more low impact living homes
The Paddock, one of Victoria’s premium sustainable housing projects, is all set to release the final stage of the ecovillage development with 12 more homes boasting a suite of liveability and resilience features to adapt to current and future climate change challenges (14 May 2021).  More...

Suburban Rail Loop tracks ahead
Pre-construction works are gathering pace for Melbourne’s Suburban Rail Loop, and three construction companies are vying to deliver the first phase of construction. CPB Contractors, John Holland and Laing O’Rourke are lining up to deliver the first phase of construction on the mega project (10 May 2021).  More...

Cladding enforcement to restore consumer confidence
Dozens of building practitioners linked to 790 properties with unsafe, non-compliant combustible cladding have been the subject of enforcement action by the Victorian Building Authority (10 May 2021).   More...

Regulator warns of silent killer in Victorian homes
As gas heaters fire up in homes across Victoria this winter, the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) is alerting plumbers and consumers to the deadly risk (7 May 2021).  More...

Contracts awarded for Princes Highway duplication
The Federal and Victorian Governments have awarded construction contracts for the final 43km of the Princes Highway duplication between Traralgon and Sale in eastern Victoria (03 May 2021).  More...

Building regulator welcomes accessible housing reforms
The VBA has welcomed the adoption of mandatory accessibility standards in the National Construction Code. The new mandatory standards, which will take effect in 2022. Livable Housing Design Guidelines silver standards will ensure basic accessibility features are included in all newly constructed homes and apartments (01 May 2021).  More...

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. (11 May 2021).  More...

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

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 (14 May 2021).  More...

New South Wales

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

QBCC: The new fire protection licensing framework commenced on 1 May 2021
If you perform fire protection work, make sure you know what the changes mean for you.  More...

State Infrastructure Strategy announcement
A new State Infrastructure Strategy will be released in conjunction with seven regional infrastructure plans in aid of supporting our post COVID-19 economic recovery. This follows the recent announcement of the formation of a Growth Areas Delivery Team to address land supply issues in SEQ.
To find out more about the strategy, please click here. You're invited to have your say and help shape the State Infrastructure Strategy. You can share your views via the survey. Consultation closes on 31 May 2021.

QBCC: Time is running out to complete your obligations under Queensland’s Safer Buildings Program
Owners of buildings that meet the legislated definition of ‘private building’ have a responsibility to comply with the program by completing the combustible cladding checklist (Checklist) by no later than 3 May 2021. Failure to complete the Checklist is an offence and QBCC will use all avenues within its regulatory powers to ensure compliance with the Checklist. For more information to help you complete the Checklist, visit the resources page of the Safer Buildings 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

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 Transport for NSW [2021] NSWSC 537
CONTRACTS – Expert determination regarding contract to perform road widening works on Pacific Motorway – where expert determined issue adversely to plaintiff – where plaintiff commenced proceeding to reagitate that issue – whether plaintiff precluded by the terms of the contract from litigating that issue– whether an expert determination that no further compensation is payable is a determination that does not involve paying a sum of money CONTRACTS – provision for expert determination – whether there was a deficiency or error in determination that disclosed expert did not make a determination in accordance with the contract PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – expert determination as to part of the claim the subject of the proceedings – whether proceedings commenced in the face of an expert determination should be stayed in part.

MGW Engineering Pty Ltd t/a Forefront Services v CMOC Mining Pty Ltd [2021] NSWSC 514
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – whether payment claims under Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 served on 3 or 4 February 2021 – whether service was effected on 3 February by delivering personally or by lodging during normal office hours or in accordance with construction contract – meaning of delivering personally – meaning of lodging at ordinary place of business – whether service effected in the manner provided under the construction contract – whether provision in construction contract that delivery after 4pm taken to be effected the following day void by reason of s 34 of the Act – whether principal entitled to specific performance of obligation to produce steel and shop drawings.

Maaz v Fullerton Property Pty Ltd [2021] NSWCA 79
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – payment claim by builder – false statutory declaration in support of payment claim – statement by builder that all subcontractors paid – claim paid by principal – principal liable to unpaid subcontractors – Contracts Debts Act 1997 (NSW), s 5 – proceedings against builder for moneys paid by principal directly to subcontractors EVIDENCE – admissibility – hearsay – exceptions – business records – where business records of subcontractor tendered to prove unpaid debt – whether authenticity of document may be determined on the basis of inferences drawn from its form, contents or source – whether production on subpoena necessary – provenance and accuracy of the documents not challenged EVIDENCE – admissibility – business records –records of a party – whether records of third party warrant discretionary exclusion – whether weight sufficient to establish deceit TORTS – deceit – misleading and deceptive conduct – false statutory declaration in support of payment claim – statement by builder that all subcontractors paid – statement known to be false – claim paid by principal – principal liable to unpaid subcontractors – loss suffered – payments to subcontractors recovered.

Queensland

Total Lifestyle Windows Pty Ltd v Aniko Constructions Pty Ltd & Anor [2021] QSC 92
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – REMUNERATION – STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OF PROGRESS PAYMENTS – ADJUDICATION OF PAYMENT CLAIMS – where adjudicator determined 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, failing to consider a relevant document, fell into jurisdictional error. Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 Qld s 69, s 82, s 88, s 98(3).

Victoria

Walsh Engineering Services Pty Ltd (in liq) & Ors v Walsh Group (Aust) Pty Ltd & Ors [2021] VSC 206
CORPORATIONS – Insolvency – Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) – s 588G – Insolvent trading – s 9(b)(i) – Directorship – Husband of director held to be de facto director and subject to insolvent trading provisions – s 588G(2) – Whether debt incurred when company was insolvent – Whether reasonable grounds to suspect insolvency – Whether directors aware of grounds to suspect insolvency – Whether reasonable person in like position would suspect insolvency – Statutory defences – s 588H(2) – Whether directors had reasonable grounds to expect solvency – s 588H(3) – Whether directors had reasonable grounds to believe competent and reliable person providing information about solvency – s 588H(4) – Whether because of illness or some other good reason director did not take part in management of company
DEBT – Claim in debt by company in liquidation against related company – Inter-company transactions – Whether financial reports more reliable than general ledgers in identifying amount owing as between companies.

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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