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Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

18 November 2020

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

In the media

Opal Tower builder Icon claims victory in $42m stoush over costs
Icon has claimed victory over the $42 million it has spent to date on rehousing, relocating and providing services to Opal Tower tenants after the federal court found insurers Liberty Mutual and QBE should share those costs under the builder’s third-party liability insurance policies (11 November 2020).  More...

Waste that will be radioactive for years currently stuck in Australian hospital basements
A roundtable at Parliament House involving medical experts has been told the establishment of a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility is essential to ensure that Australia can continue to provide world class nuclear medicine treatment (09 November 2020). More...

Are signs of stability emerging in construction markets?
The steep fall in construction activity seen earlier in 2020 eased significantly in the last quarter, despite ongoing economic uncertainty, according to our latest Global Construction Monitor (05 November 2020).  More...

ACIF forecasts released reveal that construction industry still being hammered by COVID downturn
The ACIF forecasts released reveal that COVID-19 and the measures that have been taken to control its spread, have sent the message to hold or defer many new building projects (05 November 2020).  More...

New home deposit guarantee will help first home buyers
The HIA welcomes the news that banks will start accepting loan applications for the New Home Guarantee under the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme. The release of new fact sheets that outline the price caps, the time to take up the guarantee and the time to build, will help first home buyers move into a new home (03 November 2020).  More...

Loans for construction of a new home set new record
The number of loans for the construction of a new dwelling increased by 27.1 per cent in the month of September 2020, to the highest result since the ABS commenced collection of this data in 2002, stated HIA’s Chief Economist, Tim Reardon. The ABS also released its building approvals data, which is a more lagged indicator of future building work (02 November 2020).  More...


Corio builder convicted for carrying out plumbing work unlicensed
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) has successfully prosecuted a Victorian man for breaching the Building Act 1993, fined $1000 and ordered to pay costs in the Geelong Magistrates’ Court for working as a plumber without being registered(13 November 2020).  More...

Victorians urged to prepare their homes for fire season
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) wants Victorians to take the necessary steps now to make sure they are protected from bushfires. The VBA’s State Building Surveyor Andrew Cialini said Victoria is one of the most bushfire-prone areas in the world, so it is important to make sure you prepare your home early (10 November 2020).  More...

City Deal delivering for Geelong
The Geelong City Deal is delivering for Victoria’s second largest city and the Great Ocean Road region, with the first annual report highlighting strong progress in the first year of the 10-year deal (07 November 2020).  More...

Changes to the issuing of building permits
New rules coming into effect on 1 December 2020 require building surveyors to check whether the name of a builder and any partnership they are, under changes to Section 24A of the Building Act (04 November 2020).  More...

New South Wales

$693 million contract awarded for Inland Rail construction between Narrabri and North Star
The communities of North West New South Wales are another step closer to realising the transformational benefits of Inland Rail and hundreds of local jobs with joint-venture Trans4m Rail announced as the constructor for 171km of upgraded rail track (11 November 2020).  More...

World first real-time silica detector helps clear the air

The New South Wales Government has launched a trial of world-first technology to accurately monitor silica dust levels in the air that has the potential to protect NSW’s workers from contracting the deadly lung disease silicosis (10 November 2020).  More...

Energy superpower plan to turbocharge renewable energy zones and pumped hydro
More than 9000 jobs and $32 billion of private investment is expected to roll into the regions by 2030, under the NSW Government’s Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap (09 November 2020).  More...

Green light for hundreds of school projects
A building blitz of up to 1000 projects is about to start in hundreds of public schools as part of the new $120 million Metro Renewal Program announced. The program will provide a government co-contribution of between 50 to 80 per cent for metro school capital improvement projects (09 November 2020).  More...

Construction starts on first Pinch Point Program project
Construction has started on a new northbound lane on Devlin Street between Victoria and Blaxland roads in Ryde that will bust congestion for local motorists. The Devlin Street project is the first of 11 projects being delivered through the Pinch Point Program across Sydney, to get people home sooner and safer. (06 November 2020).  More...

Registration of engineers in New South Wales developments
The New South Wales Government expects to start public consultation on the draft Regulations after 16 November 2020. However, the New South Wales Government has advised that it will limit application of the Act to engineers working on Class 2 apartments only and to extend it to the whole building sector over time (03 November 2020).  More...

New mandatory standards for building certification
The NSW Government has released a comprehensive practice standard that outlines how building certifiers must undertake their role to ensure compliance with the law (02 November 2020).  More...

More cash to fix local roads, boosts jobs in regions
More regional communities are set to benefit from the Australian and New South Wales governments’ commitment to improving local roads and create thousands of local jobs in the regions, with Round 2 of the accelerated Fixing Local Roads program opening (02 November 2020).  More...


Builders and buyers hungry for HomeBuilder extension as grant continues to feed demand
The latest regional building approvals figures confirm HomeBuilder is continuing to feed demand for new homes – but builders and buyers are still being starved of an extension to the grant, vital to bolstering the industry into 2021 (11 November 2020).  More...

Rookwood Weir to get underway
The $352.2 million Rookwood Weir is moving ahead, with the co-signing of a funding agreement with the Queensland Government (11 November 2020).  More...

Hailstorm catastrophe losses rise to $300 million
Insurance losses from October’s Queensland hailstorms have risen to $300 million as claims continue to be lodged from the event, the Insurance Council of Australia says (09 November 2020).  More...

Practice and courts

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
If you have any questions regarding the delayed adoption of NCC 2022, please submit an online enquiry.

New South Wales

Four mining compliance priorities
The Resources Regulator has published its July - December 2020 Compliance priorities document which sets out the key compliance priorities for the next six months. Publishing this document serves to increase transparency, community and industry confidence in regulatory activities and increase levels of voluntary compliance.


Master Builders Qld: What you need to know about QLeave
QLeave helps building and construction workers in Queensland get the long service leave they’ve earned (04 November 2020).  More...

Business Queensland: Housing construction works for tradies
The $100 million Works for Tradies is a vital part of Queensland’s Economic Recovery Strategy: Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs, to help the State recover from COVID-19. This investment will see construction commence on more than 215 new social homes, supporting approximately 240 jobs in the construction sector. To keep informed of any tender opportunities from Housing Construction Works for Tradies, register on QTenders (October 2020). 

Changes to payment laws – updated 05 November 2020
TheBuilding Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) and other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 (BIFOLA) introduces some important changes to these payment laws to increase payment protections for contractors. Provisions due to commence in 2021 are now outlined here

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 click here



BCS Infrastructure Support Pty Ltd v Jones Lang Lasalle (NSW) Pty Ltd [2020] VSC 739
BUILDING CONTRACTS — Trial — Application for judgment after principal failed to provide payment schedule —Whether contract was a construction contract under the Act — Whether payment claim was served in accordance with the Act — Whether payment claim was served in accordance with the contract — Whether payment claim was served in accordance with s 13A of the Electronic Transactions Act 2000 (Vic) — Whether the payment claim was served when it was available to the defendant or when the defendant became aware of it — Whether payment schedule was served within the prescribed time under the Act — Whether payment schedule was valid under s 15 of the Act — Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) ss 4, 5, 15, 16 and 50 — J & D Rigging Pty Ltd v Agripower Australia Ltd (2013) 1 Qd R 562, applied — Aquatec-Maxcon Pty Ltd v Barwon Region Water Authority [2006] VSC 117, applied — Australian Gaslight (1940) 14 LGR (NSW) 126, applied — Metacorp Australia Pty Ltd v Andeco Construction Group Pty Ltd (2010) 30 VR 141, applied — Hickory Developments Pty Ltd v Schiavello (Vic) Pty Ltd [2009] VSC 156; (2009) 26 VR 112, applied — Amasya Enterprises Pty Ltd v Asta Developments (Aust) Pty Ltd (No 2) [2015] VSC 500, applied — Brookhollow Pty Ltd v R & R Consultants Pty Ltd [2006] NSWSC 1, applied — Howship Holdings Pty Ltd v Leslie (2010) 30 VR 141, applied — Falgat Constructions Pty Ltd v Equity Australia Corporation Pty Ltd [2006] NSWCA 259, applied — Taylor Projects Group Pty Ltd v Brick Dept Pty Ltd [2005] NSWSC 439, applied — Vannella Pty Ltd atf Capital Family Trust v TFM Epping Land Pty Ltd [2019] NSWSC 1379, applied — Style Timber Floor Pty Ltd v Krivosudsky [2019] NSWCA 171; (2019) 100 NSWLR 133, applied — Façade Designs International Pty Ltd v Yuanda Vic Pty Ltd [2020] VSC 570, applied — Protectavale Pty Ltd v K2K Pty Ltd [2008] FCA 1248, applied — Multiplex Constructions Pty Ltd v Luikens [2003] NSWSC 1140, applied — Façade Treatment Engineering Pty Ltd (in liq) v Brookfield Multiplex Constructions Pty Ltd [2016] VSCA 247, applied — Minimax Fire Fighting Systems Pty Ltd v Bremore Engineering (WA) Pty Ltd [2007] QSC 333, applied — Leighton v Arogen [2012] NSWSC 1323, applied — Denham Constructions Pty Ltd v Islamic Republic of Pakistan (No 2) (2016) 311 FLR 187, applied ‑— Barclay Mowlem v Tesrol Walsh Bay [2004] NSWSC 1232, applied — T & T Building Pty Ltd v GMW Group Pty Ltd [2010] QSC 211, applied. 

Re Building Engineering Pty Ltd [2020] VSC 727
CORPORATIONS – Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), ss 459G, 459H and 459J – Application to set aside a statutory demand – Claims by subcontractor under several construction contracts –Interpretation of provisions in contract relating to variations open to argument – Genuine dispute established for some invoices but alleged disputes in respect to other invoices not established – Malec Holdings Pty Ltd v Scotts Agencies Pty Ltd (in liq) [2015] VSCA 330.
CORPORATIONS – Application to set aside a statutory demand – 21 day affidavit annexed document with narrative describing grounds of alleged disputes and claims – Whether defendant ‘fairly notified’ of grounds – Graywinter Properties Pty Ltd v Gas & Fuel Corp Superannuation Fund [1996] FCA 822; (1996) 21 ACSR 581.
CORPORATIONS – Application to set aside a statutory demand – Admissibility of evidence – Plaintiff’s director’s evidence predominantly hearsay – Britten-Norman Pty Ltd v Analysis & Technology Australia Pty Ltd [2013] NSWCA 344; (2013) 85 NSWLR 601 applied.
Building Engineering contends that is has disputes of various kinds in respect of 58 invoices issued under several construction contracts. The Demand claims that Building Engineering is indebted to Metweld for a total of $184,166.06.

New South Wales

Cadia Holdings Pty Ltd v Downer EDI Mining Pty Ltd [2020] NSWSC 1588
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – whether adjudication determination under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 should be quashed – the mining exception in the Act – whether contract between the parties was a construction contract – whether work called for by contract was for tunnelling or boring or the constructing of underground words for the purpose of extraction of minerals – whether any work called for under the contract was construction work BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – whether adjudication determination under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1989 should be quashed – reference dates – whether payment claim served before a reference date arose – whether there was an available reference date


Queensland Building and Construction Commission & Anor v Groupline Constructions Pty Ltd [2020] QCA 245
STATUTES – ACTS OF PARLIAMENT – INTERPRETATION – GENERAL APPROACHES TO INTERPRETATION – GENERAL MATTERS CONSTRAINED BY REFERENCE TO SPECIFIC – where the first appellant purported to impose seven conditions on the building licence held by the respondent pursuant to its general power to impose conditions – where the first appellant had a specific power to direct a licensee to remedy damage caused by or as a consequence of defective or incomplete building work and the second appellant had a specific power to compel a person to stop work if satisfied something was being done in contravention of a provision of certain Acts – where requirements attached to the exercise of each specific power that did not attach to the exercise of the general power – where the first appellant did not comply with those requirements when imposing the conditions pursuant to its general power – where the conditions effectively required the respondent to remedy damage and stop work – whether the imposition of the conditions was a valid exercise by the first appellant of its general power
Acts Interpretation Act 1954 Qld s 14A; Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 Qld s 3, s 31, s 34, s 35, s 36, s 48, s 49A, s 72, s 72A, s 74B, s 108AD, s 108AI 

Rolleston Coal Holdings Pty Ltd v ICRA Rolleston Pty Ltd [2020] QSC 331
EQUITY – EQUITABLE REMEDIES – INJUNCTIONS – INTERLOCUTORY INJUNCTIONS – RELEVANT CONSIDERATIONS – where there is a dispute between the majority and a minority participant in a mining joint venture – where the plaintiff contends the defendant has failed to pay cash calls issued to it under the joint venture agreement, the purpose of which is to provide funds for operating expenditure, and seeks to enforce its rights under the joint venture agreement and an associated deed of cross charge in respect of the default – where the defendant counterclaims, alleging some of the cash call notices are invalid and that the plaintiff has breached both the joint venture agreement and the associated sales agency agreement, principally by failing to sell the budgeted tonnages of coal produced by the mine, causing the defendant loss and damage, being the amount by which sale proceeds have declined – where the defendant seeks an interlocutory injunction restraining the plaintiff from taking any further action in relation to default notices issued in relation to the cash calls, and from enforcing its rights under the cross charge, until trial – whether the defendant has established a prima facie case – whether the balance of convenience supports the interlocutory relief claimed – consideration of relevant factors including that this is the second application for interlocutory relief by the defendant, that the defendant seeks to restrain the exercise of rights under the deed of cross charge in the absence of any offer of payment into court of the amount of the unpaid cash calls and whether the proffered undertaking as to damages is of real value

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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