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Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

20 April 2021

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

In the media

HomeBuilder applicants could miss out due to building industry delays
Rebecca Casson, who's the chief executive of Master Builders Victoria says she is working closely with the Government to adjust the rules of the scheme (15 April 2021).  More...

New guiding principles to promote sustainability outcomes across infrastructure sector
Infrastructure Australia has released new guiding principles to promote sustainability across the infrastructure sector and ensure major investments deliver the best outcomes for the community (15 April 2021).  More...

 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...

Modern manufacturing initiative funds recycling and energy projects
Under the Federal Government’s $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI), funding has been opened for recycling and clean energy projects. The MMI is expected to help manufacturers to scale up production, commercialise their products and operations, and integrate into domestic and global supply chains (13 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...

New regulatory focus for major infrastructure projects
Comcare Major Infrastructure Projects team is proactively monitoring high-risk activities and safety systems on projects including underground rail and Commonwealth-funded developments such as Snowy Hydro 2.0 and Western Sydney International Airport (09 April 2021).  More...

 ACA: Improving public infrastructure investment outcomes
Appropriately targeted investment in public infrastructure can improve Australia’s global competitiveness and create jobs and stimulus three times the economic value of the initial outlay. Not surprisingly then, governments are investing heavily in infrastructure and relying on the construction industry to lead the economy out of recession (08 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...

New South Wales

Rozelle Interchange tunnelling reaches halfway point
In a major milestone, the Rozelle Interchange, Australia’s biggest road infrastructure project, has passed the halfway mark for tunnelling works. The project is expected to use 640,000 cubic metres of concrete and 32,000 tonnes of Australian steel (12 April 2021).  More...

New South Wales 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...

New South Wales 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...

Critical equipment for Queensland-New South Wales Interconnector
In a milestone for the Queensland-New South Wales Interconnector project, six 90 tonne transformers have arrived on site and 48 transmission pole structures have been installed in NSW’s North West. The project is expected to provide net benefits of $170 million to electricity customers and producers and create about 155 jobs (06 April 2021).  More...

New South Wales trade licenses to go digital
The NSW Government is adding trade licenses to the digital wallet within the Service NSW app as part of the next stage of the state-wide digital transformation. NSW Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation, Kevin Anderson, said that the State Government will digitise the licence card for more than 30 Home Building and SafeWork licence categories (06 April 2021).  More...

Queensland

North Queensland's Kidston pumped hydro project to create jobs and deliver affordable, reliable power
A major energy project which will create 500 construction jobs and deliver affordable, reliable electricity for north Queensland has been secured thanks to support from the Government through the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility and Australian Renewable Energy Agency (15 April 2021).  More...

Townsville signing marks important hydrogen milestone
North Queensland’s hydrogen future and the potential of thousands of regional jobs is a step closer with an agreement between Australian energy company Origin and the Port of Townsville signed (14 April 2021).  More...

Builders in hot demand – but need support to stop work going cold
New home construction and renovations remain in hot demand across Queensland – but builders are calling for more support to ensure both the industry and consumers get a fair go in the face of continued price hikes, and trade and materials shortages (12 April 2021).  More...

Wide Bay construction boom has industry leaders concerned about skilled workforce
Construction Skills Queensland chief executive officer Brett Schimming said there had been a surge in house building contracts, while private and civil projects were also in the pipeline (09 April 2021).  More...

Trade and product shortages amid HomeBuilder Grant-induced building boom 'a perfect storm', industry experts say
In Queensland, the number of new house approvals in the first nine months of this financial year has almost surpassed the state's total for the previous year. Queensland Building and Construction Commission figures have shown the 2019-2020 financial year saw 25,695 new house approvals, with the 2020-2021 financial year already at 25,530 (07 April 2021).  More...

Victoria

Water tanks to tap into winter rains
Victorian Building Authority State Building Surveyor Andrew Cialini says safety and compliance with local council regulations is important when installing a rainwater tank. To find a licensed or registered plumber in your area or for more information about rainwater tanks, contact the Victorian Building Authority (12 April 2021).  More...

Surveyors measure practical experience
The Victoria Building Authority, Victorian Managed Insurance Authority and Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria have joined forces to give aspiring building surveyors hands on, practical, experience at workplaces (08 April 2021).  More...

More inspectors to hit solar roofs
Solar Victoria is to boost the number of specialised solar safety inspectors in the State to keep up with the record demand for solar. Minister for Solar Homes, Lily D’Ambrosio said having more Licensed Electrical Inspectors will reduce the time it takes to get solar panels operating, and boost the number of rebate (08 April 2021).  More...

Network safety upgrades underway for Mildura
Mildura’s local electricity network is undergoing an upgrade by Powercor to prepare for the installation of a new bushfire safety device. Powercor crews have begun upgrading the network to accommodate the installation of a Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiter at the Merbein Zone Substation (06 April 2021).  More...

Braybrook development the future of housing
The Andrews Labor Government is delivering a new generation of sustainable public housing in the heart of Melbourne’s booming west. The new homes are part of the Labor Government’s record investment in housing, including the landmark Big Housing Build (06 April 2021).  More...

Practice and courts

Infrastructure Australia: Sustainability principles
Infrastructure Australia have released their Sustainability Principles, which explain Infrastructure Australia’s approach to sustainability and how sustainability informs their work program. The Principles address four components of sustainability: Social, economic, environmental and governance.
The Sustainability Principles are now on the Infrastructure Australia website

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 of Industry Update.  More...

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 (13 April 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.

New South Wales

Have your say on changes to how building design and construction is regulated in New South Wales
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.

The draft Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2020
The NSW Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 provisions of the Act will commence on 1 July 2021.  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: Low density asbestos fire board classified as friable from 1 May 2021
From 1 May 2021, low density asbestos fibre board, also known as asbestos insulating board, will be classified as a friable material in all circumstances. This means LDB can only legally be removed by a class A asbestos removal licence holder.  More...

Report on post implementation review of Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act
Open to 30 April 2021 - Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
Have your say on the consultation report for the Post Implementation Review of the Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act 2017.  More...

Master Builders Qld: Proposed changes to Fair Work laws – what you need to know
The Federal Government has recently introduced to the Parliament the Industrial Relations Omnibus Bill that proposes a series of changes to the Fair Work Act and related laws. The changes are only proposals and will not come into effect until they have passed the Parliament, which will be in March 2021 at the very earliest.  More...

QBCC audit of Category 2 licensees
The QBCC is in the process of auditing contractors to check compliance with their obligations in respect of payment schedules under the BIF legislation. The audit program covers both builders and trade contractors. The audits will be completed by 30 April 2021 – it's expected that 200 licensees will be sent notices (out of the approximate 5,000 licensees in Category 2).  More...

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...

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 visit www.saferbuildings.qld.gov.au

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

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.The proposed Fees Regulations and RIS and are now available for public consultation – visit Engage Victoria. Comments and submissions may be made up until midnight on 3 May 2021. For more information, view Professional engineers.  More...

SRO: HomeBuilder applications extended until 14 April 2021
You now have until 14 April 2021 to submit your HomeBuilder application, regardless of which grant you are applying for. Our website has now been updated with the revised HomeBuilder guidelines to reflect the extension of the program and the two grant amounts.  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

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.

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.

Payce Communities Pty Ltd v Canterbury-Bankstown Council [2021] NSWSC 331
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – contract – damages – variation – where parties agreed that the Fit Out Agreement (FOA) Contract Price was $2.171 million – dispute as to the scope of work to be done for the FOA Contract Price – whether variations claimed by developer were in respect of work to be done for the FOA Contract Price.

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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