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Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

23 September 2020

#Construction & Infrastructure

Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

In the media

Survey finds property investors remain upbeat despite pandemic
A new national survey has found that a number of property investors have remained upbeat during COVID-19, however, the pandemic has made many reconsider not only where they buy, but also where they live (17 September 2020).  More...

HomeBuilder lifts new home construction market everywhere except Victoria
Releasing its New Home Sales report based on a survey of the nation’s largest home builders, Housing Industry Association said the volumes of new homes sold across Australia’s five largest states increased by 3.6 percent in August on a seasonally adjusted basis to reach almost 6,000 (17 September 2020).  More...

HomeBuilder keeps December quarter afloat
New Home Sales data released confirms that HomeBuilder will support building activity and protect jobs in the December 2020 quarter,” commented HIA Chief Economist, Tim Reardon (16 September 2020).  More...

Fire safety regulation and control – moving forward
Is the combustible cladding crisis behind us, or at least under control? Or are there other major fire risks and latent fire hazards waiting to hit the building and construction sector in Australia in the near future (15 September 2020).  More...

Demand for residential land surges 70 per cent
“Housing finance figures released show that lending for the construction of a new home rosein Julyfor the first time since February, to the highest level in two years,” stated HIA’s Chief Economist, Tim Reardon (09 September 2020).  More...

New South Wales

NSW subbies owed millions as developers refuse to pay
NSW construction workers and subcontractors are being ripped off at record rates as greedy builders and developers use the pandemic as an excuse to withhold payments for work already done, warns the CFMEU NSW (18 September 2020).  More...

Flammable cladding delays get apartment owners hot under the collar
The peak body for apartment owners has accused authorities of blame shifting, more than three years after London's Grenfell Tower fire exposed the dangers of flammable cladding. NSW Better Regulation minister Kevin Anderson notes that "Local councils can request that the panel consider specific matters when a council is assessing particular remediation plans put forward by building owners” (18 September 2020).  More...

Construction begins on World's longest wild dog fence
New South Wales landholders will be protected by a $37.5 million fence fortress which runs along the Queensland and South Australia borders, as construction commenced this week on the mammoth 742km extension of the NSW Border Wild Dog Fence (16 September 2020).  More...

Jobs, jobs and more jobs for NSW with $3 billion infrastructure spend
More than 30 new and fast-tracked health, education and transport and roads projects will be delivered across the state within two years, creating up to 20,000 estimated jobs thanks to the NSW Government’s $3 billion Jobs and Infrastructure Acceleration Fund (15 September 2020).  More...

Construction industry gears up to build Coffs Harbour
Early talks are starting with the construction industry to help build the Coffs Harbour bypass - the town’s biggest ever infrastructure project (15 September 2020).  More...

Jobs boom for Western Sydney Aerotropolis
A landmark rezoning will see 6,500 hectares of land rezoned to provide for employment, residential and environmental uses in the Western Sydney Aerotropolis, setting the State up for a strong economic recovery and paving the way for land to be developed before the first plane takes off in 2026 (13 September 2020).  More...

Station locations confirmed for Western Sydney's new Metro
The station locations for the new Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport project to service Greater Western Sydney and the new Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) airport have been revealed, with the project also set to deliver a multi-billion dollar boost to the New South Wales and Australian economies (13 September 2020).  More...

Sydney’s Central Station skyline to transform
The 16-metre high and 80-metre long roof will provide natural light to the station. Construction is currently underway and will be completed by the end of 2020. The upgrades to Central Station form part of the Sydney Metro construction work, where the station will have two new underground platforms (10 September 2020).  More...


Construction begins on $1 billion Gympie bypass
The highly anticipated Gympie bypass has moved a step closer, with the first sod turned at the Woondum interchange (18 September 2020).  More...

Scale of extraordinary school infrastructure program revealed
New figures have revealed the extent of the Palaszczuk Government’s massive investment in school infrastructure, which is helping drive Queensland’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The annual investment in school infrastructure tripled between 2015 and 2019 from $500 million to $1.5 billion (17 September 200).  More...

Multi-million dollar investment supports local jobs and Gold Coast waterways access
The Palaszczuk Government has announced more than $35 million will be invested in the Gold Coast’s waterways over the next four years to create more than 100 jobs, upgrade facilities for boaties, maintain navigation and improve access through dredging navigation channels (16 September 2020).  More...

State invests $3.5 million to disaster-proof Queensland communities
Seventeen councils in regional Queensland will share in almost $3.5 million to fund priority infrastructure upgrades on roads, drainage systems and power supplies to better prepare for future natural disasters (16 September 2020).  More...

$42M training package to help boost QLD’s recovering construction industry
While the full impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Queensland’s construction industry still remains to be seen, Construction Skills Queensland has announced a $42 million workforce training package to prepare for its eventual recovery (15 September 2020).  More...

Townsville jobs boost as $1.5 billion road pipeline rolls on
Over 560 jobs will be up for grabs in Townsville after two major regional road projects moved up another gear (10 September 2020).  More...

QLD government backs jobs and industry with $1 billion boost
The Queensland state government will invest $1 billion directly in commercial businesses and projects to generate Queensland jobs through the COVID-19 recovery (08 September 2020).  More...


Work on Preston construction site halted over safety concerns
The VBA has taken swift action to have work on a construction site halted to prevent a tragedy taking place, when a number of safety breaches were identified, which, if not found, had the potential to lead to serious injuries (18 September 2020).  More...

Better buildings for a more sustainable city
City of Melbourne Councillors will consider proposed changes to the planning scheme to deliver more sustainable buildings, which will lead to lower energy and water bills and a more sustainable and resilient city (17 September 2020).  More...

More major projects to build our economic recovery
The state’s economic recovery will be further bolstered by the acceleration of more than $1 billion worth of building and development projects set to create jobs and stimulate growth in metropolitan, rural and regional Victoria. Planning Minister Richard Wynne has added to an already extensive pipeline of shovel ready projects by approving another round of new planning permits worth $933 million (09 September 2020).  More...

Practice and courts

New South Wales

Practising certificates required from 1 October 2020
From 1 October 2020 this year, individuals will only be able to exercise a statutory function at a mine when they hold a practising certificate. The transitional arrangements that have allowed holders of certificates of competence to exercise statutory functions will end on 30 September 2020. Click here for further information on practising certificates, including how to apply.


Code of conduct for building surveyors
State Building Surveyor - The code clearly sets out examples of inappropriate conduct and establishes eight key areas of professional conduct that building surveyors in Victoria must follow. The building surveyor code commences on 1 January 2021.  More...


New South Wales

Murphy v Zubkrycki & Anor [2020] NSWDC 538
CONTRACTS – building and engineering contracts – residential building work – claim by beneficiary of implied statutory warranties – collapse of side retaining wall – whether builder constructed the wall – whether wall constituted ‘residential building work’ – rectification damages – whether works carried out were necessary and reasonable. Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW); Conveyancing Act 1919 (NSW), s 177; Home Building Act 1989 (NSW), ss 18B, 18C, 96.

Reward Interiors Pty Ltd v Master Fabrication (NSW AU) Pty Ltd [2020] NSWSC 1251
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – payment claim served by subcontractor on builder under Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) – no payment schedule served by builder – alleged agreement between sub-contractor and builder that builder pay amount less than the amount claimed in payment claim in satisfaction of payment claim – where builder then paid agreed amount – whether that agreement void by reason of s 34 of the Act BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – whether subcontractor entitled to summary judgment for difference between amount claimed in payment claim and amount paid pursuant to the agreement
Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW); Practice Note SC Eq 3.

Repfix Industries Pty Ltd v FBD Group Pty Ltd [2020] NSWDC 514
CONTRACTS – building and construction – plaintiff supplied carpentry and joinery services to customer at three separate commercial premises – dispute about payment terms – whether customer liable to pay more than estimated costs previously agreed to – whether agreement to final payment terms can be inferred – whether construction works were defective – whether rectification works necessary or reasonable to be undertaken – relevance of any lack of intention to carry out rectification works EVIDENCE – business records admitted – no testimonial evidence to support inferences said to be drawn from records – approach to considering weight to be given to records 


Façade Designs International Pty Ltd v Yuanda Vic Pty Ltd [2020] VSC 570
BUILDING CONTRACTS – Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) (‘the Act’) – application for judgment after principal failed to provide payment schedule – principles to be applied in determining validity under s 14 of the Act – whether payment claim invalid for insufficient identification of construction work – whether payment claim invalid if any part fails to sufficiently identify the construction work – whether a court must be satisfied under s 16(4) of the Act that the claimed amount does not include any excluded amount on the face of the claim or in fact – whether the claimed amount can be amended to delete an excluded amount – whether an excluded amount can be severed from the claimed amount. 

Spirito Development Pty Ltd v Sinjen Group Pty Ltd [2020] VCC 1368
CONTRACTS Building contract – payment claim – whether reference date available for payment claim – whether payment claim served prior to reference date valid – whether payment claims validly withdrawn – whether multiple invoices sent by separate emails can constitute one payment claim – whether payment claim served by email after business hours can be taken to be served on the next business day – whether failure to provide a statement confirming payment to employees invalidates payment claim – whether retention moneys can be withheld in absence of payment schedule
Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) ss3, 4, 7, 9(1),10B, 12, 14(2), 15, 16(2), 16(4), 17(2), 47, 48, 50; Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic) s61, 63.

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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