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Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

29 January 2019

#Construction & Infrastructure

Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

In the media

RICS: Update to members on Opal Tower
Following reports of major cracks appearing in Sydney’s newly built Opal Tower, there has been a steady stream of public commentary around potential root causes and mitigations. Reporting has spread throughout the world and the Australian building and construction industry is now the subject of discussion with respect to standards, regulation and compliance (21 January 2019).  More...

National infrastructure sector welcomes new IA CEO Romilly Madew
The national infrastructure sector welcomes the appointment of Romilly Madew as CEO of Infrastructure Australia (14 January 2019).  More...

New South Wales

Sydney light rail: Inquiry seeks review of public-private tie-ups in big projects
An inquiry into Sydney’s eastern suburbs light rail has called for a review of public-private partnerships in big infrastructure projects following delays and budget blowouts on the $2.1bn project (25 January 2019).  More...

Search for Western Sydney Airport Terminal designer begins
The competitive search is underway for the architect who will design the terminal at Western Sydney Airport (24 January 2019).  More...

$170 million transformation for Western Sydney communities
Western Sydney will undergo a liveability upgrade with the recent announcement of millions of dollars in projects to revitalise community infrastructure and public spaces. Work will commence this year for projects approved under Round One (23 January 2019).  More...


New year promises new resources project for North Queensland
Hundreds of jobs are a step closer for North Queensland with the $1.4 billion Sconi project near Greenvale being declared a prescribed project. Upgrades to local Greenvale infrastructure will be made by the proponent. This will help improve water supply, regional public roads and the Greenvale regional airport (25 January 2019).  More...

Falling building numbers a sign of tough year ahead
A challenging year is the forecast for building and construction in 2019, with the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics revealing a 2.1 per cent drop in building approvals as 2018 drew to a close (22 January 2019).  More...

Infrastructure Pipeline Report released
Building Queensland has published its latest Infrastructure Pipeline Report detailing the work occurring across Queensland Government assessing major infrastructure projects (18 January 2019).  More...  More...


Driving the economic boom in Victoria
The Andrews Labor Government is delivering huge boosts to local engineering construction and building activity, with Victorians feeling more confident about their financial future, according to the latest data (16 January 2019).  More...

Published - articles, papers, reports

Australian Infrastructure Metric – September 2018
IPA Major Report: 17 January 2019
The September 2018 quarter of the Australian Infrastructure Metric – produced by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and BIS Oxford Economics – sees total civil work won increase compared to the June quarter, as transport work won increased significantly.  More...

In practice and courts

New South Wales

Opal Tower update
The Interim Report of the investigation noted that further information is required to enable definitive conclusions to be made about the cause or causes of the damage to this structure and the proposed remediation. It has also made no definitive conclusions as to the cause of the damage. The building is overall structurally sound and not in danger of collapse (18 January 2019).

Combustible Cladding Registration due 22 February 2019
Under the new regulations, owners of certain buildings with external combustible cladding are required to register their building with the New South Wales Government through the Cladding Registration portal. The deadline for registration is 22 February 2019. Owners of new buildings will be required to register their building within four months of the building first being occupied.  More...


QBCC: Do you need to complete the Safer Buildings combustible cladding checklist
The Building and Other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation (2018) came into effect on 1 October 2018 meaning that, by law, some building owners must complete the online Safer Buildings combustible cladding checklist to assess their building’s safety. Some owners will receive letters from the QBCC to prompt them, but some won’t, and not receiving a letter doesn’t exempt an owner from the requirements (23 January 2019).  More...


Fricke & Anor v WH Frier Building Contractors Pty Ltd & Ors [2019] QSC 6
PROCEDURE – SUPREME COURT PROCEDURE – QUEENSLAND – PROCEDURE UNDER RULES OF COURT – EVIDENCE – EXPERT EVIDENCE – where expert engineer has been appointed – where expert evidence does not address all issues - where plaintiffs rely on r 429N(3) - whether court should allow parties to call further expert evidence.

Vanden Hoven & Anor v Queensland Building and Construction Commission [2018] QCAT 456
PROFESSIONS AND TRADES – BUILDERS – STATUTORY POWER TO REQUIRE RECTIFICATION OF DEFECTIVE OR INCOMPLETE BUILDING WORK – where owners and builder purported to terminate the building contract following each other’s alleged default – where complaint made to QBCC about incomplete and defective building work – where owners commenced building dispute proceedings against the builder in the Tribunal – where QBCC determined to await the outcome of the building dispute proceedings before determining the claim by the owners under the statutory home warranty insurance scheme – where QBCC similarly determined to wait before deciding whether to issue directions to rectify defective building work to the builder – where owners sought review of those advices as decisions by application for administrative review filed in the Tribunal – where subsequently QBCC decided to refuse the owners claim under the statutory home warranty scheme and to issue directions to rectify to the builder – where the parties sought and obtained a consent order that the review application would determine the refusal to issue some specific directions to rectify in lieu of the original decisions sought to be reviewed – whether it was beyond the power of the Tribunal to make the consent order or substitute the later decisions in substitution of for the earlier decision founding the review application – where the QBCC refusals to issue specific directions to rectify considered but no order made concerning them.
PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – JOINDER OF CAUSES OF ACTION AND OF PARTIES – CAUSES OF ACTION – where consent order made substituting causes of action in application for review of administrative decision – where substituted causes of action accrued after filing the application for review – where the decisions now sought to be reviewed different and distinct to the original decision for review – whether power of amendment in QCAT Act permits addition of different causes of action accruing after the application for review filed.

Shape Australia v The Nuance Group [2018] VSC 808
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Relief in the nature of certiorari – Whether decision can be quashed for jurisdictional error – Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2015 (Vic), r 56.
BUILDING CONTRACTS – Adjudication Determinations – Where applicant seeks to recover amounts subject of valid determination – Where Adjudicator makes ‘findings’ – Whether valid Adjudication Determination creates issue estoppel.
BUILDING CONTRACTS – Judicial review of Adjudication Determination – Whether payment claim lacks reference date – Whether Adjudicator incorrectly determined jurisdiction – Whether adjudicated amount includes excluded amount – Whether Adjudication Determination is affected by jurisdictional error – Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic), ss 9, 10B.
BUILDING CONTRACTS – Payment claims – Where respondent claims liquidated damages – Whether liquidated damages are excluded amount – Whether payment claim is for recoupment of liquidated damages.

Troy Lewis, Partner & National Head of Construction and Infrastructure 
T: +61 7 3135 0614 

Stephen Burton, Partner 
T: +61 7 3135 0604 

Suzy Cairney, Partner 
T: +61 7 3135 0684 

Stephen Natoli, Partner 
T: +61 3 9321 9796 

Kyle Siebel, Partner 
T: +61 3 9321 9877 

Scott Alden, Partner 
T: +61 2 8083 0419 

Christine Jones, Partner 
T: +61 2 8083 0477 

Helena Golovanoff, Partner 
T: +61 2 8083 0443 

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 publication is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. We are not responsible for the information of any source to which a link is provided or reference is made and exclude all liability in connection with use of these sources. 

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