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Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

29 June 2021

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

In the media

Why a timber shortage could be behind a jump in builder insolvencies
Andrew Clements wishes his truss business could pump out more roofs to keep up with Australia's insatiable appetite for building supplies, but he simply cannot get enough timber (21 June 2021).  More...

Builders back moves to boost homeownership
Federal Minister for housing announces new places and price caps for schemes that help first home buyers overcome deposit gap (19 June 2021).  More...

HIA report hotspots for building activity
HIA reveals Australia’s strongest markets for home building in the 2021 edition of the HIA Population & Residential Building Hotspots Report. The Report is aimed at finding employment growth areas targeted towards builders and tradies and identifies Hotspots in all states and territories (16 June 2021).  More...

New South Wales

Sydney apartments should be permanently monitored for defects, report finds
The independent report into the Skyview towers at Castle Hill was urgently requested by the NSW building commissioner after inspectors reported "extensive signs of cracking" in the basement beneath the towers in April (25 June 2021).  More...

$5 million dollar boost to building safety standards
The NSW Government has announced an additional $5 million to recruit 30 new building inspectors and auditors to join NSW Fair Trading. Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said the funding will allow the Government to continue with its progress to lift confidence in residential construction (22 June 2021).  More...

New South Wales Budget’s $108.5 billion infrastructure commitment
The 2021-22 NSW Budget has announced a record $108.5 billion infrastructure commitment over four years, aiming to drive economic growth and boost productivity, in road and rail projects, delivering schools and educational facilities and hospitals and health facilities (23 June 2021).  More...

New South Wales developers face infrastructure tax reform
A new “infrastructure contributions system” will be rolled out as part of the annual NSW budget which will directly affect developers building transit or infrastructure-oriented projects in the most populated areas of the state (22 June 2021).  More...

New South Wales unites with Victoria in pursuit of modern road funding system
The NSW Government has announced a road user charge on zero emissions vehicles will be delivered alongside a comprehensive EV incentive package (20 June 2021).  More...

Australia needs construction waste recycling plants – but locals first need to be won over
Strong community opposition to a proposed waste facility in regional New South Wales made headlines earlier this year. Much of this is construction waste that can be used in road building after processing (18 June 2021).  More...

Buyers blocked from moving into Sydney apartment tower after 'extensive signs of cracking' found
The NSW Building Commissioner intervenes to stop an occupation certificate from being issued for a major Sydney residential apartment complex after confirming "extensive signs of cracking" were discovered in its basement (17 June 2021).  More...

Heritage building to be moved to make way for Parramatta Powerhouse after court verdict
The NSW government is given the green light to relocate a heritage building to make way for the $915 million Parramatta Powerhouse (16 June 2021).  More...

Flammable cladding fixes on track for New South Wales buildings
Remediation work to remove highly flammable cladding from high-risk buildings in NSW is moving ahead.
Fifty strata communities of the 214 eligible residential apartment buildings in the state have registered for the NSW government’s three-year program (16 June 2021).  More...

Queensland

Pilot program puts tradie safety first
Queensland’s building regulator has launched a ground-breaking pilot program to raise financial reporting and safety standards across the state (24 June 2021).  More...

Job opportunities to soar new heights at Cairns aviation facility
The new high-value local MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) jobs are being created in Jet Aviation Australia’s 4000-square-me re hangar. Far North Queensland Budget Regional Action Plan, released with last week’s budget as part of our COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan, outlines the crucial investments our government is making in infrastructure and other areas (22 June 2021).  More...

Queensland Government spends big on infrastructure in the 2021 – 2022 state budget
The demand for engineers will increase with $14.7 billion pledged towards infrastructure programs, with 60 percent of this funding to be spent outside Greater Brisbane on roads, rail, education and health (21 June 2021).  More...

Bigger, safer park ‘n’ ride for Mango Hill Station, Queensland
Planning has now been finalised on the $10 million park ‘n’ ride upgrade at Mango Hill Station, which is set to double parking capacity with an additional 280 spaces (17 June 2021).  More...

FRV to begin its first hybrid solar storage project in Queensland
Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), global provider of sustainable energy solutions, has started construction on its first 5 MWac Solar-Storage Hybrid Power Plant in Dalby (16 June 2021).  More...

$27.5 billion transport infrastructure spend announced in Queensland budget
The Queensland Government has released the details of its 2021-22 budget, with significant investment in road and transport infrastructure as well as digital, water and energy – all integral parts of the state’s economic recovery (16 June 2021).  More...

Victoria

Victorian Government selects CIMIC Group as preferred proponent for Melbourne’s North East
The Victorian Government has selected CIMIC Group as the preferred proponent to deliver the North East Link Primary Package in Melbourne. Several companies under CIMIC's umbrella, including Pacific Partnerships, CPB Contractors and Ventia have been chosen for the public-private partnership (25 June 2021).  More...

Second round of Victorian regional infrastructure grants open
Minister for Regional Development, Mary-Anne Thomas, has announced local councils and eligible organisations can apply for grants under the second round of the Regional Infrastructure Fund – enabling councils to seek up to $3 million for community projects (18 June 2021).  More...

Builders are going bust’: Construction material shortages cause costly delays
A shortage of building materials including timber, bricks and windows has led to costly delays for renovations and new homes, according to the Master Builders Association of Victoria (18 June 2021).  More...

Melbourne Airport Rail Link seeks contractors for first works package
Melbourne Airport Rail Link’s first package to deliver works in Sunshine and Albion is now out to market, with the Expressions of Interest process seeking contractors for the much anticipated project. This approach has been informed by feedback from industry and aims to share the workload, providing more opportunities to different contractors and suppliers (15 June 2021).  More...

Practice and courts

ABCB Consultation open: Involvement of fire authorities in building design
A discussion paper in response to the Building Confidence Report is now open for public comment.
The BCR Implementation Team has developed a discussion paper seeking views on the issue of fire authority involvement in building design. Responses to questions in the discussion paper are welcomed until 7 July 2021. (09 June 2021).  More...

Consultation on NCC 2022 public comment draft (stage 1) is closing soon
21 June 2021 – consultation on stage 1 of the National Construction Code (NCC) 2022 public comment draft (PCD) is now open. This first stage of consultation seeks comment on all proposed NCC amendments except energy efficiency and condensation proposals that arise from project work. Responses are invited via until 2 July 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.

New South Wales

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.

Queensland

QBCC: Licence requirements for a company or trust
Persons who carry out, or intend to carry on a business and contract with building owners using a company may be required to hold a company licence. The QBCC can’t issue a licence to a trust, but a company or a person acting as trustee for a trust can apply for a QBCC licence. You can view the requirements for a company licence on the QBCC website (17 June 2021).

QBCC: New online tool – Is it notifiable work?
A new online tool is available to determine if your work is notifiable work. Using the tool is as simple as answering a series of questions about the type of building, and plumbing and drainage work you are doing. Check out the Is it notifiable work? online, via your myQBCC account under plumbing (17 June 2021).

QBCC: When to lodge notifiable work
Notifiable work is a category of plumbing and drainage work allowing a plumber or drainer to perform work without a local government permit or mandatory inspections. It includes most work performed in existing homes and limited work on commercial buildings, and must be performed by a QBCC licensed plumber or drainer (17 June 2021).  More...

QBCC: No increase for Queensland Home Warranty Scheme premiums
The premium review for the financial year 2021-2022 has been finalised. We can confirm that premiums for residential construction will not increase for the financial year, from 1 July 2021. When calculating the premium payable, contractors should use the insurance premium fee tables that are effective from 1 July 2020. You can find these tables on the Insurance premium fees page on our website (14 June 2021). 

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...

Victoria

Advancing Victoria’s climate change strategy
Rebates of $4,000 per home are now available for builders who take on the development of 7-star NatHERS rated homes. The 7 Star Homes program forms part of the Victorian Government’s 1.6 billion Clean Energy package and will support Victoria’s Climate Change Strategy to cut emissions by 28 per cent to 33 per cent by 2025 and 45 per cent to 50 per cent by 2030. To learn more about the program or to register for a rebate or training opportunity, visit 7 Star Homes Program (updated 02 June 2021).

Consumer Affairs Victoria: Engineers have their say on proposed registration fees – news alert
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. For more information, view Professional engineers.  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

Calibre Construction Corp Pty Limited v Bayside Council [2021] NSWSC 758
CONTRACTS – construction – dispute between contractor and local council under contract for property development – contractor agreed to undertake public works as payment in kind of contributions under s 94 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) – where council alleges contractor still owes a debt under the agreement – where council also alleges contractor failed to rectify defects in works – council now withholding bank guarantees provided by contractor by way of security – whether contractor entitled to have the guarantees returned – previous common law proceedings – no issue estoppel – council’s debt and rectification claims statute barred – contractor entitled to delivery up of guarantees.

Queensland

Palace v RCR O’Donnell Griffin Pty Ltd (in liq) [2021] QCA 137
PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – JOINDER OF CAUSES OF ACTION AND OF PARTIES – PARTIES – GENERALLY – where the appellant sustained injuries in the course of his employment in 2018 while working on a solar farm project – where the respondent was the designer and operator of the subject solar farm and entered into a subcontract with the appellant’s employer – where the subcontract contemplated a degree of shared responsibility between the respondent and the appellant’s employer for the safety of employees such as the appellant – where the appellant mistakenly served a company related to the respondent before being informed that the respondent was the proper respondent to the appellant’s personal injuries claim – where the primary judge refused to grant the appellant leave to add the respondent to the proceedings under the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (Qld) – whether the primary judge erred in refusing the grant of leave on the basis that the appellant had not demonstrated that there was a serious question to be tried, that there was a degree of complexity of the legal and factual issues involved in the grant of leave and that the damages which the appellant may recover was greater than the deductible under the insurance policy
CORPORATIONS – WINDING UP – CONDUCT AND INCIDENTS OF WINDING UP – PROCEEDINGS BY OR AGAINST THE COMPANY – LEAVE TO PROCEED – GENERALLY – where the respondent was placed into voluntary liquidation – whether the appellant should be granted leave to proceed under s 500(2) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) against the respondent.

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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