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Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

04 May 2021

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

In the media

House building numbers at record highs, units and apartments continue decline
Despite the federal government’s HomeBuilder scheme coming to a close, house building has reached record numbers in April, as new apartment development activity hits its lowest point since 2012 (28 April 2021).  More...

New post-tensioning scheme launched to boost construction sector
Australia’s construction sector is set to benefit from the introduction of rigorous new standards for post-tensioning – the method of reinforcing concrete with high-strength steel strands or bars. The new standards are backed by an independent certification scheme (27 April 2021).  More...

New alliance to help decarbonise construction industry
Over thirty leading companies have joined forces with the NSW Government and WWF Australia to launch a new alliance aimed at decarbonising Australia’s building and construction industry. The Materials & Embodied Carbon Leaders’ Alliance aims to drive reductions in embodied (upfront) carbon across the building supply chain (27 April 2021).  More...

Sustainable infrastructure set to deliver big dividends in our economic rebound
The twin crises of the Black Summer bushfires and Covid-19 have tested the resilience of Australia’s systems and recalibrated business-as-usual. The challenges and consequences ahead are interconnected – but so are the dividends that sustainable infrastructure can deliver to communities (27 April 2021).  More...

LGS property portfolio receives two green accolades
Local Government Super (LGS) has been recognised for its sustainable building practices by receiving a ‘6 Star Green Star – Performance’ rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. LGS is the first superannuation fund with a diversified property portfolio to achieve this world leadership rating (21 April 2021).  More...

Research highlights benefits of solar energy uptake at Australian airports
A new study has found that Australia’s government-owned airports could produce enough electricity to power 136,000 homes, if they had large-scale rooftop solar systems installed (21 April 2021).  More...

People with disabilities are living in homes that don't fit them — but advocates say a change is coming
Proposed changes to the National Construction Code being considered next week could make it easier for people with disabilities to live in their own homes, as advocates say most live without adequate housing (22 April 2021).  More...

HIA: Demand for residential land elevated
Land prices in the December quarter started to reflect the increase in demand that was seen in the September quarter. Nationally, prices increased by 4.1 per cent to be 0.3 per cent higher than the same time last year. Land prices can lag behind changes in demand due to the length of settlement periods (20 April 2021).  More...

HomeBuilder construction commencement extension solves part of the puzzle – but many pieces still missing
Builders have welcomed the Morrison government’s decision to extend its HomeBuilder construction commencement timeframe – but the industry continues to fight to solve trade and materials shortages and soaring prices (20 April 2021).  More...

New South Wales

Sydney's north west booming with jobs and infrastructure
Hundreds of construction workers in Sydney’s north west are building new and improved parks, sporting fields, roads and cycleways thanks to the NSW Government’s Accelerated Infrastructure Fund (29 April 2021).  More...

Small and medium businesses take priority for flood repair work
NSW Government agencies have been directed to first consider appointing a small or medium business for flood repair work on government owned sites, to support local economies as rebuilding and remediation work continues (27 April 2021).  More...

Lights on for thousands of school projects
Thousands of public schools are being revamped and upgraded across the State as part of the NSW Government’s $450 million COVID-19 Recovery Plan to deliver school projects (23 April 2021).  More...

More jobs, better roads for Upper Hunter
Safer journeys are on the way across the Upper Hunter, with four projects rolling out under the latest round of the Australian and NSW governments’ accelerated Fixing Local Roads program to improve local roads and create thousands of local jobs in the regions (20 April 2021).  More...

Safe cladding products endorsed by expert panel
A major milestone for Project Remediate , the NSW Government’s billion-dollar program has occurred with the release of an independent report outlining four safe and non-flammable product categories that represent the first tranche to replace high-risk cladding (20 April 2021).  More...

Future of freight is 'ROSI' in Moree
The Australian Government has committed $35.2 million towards the $44 million Moree Intermodal Overpass project in New South Wales, which will improve freight connections and help lower business costs in the region (19 April 2021).  More...

Queensland

State reveals preferred route for Coomera Connector
After months of deliberations, the Queensland Government has finally approved the preferred northern route for the Coomera Connector. The route is proposed to cross the Albert River east of Eagleby, connecting to the M1 and Logan Motorway at Loganholme (30 April 2021).  More...

Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan to set strong vision
More growth, jobs and investment in our state’s coal, minerals and gas industries will be a key focus of an industry-wide blueprint being developed by the Palaszczuk Government (29 April 2021).  More...

MacIntyre Wind Farm receives approval for development
ACCIONA’s MacIntyre Wind Farm has achieved a significant milestone, with development approval granted by Queensland’s State Assessment and Referral Agency to build the project (28 April 2021).  More...

Green light for Gold Coast turf club redevelopment
Night racing will come to the Gold Coast as part of the long-awaited $38-million redevelopment plans for the city's turf club (28 April 2021).  More...

Diversity in design drives proposed Planning Scheme changes
Visually appealing suburban streets with a range of housing choices will be encouraged under changes proposed to the Logan City Council Planning Scheme. Requirements for developers to provide a variety of lot sizes and frontage widths are among the proposed new measures that it is hoped will stimulate housing design diversity (20 April 2021).  More...

Wind farms to generate power and jobs for the Southern Downs
Two windfarms and up to 400 jobs in the Southern Downs are a step closer to reality with the State Assessment and Referral Agency giving the green light (21April 2021).  More...

Heritage panel to bolster Queensland protection
The Queensland Government has announced a new advisory panel will be established to strengthen the state’s heritage register and provide expert advice on heritage places and spaces. Minister Scanlon said the panel would sit under the Queensland Heritage Council and look at ways to bolster existing legislation and frameworks around protecting heritage places(19 April 2021).  More...

Victoria

Melbourne apartment building rates ‘to fall off a cliff’
Apartment building in Melbourne is set to plummet, with a respected property research company tipping the number of units completed across Victoria to plunge from more than 16,000 this year to just 800 in 2024 (28 April 2021).  More...

Practice and courts

Queensland

State infrastructure strategy announcement
A new State Infrastructure Strategy will be released in conjunction with seven regional infrastructure plans in aid of supporting our post COVID-19 economic recovery. This follows the recent announcement of the formation of a Growth Areas Delivery Team to address land supply issues in SEQ.
To find out more about the strategy, please click here. You're invited to have your say and help shape the State Infrastructure Strategy. You can share your views via the survey. Consultation closes on 31 May 2021.

QBCC: Time is running out to complete your obligations under Queensland’s Safer Buildings Program
Owners of buildings that meet the legislated definition of ‘private building’ have a responsibility to comply with the program by completing the combustible cladding checklist by no later than 3 May 2021. Failure to complete the Checklist is an offence and QBCC will use all avenues within its regulatory powers to ensure compliance with the Checklist. For more information to help you complete the Checklist, visit the resources page of the Safer Buildings website (27 April 2021).

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 close on 3 May 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

Joye Group Pty Limited v Cemco Projects Pty Limited [2021] NSWDC 151
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – what must be disclosed by a payment schedule under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 – the requirements of a payment schedule – identification of the payment claims – indication of the amount of the payment – reasons for withholding payment.

Lahey Constructions Pty Ltd v The State of New South Wales [2021] NSWCA 69
CONTRACT – building and construction contracts – interpretation – expert determination clause – whether expert determination is final and binding – where parties’ precluded from commencing litigation following expert determination unless value of the determination exceeded a threshold amount – where value of the determination to be calculated without having regard to amounts paid under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW).

Queensland

Wagners Cement Pty Ltd & Anor v Boral Resources (Qld) Pty Limited & Anor [2021] QCA 79
PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – COSTS – ISSUES AND COUNTERCLAIMS – FORM AND SETTLING OF COSTS ORDERS – where the appellants’ appeal and respondents’ cross-appeal each succeeded to some extent – where the parties were given leave to make submissions about the orders that are appropriate to give effect to the Court’s reasons – where the parties disagree about the amount of the monetary judgment that should be ordered against the first respondent in favour of the first appellant – where the parties are also in dispute about the order for costs – where the appellants submit that their measure of success in the proceeding, particularly in the substantial money judgment to which they are entitled, justifies an order that the respondents pay between 60 per cent and 75 per cent of the appellants’ costs of the entire proceeding – where the respondents submit that the appellants should be ordered to pay 80 per cent of the respondents’ costs of the trial and the appellants should either be ordered to pay 85 per cent of the respondents’ costs of the appeal or there should be no order as to the costs of the appeal – where the question of costs is to be decided by the exercise of discretion under the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld)
Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 Qld r 681, r 766(1)(d).

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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