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Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

07 September 2021

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

In the media

Introducing legislation to unlock investment in offshore energy projects
The Morrison Government has introduced legislation to deliver on our commitment to unlock a wave of new investment in offshore electricity generation and transmission projects (02 September 2021).  More...

Dwelling approvals continue to fall in July
BS Director of Construction Statistics, said: "The decline in the total number of dwellings approved in July was broad-based, with private sector houses falling 5.8 per cent and approvals in private sector dwellings excluding houses falling 12.3 per cent. (31 August 2021).  More...

Construction delays pushing builders into the red
More than one in 10 construction businesses are struggling to pay their bills on time as the industry emerges as the worst hit by Covid. The Creditor Watch report on business arrears showed the construction industry universally remained the worst performer when it came to businesses in arrears, often due to stalled project financing or other delays (30 August 2021).  More...

ASX 100 missing key reporting metric: ACCR
A new report from the Australian Centre for Corporate Responsibility has raised serious governance concerns with ASX 100 companies in relation to contractors. ACCR found that Australian listed companies remain opaque about their labour hire, contracting and outsourcing practices which leaves investors unable to assess the long-term viability of their workforce strategies (27 August 2021).  More...

Building occupant safety linked to building fire protection checks
The Insurance Council of Australia and the National Fire Industry Association are joining forces to remind building owners and managers to ensure they are staying up to date with fire protection safety and maintenance checks for commercial, industrial, and residential (27 August 2021).  More...

Stronger oversight for Australia's offshore oil and gas industry
Australia’s parliament has passed legislation to strengthen Australia’s offshore oil and gas regulatory framework.
The changes expand the government’s ability to call on a previous titleholder to pay for decommissioning and environmental remediation if they sell a title and the new titleholder is then unable to meet their financial obligations (26 August 2021).  More...

Audit finds gaps in building projects
An audit into whether three public sector Agencies were strategically planning the material and human resources needed to deliver Victoria’s major infrastructure projects has found they were not (26 August 2021).  More...

Feedback sought on fire safety systems discussion paper
The ABCB has released the final consultation in response to the Shergold Weir Building Confidence Report (BCR). Recommendation 19 of the BCR is that each jurisdiction requires registered fire safety practitioners to design, install and certify the fire safety systems necessary in commercial buildings (24 August 2021).  More...

Engineers Australia updates climate change action platform
Engineers Australia has released its Draft Engineers Australia Position on Climate Change that encapsulates the urgent action required by engineers, business, government, and the community (23 August 2021).  More...

New South Wales

Delay to removal of flammable cladding from New South Wales apartment buildings
The removal of cladding from the apartment towers as part of a state government project has been delayed until early next year (02 September 2021).  More...

New Home Buyers being hit with unfair infrastructure contributions
Research released by the NHFIC confirms that the NSW Government has allowed the scope of local infrastructure contributions to grow to such an extent that they now account for between 8-11 per cent of the total cost of a new home – with NSW being the highest at up to $85,000 per dwelling (compared to $77,000 in Vic and $42,000 in Qld) (31 August 2021).  More...

Proposed Port Kembla power station declared critical
A proposed $1.3 billion hydrogen-gas turbine power station in Port Kembla has been declared Critical State Significant Infrastructure, given its importance to renewable energy capacity in NSW (27 August 2021).  More...

Green ban on Willow Grove lifted
NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin has announced that the green ban imposed by the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union on Parramatta’s Willow Grove site will be lifted. This decision follows consultation with the community resulting in the retention of significant heritage items (24 August 2021).  More...

$1.48 billion for Murray Darling Basin off-farm infrastructure
The NSW Government is seeking applicants for water efficiency projects, to improve off-farm infrastructure in the Murray Darling Basin, with the Federal Government investing up to $1.48 billion to support Basin state’s initiatives (24 August 2021).  More...

Queensland

CleanCo cracks 1 gigawatt with Dulacca wind farm deal
CleanCo will help underwrite the development of a 43-turbine wind farm at Dulacca, in the Western Downs, through a power purchasing agreement (01 September 2021).  More...

New regional quarantine facility to be built in Queensland
Under a joint agreement between the Queensland Government and Wagner Corporation, a new dedicated regional quarantine facility will be built at Wellcamp, Toowoomba. Wagner Corporation will build the facility, with the accommodation modules to be manufactured in Queensland (01 September 2021).  More...

Builders advised to check the ‘claim of compliance’ on structural timber
Queensland’s timber industry has released technical advice reminding builders of the information they must look for when using structural timber and how to maintain relevant records (01 September 2021).  More...

Contractor demerit points increased 15 per cent
Contractors issued with demerit points for breaches of legislation increased in 2020/21, with Queensland’s building industry watchdog issuing demerit points to almost 600 contractors (31 August 2021).  More...

Rocky contractors to win big from infrastructure boom
The $1 billion Rockhampton Ring Road will create extensive opportunities for local contractors, after many benefited from the Rockhampton Northern Access Upgrade, which is nearing completion (25 August 2021).  More...

Partnership boosts affordable housing stock on the Sunshine Coast
The Palaszczuk Government’s innovative partnership with leading community housing provider, Churches of Christ Housing Services, will commence construction of forty new affordable homes for seniors in Caloundra (25 August 2021).  More...

Work stops for almost 1,000 contractors for failure to provide finances
Almost 1,000 Queensland contractors have had conditions applied to their licences that prevent them from providing tenders or quotes, or doing new work until they lodge their financial information (23 August 2021).  More...

Victoria

Addressing housing affordability in Melbourne’s North
The Victorian Government is delivering on its commitment to increase affordable housing in Melbourne, with the launch of Habitas – the latest stage of the Aurora residential development in Wollert. Development Victoria has partnered with two of Victoria’s leading residential builders, SOHO Living and Metricon , to deliver the homes at Habitas (27 August 2021).  More...

New quarry planning reforms to help safeguard Victoria’s resources
The Victorian Government has introduced Strategic Extractive Resource Area planning controls to help indicate the locations of existing quarries and potential future quarries needed for construction and infrastructure projects (27 August 2021).  More...

Infrastructure Victoria’s 30-year plan makes 94 recommendations
Infrastructure Victoria has presented its 30-year infrastructure strategy to the Victorian Government, highlighting four key transport projects and 94 recommendations worth around $100 billion, to better connect Victorians to jobs, services and each other, into the future (23 August 2021).  More...

Practice and courts

ABCB: Inspection and certification of fire safety systems
The final consultation in response to the Building Confidence Report (BCR) is now open. Recommendation 19 of the BCR is that each jurisdiction requires registered fire safety practitioners to design, install and certify the fire safety systems necessary in commercial buildings. Responses to questions in the discussion paper are invited until 26 September.  More...

ABCB: Did you say AFEG or IFEG?
Now that the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has released the Australian Fire Engineering Guidelines (AFEG), you could be mistaken in thinking its IFEG rather than AFEG. To clear up any confusion, here is some information about AFEG, the latest fire-related resource released by the ABCB (25 August 2021).

ABCB: Consultation open: Continuing professional development on the National Construction Code
Recommendation 3 of the Building Confidence Report is that each jurisdiction requires all practitioners to undertake compulsory continuing professional on the National Construction Code. Feedback on the draft model guidance is now sought via a discussion paper. Responses to questions in the discussion paper are invited until 5 September 2021.  More...

ABCB: National Construction Code 2022 public comment draft (stage 2)
The National Construction Code is updated every 3 years, based on industry research, public feedback and policy directions from governments to the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) between publishing cycles.
The ABCB is now seeking comment on proposed amendments to energy efficiency and condensation technical provisions, via this second and final stage of public consultation, which closes 17 October 2021.  More...

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.

Call for submissions – 2022 Infrastructure Priority List
Submissions to the February 2022 publication of the Infrastructure Priority List have formally opened. Submissions for the 2022 Infrastructure Priority List update will close 3 September 2021. Find out more about submissions for the 2022 Infrastructure Priority List update. 

New South Wales

Guide for design practitioners and engineers
Consult Australia, Engineers Australia and the Australian Institute of Architects have joined forces to develop the Guide for design practitioners and engineers to help their members tackle the recent NSW Building Confidence reforms. There are multiple new obligations on design practitioners, engineers and building practitioners throughout the life of a building under the NSW Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 and the Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2021.

Infrastructure Grants program opens
To be eligible for funding, applications must meet eligibility conditions including, the project location, the applicant and project benefit, purpose and development status. There is also a requirement for local government applicants to match funding. Applications are open from November 2021: Monday 1 November to Monday 22 November 2021.  More...

Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebates round 2 live on 1 July 2021
Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall welcomed the early kick-off for payments with expressions of interest for Round 2 already live on the Rural Assistance Authority’s website. Round 2 opens on 1 July 2021.
The Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate scheme is jointly funded by the Australian and NSW Governments, administered by the Rural Assistance Authority.

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. In response to your feedback, we've drafted a report that explains the changes that were made to the draft Regulation.  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

Reminder: Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020
To advise that the commencement of section 125A of the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 has been postponed. As a result of the regulation, section 125A will not commence until late July 2022.  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...

Victoria

VBA: Revised AS/NZS plumbing standards – transition period
The VBA has applied a transition period for plumbers to familiarise themselves with revised AS/NZS standards, before they need to be applied to plumbing practices on 1 September 2022.  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.

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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