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Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

08 April 2019

#Construction & Infrastructure

Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

In the media

Conditions remain fairly dire for Australia's residential construction sector
Conditions across Australia’s construction sector remain weak, but they’re not quite as severe as they were earlier in the year. Activity levels for residential and commercial construction are going backwards but are stable for engineering firms (05 April 2019).  More... 

Timber towers: In pursuit of perfect highrise
A highrise built out of timber, not steel? It’s a solid idea according to QUT structural engineering researcher Dr Craig Cowled, who’s embarked on a three-year project to work out the perfect way to build carbon-storing, timber-framed “plyscrapers” (05 April 2019).  More... 

‘Near misses like you wouldn’t believe’: Tradies detail workplace dangers
Tradies have revealed the danger and violence that unfolds on construction sites following two horror incidents at Sydney projects this week. Two tragic workplace deaths have prompted terrified tradies to speak up about unsafe construction sites, fearing further accidents (04 April 2019).  More... 

Green building council of Australia: Strong on infrastructure, short on emission reductions
The Morrison Government has delivered a pre-election federal budget strong on infrastructure spending but short on new initiatives to support emissions reductions, according to the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) (02 April 2019).  More... 

Crane spotting: Sydney construction falls while Melbourne peaks
Melbourne construction continues to surge with an increase of cranes standing across its CBD and suburbs reaching a peak of 222, a 40 per cent rise since March last year. In contrast, Sydney’s residential sector has recorded a slight 10 per cent decline (28 March 2019).  More... 

Australia top infrastructure investment destination in 2019
Australia tops the Asia Pacific region for future investment opportunities, with more than half of all investors looking to Australia for its stable investment offerings, according to a White & Case report (25 March 2019).  More... 

New South Wales

SafeWork continues its investigation of Macquarie Park scaffolding site
SafeWork will examine a range of factors including the qualifications of relevant workers, environmental conditions, the load carried by the scaffolding, as well as the design, construction and maintenance of scaffolding (04 April 2019).  More... 


CIMIC to build Brisbane's $5.4b cross river rail
Construction on Queensland's biggest infrastructure project, the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail, will finally begin later this year after a consortium led by Spanish-owned company CIMIC was selected to deliver the main contract to fix traffic congestion in Brisbane (04 April 2019).  More... 

Disaster resilience now has a permanent home in legislation
The role of Australia’s only permanent disaster recovery organisation has been strengthened, with amendments to the Queensland Reconstruction Authority Act 2011 passing through parliament (03 April 2019).  More... 


Melbourne’s tallest tower tops out
Malaysian development giant UEM Sunrise has topped out its Aurora project, a $770 million skyscraper opposite Melbourne Central (04 April 2019).  More... 

Victoria moves to mandate engineering registration
Engineers who work across major construction categories in Victoria will be required to be registered under a new scheme which will see the mandatory registration of professional engineers in respect of certain types of work (04 April 2019).  More... 

New facility recovers construction waste for reuse
Repurpose It is turning construction and building waste previously destined for landfill into reusable materials for civil and infrastructure building projects. The facility has also partnered with Victorian government projects including the Level Crossing Removal Authority, Metro Trains, North East Link, CityLink Widening and Western Distributor to integrate waste into road and rail infrastructure across the state (29 March 2019).  More... 

Claims of ‘secrecy’, misused funds in transport projects
An advisor for some of Melbourne’s biggest transport projects has called out misappropriation of taxpayer dollars and growth forecast “failures” in the state’s $1.9 billion infrastructure pipeline, and criticised New South Wales for similar malpractice. Mr McDougall has also called out the state government for a lack of strategic direction around the environmental impacts of transport projects (25 March 2019).  More... 

Published - articles, papers, reports

Re-building the social license for asset recycling
Consult Australia: March 2019
Consult Australia argues that the case for asset recycling cannot be ignored and calls on the government to increase their focus on creating the right conditions for successful transfers that are in the public interest. To support this renewed focus, the report outlines six recommendations for governments across Australia.  More... 

Practice and courts

Australian building codes board: Accessible housing options paper consultation report now available
The feedback from the Accessible Housing Options Paper has been summarised into a Consultation Report (04 April 2019).  More...  

New South Wales

City of Sydney: Alternative housing idea challenge
The community will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the short-listed concepts as part of the City’s consultation to shape Sydney 2050. The Alternative Housing Ideas Challenge will close on Wednesday 8 May 2019.  More...  


Special joint taskforce: Subcontractor non-payment in the Queensland building industry
The Special Joint Taskforce will investigate complaints or allegations of fraudulent behaviour that have led to subcontractor non-payment in the building industry and will also consider if any legislative changes are required to strengthen the laws protecting people against illegal conduct. Submissions close on 17 May 2019. A final report and recommendations due to State Government by 30 June 2019. More...  


New South Wales

Boss Constructions (NSW) Pty Ltd v Rohrig (NSW) Pty Ltd [2019] NSWSC 374
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – CONTRACT – where each party sues for damages for breach of contract – where each asserts a different contract – HELD: no contract established by either

Grandview Ausbuilder Pty Ltd v Budget Demolitions Pty Ltd [2019] NSWCA 60
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – statutory debt under s 14 of Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (Cth) – creditor’s statutory demand – suspension of work pending payment of demand – application to set aside statutory demand under s 459G of Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) – whether debtor had offsetting claim within meaning of s 459H CONTRACTS – purported termination – whether purported termination precluded by election to affirm contract CORPORATIONS – creditor’s statutory demand – application to set aside statutory demand under s 459G of Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) – offsetting claim arising after filing of setting-aside application – Graywinter principle – offsetting claim foreshadowed by s 459G affidavit – whether offsetting claim “genuine” PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – funds paid into Court – discretion in relation to release of funds

In the matter of SBC Construction Pty Ltd [2019] NSWSC 310
CORPORATIONS — Winding up — Statutory demand — Application to set aside — Judgment debt subject of demand arose by filing of adjudication certificate under Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) — Amount of debt described in judgment not equal to amount claimed in demand at time of service — Judgment retrospectively amended to match amount claimed in demand — Whether error in demand “some other reason” to set aside — Whether setting aside ought to be conditional on debtor paying in to court the amount of debt - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW), ss 24, 25, 32
The statutory demand stated that SBC owed Quick Smart “the amount being the amount of the debt described in the Schedule”. The amount claimed in the Schedule was $125,890.49


The Trust Company (Australia) Ltd atf the WH Buranda Trust v Icon Co (Qld) Pty Ltd & Anor [2019] QSC 87
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – REMUNERATION – STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OF PROGRESS PAYMENTS – ADJUDICATION OF PAYMENT CLAIMS – where the applicant challenges an adjudicator’s decision under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) on the ground that the payment claim was not properly served – where the contract provided for a progress claim to be given to the Principal’s Representative – where a progress claim that constituted a payment claim under the Act was served on the applicant’s representative via an electronic document control and management system – where the contract required a ‘notice’ under the Act to be served to the applicant’s physical address – whether the payment claim was properly served on the applicant. Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 Qld ss 17, 103

S.H.A. Premier Constructions Pty Ltd v Lanskey Constructions & Ors [2019] QSC 81
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – AUSTRALIA – BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS IN AUSTRALIA – VARIATIONS – GENERALLY – where the applicant seeks an order declaring void two adjudication decisions made by the third defendant and other ancillary or alternate relief – where adjudication decisions relate to two different projects but involve identical parties, and an identical ground to challenge each decision, namely, that each payment claim is invalid by reason of containing claims relating to more than one construction contract – whether the payment claims contained claims for work under different construction contracts or were variations
Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 Qld; Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 Qld 

Berg Engineering Pty Ltd v Tivity Solutions Pty Ltd & Ors [2019] QSC 68
EQUITY – EQUITABLE REMEDIES – INJUNCTIONS – INTERLOCUTORY INJUNCTIONS – EX PARTE APPLICATIONS – NON-DISCLOSURE OR MISREPRESENTATION – where search order granted ex parte – where defendants apply for discharge of search order on the basis of material non-disclosure – whether plaintiff failed to make full and frank disclosure – whether search order should be discharged on the basis of material non-disclosure – whether documents produced from execution of search order are a sufficient reason to refuse the application to set aside search order on the ground of material non-disclosure. 

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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