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Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

10 March 2020

#Construction & Infrastructure

Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

In the media 

Builders call for coronavirus action
Australian Construction Industry Forum says efforts are needed to ensure that the threat to building projects is mitigated to the greatest possible extent (05 March 2020).  More...

Infrastructure can lay the foundations for Australia’s net zero emissions future
Infrastructure will play a critical role in supporting Australia’s transition to net zero emissions, according to a new paper. Infrastructure contributes around 70 per cent of Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Issues Paper (04 March 2020).  More...

Read the Issues Paper: Reshaping Infrastructure for a net zero emissions future 

Australia’s construction sector must restore trust
As 2020 begins, the general lack of confidence in the building and construction sector lingers from previous years.

That there is a persistent crisis of confidence in the sector is not in dispute but what has been hotly debated is the reason why and what to do about it (02 March 2020).  More...

Infrastructure Australia's 2020 Priority List welcomed
The Australian Government has welcomed the release of Infrastructure Australia’s (IA) 2020 update to its Infrastructure Priority List, which reaffirms the Government’s delivery of the infrastructure Australia needs and deserves (26 February 2020).  More...

New South Wales

New South Wales Government announces scoping study into options for residual stake in WestConnex
The New South Wales Government announced a scoping study into the future ownership of the State’s 49 per cent stake in WestConnex (06 March 2020).  More...

New South Wales North Coast concrete plant fined $15,000 for water pollution incident
A North Coast concrete batching plant that allegedly discharged cement slurry into a drain that flows to the Clarence River has been fined $15,000 by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) (27 February 2020).  More...

Supporting the tradies of the future
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced a Review of the system to be led by Mr David Gonski AC and Professor Peter Shergold AC. The Review will report to the NSW Government by July 2020 (25 February 2020).  More...

Queensland

Funding boost awarded to building materials researchers
Two University of Southern Queensland (USQ) researchers, whose work is said to have the potential to revolutionise manufacturing, have been awarded a total of $480,000 in Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship funding to help drive their research into materials innovations (04 March 2020).  More...

Next M1 upgrade between Burleigh and Tugun revealed
Gold Coasters are getting their first look at what the next major M1 upgrade between Varsity Lakes and Tugun will look like after completion of the current upgrade over coming months (04 March 2020).  More...

Interest now open for Spit tourism and hospitality sites
The Palaszczuk Government has commenced the second expression of interest process for development sites on the iconic Gold Coast Spit (28 February 2020).  More...

Victoria

Major construction begins on new overtaking lanes
The Andrews Labor Government is making the drive between Colac and Camperdown safer, with major construction commencing on two new overtaking lanes on the Princes Highway at Weerite (06 March 2020).  More...

Victorian home buyers protected from unfair practices
The Material Fact Guidelines state that a vendor or their agent must disclose all known material facts, as soon as a prospective buyer indicates they are considering purchasing the property, including the existence of flammable cladding or asbestos (01 March 2020).  More...

Published - articles, papers, reports

Reshaping infrastructure for a net zero emissions future
Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia, ClimateWorks Australia, Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council
Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia: 05 March 2020
This issues paper illustrates the influence infrastructure assets have on Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and sets out opportunities to prioritise emissions reductions towards achieving net zero emissions in the planning, designing, building and operation of infrastructure.  More...

Infrastructure priority list: project and initiative summaries 2020
Infrastructure Australia: 26 February 2020
The Infrastructure Priority List is the authoritative guide to the priority infrastructure investments Australia needs to secure a sustainable and prosperous future. The list has a strong record of driving national investment and has become a key reference point for governments at all levels.  More...

Australia Bureau of Statistics
03/03/2020 Building Approvals, Australia, Jan 2020 (cat no. 8731.0)

Practice and courts

ABCC e-alert: Australian Government releases Building Code discussion paper
The Australian Government has released the Code Discussion Paper for the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Works 2016. The Attorney-General’s Department is inviting written submissions on the Code’s operation and potential areas where it could be strengthened to ensure it remains fit for purpose. Submissions can be made to the Attorney-General’s Department here. The closing date for submissions is 3 April 2020 (18 February 2020).  More...

New NatHERS certificate to be rolled out by 30 April 2020
A new NatHERS certificate will soon come into use as software tools transition to Chenath Engine version 3.21.The new NatHERS certificate has been developed after significant consultation with industry users and will replace the previous “universal certificate” for all new assessments from 1 May 2020.  More...

Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) draft credits
GBCA have introduced eight categories to more accessibly define a building’s sustainability. Within these categories there are a number of draft credits that all buildings seeking a Green Star rating are expected to comply with: these are proposed as new Minimum Expectations for every Green Star rated building. Feedback is invited until the end of February 2020.  More... 

RICS UN backed global standard
RICS is chairing the development of the International Fire Safety Standard and it follows previous RICS work to bring consistency to the standards people can expect globally across property, construction and valuation. The International Fire Safety Standards will be open for global consultation until 23 March with the final international standard to be published later in 2020.

RICS Building Confidence Conference 2020
The Building Confidence Conference is RICS' flagship event that puts a spotlight on the role of Chartered Surveyors, engineers, architects and contractors in the built environment, will be held in Sydney, August 2020.  More...

Victoria

Engagement begins for engineers' registration scheme
The new Professional Engineers Registration Act 2019 will initially require structural, civil, mechanical, electrical and fire safety engineers to be registered. The scheme is due to commence from 1 July 2021 and has been designed to include other engineering disciplines over time. Public consultation will occur via Engage Victoria in the first half of 2020. Victorians can get updates on the professional engineers' registration scheme, and proposed timelines, on Engage Victoria

Proposed Electricity Safety (Electric Line Clearance) Regulations 2020
ESV invites interested parties to make comments on the regulatory impact statement and proposed Regulations including any proposed fees. Submissions must be received by 6 March 2020.  More...

Cases

New South Wales

Icon Co (NSW) Pty Ltd v Australia Avenue Developments Pty Ltd [2020] NSWSC 178
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – contracts – performance bond – condition precedent to beneficiary’s entitlement to call on bond – whether security recourse event has occurred
CONTRACTS – remedies – application for injunction to restrain a breach of contract – whether damages an adequate remedy

Mistrina Pty Ltd v Australian Consulting Engineers Pty Ltd [2020] NSWSC 130
CONSUMER LAW – Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) – ss 51(1), 82(1) – misleading and deceptive conduct – defendant structural engineer issued a certificate as to structural soundness of a proposed building which certificate was misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive – plaintiffs claim damages said to have been caused by this conduct because, after the project was delayed to remedy faulty construction undertaken by the builder in reliance on the certificate, a bank, which had lent them money, appointed receivers and sold their land – necessity for plaintiffs to prove, on the balance of probabilities, that the conduct complained of caused them loss – necessity for the plaintiff to prove that the conduct complained of was a material part of the bank’s motivation – plaintiffs fail to bring evidence of the bank’s motivation – plaintiffs failed to establish that the conduct complained of played any, or any sufficient, role in causing the bank to act – HELD: proceedings dismissed.

Duffy Kennedy Pty Ltd v Galileo Miranda Nominee Pty Ltd [2020] NSWCA 25
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – construction contracts – Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) – whether right to suspend work validly exercised – whether unpaid interest on late payment of “scheduled amount” forms part of the scheduled amount – the definition of “scheduled amount” does not include interest payable under s 11 on the unpaid amount of a progress payment unless that amount is included in a “scheduled amount”
CONTRACT – Breach of Contract – whether ‘show cause notice’ was validly issued in circumstances where the power to issue the notice was conferred on the principal’s representative – where principal was involved in the principal’s representative’s decision to issue the notice – notice validly issued as principal’s representative gave adequate and proper consideration to issuing the notice and it would be inconsistent with the principal’s right to see that its representative acts properly if it could not be involved in the decision
CONTRACT – Breach of Contract – whether ‘take out notice’ was validly issued where its validity was contingent on the principal’s representative being satisfied that the default that was the subject of the ‘show cause notice’ had not been remedied or the contractor had otherwise failed to show cause – not shown that the principal’s representative failed to give adequate and proper consideration to the issues – not shown that the principal’s representative did not possess the relevant satisfaction
EVIDENCE — Privileges — Without prejudice privilege – whether information obtained during the course of ‘without prejudice’ meetings can be used for purposes other than settlement – ‘without prejudice’ privilege is not based upon an implied agreement that if the negotiations do not result in an agreement for settlement of the dispute, the parties will make no use of what has been disclosed by the other party in the negotiations

Queensland

Rainbow Builders Pty Ltd v State of Queensland [2020] QSC 25
ARBITRATION– RECOURSE AGAINST AWARD– GROUNDS FOR REMITTING OR SETTING ASIDE– MISCONDUCT– DENIAL OF NATURAL JUSTICE– where Rainbow Builders applied to set aside the September Award under section 34(2) of the Commercial Arbitration Act 2013 (Qld) – where the State applied to enforce the September Award under section 35 of the Act– where in the alternative the State applied to enforce an earlier award from August 2019– where if the September Award is set aside Rainbow Builders applied for declaratory relief that the August Award is not a final determination– where Rainbow Builders resisted the enforcement of both Awards pursuant to section 36 of the Act– where Rainbow Builders submit that the September Award should be set aside as they did not have a reasonable opportunity to present their case– where Rainbow Builders also submit that the September Award should be set aside as the parties where not treated with equality– where the court ordered that the application be dismissed and the September Award be enforced.
Commercial Arbitration Act 2013 Qld s 18, s 19, s 34, s 35, s 36(1)
Resolution Institute Arbitration Rules 2016 Qld Article 17 sub (1), Article 27 sub (3), Article 27 sub (4)

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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