In the media – National
MBA: Housing affordability reforms must focus on impediments to homeownership
There has been a solid start to the year for housing, with dwelling finance up by 1.5 per cent in January. The statistics support a national outlook for strong residential building activity in the year ahead, but the challenges for first homebuyers continue to mount, with the number of loans falling by over 20 per cent in January (10 March 2017). More...
Affordable housing bond aggregator should be accessible to private sector housing providers
The Federal Government’s proposed affordable housing bond aggregator should be accessible to private sector housing providers as well as not for profit community housing providers, says the Urban Taskforce. More...
OECD warns of 'rout' in house prices if investors head for the doors
The OECD has warned of a "rout" in Australian house prices, leading to a new economic downturn, saying both prices and household debt have reached "unprecedented highs" (03 March 2017). More...
Building approvals confirm housing activity still firmly centred in Sydney and Melbourne
“The latest ABS building approvals data shows residential building activity remains highly concentrated in Sydney and Melbourne,” Master Builders Australia’s National Manager – Housing, Matthew Pollock says (02 March 2017). More...
In the media – Victoria
Corruption body slams massive Bendigo Hospital Project
Victoria’s anti-corruption watchdog has slammed practices which occurred during construction of the new $1.1 billion Bendigo Hospital, saying lax procedures enabled a former construction manager to engage in corrupt conduct and also finding that the chief executive officer engaged in conduct which contrary to the values of the public service (13 March 2017). More...
Potential second container port for Victoria
Infrastructure Australia has released a discussion paper that will be submitted to Government to use when considering the development of a second container port in Victoria. Infrastructure Victoria was requested by the Government to provide advice on the future need, timing and location of a second container port in Victoria by May 2017 (08 March 2017). More...
Solar jobs and growth for regional Victoria
The Andrews Labor Government has released tenders for large scale solar plants, bringing forward $150 million of new capital investment and creating around 300 jobs in regional Victoria. The Solar Certificate Tender will build up to 75 MW of new solar projects (02 March 2017). More...
In the media – New South Wales
Setting clean energy examples for businesses
The New South Wales Government is providing funding to selected New South Wales businesses that have an appetite for being powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, or achieving a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target such as net zero emissions (10 March 2017). More...
Social and affordable housing fund first phase to deliver thousands of homes
The New South Wales Government has taken a major step towards delivering thousands of additional homes for vulnerable people across the State, with contracts awarded for the first phase of the Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF) (10 March 2017). More...
In the media – Queensland
Credit Suisse: Ban Queensland gas exports to ring-fence local supply
Credit Suisse has suggested a partial ban on liquid natural gas (LNG) exports from Queensland to boost local industry’s supply of gas, according to the AFR (06 March 2017). More...
10 year action plan to fix the Bruce Highway already exists
The Bruce Highway continues to be a key priority under the Palaszczuk Government and a 10 year $8.5 billion joint Federal/State commitment to improve safety, flood immunity and capacity is continuing (04 March 2017). More...
Queensland's biggest wind farm powers ahead
More jobs and clean energy loom in regional Queensland as a $500 million wind farm proposal progresses between Kingaroy and Dalby (02 March 2017). More...
Deadline extended for written submissions to Queensland Building Plan
The Palaszczuk Government has extended the deadline for formal written submissions on the Queensland Building Plan (01 March 2017). More...
North Queensland businesses respond to stadium challenge
North Queensland businesses have taken up the challenge to bid for work on the $250 million NQ stadium, with 180 putting up their hands already (01 March 2017). More...
Second container port advice - evidence base discussion paper
Infrastructure Victoria: 7 March 2017 This discussion paper provides an overview of the evidence Infrastructure Victoria will consider in developing its advice on when and where the Victorian government should invest in new container port capacity. More...
ACI Construction Briefs
A fortnightly communication highlighting key updates related to Australia's construction industry 27 February 2017. More...
Practice and courts
Discussion paper: Strengthening the National Security of Australia's Critical Infrastructure
The Government is seeking views on managing the complex and evolving national security risks to Australia's critical infrastructure. The discussion paper follows the Government's announcement on 23 January 2017 to establish a Critical Infrastructure Centre. Submissions close on 21 March 2017 (21 February 2017). More...
ABCC Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016
The Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 applies to companies who wish to undertake Commonwealth-funded building work. Building industry participants covered by agreements made prior 2 December 2016 have until 29 November 2018 to ensure their agreements are Code compliant.
Queensland Building Plan: discussion paper The government would be rolling out a comprehensive consultation program through early 2017 with public consultation sessions right across the state. The Queensland Building Plan discussion paper and information about the consultation can be found at www.hpw.qld.gov.au. Have your say on the Queensland Building Plan Closes: 31 March 2017.
INDUSTRIAL LAW – Industrial action – Stop-work meetings and walk-offs on construction sites – Whether industrial action engaged in by employees – Whether meetings and walk-offs organised by union organisers – Whether contraventions arose out of same course of conduct – Whether organisers liable as accessories – Whether organisers knew that employees were covered by enterprise agreement – Whether organisers’ conduct attributed to union. INDUSTRIAL LAW – Adverse action – Industrial activity – Right of entry – Union organisers entered construction sites in defiance of builder’s right of entry procedure – Whether implied request or requirement by union that procedures be relaxed or not applied. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Disharmony between pleadings and outline of submissions – Whether unfair on respondents for applicant to depart from outline. Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) ss 19, 342, 346, 347, 348, 363, 417, 474, 550, 557, 793.
INDUSTRIAL LAW – intention to coerce – whether respondents contravened ss 343 and 348 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) – consideration of the elements of such contraventions – whether a series of twice-daily, two hour union meetings that were held and conducted on construction site constituted unlawful, illegitimate or unconscionable conduct – consideration of the effect of s 361 Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) on onus when the respondents called no evidence – consideration of tort of intentionally procuring a breach of contract – whether the two hour union meetings constituted unlawful conduct – whether disproportionality between legitimate interests claimed by the respondents and the effect of their actions in pursuit thereof. TORTS – intentionally procuring a breach of contract tort – where a series of twice-daily, two hour union meetings resulted in workers being diverted from work on construction site and complete cessation of work – whether union meetings were held and conducted to intentionally procure a breach of contract between the subcontractors and the managing contractor.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – judicial review – reviewable decisions and conduct – whether jurisdictional error in making Adjudicator Determination. BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) – service of payment claim in respect of reference date. CONTRACTS – construction contract – interpretation of contractual terms – “date of practical completion” – when “practical completion” occurred.
CONTRACT – construction – dispute resolution clause – expert determination – whether pending expert determination arises from a ‘dispute’ within the meaning of dispute resolution clause - wo agreements concerning the construction of a residential apartment block by the Builder on property owned by the Principal at Cronulla – building contract.
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) (the Act) – Claim for relief in the nature of certiorari quashing an adjudication determination – necessity to bring proceedings expeditiously - delay in bringing proceedings – deliberate decision to delay – discretion to deny relief for delay – HELD relief to be withheld because of unacceptable delay.
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) (the Act) – ss 17(3), 17(5) and 19 – Interpretation Act 1987 (NSW) ss21(1) – where an adjudication application made by the claimant differs from that referred by the authorised nominating authority to the adjudicator – where an adjudication application served on the respondent is not a copy of that referred to the adjudicator – where a claimant delivers a Universal Serial Bus (USB stick) containing an adjudication application – HELD: the adjudicator did not have jurisdiction to determine the adjudication application referred to him – HELD: delivery of USB stick is not service of a copy in writing until it is opened by the recipient – HELD: adjudication determination to be quashed.
ARBITRATION – Application for a stay of court proceedings in favour of arbitral proceedings – Application to set aside arbitral award – Whether arbitral award final where all issues referred to arbitration not determined – Extent to which correction and interpretation provisions of the legislation are applicable where arbitrator decides, expressly, not to determine an issue – Extent to which arbitrator’s mandate subsists – Johnson v Latham (1850) 19 LJQB 329 – Gatoil International Inc v National Iranian Oil Company (unreported, 22 February 1990, EWCA) – Administration of Norfolk Island v SMEC Australia Pty Ltd (2004) NFSC 1 – CRW Joint Operation v PT Perusahaan Gas Negara (Persero) TBK  SGCA 33;  4 SLR 305 – TCL Air Conditioner (Zhongshan) Company Ltd v Castel Electronics Pty Ltd  FCAFC 83; (2014) 232 FCR 361 – BLC v BLB  4 SLR 79 – Dyna-Jet Pte Ltd v Wilson Taylor Asia Pacific Pte Ltd  SGHC 238 – Commercial Arbitration Act 2011, s 5, 14, 32, 33 and 34 – Arbitration Act 1996 (Eng), s 68.
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: T: +61 7 3135 0684
Stephen Natoli, Partner
T: +61 3 9321 9796
Kyle Siebel, Partner
T: +61 3 9321 9877
Christine Jones, Partner
T: +61 2 8083 0477
Scott Alden, Partner
T: +61 2 8083 0419
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