In the media – National

Re-deployable solar taps into regional Australia
The Turnbull Government is providing $2.1 million through Australian Renewable Energy Agency to support the deployment of a 1MW movable solar farm, at Maitland, in the Lower Hunter Valley, New South Wales. SunSHIFT, developed by Laing O'Rourke, is a re-deployable solar technology that can be easily packed up and moved to accommodate short-term energy needs (20 April 2017).  More...

MBA: Company tax cuts a big win for builders
The Senate’s passing of the Government’s company tax cut for businesses turning over less than $50 million is a win for the building and construction industry, the economy and the community. Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia said, “This is a big win for 121,000 small and medium building businesses and will support the creation of more than 8,000 new jobs per year (21 April 2017).  More...

MBA: Changes to skilled migration program welcomed
Changes to the temporary skilled migration program announced today are welcomed by Master Builders Australia. However access to foreign workers to fill immediate skills gaps on projects where locals cannot or will not meet demand for skilled labour is important to the productivity of the building and construction industry (18 April 2017).  More...

New units now outweigh houses for first time on record
Building Activity data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed, for the first time on record, there were more newly built units completed over the December 2016 quarter than houses (13 April 2017).  More...

ICA: Why flood protection should be a nation building activity
The Insurance Council of Australia says the federal government should be pumping at least $200 million a year into flood mitigation infrastructure, and treating it as an important nation building exercise (13 April 2017).  More...

In the media – Victoria

New rail line goes up to remove nine deadly crossings
The first elevated rail beams are now in place, as part of the project to remove every level crossing between Caulfield and Dandenong. These concrete beams are being manufactured at a huge pre-cast facility off-site, boosting jobs in Melbourne’s west (21 April 2017).  More...

Builders aware in Geelong and the Surf Coast
A week-long building regulator inspection program has found construction in Greater Geelong and the Surf Coast is riding a wave of compliance (20 April 2017).  More...

Billions spent on roads, rail will benefit us all
Connectivity in all its forms is critical to the future growth and prosperity of regional Victoria. Keeping our communities connected with better roads, rail services, airports and telecommunication links provides more opportunities for people to live and work outside of the increasingly congested greater Melbourne area, according to a Government statement (18 April 2017).  More...

Stockland works with sustainability groups for new development
Stockland today started construction of a new $125 million community comprising a total of 190 standalone and semi-detached homes, townhouses and apartments at Stamford Park, Rowville (13 April 2017).  More...

In the media – New South Wales

New South Wales builder license reform should be part of ‘the strategy’
One of Australia’s largest urban renewal projects is set to take place over the next 30 years as part of the Parramatta Road Corridor Urban Transformation Strategy. The ultimate proof of its success or failure will be measured by what is actually delivered in terms of the functionality of the planning and the quality of the built environment assets including the associated infrastructure works (20 April 2017).  More...

Mid-north coast mine ordered to shut down over rehabilitation concerns
New South Wales’ mining companies have been placed on notice after one mine on the mid-north coast was shut down this week for not paying their environmental rehabilitation (13 April 2017).  More...

New South Wales receives massive infrastructure boost
An extra $2.6 billion will be invested into new infrastructure across New South Wales following the successful concession of Land and Property Information’s titling and registry services to a majority Australian consortium, Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet have announced (12 April 2017).  More...

Designing the future of housing in New South Wales
Innovative architects and building designers have presented their visions for the future of medium density homes (12 April 2017).  More...  More...

In the media – Queensland

$95.32 million in road upgrades for North Queensland are set to start
The Palaszczuk Government has today confirmed construction will begin in mid-2017 on four key road upgrades on the Flinders Highway and Kennedy Developmental Road. $17 million for Pavement strengthening and rehabilitation on the Flinders Highway (Townsville – Torrens Creek) $25 million project (20 April 2017).  More...

First stage of Ipswich Motorway upgrades set to start
Relief is in sight for the 85,000 motorists using the Ipswich Motorway daily, with the contract awarded for the $400 million Ipswich Motorway Upgrade from Rocklea to Darra Stage 1 (20 April 2017).  More...

Proposed Brisbane ship terminal cruises closer to approval
Plans for a new mega-cruise ship terminal near the mouth of the Brisbane River have progressed after stakeholders reached an in-principle agreement with Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd (19 April 2017).  More...

Linc Energy liquidators responsible for EPA breach
A Brisbane court has ruled the liquidators of Linc Energy are responsible for the company breaching an environment protection order issued in May last year. Five former executives of Linc Energy face charges relating to the company's alleged contamination of a large swathe of prime farmland (13 April 2017).  More...

2016 dwelling commencements a record high
New dwellings reached their highest peak with 48,000 new dwellings commenced in Queensland during 2016.  Housing starts are up by almost five per cent during 2016, according to the latest Queensland Dwelling Commencements released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (13 April 2017).  More...

Commonwealth Games provide potential goldmine to investors
JLL’s Doug Rapson and Campbell Bowers from Retail Investments said as the Gold Coast continues to transition from a seasonal tourism destination, to a mature diversified city, the demand for public and private investment into residential, commercial and infrastructure projects will increase. The Gold Coast is embracing new civic projects and developments following the region’s winning bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games (13 April 2017).  More...

Industry responds to Project Bank Accounts proposal
The Property Council has joined forces with Master Builders Queensland, the Civil Contractors Federation and the Qld Major Contractors Association to call on the State Government to go back to the drawing board to find a meaningful solution to resolve payment issues in the building contractual chain (12 April 2017).  More...


Developing the scale and capacity of Australia's affordable housing industry
Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute: 20 April 2017
Vivienne Milligan, Hal Pawson, Rhonda Phillips, Chris Martin, Elton Consulting
This study investigated the capacity constraints affecting Australia’s affordable housing industry, which is critical to addressing the housing needs of low-income Australians. 

Practice and courts

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.

Senate Inquiry Update
Non-conforming building products
Status: Accepting Submissions; Date Referred: 11 October 2016; Submissions Close: 01 December 2016; Reporting Date: 25 May 2017.

National Infrastructure Summit, Sydney, June 28 - June 29
This year the focus is on driving growth through smarter, more efficient cities. Over 300 of Australia’s top investors, planners, contractors, advisers and policy-makers will be in attendance – at what is the nation’s premier infrastructure event. Learn more and register your place here.


Department of Housing and Public Works: Consultations
Current consultations closing in April and May 2017
Community Infrastructure Designations
Cyclone shelters: Standardising design, construction and maintenance discussion paper and draft Queensland Development Code part 3.8
Public housing developments

Master Builders Queensland: New foreign worker visa rules
Changes to the temporary skilled migration program were announced on Tuesday, 18 April 2017 by the Australian Government, including abolishment of the 457 visa program for skilled migrants. Only certain occupations are approved for use under temporary skilled visa programs. Approximately 200 occupations were removed as part of the changes, but those removed do not greatly affect the building and construction industry. The only two removed occupations that may have an impact are: Building and Engineering Technicians NEC and Surveying or Spatial Science Technicians (19 April 2017).

QBCC: ATO wants testers for new online products
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is looking for business owners in the building and construction industry to help test some new on-line products. Click on the heading for more detail (18 April 2017).  More...


Queensland Nickel Pty Ltd (in liq), Re [2017] QSC 056
PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – COSTS – INDEMNITY COSTS – POWER TO ORDER – where directions where made setting down a hearing date for an originating application and requiring the filing and serving of material by a group of parties – where one of the parties instead filed an interlocutory application seeking to overturn the directions – where the interlocutory application was dismissed – whether the circumstances warrant an order for indemnity costs.
CORPORATIONS – WINDING UP – CONDUCT AND INCIDENTS OF WINDING UP – APPLICATIONS TO COURT FOR DIRECTIONS OR ADVICE – where the liquidators applied for directions under s 479 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) that they would be justified in paying out of funds in the control or possession of the company their remuneration and the costs of bringing the application – where the opposing parties later consented to the liquidators paying out their remuneration – whether a direction should be made that the liquidators’ costs be paid out of the funds. 
PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – COSTS – PARTIES AND NON-PARTIES – NON-PARTIES GENERALLY – GENERAL PRINCIPLES – where the liquidators applied for directions in relation to remuneration – where two non-parties were heard in opposition to the application – where the liquidators did not originally seek a costs order against the non-parties – whether a costs order should be made against the non-parties.

M J Arthurs Pty Ltd v Isenbert [2017] QDC 085
CONTRACT – Offer and acceptance – need for communication of acceptance – whether made to authorised agent of offeror – when effectively made.
CONTRACT – Offer and acceptance – whether acceptance or counter-offer – whether counter-offer accepted – no contract.
CONTRACT – Termination – whether repudiation – whether election to terminate for repudiation – whether effective election to affirm - need for communication of election.
PRINCIPAL AND AGENT – Authority of agent – whether third party agent – scope of authority of agent to receive communications on behalf of principal – no implied authority.
BUILDING AND ENGINEERING CONTRACTS – Statutory regulation – obligation to provide copy – whether and when performed – right to withdraw – when arising – whether exercised.



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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