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Latest News

New study dirties coal seam gas image
Greenhouse gases are leaking from some US gas drilling sites at up to double the expected amounts, raising questions over the use of gas as a low-emissions fuel, according to researchers from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (11 February 2012) More...

Skills crisis puts networks 'at risk'
The Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia has called for mandatory national registration of engineers to protect the public from serious safety risks in a government submission (09 February 2012) More...

KPMG: Asia Pacific constructors, engineers confident
KPMG’s Global Construction Survey 2012 report found Asia Pacific contractors have the most confident outlook for the next year: 53 percent of Asia Pacific respondents believe their work backlogs will increase in the next 12 months, compared to the global average 49 percent (06 February 2012) More...

BHP Billiton digs in over workplace laws
BHP Billiton says changes to workplace laws are making it hard for management and unions to resolve disputes, with more claims that could be put on the table beyond just benefits and pay. BHP - one of SA's biggest employers through the Olympic Dam project - is embroiled in a dispute with its Queensland coal miners (08 February 2012) More...

Dwelling approvals fall in December
ABS Building Approvals show that the number of dwellings approved fell 1.0% in December 2011, in seasonally adjusted terms, following a rise of 10.1% in November. Dwelling approvals decreased for the month of December in Victoria (-16.7%), South Australia (-9.1%) and New South Wales (-5.0%), but rose in Queensland (24.6%), Tasmania (15.6%) and Western Australia (6.0%) in seasonally adjusted terms (02 February 2012)More...

Commonwealth building and construction legislation: a recipe to take the economy backwards
The Victorian Coalition Government strongly opposes the Commonwealth's proposed building and construction legislation that would lead to an escalation of unlawful behaviour and misconduct within the construction industry (06 February 2012)  Commonwealth building and construction legislation: a recipe to take the economy backwards

Arsenic and lead found in contaminated water leak at coal seam gas drill site
Four separate leaks of polluted water have now taken place at a coal seam gas drilling site near Narrabri in northern NSW since June, the resources company Santos confirmed (10 February 2012) More...

Court imposes penalties for Gold Coast University Hospital illegal strike
The Federal Magistrates Court this week ordered the CFMEU and two of its organisers to pay $46,860 in penalties for organising an unlawful strike on the Gold Coast University Hospital project (09 February 2012) More...

Brisbane flooding 'inevitable' says expert
An independent hydrological expert has reiterated his support for the actions of Wivenhoe Dam's engineers, telling the state's flood inquiry that the flooding of Brisbane in January was "inevitable" (10 February 2012) More...


Australian economic indicators 2012
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Primarily a reference document, this publication provides a broad basis for analysis and research on the Australian economy and includes statistics that can be applied to both macro-economic and sectoral analyses (02 February 2012)  Australian economic indicators, Feb 2012

Practice Notes

NSW: Changes to home building laws
The reforms outlined below will apply to the following from 1 February 2012: new residential building work, new home warranty insurance policies and new residential building contracts   Changes to home building laws

NSW: Falling objects fact sheet
Safe Work Australia - This fact sheet provides general guidance for persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) and workers on managing risks to health and safety posed by falling objects (07 February 2012)  Falling objects fact sheet

NSW: This month in committees
Inquiries receiving submissions
Inquiry into the Economics of Energy Generation, closes 10 February.
Inquiry into The utilisation of rail corridors, closes 29 February.


Inquiry into Opportunities to consolidate tribunals in NSW (report due) (Wed 29).
Inquiry into Rail infrastructure project costing in NSW (report due) (Wed 29).

QLD: Strategic cropping land legislation
The Strategic Cropping Land Act 2011 came into effect on 30 January 2012. This new legislation is geared towards achieving the balance between agriculture, mining and urban development. Resource activity is defined in the legislation that includes: the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (February 2012) More...

VIC: Statutory Board Positions
Expressions of Interest are being sought for statutory board positions in the building and plumbing industries, the Heritage Council and Growth Areas Authority.


The City of Sydney v Streetscape Projects (Australia) Pty Limited & Anor [2012] NSWSC 10
ORDERS - Final orders reflecting reasons for judgment in The City of Sydney v Streetscape Projects (Australia) Pty Ltd
EVIDENCE - decision on admissibility of proposed tender by defendants.
Civil Procedure Act 2005 (NSW); Copyright Act 1968 (Cth); Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth)
Streetscape Projects has been ordered to pay over $12m to the City of Sydney council, following findings that the company had been secretly manufacturing and selling the council's smartpoles in Singapore and the United Arab More...

Barba v Wincrest Homes Pty Limited (Home Building) [2011] NSWCTTT 602
Scope of the contract works; Standard/quality of work; Contract termination; Completion time; Liquidated damages; Unliquidated damages; Home Building Act 1989,  Rectification work More...

Gleeson v Boden [2011] NSWDC 214
Judgment for the plaintiffs for $48,622.00.
CONTRACT - claim by builder for delay costs referred by court to a referee pursuant to UCPR Pt 20 r 20.14 - principles for adoption or rejection of a referee's report
Civil Procedure Act 2005 (NSW), s 56; Home Building Act 1989 (NSW); Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW), rr 20.14, 20.24 More...

HM Hire Pty Ltd v National Plant and Equipment Pty Ltd & Anor [2012] QSC 004
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – REMUNERATION – STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OF PROGRESS PAYMENTS – ADJUDICATION OF PAYMENT CLAIMS – where second respondent exercised jurisdiction as an adjudicator under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) (“the Act”) to decide that the applicant should make a progress payment to the respondent – where contract required the applicant to perform clear and grub works, topsoil stripping and placement at project site – where work actually performed was the excavation and removal of timber and topsoil from the site – whether the work carried out for which payment was sought was “construction work” – whether the work carried out fell within the exclusion under s 10(3)(b) of the Act More...

Cenekin Pty Ltd v Captain Stag Pty Ltd (Domestic Building) [2012] VCAT 90
Domestic building - work and labour – contract to supply at an hourly rate – nature of agreement – incomplete work not charged for – reasonable rate for time spent working - lower rate for travelling time – defective work – absence of expert evidence – calculation of amount due – set-off More...

Contact details


Chris Edquist, Partner
T: +61 (0)3 9321 9919


Troy Lewis, Partner
T: +61 (0)7 3135 0614

"The material contained in this publication is no more than general comment. Readers should not act on the basis of the material without taking professional advice relating to their particular circumstances”

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