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Workplace Deaths a Tragic Reminder of Safety
The last two months of 2011 saw the highest number of work-related deaths ever recorded in that period for Victoria, and the state has not been the only place to experience significant workplace accidents on construction sites (22 February 2012) More...

Industry: Senate must reject last minute change to ABCC replacement bill
Government's 11th hour amendments to the Bill that demands the new Building Inspectorate drop proceedings against a party where the accused has reached a 'settlement' with the party that it is alleged to have committed an offence against  (21 February 2012) More...

Review indicates Australia's Mineral Exploration Vibrant
The Australian Mineral Exploration Review 2011 compiled by Geoscience Australia confirms spending on mineral exploration in Australia continues at high levels with almost $3 billion invested during 2010/11 (17 February 2012) More...

Regional Survey of Industry Conditions released
Master Builders has released regional snapshots as part of the quarterly Survey of Industry Conditions for December 2011 (15 February 2012) More...

Resource boom regions lead building approvals
The December 2011 regional Building Approvals released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) indicate the resources boom is driving building approval growth in Queensland (14 February 2012) More...

Santos Admits Environmental Errors in CSG Operation
Santos, a coal seam gas (CSG) mining company in Australia, admitted committing environmental errors in its Pilliga East State Forest operations. In a report to the New South Wales government which contained a review of its drilling operation, Santos said there were many instances of pollution, including leaks and spills, that were reported (23 February 2012) More...

New Queensland plumbing laws to reduce red tape and cut costs
Parliament passed new laws on 15 February 2012 to amend plumbing and drainage work approvals throughout the state. The amendments to the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002 will extend the amount of work plumbers can self-certify - reducing red tape, delays and costs for licensees, local government and consumers (15 February 2012) More...

Queensland mines to fly foreign workers direct to outback
The booming mining industry could mean foreign workers will be flown directly into outback Queensland as the state scrambles to fill massive job shortages, with proposed Enterprise Migration Agreements. These address skill vacancies in major resource projects with capital expenditure greater than $2 billion and a peak workforce of 1500 (14 February 2012) More...

$2.2m in new funding Mildura airport redevelopment
The multi-million dollar terminal upgrade at Mildura Airport will now proceed following the announcement of an additional $2.2 million in funding from the Victorian Coalition Government additional money for the Mildura Airport redevelopment was from the Coalition Government's  Regional Growth Fund (23 February 2012)
Ryan announces $2.2m in new funding Mildura airport redevelopment

Contract awarded for Western Highway upgrade to Trawalla
Plans to upgrade the Western Highway duplication between Ballarat and Stawell reached a major milestone today with a $152 million contract awarded for works on the divided highway section from Burrumbeet to Trawalla, a distance of approximately 23 km (15 February 2012)
Contract awarded for Western Highway upgrade to Trawalla

$1 million VCAT blitz to reduce planning delays
The Victorian Coalition Government has committed $1 million to tackle the backlog of planning cases before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) (15 February 2012)
$1 million VCAT blitz to reduce planning delays


CSG economic modelling: on the alleged benefits of the Santos coal seam gas project in North West NSW
Author: David Richardson, The Australia Institute
The alleged benefits to NSW communities from Santos’ plans to develop coal seam gas reserves in the north west of the state should be questioned in the light of inconsistencies and flaws in the economic modelling used to support the project, argues this paper (14 February 2012) More...

Safety Performance and Health Report 2010-11
Author: Queensland Mines and Quarries
This annual publication reports on the safety and health performance of the Queensland mining and extractive industries (14 February 2012)
Queensland Mines and Quarries Safety Performance and Health Report 2010-11

Practice Notes

CTH: Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Bill 2011
The Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Bill 2011 seeks to replace the Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner (ABCC) with the Office of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate and, among other provisions, to compulsorily obtain information or documents relevant to investigations.  The bill is also before a Senate Inquiry, which reports on February 29 Forcing their hand

CTH: National Construction Code information seminars
BAF Consulting, on behalf of the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB), invites building and plumbing practitioners to attend information seminars on the National Construction Code (NCC) scheduled to commence on 1 May 2012. Find out more about the 2012 NCC Seminars and how to register for the seminar nearest you  (February 2012) More...

NABERS assessor training series opens for registrations
The 2012 NABERS training series for people to become accredited assessors or simply better understand how the NABERS rating tools work are now open for registration. Visit email register for any of these courses

QLD: MBA recommendations for rebuilding after flood
With flood-affected homes and businesses widespread across South West Queensland, Master Builders has prepared some basic guidelines for rebuilding and repair work, once the first stage of clean up has been completed (16 February 2012) More...

QLD: Building and plumbing newsflash number 489
Amendments to the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002 and Building Act 1975 have been passed by the Queensland Parliament. These amend plumbing and drainage work approvals throughout the state and provide advice to pool safety inspectors (16 February 2012)
Amendments to the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002 and Building Act 1975; and advice for pool safety inspectors

EPBC Act Public notices - Public Notifications and Referrals – Projects
2012/6290 Perisher Blue Pty Ltd/Tourism and recreation/Perisher Ski Resort, Kosciuszko National Park/NSW/Installation of a new quad chairlift & associated slope works Invitation for Public Comment on Referral 22 Feb 2012
2012/6287 KBL Mining Ltd/Mining/Approx 65km north of Condobolin/NSW/Pearse open cut mine Invitation for Public Comment on Referral 21 Feb 2012
2012/6285 QR National Limited/Transport - land/Approx 13km north north-west of Newcastle/NSW/Hexam Train Support Facility Invitation for Public Comment on Referral 21 Feb 2012
2012/6286 Sutherland Shire Council/Transport - land/Between Woolooware Rd & Elouera Rd, Botany Bay/NSW/Upgrade of Captain Cook Drive Invitation for Public Comment on Referral 21 Feb 2012
2012/6278 Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor General /Commonwealth/109 Kirribilli Avenue, Kirribilli/NSW/Construction works on SE corner of the grounds of Admiralty House Invitation for Public Comment on Referral 15 Feb 2012
2012/6266 John Holland Pty Ltd /Water management and use/4.5km southeast of Birregurra Town Centre/VIC/Refurbishment of a section of the Wurdee Buloc Inlet Channel Invitation for Public Comment on Referral 30 Jan 2012
2012/6273 Wingecarribee Shire Council/Tourism and recreation/Cnr Old South Road & Kangaloon Road Bowral NSW/NSW/Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens Invitation for Public Comment on Referral 07 Feb 2012
2012/6268 BM Alliance Coal Operations Pty Ltd on behalf CQCA Joint Venture/Exploration (mineral, oil and gas - non-marine)/approx 45km NE of Emerald in the Bowen Basin Qld/QLD/M Block 3D Seismic Survey Program- Invitation for Public Comment on Referral 01 February 2012
2012/6282 Gibson Property Corporation /Natural resources management/485 McDonalds Road, Mill Park/VIC/Pruning of trees and removal of 9 River Red Gums Invitation for Public Comment on Referral 16 Feb 2012
2012/6276 The Trustee for Sunshine Investments (VIC) Unit Trust /Residential development/53 Sunshine Avenue, St Albans /VIC/Construction of 67 Dwellings, Access Alterations and Removal of Native Vegetation Invitation for Public Comment on Referral 14 Feb 2012


Esso Australia Resources Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation [2012] FCAFC 5
TAXATION – Liability to tax in relation to a petroleum project – taxable profit being the excess of assessable receipts over deductible expenditure incurred in the petroleum project – deductible expenditure – general project expenditure – joint venture of a petroleum project where one party agrees to act as Operator – Service Agreement entered into with subsidiary (Contractor) to provide personnel, equipment and facilities to enable the Operator to conduct petroleum exploration, production and marketing operations – Operator agreed to pay Contractor’s cost incurred in providing the services, a share of Contractor’s overhead costs proportionate to the services provided, and a fee of 7 ½ % – whether gave rise to a liability to make a single, undifferentiated payment or series of payments, or if allocation and apportionment of the payments should be undertaken – whether payments deductible as a result of occurring in carrying on or providing operations, facilities and other things comprising the joint venture project – deductibility of fee paid by Operator to take part in a Mutualised Research Program in return for the right to use intellectual property and research in carrying on the project. More...

Ron Englehart Pty Ltd v Enterprise Constructions (Aust) Pty Ltd [2012] FCAFC 4
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY – whether appellant’s copyright in building plan for project home infringed by respondents – where opportunity for access established – where striking similarities between copyright work and putative infringement – whether requirement of causal connection between copyright work and putative infringement satisfied – whether inference of copying should be drawn – whether onus of proof shifted to respondents – whether proven or admitted facts not explained justified drawing inference of copying – significance of expert evidence concerning similarities in project home designs – significance of appellant’s delay in commencing proceedings against respondents – whether refusal of primary judge to draw inference of copying open on the evidence – decision of primary judge open on the evidence and not shown to be wrong – appeal dismissed. More...

Grimaldi v Chameleon Mining NL (No 2) [2012] FCAFC 6
CORPORATIONS – Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), s 9 – “director” – “officer” – de facto director – no single test for determining whether a person is such – assuming or performing the functions of a director of the company in question – directors or consultants or both – blurring of “de facto” and “shadow” – de facto officer – unnecessary to differentiate de facto director from de facto officers
EQUITY – Fiduciary obligations – receipt of civil law bribe or secret commission – characteristics of secret commission – third party payer’s position – assumption of risk of agent’s nondisclosure to its principal More...

Oppedisano v Micos Aluminium Systems [2012] NSWSC 53
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) - whether contract was one for the carrying out of residential building work for the purposes of s 7(2)(b) - whether, had s 7(2)(b) been found to apply, relief in the nature of certiorari should be withheld on discretionary grounds. More...

Andrew Building Constructions Pty Limited v Machkevitch [2012] NSWSC 25
REAL PROPERTY - Torrens title - caveats against dealings - building contract -whether builder has caveatable interest - whether express right void under Home Building Act -unconscionable dealing - whether equitable lien - form of caveat - serious question to be tried. More...

Robson v Mine & Quarry Equipment International Ltd [2012] QSC 013
CORPORATIONS - WINDING UP – WINDING UP IN INSOLVENCY – WHAT CONSTITUTES INSOLVENCY – Where the applicant seeks that the respondent be wound up in insolvency – where debts are not likely to fall due for payment in the immediate future – Whether the respondent is able to pay all its debts as and when they become due and payable More...

Austcoast Builders Pty Ltd v Whitsunday Housing Company Ltd [2012] QCAT 007
BUILDING – where major commercial building dispute – whether consent to tribunal’s jurisdiction
TRANSFER OR PROCEEDINGS – where tribunal has no jurisdiction
COSTS – where proceedings an abuse of process More...

Portland Downs Pastoral Company Pty Ltd v Great Northern Developments Pty Ltd & Ors [2012] QCA 018
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – THE CONTRACT – GENERALLY – where the appellant sold its interest in a joint venture to the first respondent – where the sale was recorded by written agreement – where clause 2.3 set out the consideration for the agreement – where the effect of cl 2.3 was that if the building was not completed within two years or exceeded $26 million then the first respondent was not obliged to transfer the Units to the appellant or pay the purchase price – where on completion the first respondent did not transfer the Units to the appellant – where appellant brought proceedings for compensation equal to the value of the Units or for damages for breach of contract – where the primary judge dismissed the claim – whether the primary judgment should be set aside and the appellant either awarded equitable damages for the loss of the Units with interest or damages and interest
ESTOPPEL – ESTOPPEL BY CONDUCT – EQUITABLE ESTOPPEL GENERALLY – where appellant effected improvements on the Units – where value was lost when Units sold to third parties – where appellant claims that wasted expenditures gives rise to an estoppel binding on the respondent – whether imputed knowledge was sufficient to give rise to an estoppels More...

Avilake Pty Ltd v Tucker and Anor [2012] QCAT 041
Practical completion stage payment – claim for debt not damages – suspension of works – validity of notice of intention to terminate and termination of contract – wrongful repudiation – time for performance of defective and incomplete work More...

Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland v Narsey [2012] QCAT 032
Occupational Regulation – disciplinary proceeding against engineer – professional misconduct established – appropriate penalty More...

McCallum v Green Home Green Planet Pty Ltd (Civil Claims) [2012] VCAT 162
Supply of solar heating system for domestic use, misrepresentation by vendor in trade or commerce, assessment of damages. The principal registrar shall pay from the sum of $7,000.00 held in Trust 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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