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In the media

Milestone of 800 Scheme Projects Reached
Since its inception in 2005, the Australian Government Building and Construction OHS Accreditation Scheme (the Scheme) has now been applied to 800 Australian Government funded building and construction projects (08 August 2012) More…

Australian Construction Costs 3rd highest in the World
The 2012 International Construction Costs report indicate that even as conditions in the Australian construction industry continue to deteriorate, costs continue to rise, making Australia the third costliest location in which to construct buildings and infrastructure throughout the world (08 August 2012) More…  

Construction sector posts steeper fall
A leading private index of construction activity has found the sector shrank again in July, and at a faster pace than the previous month. The Australian Industry Group - Housing Industry Association Performance of Construction Index (PCI) dropped 2.2 points to 32.6 - a level below 50 indicates contraction, and the further below 50 the steeper the contraction (07 August 2012) More…

Green Building Council of Australia governance changes
The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has implemented a number of governance changes, with members unanimously approving nine governance changes which are consistent with best practice for boards in Australia. These include changes to length of board tenure and the election and rotation of directors (31 July 2012) More…

New home sales rise in June 
The Housing Industry Association (HIA) has indicated that new home sales rose 2.8 per cent in June, seasonally adjusted. The HIA survey showed national detached house sales rose by 0.7 per cent in June while multi-unit sales jumped 15.7 per cent (30 July 2012) More…

Federal grant for Sydney semiconductor manufacturer to cut energy use, reduce pollution and save tens of thousands of dollars
Technology company, Silanna Semiconductor, which makes microelectronic circuits for space and defence satellites, deep-space probes and mobile phone infrastructure, has been awarded a Federal Government grant worth nearly a quarter of a million dollars to reduce its energy use and cut its carbon emissions intensity by more than 21 per cent (09 August 2012) More…

NSW inspects construction bankruptcy
Sub-contractors may be protected from bankruptcy through a NSW Government inquiry into construction industry finances. The inquiry follows the collapse of hundreds of companies in NSW between 2009 and 2011, where up to 24000 creditors including suppliers and sub-contractors were short of millions of dollars (09 August 2012) More…

$80 million precious metals mine approved in western NSW
The NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure has approved the construction of a new $80 million mine near Cobar in the state’s west. Hera Resources Pty Limited will develop and operate the Hera Project, approximately 100km south east of Cobar and 4km south of Nymagee (03 August 2012) More…

Federal funds bid for road, rail projects
The Victorian Government has put forward several regional road and rail projects for Commonwealth funding. The Government's submission to Infrastructure Australia features proposals for several major projects, including further duplication of the Western Highway between Ballarat and Stawell (07 August 2012) More…  

Jail subbies look forward to funds
Subcontractors working on the embattled Ararat prison redevelopment expect construction will not resume at the site until next year. The Victorian Government last week signed an agreement with the banks financing the $400 million project that stalled in May (07 August 2012) More…

Agreement reached on Ararat prison project
Esso prosecuted after Longford gas leak
For the second time, Esso Australia Pty Ltd has been convicted over workplace health and safety charges after incidents at the Longford gas plant in Gippsland. Magistrate Alsop convicted and fined Esso Australia $40,000 after it pleaded guilty to failing to provide adequate training or supervision to its employees in relation to the draining and depressurising of gas pipes (31 July (2012) More…

More Work Begins on the Regional Rail Link
Construction work is now underway on the 7.5 kilometre Footscray to Deer Park section of the new multi-billion Regional Rail Link, Australia's largest public transport infrastructure project in generations. An alliance of the Regional Rail Link Authority, Metro, V/Line, Thiess, Balfour Beatty, Parsons Brinckerhoff and Sinclair Knight Merz are working together to deliver this complex section of the project (07 August 2012) More…

Regional Queensland drives housing in 2011/2012
June 2012 regional Building Approvals released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics confirm the relative strength of regional Queensland, compared to the traditional housing engine room of South East Queensland, according to Master Builders, Queensland’s peak body for housing and construction (08 August 2012) More…

Fair Work commission visits construction site
A Fair Work Australia (FWA) commissioner is investigating claims that medical facilities at a central Queensland construction site are inadequate. The United States firm Bechtel is building several LNG processing plants on Curtis Island, near Gladstone (03 August 2012) More…

Minister orders review of building authority
An inquiry has been ordered into Queensland's Building Services Authority (BSA) in the hope it will make building homes more affordable. The parliamentary review will look at changes in licensing standards and regulatory reforms that may lower building costs  (03 August 2012) More…

Proposed new rules on CSG water
The Newman Government has proposed new rules to govern the management of water and brine produced from the coal seam gas industry, with the introduced proposed amendments to the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 in State Parliament. CSG companies would still require an Environmental Authority and a water licence to transport water and brine off their lease (02 August 2012) More…  

Feedback on More resilient electrical infrastructure in high rise buildings
The Minister for Energy and Water Supply Mark McArdle has released a discussion paper seeking industry comment on a Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry recommendation to consider introducing a legislative requirement that electrical substations in buildings be located at or above the defined flood level, and seal electrical conduits to prevent floodwaters entering building basements  (02 August 2012) More…

Metricon Homes $800,000 penalty for misleading representations
The Federal Court has ordered Metricon Homes Qld Pty Ltd to pay $800,000 in penalties and $50,000 towards the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's costs after it agreed that some of its advertising and promotional material was false or misleading (31 July 2012) More…

Published – articles, papers, reports

Housing finance, Australia 2012
Author: Australian Bureau of Statistics
This paper contains time series data for secured and unsecured housing finance commitments for owner occupation, commitments for construction or purchase of dwellings for rent or resale, and loan outstandings to individuals/households for housing (08 August 2012)
Housing finance, Australia 2012

Towards an e-Infrastructure for urban research across Australia
Author: Robert Stimson et al; Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN)
Many challenges facing urban and built environment researchers stem from the complexity and diversity of the urban data landscape (02 August 2012) More…  

In practice and courts

NSW: Planning circular: Building Code of Australia 2012 - key changes
This circular outlines to councils, certifiers, industry practitioners and other stakeholders of the key changes made to the Building Code of Australia in 2012 as they apply to NSW.
Planning circular: Building Code of Australia 2012 - key changes

QLD: BSA-CSQ Building Supershows
The BSA-CSQ Better Building Supershow educational program starts this month, with contractor seminars featuring information on everything from roof drainage defects to business management. The seminars run from August to November at various centres around the State. Check program, dates and venues by clicking here

QLD: Newsflash alerts for Building and Plumbing Issue 500
Amendments to the QDC for sustainable buildings, child care centres, and commissioning and maintenance of fire safety installations, advising that amendments to the Queensland Development Code Mandatory Parts 4.1 – Sustainable buildings (QDC 4.1), 5.4 – Child care centres (QDC 5.4) and 6.1 – Commissioning and maintenance of fire safety installations (QDC 6.1) commence on 6 August 2012. (07 August 2012)
Amendments to the QDC for sustainable buildings, child care centres, and commissioning and maintenance of fire safety installations

QLD: Queensland Development Code: proposed changes
Building Codes Queensland is seeking public comment on a proposal to amend the Queensland Development Code (QDC) for construction of buildings in flood hazard areas.  The draft Code has been revised to reflect the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry, with an explanatory document prepared to highlight the differences between the two drafts. Submissions on the proposal close on 7th September 2012 (02 August 2012) More…


Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Metricon Homes Qld Pty Ltd [2012] FCA 797
TRADE PRACTICES – Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) – Australian Consumer Law – application for pecuniary penalties, injunctions and declarations – false and misleading representations – misleading and deceptive conduct – sale of detached residential houses – contracts to build – advertising brochures – contravening conduct prior to and following 1 January 2011 – statement of agreed facts and admissions filed – agreed penalties and other relief – role of Court to determine appropriate penalties in accordance with public interest considerations – relevant considerations in assessing whether agreed penalty appropriate  More…

Malago Pty Ltd v AW Ellis Engineering Pty Ltd [2012] NSWCA 227
CONTRACTS - Heads of Agreement relating to super yacht marina business - whether parties intended to be legally bound - whether void for uncertainty or incompleteness
CONTRACTS - negotiations between solicitors concerning formal agreement intended to give effect to Heads of Agreement - whether parties bound by agreements on some terms prior to agreement on all and execution of document
EQUITABLE REMEDIES - Heads of Agreement - specific performance of term that formal agreement be executed - whether permissible for court to add to the agreed terms provisions that are simply consistent with the Heads of Agreement and reasonable - court may only add provisions of a mechanical nature designed to implement the existing agreement More…

Buckley and Love v Lake Macquarie City Council [2012] NSWLEC 1198
BUILDING CERTIFICATE - Refusal to issue Building Certificate because of encroachment on Foreshore Building Line. Section 121B Order requiring demolition of unauthorised structure More…

RSA v VDM CCE and VDM CCE v RSA [2012] NSWSC 861        
[PROCEDURE] - civil - application for stay of judgment - where proceedings cross-vested from Supreme Court of Queensland -Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (QLD) - whether court should exercise its discretion to grant a stay - whether the plaintiff's rights will be rendered nugatory - whether refusal of stay will cause substantial prejudice.       
Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW)
Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) More…         

Hanave Pty Ltd -v- Nahas Construction (NSW) Pty Limited [2012] NSWSC 888         
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY SECURITY OF PAYMENT ACT 1999 (NSW), DIVISION 2A - Plaintiff (principal contractor) sought to quash adjudication determination obtained by the first defendant (respondent) and paid monies into Court pending its challenge - thereafter the second defendant (claimant), a creditor of the first defendant, which had itself obtained an adjudication determination against the first defendant served on the plaintiff a payment holding request under s 26A of the Act - later the plaintiff's challenge failed and the monies in Court were paid out to the first defendant discharging the plaintiff's debt to the first defendant - the second defendant contended that the plaintiff had discharged its obligation as principal contractor to pay money under a contract to the first defendant as respondent in contravention of a requirement under Division 2A of the Act and was jointly and severally liable for the first defendant's debt to the second defendant - HELD - no contravention of the division because the payment out of Court was not discharge of the principal contractor's obligation as contemplated by s 26C(1) of the Act. More…

DJ's Home and Property Maintenance v Dujkovic [2012] NSWSC 870
Interlocutory injunction discharged.
[PROCEDURE] - civil - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) - whether service of payment claim was regularly effected - whether injunctive relief should be discharged or continued.
Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) More…


No 119: Building Amendment Regulation (No. 2) 2012  —03 August 2012
This Regulation introduces simplified requirements for air-conditioners in line with national standards, and adopts the national building requirements endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments.
Commencement 6/08/2012

Contact details


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T: +61 3 9321 9919


Anne Davis, Partner
T: +61 2 8083 0436


Troy Lewis, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0614


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