In the media

Greater infrastructure spending needed to ease mining rush withdrawal symptoms: BCA
Australia needs to keep infrastructure investment levels at more than 4 per cent of GDP per annum, or $767 billion over 10 years, to ease the comedown from the mining rush, a new report of the Business Council of Australia's Project Costs Task Force has found (08 August 2013).  More...

NBN Co renews lucrative contract with Leighton’s Silcar
NBN Co has renewed one of the most lucrative contracts to build the national broadband network with Leighton Holdings-owned contractor Silcar in a deal worth up to $300 million over the next 12 months

to roll out fibre optic cabling in NSW, Queensland and the ACT (07 August 2013). More...

Future of Government's Mineral Resource Rent Tax decided in High Court
Mr Forrest and his Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) had argued the tax discriminated between states and interfered with the rights of states to control their own mineral resources. The court unanimously rejected the challenge, saying the act does not give preference to one state over another, and ordered Mr Forrest to pay costs (07 August 2013).  More...

Largest solar power project in southern hemisphere to go ahead
The Federal Minister for Climate Change has announced construction will start in January on the largest solar power station in the southern hemisphere after the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) reached financial close with AGL Energy Limited (AGL) (31 July 2013).  More...

Moreton Bay Rail Link construction contract awarded
A $650 million contract to deliver the second phase of the $1.15 billion Moreton Bay Rail Link (MBRL) north of Brisbane has been awarded to Thiess, with subcontractors Aurecon, AECOM, HASSELL for design, and Golder Associates for geotechnical works. The Moreton Bay Rail Link is scheduled to be operational by June 2016 (01 August 2013).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

House Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities, Jun 2013
Author: Australian Bureau of Statistics
Preliminary estimates show that the price index for established houses for the weighted average of the eight capital cities rose 2.4% in the June quarter 2013. The capital city indexes rose in Sydney (+2.7%), Melbourne (+2.4%), Perth (+3.4%), Brisbane (+1.9%), Canberra (+1.0%), Adelaide (+0.3%) and Darwin (+2.9%) and fell in Hobart (-1.0%) (06 August 2013).  More...

The Critical Decade: Australia’s future – solar energy
Author: Climate Commission
Identifies the enormous, but largely underutilised, potential for solar generation in the world’s sunniest continent. This report provides an overview of the rapidly changing solar industry, including international developments and opportunities for Australia to better utilise and benefit from solar resources in the future (07 August 2013). More...

State of Australian cities 2013
Author: Department of Infrastructure and Transport
This report brings together current research, including newly released data from the 2011 Census, to present a comprehensive snapshot of Australian cities (30 July 2013).  More...

Building Approvals, Australia, June 2013
Author: Australian Bureau of Statistics
Total dwelling unit approvals were up from 27,538 in 2011–12 to 29,563 in 2012–13 (30 July 2013).  More...

In practice and courts

NSW:  mining industry proposed planning changes: public consultation
The proposed amendments to the Mining , Petroleum Production and Extractive  Industries State environmental  planning policy is on public exhibition for a period of  two weeks until August 12 (29 July 2013).  More...

QLD: Payroll tax compliance in the mining sector
OSR are examining payroll tax compliance in the mining sector. The compliance program will focus on workers who should be included in an employer’s payroll tax liability, because they are either employees or relevant contractors (05 August 2013).  More...

VIC: Notice about dispute resolution clauses
The recent Victorian Supreme Court decision WTE Co-Generation & Anor v RCR Energy Pty Ltd & Anor [2013] VSC 314 has reinforced the need for dispute resolution clauses to set out accepted, enforceable processes. As Justice Vickery noted a “contract which leaves the process or model to be utilised for the dispute resolution ill-defined, or the subject of further negotiation or agreement, will be uncertain”.


Fortescue Metals Group Ltd v Commonwealth - [2013] HCA 34
Statutes - Interpretation - Commonwealth Constitution s 51(ii) - So as not to discriminate between States or parts of States.  Statutes - Acts of Parliament - (CTH) Minerals Resource Rent Tax Act 2012 – Validity.  Energy and resources - Mining - Royalties - State royalties.  Constitutional law - Constitution - Melbourne Corporation doctrine - Burden on operations and activities of States.  Constitutional law - Constitution - Prohibitions - Giving preference to one State over another.  Constitutional law - Commonwealth powers - Taxation power – Discrimination.  The High Court of Australia has unanimously rejected Fortescue Metals Group Ltd's constitutional challenges to the (CTH) Minerals Resource Rent Tax Act 2012, the (CTH) Minerals Resource Rent Tax (Imposition - Customs) Act 2012, the (CTH) Minerals Resource Rent Tax (Imposition - Excise) Act 2012 and the (CTH) Minerals Resource Rent Tax (Imposition - General) Act 2012. Fortescue principally argued that the impugned legislation discriminated between States, contrary to the Commonwealth Constitution s 51(ii), and gave preference to one State over another, contrary to the Constitution s 99.  More...

Pines Living Pty Ltd v O'Brien and Walton Construction Pty Ltd [2013] ACTSC 156
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – adjudication of progress payment claims under Building and Construction Industry (Security of Payment) Act 2009 (ACT) – whether an extension of time and leave to appeal from an adjudicator’s decision should be granted – whether jurisdictional or non-jurisdictional error.  ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – relief in the nature of certiorari – scope of supervisory jurisdiction – effect of Building and Construction Industry (Security of Payment) Act 2009 (ACT) s 43.  More...



Queensland Building Services Authority Amendment Bill 2013
This bill establishes the Queensland Building and Construction Commission , QBCC, in place of the Queensland Building Services Authority. The board of the QBCC will set the strategic direction and the operational, financial and administrative policies of the commission.  Introduced on 5/06/2013 Stage reached: Report from Committee on 31/07/2013.  More...

Contact details


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T: +61 3 9321 9919


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T: +61 2 8083 0497


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T: +61 7 3135 0614

Stephen Burton, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0604

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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