In the media

National

Union movement takes Abbott to United Nations
Australia’s largest building and construction union is spearheading an international legal challenge against the Federal Government's building industry watchdog, claiming up to 500 workers across various states are being targeted for prosecution for standing up for safety, jobs, wages and conditions (11 September 2015).  More...

Up to 10 new solar farms destined for Australia
As many as 10, and at least four, large-scale solar farms will be built across Australia thanks to $350 million in grants and funding announced by the ARENA and the CEFC. The move, which is designed to bring down the costs of large-scale solar, has been described as “transformative” for the deployment of large-scale solar PV in Australia (09 September 2015).  More...

Melbourne to Brisbane rail to cost $10 billion
Plans to build the mooted Melbourne to Brisbane railway will cost around $10 billion but add $22.5 billion to the Australian economy and generate up to 16,000 jobs over a ten-year construction period, a new report says (10 September 2015).  More...

Road funding $1 billion short, says local government body
The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has made public its submission to the 15-year Australian Infrastructure Plan. ALGA says it generally supports the findings in the Audit, which looked at the future demand for infrastructure over the next 15 years, but that there is a significant shortfall of over $1 billion a year in funding (07 September 2015). More...

A Health hazard hidden in the mining boom
The first wave affected workers involved in asbestos mining, milling and manufacturing. This new wave affects those who had short term exposure at home, at work or elsewhere in the asbestos-polluted Australian environment (01 September 2015).  More...

Approvals signal a strong pipeline of work for residential builders
Master Builders Australia has welcomed the increase in approvals for the building of new homes - 4.2% seasonally adjusted in July 2015. The rise in dwelling units approved will add further to strength to the pipeline of work yet to be done by residential builders with 223,000 dwellings approved in the 12 months to July,” Peter Jones, chief economist of Master Builders Australia said (03 September 2015).  More...

NAB decision to rule out Adani funding is more welcome news for Reef
The Australian Marine Conservation Society has welcomed news that the NAB has ruled out financing Adani's coal mine, rail and port facilities. The news comes as one of the major customers for Adani's coal, LG has also rejected buying this coal (03 September 2015).  More...

Victoria

Building better infrastructure for jobs and growth
The Victorian Parliament has passed legislation creating Infrastructure Victoria, delivering a key election commitment from the Government and giving certainty for our infrastructure pipeline. A landmark reform, Infrastructure Victoria will take short term politics out of infrastructure planning, and keep our pipeline of major project (04 September 2015).  More...

Infrastructure contributions bill passes Parliament
Legislation establishing a new infrastructure development levy framework for Victoria has passed Parliament and introduces a more efficient system for levying infrastructure contributions in growth and strategic development areas.  More...

Hospitals face flammable cladding fears
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) says two Melbourne hospitals have used non-compliant building cladding in construction. The VBA is auditing 170 CBD buildings following a serious fire at the Lacrosse apartments in Docklands in November (31 August 2015).  More...

New South Wales

Unlicensed building: A jolly rotten business
NSW Fair Trading has successfully prosecuted a Breakfast Point father and son who between them breached home building and consumer protection laws by operating a business offering and undertaking residential building work for which neither they nor the business held a licence (11 September 2015).  More...

Strong field of bidders enter final phase of TransGrid lease
The NSW Treasurer has announced a strong field of parties had been shortlisted to participate in the binding bid phase for the TransGrid lease. The long-term lease of TransGrid - one of Australia's largest high-voltage electricity transmission assets (03 September 2015).  More...

Massive investment in new stadia for Sydney
NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres today announced the biggest investment in sport and major event infrastructure in NSW since the 2000 Sydney Olympics, with a new 30,000 seat stadium at Parramatta the first project to be delivered (04 September 2015).  More...

Have your say on Security of Payment Laws in the Building Industry
Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe is inviting the building industry to participate in a new online survey on security of payment laws. The purpose of this survey is to find out what areas of the Act are of interest to industry groups and their members and will include topics such as recovery of progress payments and adjudication of disputes (28 August 2015).  More...

Queensland

Queensland housing investor finance hits near eight-year high
Queensland housing investor finance commitments have hit a near eight-year high, according to new data from the ABS (11 September 2015).  More...

Solar to drive a clean energy Queensland
The Palaszczuk Government has unveiled the next steps in building the Solar State, announcing that the renewable energy auction promised at the last election will exceed their election commitment of 40 megawatts by 50 per cent, and will also now be for solar projects only (09 September 2015).  More...

Top 10 Domestic Building Contract issues for contractors
The Queensland Building & Construction Commission has identified the top 10 Domestic Building Contract issues for contractors (08 September 2015).  More...

Certifiers, contractors and suppliers cautioned about building product
Building certifiers, contractors and suppliers have been cautioned about using ModakBoard, a product used in interior and exterior applications, including wall sheeting, flooring and decking. The QBCC has informed licensees, certifiers and suppliers that the product’s CodeMark Certificate of Conformity was recently suspended by CertMark Australia (04 September 2015).  More...

LNG shipments hit $1 billion as Queensland merchandise exports soar
Queensland’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports have hit $1 billion in just six months since shipments commenced. According to official Australian Bureau of Statistics data, the value of Queensland’s overall merchandise exports is also accelerating. Treasurer Curtis Pitt said (04 September 2015).  More...

Red tape overhaul kicks off for mining industry
Resources industry red tape is up for an overhaul as the Palaszczuk Government asks industry and stakeholders about how to improve current tenure and permit systems (04 September 2015).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Feature article: Creating a Best Practice Registration Regime
All key building practitioners would ideally be registered – a list that includes engineers, residential and commercial builders, architects, draftspersons, building surveyors, building inspectors, electricians and plumbers (September 2015).  More...

ABS Housing Finance, Australia, July 2015
The trend estimate for the total value of dwelling finance commitments excluding alterations and additions rose 0.5%. Owner occupied housing commitments rose 0.8% and investment housing commitments rose 0.1%. In seasonally adjusted terms, the total value of dwelling finance commitments excluding alterations and additions rose 1.5%. In trend terms, the number of commitments for owner occupied housing finance fell 0.2% in July 2015 (09 September 2015).  More...

Australian Infrastructure Metric June Quarter 2015
Infrastructure Partnerships Australia. The June 2015 quarter saw a strong uplift in the level of work won (contracts signed) by the major civil contractors, with mining continuing its retreat, transport performing well and utilities once again becoming an active market off (04 September 2015).  More...

Australia’s Infrastructure: the 15 year plan
Philip Davies, Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure Australia, article from the Infrastructure Partnerships Australia's Partnerships 2015 Infrastructure and Investment conference in Sydney 2015.  More...

Practice and courts

Manage safety concerns at LNG installations
Accidental release of cryogenic liquids such as LNG (liquefied natural gas) poses a significant risk to personnel and assets on oil and gas installations. In addressing these risks, Lloyd’s Register Energy has developed a guidance note that provides a consistent methodology to establish cryogenic exposure (11 September 2015).  More...

New Safety Standards

NSW Office of Fair Trading security of payment laws survey
Our survey seeks input from the building and construction industry on Security of payment laws, ahead of a full review of the laws later this year.  The survey closes on 25 September 2015.  More...

QBCC Disciplinary Decisions
Licensees suspended or cancelled - 30 August to 6 September 2015 (PDF)
Licensees excluded - 30 August to 6 September 2015 (PDF) 

New infrastructure development levy framework
The new system will be introduced in early 2016 and will be first applied in greenfield growth areas and strategic development areas (01 September 2015) Act No 35.  More...

Cases

Halstead v Queensland Building & Construction Commission [2015] QCAT 324
Application to be categorised as a permitted individual - two events, relevant company and bankruptcy events – affect of amendment to s.56AC (5) Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 treating the both events as arising from the one set of circumstance - whether amendment retrospective - cause of events failure to set aside statutory demand by negligent solicitor and intervention of company’s bank freezing all accounts.  More...

Australia's Residential Builder Pty Ltd v Wiederstein (No 2) [2015] VSC 471
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE— Freezing order — Application for variation of freezing order to enable third defendant to increase allowance to pay legal fees — Application by a non-party to be removed from operation of freezing order — Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Karas & Ors [2012] VSC 68 — Deputy Commissioner v Bollands [2012] FCA 1050 — Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2005, O 37A.  More...

Melbourne City Investments Pty Ltd v Leighton Holdings Limited [2015] VSCA 235
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Stay – Abuse of process – First application for stay refused – Second application for stay made after new appellate authority – Second application for stay granted – Whether second application for stay an abuse of process – Whether order refusing stay final or interlocutory – Order refusing stay interlocutory – Second application for stay not an abuse of process – Application for leave to appeal refused – Permanent stay granted.  PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Stay – Abuse of process – Group proceeding – Respondent company initiated proceeding – Respondent is lead plaintiff – Proceeding commenced for predominant purpose of generating legal fees for respondent's solicitor – Whether proper purpose – Whether proper use of processes of court – Application for leave to appeal refused – Permanent stay granted.  More...

Adapt Constructions Pty Ltd v Whittaker and Luff [2015] ACTSC 188
CONTRACTS – Building, Engineering and Related Contracts – defective building work – damages – whether cost of demolition and rebuild reasonable – liquidated damages – rate of liquidated damages for delay ‘zero’ – whether intended to exclude claim for unliquidated damages for delay – procedural fairness – natural justice – credibility of witnesses.  More...

Legislation

New South Wales

Bills introduced Government
Independent Commission Against Corruption Amendment Bill 2015
Transport Administration Amendment (Closure of Railway Line at Newcastle) Bill 2015

Queensland 

Bills Updated in the last week
Building Queensland Bill 2015
Report from Committee on 1/09/2015

Building Queensland Bill 2015 : Report No. 4, 55th Parliament : Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee | 2015 | Qld
1/09/2015 - This report presents a summary of the Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee's examination of the Building Queensland Bill 2015.

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E: christine.jones@holdingredlich.com

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