In the media


MBA: Growth in Building Approvals to continue despite June Fall
The underlying strength in building approvals continues and should help sustain growth in residential building despite the 5 per cent seasonally adjusted fall in the building approvals for June (31 July 2014). More...

Call to rein in union entry rights
Builders have called for sweeping nationwide restrictions on unions entering construction sites, including forcing officials to give 24 hours’ notice “in all circumstances’’ before they can walk on to projects for safety reasons, with Queensland changes to right of entry laws (01 August 2014). More...

MBA: Impact of carbon tax repeal overstated
Despite contrary commentary from a variety of punters, Master Builders does not believe the repeal of the carbon tax will result in an immediate reduction in the cost of new homes, with the true impact of the tax repeal difficult to predict because of a range of influencing factors (25 July 2014).  More...

Inaugural Global Investment Forum (P20) future plans
The GIF will build on the recommendations coming out of the current round of B20 and G20 meetings to develop an action plan that will deliver to governments the basic requirements of long-term investors for successful capital-raising for infrastructure and other long-term investments (24 July 2014).  More...


Practical reforms for building in bushfire areas
Changes to Victoria’s bushfire planning regulations were introduced giving greater certainty to residents and landowners in bushfire designated areas. The reforms allow alternative safety measures and sensible safety regulations to be considered, which may enable people to reduce their defendable space and build to a lower Bushfire Attack Level (31 July 2014).  More...  More... 

$500m Bundoora project is delivering Plan Melbourne
Minister for Planning Matthew Guy today opened a new $500 million residential and retail hub in Bundoora, one of three major redevelopment projects in the housing hot spot (31 July 2014).  More...

Coalition’s Regional Growth Plan for Hume region will build industry, tourism, freight 
The diversity of the Hume region will contribute to Victoria’s strong regional and economic growth, under a long-term vision for the region released by the Government (23 July 2014).  More...

Coalition Government commences major projects tender process
Treasurer Michael O’Brien and Minister for Roads and Public Transport Terry Mulder have called for engineering and planning tenders on the Melbourne Rail Link and the Western section of the East West Link projects (23 July 2014).  More...

New South Wales

New Port terminal to drive economic growth
NSW Premier Mike Baird has officially opened Sydney’s third container terminal at Port Botany – an investment that will boost NSW’s competitiveness in global trade and drive economic growth. Sydney International Container Terminals (SICTL) has invested more than $300 million in the facility (25 July 2014).  More...

Growth councils receive $25.5 million infrastructure boost
Minister for Planning Pru Goward was joined by the Members for Hawkesbury, Baulkham Hills, Riverstone and Londonderry to announce over $25 million in infrastructure funding for local councils in these areas (23 July 2014).  More...


$1.5 million to support resource exploration and jobs
Sixteen resource companies will be helped to unlock Queensland’s mineral wealth and create jobs with a $1.5 million in collaborative drilling grants announced by the Newman Government. The successful exploration projects will focus on gold, copper-gold, zinc-lead-silver, uranium and coal deposits in greenfield and brownfield regions of Queensland (01 August 2014).  More...

Government approves Australia's largest coal mine project
After undertaking a thorough assessment and consideration under national environment law, the Federal Government has approved the Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Infrastructure project, which will have a resource value of $5 billion per annum over 60 years. It will generate an estimated 2475 construction jobs and a further 3920 jobs during the operations phase (28 July 2014).  More...

Royal commission will hear evidence on construction business in Queensland
Major construction firms in Queensland have been called to give evidence at the royal commission into trade union governance and corruption on Brisbane on 04 August (01 July 2014).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Will we let the sun shine in? Trends in the Australian solar industry
Matt Grudnoff, Richard Denniss, The Australia Institute
This paper provides a brief overview of the size, growth and prospects for the Australian solar industry and argues that as the number of solar panels installed continues to rise, the cost of installation and maintenance will continue to fall (28 July 2014).  More...

Modifications to standard forms of contract: the impact on readability
Author: Raufdeen Rameezdeen, Anushi Rodrigo, Australasian Journal of Construction Economics and Building, Vol 14, No 2 2014.  More...

Practice and courts

Infrastructure Sustainability Conference 2014, Sydney, 21 August 2014
The inaugural conference with the theme 'Blue is the New Green', will bring together all infrastructure professionals who want to be at the forefront of infrastructure sustainability, knowledge on how infrastructure sustainability can deliver value and long-term benefits to government, business and communities. More...

NSW:  Home Building Regulation 2014 - comments close 15 August 2014 
Comments are invited to help improve the laws for residential building work and specialist trades.  The draft Regulation outlines proposed changes for insurance, licensing and fees, among other updates to boost the industry and protect consumers. These support recent changes to the Home Building Act 1989 Read the draft Regulation and Regulatory Impact Statement, and find out how you can take part on the NSW Fair Trading website (28 July 2014).

NSW BPB:  EPA Regulation and fire safety requirements
New obligations for certifiers where fire safety development affects an existing building came into effect on 18 July 2014. Amendments to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000  affect class 1b-9 buildings (not class 1a or 10 buildings).  More...

VIC: Practical reforms for building in bushfire areas
Changes to Victoria's bushfire planning provisions were introduced today giving greater certainty to residents and landowners in bushfire designated areas. See information about the changes introduced by Amendment VC109 (31 July 2014).  More...

VWA: Safety Alert: Danger of freestanding masonry walls
Advice for employers (and others) on managing risks associated with freestanding masonry walls on construction sites. Unstable or inadequately braced masonry walls expose workers and members of the public to a risk of death or serious injury (July 2014). More...


Downer EDI Engineering v Taralga Wind Farm Nominees No.2 [2014] NSWSC 971
Accept defendant's undertaking not to dissipate its assets. Order disclosure of trust assets and documents.  PROCEDURE - Application for freezing order in relation to judgment debt - whether to make freezing order where judgment debtor failed to provide financial information or to give undertaking not to dissipate assets - whether to make freezing order where balance of convenience considerations. Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW).  More...

Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Pty Ltd v Sun Engineering (Qld) Pty Ltd & Anor [2014] QSC 170 
EQUITY – EQUITABLE REMEDIES – INJUNCTIONS – INTERLOCUTORY INJUNCTIONS – RELEVANT CONSIDERATIONS – BALANCE OF CONVENIENCE GENERALLY – where the applicant is seeking to stay an adjudicator’s decision made under BCIPA that required it to pay monies to the respondent - where the monies are currently being held in Court – where the respondent conceded that a “prima facie” case had been shown by the applicant – where the main issue turned on the balance of convenience – where the applicant submitted that it doubted the respondents financial capacity – where the applicant submitted it should not bear the risk that the respondent would be able to repay the monies the applicant is successful in the final hearing – where the respondent submitted that as a matter of policy under BCIPA the adjudicated amount should be paid to it – whether the applicant should bear the risk that if it is successful in the final hearing the respondent would be unable to repay the monies.  CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – REMUNERATION – STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OF PROGRESS PAYMENTS – ADJUDICATION OF PAYMENT CLAIMS – where an adjudicator’s decision was made in favour of the respondents – where the applicant will challenge the validity of the adjudicator’s decision at a further hearing – where the applicant will argue that due to jurisdictional error the adjudicator’s decision is void – where the applicant submits that the payment to the respondent should be stayed until the final determination – whether as a matter of statutory policy the applicant carries the risk that monies paid under an adjudicator’s decision may not be refunded if the adjudicator’s decision is void. More...

McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust) P/L & Anor v QCLNG Pipeline P/L [2014] QSC 157
ARBITRATION – AWARD – APPEAL OR JUDICIAL REVIEW – GROUNDS FOR REMITTING OR SETTING ASIDE – ERROR OF LAW – where applicants challenged findings as to the proper constructions of the contract and causation made by the majority in the arbitral award – where, even if successful on some grounds, it is unlikely that a different substantive outcome would be reached on an appeal on a question of law – whether particular grounds were a question of fact or law – whether leave to appeal should be granted.  CONTRACTS – DISCHARGE, BREACH AND DEFENCES TO ACTION FOR BREACH – CONDITIONS – where arbitral tribunal held that the applicants could not recover for the respondent’s breach of contract because their own breach precluded recovery – where the obligations required one party to obtain certain authorisations and the other to give “every assistance” – whether these respective obligations were “mutually dependent and concurrent conditions”.  ARBITRATION – AWARD – APPEAL OR JUDICIAL REVIEW – GROUNDS FOR REMITTING OR SETTING ASIDE – ERROR OF LAW – CONSTRUCTION OF CONTRACT – where the applicants argued that their recovery of damages for the respondent’s breach was not precluded because their own breach was a concurrent cause of their loss – where the respondent’s breach involved a failure to obtain approvals so that work could commence – whether a question of fact or law.  ARBITRATION – AWARD – APPEAL OR JUDICIAL REVIEW – GROUNDS FOR REMITTING OR SETTING ASIDE – ERROR OF LAW – where some potential errors of law in the arbitral award were identified – where the essential reasoning is likely to be sound – whether leave to appeal should be granted.  More...

MJ Arthurs Pty Ltd v Heaysman & Anor [2014] QDC 160
CONTRACT – Offer and acceptance – need for communication of acceptance – whether made to authorised agent of offeror – when effectively made.  PRINCIPAL AND AGENT – Authority of agent – whether third party agent – scope of authority of agent to receive communications on behalf of principal – no implied authority.  BUILDING AND ENGINEERING CONTRACTS – Statutory regulation – obligation to provide copy – whether and when performed – right to withdraw – when arising – whether exercised.  More...

Queensland Building and Construction Commission v Watkins [2014] QCA 172
PROFESSIONS AND TRADES – BUILDERS – STATUTORY INSURANCE SCHEME – where the appellant sought summary judgment against the respondent in relation to a sum of money said to be payable under the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991 (Qld) – where the respondent then applied to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal challenging the appellant’s approval of an insurance claim against the respondent – where this application was brought outside of the statutory time limit – whether QCAT has the power to extend the time in which to make such an application – whether summary judgment should have been granted.  Hope v Brisbane City Council [2013] QCA 198, considered Lange v Queensland Building Services Authority [2012] 2 Qd R 457; [2011] QCA 58, cited Mahony v Queensland Building Services Authority [2013] QCA 323, followed McKain v RW Miller & Co (SA) Pty Ltd (1991) 174 CLR 1; [1991] HCA 56, considered Namour v Queensland Building Services Authority [2014] QCA 72, considered Queensland Building Services Authority v Orenshaw & Anor [2012] QSC 241, cited Watkins v Queensland Building Services Authority [2013] QCAT 535, related.  More...

United Airport Parking Pty Ltd v TMA Tech Pty Ltd [2014] VSC 343
INJUNCTIONS – Ex parte interlocutory injunction – Obligations under commercial contract – Non-disclosure of material facts – De novo application for new interlocutory injunction – More limited interlocutory injunction granted – Disputed sum to be paid into court.  The plaintiffs contend that in September 2012 they engaged the defendant to create, install and maintain the technical system that operates the car park, including the boom gate. Payment was to be $256,300 of which half has been paid and, as I understand it, the sum of $128,150 remains owing.  More...



New South Wales

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Mining and Petroleum Development) Regulation 2014 (2014-463) — published LW 25 July 2014.

Environmental Planning Instruments
State Environmental Planning Policy (Mining, Petroleum Production and Extractive Industries) Amendment 2014 (2014-467) — published LW 25 July 2014.



State Development, Infrastructure and Planning (Red Tape Reduction) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014.  Introduced by: J W Seeney MP on 3/06/2014
Stage reached: Report from Committee on 28/07/2014.




Chris Edquist, Partner
T: +61 3 9321 9919

Stephen Natoli, Partner
T: +61 3 9321 9796


Tony Britt, Partner
T: +61 2 8083 0497


Troy Lewis, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0614

Stephen Burton, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0604

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