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In the media

PM hands out $90m for polluters as carbon tax looms
The Gillard government has revealed $90 million in industry bailouts on the eve of the introduction of the carbon tax to protect more than 3000 jobs as it emerged that 50 manufacturers in four states had been handed a two-year deadline to switch to low-emissions energy supplies (30 June 2012) More...

Giant projects in the pipeline point to $209bn pay dirt from exports
Despite commodity price falls in recent months, the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics said that a rapid expansion of iron ore, liquefied natural gas and coal output would drive higher export earnings (28 June 2012) More...

Bold ideas for local government infrastructure funding
Local Government Minister Simon Crean today released a major review that identifies potential new ways for local governments to plan, finance and deliver infrastructure investments. Nation-building does require big investment in infrastructure, but that can't be done by governments alone we need partnerships between governments, and where appropriate, with the private sector (19 June 2012) More...

Asbestos court win leaves BHP exposed 
BHP Billiton could face claims for millions of dollars in punitive damages after a South Australian court ruled that it exposed its workers to asbestos dust when it knew of the dire potential health consequences of doing so (20 June 2012) More...

Construction industry welcomes assessment of building code
The building and construction industry welcomes the Department of Innovation and Industry’s call for an assessment of the economic benefits of three key national building codes (15 June 2012) More...

Major project delays cost Boral
Building materials supplier Boral has slashed its profit forecast for the second time in three months.  Boral has told analysts that about two-thirds of the latest profit downgrade was a result of delays to two major projects - the Gladstone LNG project in Queensland and the Peninsula Link in Victoria (28 June 2012) More...

Record prosecution against unregistered builder
A prosecution brought by the Building Commission against an unregistered builder has resulted in one of the largest fines ever recorded by the Victorian building regulatory body. The Unregistered builder, was ordered to pay an aggregate fine of $100,000 and legal costs of approximately $20,000 (20 June 2012) More...

Reed administration worries Port Macquarie builder
Mid north coast creditors of the Reed Group are worried about the company's move into voluntary administration. A retention fee for local Building the Education Revolution projects and was supposed to be held in trust in case of building faults (28 June 2012) More...

Newcastle Bypass contract handed to Thiess
The New South Wales Government has washed its hands of Hunter Valley sub-contactors who are owed money by the failed Reed Constructions. Roads Minister Duncan Gay says the money owed to subcontractors will not be paid by the Government (27 June 2012) More...

Statement On Metgasco
The O’Farrell Government has banned the use of evaporation ponds for coal seam gas production. The Division of Resources and Energy has advised Metgasco that should it wish to use the dam for CSG activities, it will need further approval from the Division (20 June 2012) More...

Queensland Bruce Highway Upgrade: Wrights Creek Bridge Project
Construction companies interested in the job of widening the existing bridge over Wrights Creek as well as straightening the approaches to it have until 16 July to submit their best bids under the tender process which is being managed by the Queensland Government, with work expected to start in coming months (25 June 2012) More...

New funding for the Gladstone LNG project
The GLNG project, which will process coal seam gas (CSG) into liquefied natural gas, is owned by Santos, PETRONAS, Total and KOGAS. The owners of the Gladstone liquefied natural gas (GLNG) project will bring forward $US2.5 billion ($A2.49 billion) in spending to speed up its delivery of gas. (28 June 2012) More...

LNP moves early to strike balance between mining and farming
The Newman Government has today taken another step towards achieving a transparent and respectful relationship between resource companies and landholders, tabling the report of an Independent Review into Land Access arrangements  (19 June 2012) More...

ACCC grants interim approval to Surat Basin coal producers to collectively bargain
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted interim authorisation to allow Cockatoo Coal and Stanmore Coal to commence collective negotiations with the Surat Basin Rail joint venture (20 June 2012) ACCC grants interim approval to Surat Basin coal producers to collectively bargain

Building asbestos removal and management to get top priority
Within government buildings, including public housing, initial indications are there may be up to 10 million square metres of asbestos-containing material (ACM),  according to the Minister for Housing and Public Works. The development of a comprehensive, long-term plan for the management and targeted removal of asbestos from Queensland Government buildings has now been ordered (21 June 2012) More...

Victorian building permit activity valued at $19.1 billion for 2011-12 financial year to date
The value of building permit activity for the 2011-12 financial year until 30 April 2012 was $19.1 billion, a decrease of 4.1 per cent when compared to the same period in the 2010-11 financial year. Despite the overall decline in the value of building permit activity for the 2011-12 financial year to date, four of the seven building use categories recorded increases when compared to the same period in the 2010-11 financial year (22 June 2012) Victorian building permit activity valued at $19.1 billion for 2011-12 financial year to date (51KB)

Published – articles, papers, reports

Strong foundations for sustainable local infrastructure
Source: Ernst and Young
A major review that identifies potential new ways for local governments to plan, finance and deliver infrastructure investments. The review by Ernst and Young, was launched by the Minister at the National General Assembly of Local Government in Canberra (18 June 2012)
Strong foundations for sustainable local infrastructure.

Source: Building Practitioners Board
Online consultation, summary outcomes of consultation, practice advice (22 June 2012)
BPBulletin - 22 June 2012

The future for building certification in NSW – the industry view
Source: The Building Surveyor, June 2012 More...

In practice and courts

Flood Definition released - Insurance Contracts Amendment Regulation 2012 (No. 1)
This regulation amends the Insurance Contracts Regulations 1985 to introduce a standard definition of “flood” for home building and home contents, small business and strata title insurance contracts.
“Flood” means the covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or been released from the normal confines of: any lake, or any river, creek or other natural watercourse, whether or not altered or modified; or any reservoir, canal, or dam (18 June 2012)
Insurance Contracts Amendment Regulation 2012 (No. 1)

ACCC Carbon Claims Hotline
The ACCC Carbon Price Claims Hotline, 1300 303 609, and online carbon price claim form, will make it easier for consumers and business to complain if they suspect false price claims are being made about the carbon price To report a claim or for further information on the ACCC’s role in relation to carbon price claims and a range of associated publications for businesses and consumers, visit  (18 June 2012) More...

Cth: New Standards

AS 1684.3-2010/Amdt 1-2012
Residential timber-framed construction - Cyclonic areas More...

AS 1684.2-2010/Amdt 1-2012
Residential timber-framed construction - Non-cyclonic areas More...

QLD: Building and plumbing newsflash Issue 494 - Amendments to the Building Act 1975
The Cost of Living Amendment Bill 2012 (COLA) amendments to the Building Act 1975 have been passed by the Queensland Parliament and that sustainability declarations are no longer required when selling or advertising residential property, effective 26 June 2012 (28 June 2012) Amendments to the Building Act 1975


Helal v Brookfield Multiplex Limited [2012] FCA 653 
INDUSTRIAL LAW – Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act 2005 (Cth) – coercive threat demanding employment of a “building employee” – imposition of pecuniary penalty – agreed penalty proposed – relevant considerations in assessing whether proposed penalty is appropriate. More...

Cordon Investments Pty Ltd v Lesdor Properties Pty Ltd [2012] NSWCA 184
CONTRACTS - building and construction - clause requiring execution of strata plan - construction - whether obligation arose only on completion of works - meaning of 'completion' - whether requiring only 'practical completion'
CONTRACTS - building and construction - entire contract - whether doctrine of substantial performance applicable -whether obligations substantially performed
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - references - adoption of referee's report - whether referee erred in construction of contract
CONTRACTS - waiver - forbearance abandonment and election - whether taking possession of incomplete building works constituted waiver of right to completion
CONTRACTS - construction - implied obligation of good faith - content of obligation - whether obligation capable of altering express contractual terms - whether breach of obligation.
CONTRACTS - termination - repudiation - whether renunciation of contract
RESTITUTION - availability of recovery on quantum meruit - whether action for damages by innocent party enlivens claim by defaulting party for recovery on quantum meruit
CONTRACTS - building and construction - damages - measure of damages - Bellgrove v Elridge - Tabcorp Holdings Ltd v Bowen Investments - whether rectification work reasonable - relevance of probability work would not be carried out. More...

Lifestyle Designer Homes Pty Ltd v Choy (Home Building) [2012] NSWCTTT 217
Home Building Act 1989; Surveillance Devices Act 2007
Substantial completion by builder as pre-requisite to progress claim - Repudiation of contract
Termination of contract by owners or builder in compliance with terms of the contract
Abandonment of contract-  Consequential damages for breach of contract More...

Wood v Balfour [2011] NSWCA 382
TORTS - deceit - sale of residential property - property had major termite damage which was not patent and which compromised its structural integrity - prior to contemplating sale vendors had undertaken work to repair and cover limited damage - purchasers alleged that the work was done to conceal major damage of which vendors aware and that non-disclosure of that damage at the time of sale amounted to a representation by the vendors that there was no serious termite damage to the property - held that vendors unaware of major damage and did not act dishonestly - whether necessary in considering purchasers' claimed remedy in deceit to consider whether vendors made a representation
APPEAL - application on appeal to adduce further evidence of discovery made after hearing at first instance - appellants purchased property that had major termite damage which was not patent and which compromised its structural integrity -purchasers and their legal representatives made deliberate decision to leave damaged timber beam in situ pending the hearing at first instance - prior treatment of beam only became apparent when beam removed after hearing at first instance - whether requirement of reasonable diligence satisfied More...

Riddell v Queensland Building Services Authority [2012] QCAT 226
GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW – PERMITTED INDIVIDUAL – whether individual took all steps to avoid the coming in to existence of the circumstances that resulted in the liquidation of the company – where significant conflict between directors and lack of cooperation by other director
Briginshaw v Briginshaw (1938) 60 CLR 336 Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs v Pochi (1980) 4 ALD 139 Re Kirby and Collector of Customs (1989) 20 ALD 369 Younan v Queensland Building Services Authority [2010] QDC 158 Hyde v QBSA [2003] QBT 072-02 [52-53] CCYPCG v Lister [2011] QCATA 87 Queensland Racing Limited v McMahon [2010] QCATA 73 Laidlaw v QBSA [2010] QCAT 70 More...

Richard Kirk Architect Pty Ltd v Australian Broadcasting Corporation & Ors [2012] QSC 177
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – JUDICIAL REVIEW – GROUNDS FOR REVIEW – JURISDICTIONAL MATTERS – where the applicant entered into a contract with the first respondent for the provision of architectural services – where the applicant served a payment claim on the first respondent pursuant to the Building Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (“the Act”) – where the first respondent contended that the payment claim was void or invalid or in the alternative if the claim was valid it amounted to $NIL – where the applicant served further documents on the first respondent in reference to the claim – where the first respondent disputed the documents formed part of the payment claim – where the applicant sort an adjudication of the payment claim – where the first respondent maintained its position that the payment claim was void throughout the adjudication – where the adjudicator found that the payment claim was valid and amounted to $NIL – where the adjudicator ruled the further documents did not form part of payment claim – where the applicant claims the decision of the adjudicator is void or liable to be set aside for want of jurisdiction – where the applicant now adopts the first respondents argument that the payment claim was not a valid payment claim as defined under the Act – where the applicant further submits that the adjudicator should have taken the further documents into account when making his decision – whether the adjudication decision is void or liable to be set aside More...

Dart Holdings Pty Ltd v Total Concept Group Pty Ltd and Ors [2012] QSC 158
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – THE CONTRACT – LEGALITY – where the plaintiff engaged the first defendant as a subcontractor to supply and install certain items, largely made of glass – where an adjudicator decided that the plaintiff was to pay the first defendant the money it claimed under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 – where the plaintiff challenges that adjudication on the basis that the Contact was not enforceable because it required the first defendant to perform work for which it was not duly licensed under the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991 – whether the first defendant was duly licensed to perform the work it was required to perform by the Contract
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – REMUNERATION – RECOVERY – where the plaintiff claims that if any part of the work which the first defendant was required to perform under the Contact was work for which it was unlicensed, then none of the Contact is enforceable by it and it is unable to claim the lump sum price of the Contact – where the first defendant relies upon the severability clause of the Contract to sever the clause requiring the work to be performed for which it is unlicensed – whether the clause requiring the first defendant to perform work for which it is unlicensed can be severed from the remainder of the Contract, allowing it to recover the moneys owing to it for the work lawfully performed under its licence More...

Contact details


Chris Edquist, Partner
T: +61 (0)3 9321 9919


Anne Davis, Partner
T: +61 (0)2 8083 0436


Troy Lewis, Partner
T: +61 (0)7 3135 0614


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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