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NSW Construction Drops 22%
Victoria and Queensland are still outperforming NSW on construction expenditure and on building approvals, says the Urban Taskforce Australia. The recent release of the ABS trend figures for construction expenditure over the March 2012 quarter shows a 22% drop over the last year for NSW (31 May 2012) More...

New Fair Work building and construction laws to commence
New laws for the building and construction industry and the new Office of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate will commence on 1 June 2012. The commencement of Fair Work Building and Construction follows the introduction of new Guidelines for the Building and Construction Industry on 1 May 2012. The Minister also announced the appointment of an Acting Director of Fair Work Building and Construction (30 May 2012) More...

Commercial building on its knees, say builders - residential work also falls
The headline rise in construction work done understates the increasingly dire condition of the commercial building sector, Master Builders Australia. The commercial building industry is caught on the wrong side of the two speed economy and the aftermath of the global financial crisis (31 May 2012) More...

Independent expert committee on CSG and coal mining passes house
New amendments to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 to set up to establish an independent expert scientific committee (to commence on 1st July) will be introduced into the Senate. The committee will provide advice on impacts of coal seam gas and large coal mining proposals on national water resources (30 May 2012) More...

Geothermal energy explorers - extending deductibility of exploration expenditure to
The Government announced changes to the income tax law to extend the immediate deductibility of exploration expenditure provided to mining and petroleum explorers to geothermal energy explorers, with exposure draft legislation and explanatory material for the proposed amendments released for consultation (28 May 2012) More...

Perth building company fined $15,000 after collapse of tilt-up panels
A building company has recently been fined $15,000 following the collapse of four concrete tilt-up panels in 2008 at a Perth construction site. The company pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the removal of temporary bracing of the concrete panels was in accordance with the relevant Australian Standards (23 May 2012) More...

Getting on with the job: contract awarded for construction of inner west light rail extension
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today announced a major step in the delivery of transport infrastructure for Sydney with the contract awarded for design and construction of the Inner West Light Rail Extension (31 May 2012) More...

Sydney starts smart green apartments program
Twenty five of Sydney’s apartment buildings are about to get a green makeover via the city’s new Smart Green Apartments program. The program seeks to create more efficient, cost-effective buildings, with a focus on energy and water efficiency and waste reduction (31 may 2012) More...  

Sale of NSW Generators
The O’Farrell Government’s successful negotiation of enabling legislation for the sale of the State’s remaining coal fired power stations is excellent news for electricity consumers and taxpayers and liberates billions to invest in new infrastructure, says Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (30 May 2012) More...  

HUB company goes into liquidation
The company building Orange's multi-million dollar regional rubbish tip has gone into liquidation. The Narromine-based Central West Surveying and Civil won the contract to build the Euchareena Road Resource Recovery Centre, which is worth more than $3 million (24 May 2012) More...

NSW terminates contract with St Hilliers
Subcontractors could face financial ruin after the NSW government announced it was terminating a public housing contract with "dishonest" construction group St Hilliers.  Administrators were appointed to St Hilliers Construction when associated company Ararat Pty Ltd went into liquidation after failing to complete the public-private expansion of Victoria's Ararat Prison (22 May 2012) More...

NSW Public warning on building companies
New South Wales Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts issued a public warning under section 86A of the Fair Trading Act 1987, after issuing  more than 28 penalty infringement notices worth $19,000 for breaches of the Home Building Act 1989 (23 May 2012) More...

Queensland Government plans incremental growth for Abbot Point
The Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, announces the development of terminals T0, T2 and T3 at Abbot Point which will would provide a huge increase in Queensland’s coal export capacity (31 May 2012) More...

State government approves $6b Alpha Coal mine in Galilee Basin
The Newman Government has approved the $6.4 billion Alpha Coal Project in Queensland's Galilee Basin owned by Indian conglomerate GVK and Gina Rinehart's Hancock Coal. The GVK-Hancock Coal project heralds the next stage of the mining boom, but the requirement for foreign workers has not been ruled out (30 May 2012) More...

Brisbane CBD Master Plan a crucial construction boost
Today’s state government announcement of exciting new plans to reinvigorate the Government Administrative Precinct will provide a crucial boost to Queensland’s ailing construction industry, according to Master Builders, Queensland (29 May 2012) More...

Pipeline approval pushes Gladstone Liquefied Natural Gas Project ahead
The Queensland Coordinator-General has approved a 44 kilometre section of pipeline within the Callide Infrastructure Corridor State Development Area (CICSDA). An approved 'material change of use' application for the Gladstone Liquefied Natural Gas (GLNG) project meant the proponent could push forward to deliver the project (28 May 2012) More...

Federal Court dismisses appeal of builders in ACCC price controlling case
The Full Federal Court in Brisbane has dismissed the appeal by Queensland construction company Carmichael Builders Pty Ltd (Carmichael) against findings in 2011 that Carmichael engaged in illegal price controlling conduct known in the construction industry as ‘cover pricing’ (25 May 2012) More...

Queensland Plumbing industry to have its say on red tape reduction
The Housing and Public Works Minister has invited the plumbing industry to provide feedback on proposed regulation amendments to the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002 would increase the scope of 'notifiable works'.  Work by plumbers and drainers will still be audited by the Plumbing Industry Council and local governments to ensure compliance and health and safety standards (25 May 2012) More...

Major Cape York mine  approved
The Queensland Coordinator-General gave the green light to Rio Tinto's $1.45 billion South of the Embley bauxite mining extension on Cape York. Rio Tinto's proposal will extend the life of bauxite mining near Weipa for another 40 years, and can proceed subject to strict development and operating conditions set by the Coordinator-General (23 May 2012) More...

Gladstone State Development Area (GSDA) approval Gladstone quarry haul road
The Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning has announced the approval of plans to build a private haul road to service a hardrock quarry in the Gladstone State Development Area (GSDA). The Coordinator-General has approved  the ‘material change of use’ to allow the development (23 May 2012) More...

State Government supports Surat Basin resource sector growth
Minister for Natural Resources and Mines has outlined new Government plans to support economic growth in the Surat Basin Energy Resources Province. The Gasfields Land and Water Commission will play a key role in ensuring CSG companies earn their social licence to operate by respecting landholders and the environment (23 May 2012) More...

Construction Underway on New Gateway Lane18
Queensland-based builder Seymour Whyte Constructions has begun installing an additional northbound lane along the Gateway Motorway, a $96.7 million fully-Federally funded project. Work on the new northbound lane is expected to be completed in 2014 and will ease congestion for the more than 65,000 motorists and truck drivers which use this road daily (23 May 2012) More...

New Bendigo Hospital tender phase well underway
Health Minister David Davis announced the next step in the process for delivering the new Bendigo Hospital public-private partnership today. In an important step towards delivering the project, Requests for Proposal documents have been released to the two shortlisted bidders for the project (31 May 2012) More...

Bid for Sneydes Road interchange funding
A new interchange for residents of Point Cook is one step closer, with site planning and construction of the interchange expected to cost $40.3 million. The employment precinct is currently going through detailed Growth Areas Authority structure planning so that land sales may possibly commence this financial year. A small contribution is also to be made from the City of Wyndham (30 May 2012) More...

Prosecution after dodgy asbestos removal
An unlicensed asbestos removalist has been convicted and fined $13,250 for arranging unlicensed asbestos removal, his second offence in two years, under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007 (30 May 2012) More...

Injuries on housing construction sites costing $17m per year
More than 20 Victorian tradies a week were seriously injured on housing constructions sites last year costing the industry $17-million in medical costs, wages and other expenses. WorkSafe Inspector, Steve Thornely, said the figures could be significantly higher as sole traders do not make claims under WorkSafe’s injury insurance scheme (21 May 2012) More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Construction Work Done, Australia, Preliminary, Mar 2012
Author: Australian Bureau of Statistics
The trend estimate for total construction work done rose 2.6% in the March quarter 2012. The seasonally adjusted estimate for total construction work done rose 5.5%, to $48,300.4m in the March quarter. The trend estimate for total construction work done rose 2.6% in the March quarter 2012. The seasonally adjusted estimate for total construction work done rose 5.5%, to $48,300.4m in the March quarter. The trend estimate for engineering work done rose 5.4% in the March quarter. The seasonally adjusted estimate for engineering work done rose 13.3%, to $29,849.6m, in the March quarter (30 May 2012) More...

Property Council of Australia - Inaugural Nation Building Oration
Author: Anthony Albanese
Discusses Nation Building, Urban Policy; Long Term Vision; Private Investment (31 May 2012) More...

Under pressure - opportunity and risks in coal seam gas reserves
Author: Damon Frith; BRW, 17-23 May 2012, pp30-33
Discusses current geology, coal seam gas and water table, environmental changes

esafe Construction May 2012
Author:  DEIR Queensland
Latest edition of eSAFE Construction - a bi-monthly enewsletter providing information to subscribers on activities in the building and construction sector (31 May 2012) More...
eSAFE Construction - May 2012 edition

Building Permit Activity March 2012
Author: The Building Commission Victoria
According to the report, the total value of activity for the March quarter 2012 was $5.2 billion. March 2012 alone saw $1.9 billion worth of recorded building activity, a 14.4% drop in comparison to March 2011 (23 May 2012)
Victorian building permit activity

BPBulletin May 2012
Author: Building Professionals Board
BPBulletin - 30 May 2012

In practice and courts

Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency  - Current Consultations

Draft National Building Energy Standard-Setting, Assessment and Rating Framework
The Draft Framework has been released by the Energy Efficiency Working Group (E2WG) of the Select Council on Climate Change (SCCC), representing all states and territories for public comment.
Interested parties may make submissions on the Draft Framework paper by Friday 6 July 2012.
Draft National Building Energy Standard-Setting, Assessment and Rating Framework

Federal Magistrates Court to be Renamed
The FMC's jurisdiction has expanded to include a number of diverse matters including family law, migration and consumer protection law since its establishment in 2000, and with a new name will clarify for the community what the court does and how it can help resolve disputes (29 May 2012)
Attorney-General's media release

NSW: Online consultation: issues papers
Component certificates - To enable a certifying authority to rely in good faith upon component certificates for the design and installation of building work under the EP&A Regulation. Feedback due by Friday 15 June 2012 (May 2012)
View the issues paper | View the online survey

NSW:  Smart Green Apartment Applications Open
The City of Sydney has announced the opening of applications for its Smart Green Apartments program, which will provide the following benefits for the 25 selected apartment buildings. The Office of Environment and Heritage's Energy Saver Program is currently subsidising a five-building pilot for the project. Interested persons should submit their completed applications to the Smart Green Apartments Program Manager by 15 June 2012.

QLD: Significant Project Declaration – Yarwun Coal Terminal project
The  Yarwun Coal Terminal project, as defined in the initial advice statement dated 26 April 2012, is a significant project, for which an environmental impact statement is required, pursuant to section 26(1)(a) of the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 (May 2012).
Public consultation opens for Yarwun Coal Terminal project


Plastec Australia Pty Ltd v Plumbing Solutions Pty Ltd [2012] FCA 510
TRADE PRACTICES – consideration of whether a document distributed by means of a telecommunications facility and through the use of the postal service, contained representations of fact which were misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive consumers as to the entitlement of the applicant to sell plumbing fittings described and marked as compliant with a particular Australian Standard and an Australian Technical Specification – consideration of the extension provision, s 6(3) of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) as the applicable law at the material time – consideration of whether the material distributed by the third respondent containing the statements in suit, were statements made “in trade or commerce” – consideration of whether s 52 so far as that section purports to regulate conduct said to be misleading or deceptive in circumstances where the statements concern aspects of the legislative and regulatory environment governing the plumbing industry, engage the constitutional limitation or guarantee the subject of the decisions in Lange v Australian Broadcasting Corporation; Hogan v Hinch and Wotton v State of Queensland and related earlier authorities of the High Court (cited below) – consideration of whether, on the facts, the statements were representations or statements of opinion – consideration of whether the conduct of the third respondent in making the various statements was conduct in close association with the applicant’s principal rival
CONSUMER LAW – consideration of whether a document distributed by means of a telecommunications facility and through the use of the postal service, contained representations of fact which were misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive consumers as to the entitlement of the applicant to sell plumbing fittings described and marked as compliant with a particular Australian Standard and an Australian Technical Specification
STATUTES – consideration of the application of the cooperative arrangements for the legislative and regulatory arrangements governing the plumbing industry in Australia and New Zealand, by reference to the legislative instruments adopted in Queensland as emblematic of each jurisdiction’s legislation, including The Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002 (Qld); Standard Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2003 (Qld); the provisions of the Plumbing Code of Australia 2004; and various Australian Standards and particularly Australian Technical Specification 5200.055:2008 More...

Machkevitch v Andrew Building Constructions [2012] NSWSC 546 
[BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION] - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) - preliminary issue - whether court should leave matter to be disputed before another adjudicator - adjudication determination - meaning of "arrangement" - whether there was an "arrangement" amounting to a construction contract for the purposes of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) - whether the definition of "construction contract" requires that an "arrangement" must be legally enforceable - whether the defendant's attempts to press its payment claims against the plaintiff is an abuse of the processes of the Act.
[ESTOPPEL] - Issue estoppel - Anshun estoppel whether the defendant is estopped (by way of narrow or Anshun estoppel), by reasons of the determination of the first adjudicator, from pressing its claim under the alleged construction contract.[PROCEDURE] - civil - documents - cross-claim - application for leave to file a cross-claim - whether court should grant declaratory relief in accordance with the cross-claimMore...

Mirzaie v Taker Rubbish Removal & Maintenance (Home Building) [2012] NSWCTTT 178
Breach of Contract-  Unjust Enrichment-  Whether respondent engaged to do “residential building work” within the meaning of the Home Building Act and Regulation- Costs More...

Nu Line Construction Group Pty Ltd v Fowler (aka Grippaudo) [2012] NSWSC 587
Judgment for the defendants
RESTITUTION - claim for money had and received - failure of consideration - negotiations for sale of land in 2000 - whether payments of money by individual director of plaintiff company to or on behalf of defendants was on behalf of the plaintiff company - whether payment of money to or on behalf of defendants were payments toward the purchase price or in consideration of the purchase price - whether consideration for money paid to and on behalf of defendant was keeping the subject land off the market - OBITER - claim for money had and received based on failure of consideration established - moneys were paid by the plaintiff in consideration of purchasing the land - consideration failed with cessation of negotiations in mid 2002
RESTITUTION - claim for restitutionary interest - whether interest accrued from date of moneys paid or date of cessation of negotiations - OBITER - interest accrued from date consideration failed
DEFENCES - Limitation Act 1969 (NSW) - action for money had and received falls under s 14(1)(a) as a claim in "quasi contract" - whether cause of action accrued at date moneys were paid or at date consideration failed - HELD - cause of action accrued at date consideration failed which was when (objectively) the contemplated sale failed to materialise in mid 2002 - claim statute barred as proceedings not commenced until September 2008
DEFENCES -unclean hands - not pleaded - whether failure by the principals to disclose a potential claim against the defendant to the external administrator while plaintiff company was under administration was improper conduct - s 438B Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) considered - whether immediate and necessary relation to the relief sought - whether unclean hands if not pleaded goes to discretionary relief - pleading of laches - OBITER - unclean hands, if raised, would have failed due to insufficient evidence of improper conduct and no immediate and necessary relation to relief sought - no finding of laches More...

Negligence - duty of care in domestic situation - liability of stair designer and builder - stairs inherently dangerous - Civil Liability Act 2002-  More...

Rite Flow Pty Limited v Nahas Constructions (NSW) Pty Limited [2012] NSWSC 553
CORPORATIONS - Winding up - Statutory demand - Application to set aside statutory demand - Whether there is a "genuine dispute" as to the amount claimed in the statutory demand.COSTS - Indemnity costs - Application for indemnity costs in circumstances where there were significant deficiencies in respect of statutory demand, a very substantial defect in the affidavit verifying the statutory demand, and a finding that the statutory demand was not a proper use of the statutory demand procedure. More...

UI International Pty Ltd v Interworks Architects Pty Ltd & Ors [2012] QSC 142
PROCEDURE – COSTS – SECURITY FOR COSTS – PLAINTIFF – where plaintiff developed land through construction of building – where construction provided, supervised and approved by defendants – where plaintiff claims defendants’ breach of contractual duties or negligence caused structural defects – where proceedings involve multi-party complex litigation – where the plaintiff was ordered to provide security for costs in 2006 – where the first and second defendants and fourth defendant have applied for an order that the plaintiff provide further security for costs – where plaintiff has posited a number of discretionary considerations against a further order for security for costs – whether an order for further security for costs is warranted in the circumstances More...

Queensland Building Services Authority v Reid [2012] QCAT 199
OCCUPATIONAL REGULATION – BUILDERS – where builder failed to comply with direction to rectify – where builder submitted direction incapable of compliance – where defective roof and considerable rain during rectification period – factors relevant to penalty
COSTS – whether costs should follow the event – whether builder should pay the Authority’s costs of the proceeding
Queensland Building Services Authority v Last Laugh Pty Ltd [2011] QCAT 263 Queensland Building Services Authority v Brian Frederick Black Unreported D033/92, 13 April 1993 Queensland Building Services Authority v T & T Building Pty Ltd [2008] CCT QD009 -08 More...

Thackeray v Revamp Pools Pty Ltd [2012] QCAT 196
BUILDING – where contractor failed to brace empty pool – where pool damaged beyond repair – measure of damages
PROCEDURE – where no response filed – where contractor did not change address in QBSA records – where contractor history of non-compliance – where guillotine order – where application to extend time filed after guillotine order operated
Bellgrove v Eldridge (1954) 90 CLR 613 More...

Harris v Cronk and Anor [2012] QCAT 195
Building Dispute – whether the respondents repudiated the contract by issuing a notice of termination which was declared null and void – where respondents always willing to perform the contract – where the applicant was in breach in not complying with milestones – where house demolished – whether reasonable to demolish the partially built house – whether foundation structurally inadequate – assessment of money owed under the contract and respondents’ counterclaim
Harris v Cronk [2009] QCCTB 124 Qline Interiors Pty Ltd v Jezer Construction Group Pty Ltd [2002] QSC 088 DTR Nominees Pty Ltd v Mona Homes Pty Ltd (1978) 138 CLR 423 Port of Melbourne Authority v Anshun (1981)147 CLR 58 Belgrove v Eldridge (1954) 90 CLR 613 Ross v Rangel [2004] QCCTB 98 Black v Toowoomba Resort Pty Ltd [2007] QCCTB 122 More...

Tracey and Anor v Wagner and Anor [2012] QCAT 193
BUILDING – where claim against builder and director of builder – where director performed work the subject of the contract – where application to strike out claim against builder – whether duty of care owed by director
COSTS – whether in interest of justice to order costs – where amended claim drafted by lawyer – whether order against representative is appropriate
Council of the Shire of Noosa v J E Farr [2001] QSC 60 More...

MK Builders Pty Ltd v CGU Insurance Ltd & Anor (Domestic Building) [2012] VCAT 590
Application to strike out or dismiss under s75 of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998, Deed of Company Arrangement (DOCA), whether sums alleged due to company that entered DOCA were set off in DOCA, automatic set-off under s553C of Corporations Act 2001, guarantee by director of other company co-extensive with other company’s obligations. More...

Griffiths v S & L Carpentry and Building Pty Ltd (Domestic Building) [2012] VCAT 588
Section 78 of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 – proceeding determined in favour of applicant with quantum, interest and costs then assessed - offers of settlement – orders for indemnity costs and party/party for different periods More...

Warner v Warracrest Constructions Pty Ltd (Domestic Building) [2012] VCAT 589
Grounds for terminating of building contract, delay in building contract, damages for wrongful termination of building contract More...

Jacobi & Ors v Motalli & Anor (Domestic Building) [2012] VCAT 659
Domestic Building work –private building surveyor – duty of care to subsequent owners – Wrongs Act 1958 Part IVAA – negligent issue of occupancy permit - apportionable claim – apportionment of damages between builder and building surveyor - statutory insurance scheme – right of insurer under policy to provide indemnity by directing builder to rectify defects – no indemnity until defects are rectified - dismissed More...




Clean Energy Finance Corporation Bill 2012
A Bill for an Act to establish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, and for related purposes
Definitions; Crown to be bound; Extension to external Territories; Extra-territorial application;
Clean Energy Finance Corporation- Board of Corporation and members,—Financial arrangements, Investment function (25 May 2012) More...

Clean Energy Legislation Amendment Bill 2012
A Bill for an Act to amend legislation relating to clean energy, and for other purposes
Transitional provisions; Schedule 2—Amendments relating to gaseous fuel ; Schedule 3—Amendments relating to the carbon farming initiative; Schedule 4—Amendments relating to the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units; Schedule 5—Amendments relating to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (25 May 2012) More...

Legislative Instruments

Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment Regulation 2012 (No. 1)

SLI 2012 No. 79
This regulation amends the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Regulations 2005 to make necessary and appropriate provisions in relation to a range of substantive matters set out in the Fair Work (Building Industry) Act 2012 (29 May 2012) More...

Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Regulation 2012 SLI 2012 No. 80
This regulation provides the necessary transitional and consequential arrangements to ensure a smooth transition from the institutions, functions and powers created by the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act 2005 (BCII Act) to those established under the Fair Work (Building Industry) Act 2012 (FWBI Act) (29 May 2012) More...

Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Proclamation 2012
This Proclamation provides for the commencement of Schedule 1 of the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Act 2012 (29 May 2012) More...

Workplace Relations Legislation Repeal Regulation 2012 SLI 2012 No. 81
This regulation repeals the Builders Labourers’ Federation (Cancellation of Registration - Consequential Provisions) Regulations and the Construction Industry Development Agency (Transitional) Regulations because they are now redundant (29 May 2012) More...

Seas and Submerged Lands (Limits of Continental Shelf) Proclamation 2012
This Proclamation revokes the Seas and Submerged Lands (Limits of Continental Shelf in the Tasman Sea and South Pacific Ocean) Proclamation 2005 to declare the outer limits of a considerable area of the Australian continental shelf (28 May 2012; Tabled 30 May 2012) 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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