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In the media

Construction numbers misleading, says economist
Housing construction levels appear to be improving, but economist Peter Jones claims that this shows that the Australian housing market is actually still in a critical state (05 April 2013).  More...

Years for Huge Leighton Fraud
An employee who stole $20 million over twelve years from Australian construction giant Leighton Holdings has been sentenced to a maximum of 15 years in prison (05 April 2013).  More...

FWBC provides new guidance to industry on sham contracting
Fair Work Building & Construction (FWBC) has released its first guidance note addressing a substantive area of workplace law - sham contracting. The guidance note is designed to give the building and construction industry information about how FWBC interprets the laws it enforces (04 April 2013).  More...

Australian Industry Group calls for considered approach to CSG mining restrictions
The Australian Industry Group has spoken out on the issue of coal seam gas production, arguing for the need to balance a secure gas supply against concerns over environmental impact (04 April 2013).  More...

National Infrastructure Construction Schedule
The enhanced National Infrastructure Construction Schedule (NICS) website is now live with improved navigation, functionality and updates (27 March 2013).  More...

Safework Australia Guide for Managing Risks Involving Heritage Plant
A new guide has been released that provides practical guidance about managing health and safety risks for people who carry out activities involving heritage plant (27 March 2013).  More...

National Infrastructure Award Winners for 2013 announced
The winners and finalists include: The refinancing of Sydney Desalination Plant; Diamantina Power Station Project Financing; Royal North Shore Hospital Redevelopment; Sunshine Coast University Hospital; Serco and the WA Government, working to establish non-clinical services at Fiona Stanley Hospital; The Operation of Sydney Ferries; IBM Townsville Water Smart Pilot (27 March 2013).  More...

Lend Lease, Partners Win A$630 Million Hospital Project
Lend Lease Group, Australia’s biggest property developer, is among three companies selected to develop a A$630 million ($656 million) hospital in Bendigo in central Victoria state with the state government in a public-private partnership (05 April 2013).  More...

$200m Broken Hill solar plant approved
A $200 million solar power station for the far west has been recommended for approval by the NSW Government. Electricity company AGL is planning to build the plant at Rob Day Station south-west of Broken Hill (02 April 2013).  More...

Flawed process claims spark rocky 24 hours for CSG
In the space of 24 hours, the coal seam gas industry has been hit by claims of flawed approval processes, calls for a moratorium on all new projects and one company suspending its operations in New South Wales (02 April 2013).  More...

Bays precinct a lost opportunity for a private public partnership
The Bays Precinct with its extensive areas of underutilised land needs a Private Public Partnership approach so that some port use, new development and public domain improvements can all occur says the Urban Taskforce (27 March 2013).  More...

Infrastructure Australia Welcomes Action on Chullora Intermodal Access
Infrastructure Australia (IA) has welcomed the agreement between the Australian and NSW governments to move ahead with improving access to the Chullora Intermodal Terminal in South West Sydney (26 March 2013).  More...

Kaniva Bridge Upgrade Contract Awarded
The upgrade of the bridge over the rail line at Kaniva along the Western Highway will begin within weeks following the awarding of the contract to Cut and Fill Pty Ltd (26 March 2013).  More...

First APLNG Modules Arrive in Gladstone
The Australia Pacific LNG Project has unloaded the first LNG modules on Curtis Island following their arrival into Gladstone Harbour. The first four modules were delivered to the Curtis Island site where these modules and others will be used as the foundation structure for the LNG processing trains and supporting infrastructure (03 April 2013).  More...

New authority for games infrastructure
The State  Government has established a Commonwealth Games Infrastructure Authority to oversee the planning, development and delivery of facilities for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast (01 April 2013).  More...

Payroll tax compliance in the building and construction sector
OSR are examining payroll tax compliance in the building and construction 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 (26 March 2013).  More...

New Acland project evaluation moves forward
The Coordinator-General has finalised the terms of reference for the New Acland Coal Mine Stage 3 project near Oakey. This clears the way for proponent New Hope Coal to prepare a new environmental impact statement (EIS) for the scaled-down proposal  (26 March 2013).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Engineering Construction Activity, Australia, December 2012
Author: Australian Bureau of Statistics.  The trend estimate for the value of total engineering construction work done rose 0.4%, and the seasonally adjusted estimate for the value of total engineering construction work done fell 1.7%. The seasonally adjusted estimate for the value of work done for the private sector fell 3.9% and the trend estimate for the value of work done for the public sector rose 0.4% (03 April 2013).  More...

Offshore oil and gas safety and security in the Asia Pacific
Author: Lee Cordner; S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS).  This monograph explores the safety and security risks associated with the massive expansion of offshore oil and gas exploration and exploitation activity in the Asia-Pacific region. Risk mitigating options for action are presented that need to be urgently and collaboratively considered by all stakeholders  (03 April 2013).  More...

Network development plan – metropolitan rail: overview
Author: Public Transport Victoria
This paper puts forward a plan of how Melbourne's train system needs to evolve to meet the needs of the city and of train passengers in the short, medium and long term (27 March2013).  More...

Great Artesian Basin Water Resource Assessment
Author: CSIRO
The project examined the water resources of the Great Artesian Basin and assessed potential impacts of climate change and resource development ( 9 June 2011; Updated 27 March 2013).  More...

In practice and courts

National Infrastructure Construction Schedule (NICS)
The National Infrastructure Construction Schedule (NICS) has just released ‘Phase 3’—its new package of website improvements. The site now has a total of 103 projects, with a total value over $60 billion and this value is steadily increasing.Visit www.nics.gov.au to view more projects (27 March 2013).  More...

Free Australian Standards and Guides
These Guides are reference tools which include information on Standards and Certification Schemes. They are indexed by key subject areas and use easy to understand terms

 

AS 4055: Wind Loads for Housing standard
A revised version of the Australian standard AS4055 Wind Loads for Housing has been released and is now in force. The standard provides a process by which wind loads can be determined for houses that fall into the dimension limits imposed by the standard (26 March 2013).  More...

New draft Standards for consultation
DR AS 1418.11
Cranes, hoists and winches - Part 11: Vehicle-loading cranes (EN 12999:2011, MOD) Comment closes 07 June 2013.  More...

DR AS 1530.4
Methods for fire tests on building materials, components and structures - Part 4: Fire-resistance test of elements of construction. Comment closes 05 June 2013.  More...

DR AS 2550.11
Cranes, hoists and winches - Safe use - Part 11: Vehicle-loading cranes. Comment closes 07 June 2013.  More...

DR AS 2550.5
Cranes, hoists and winches - Safe use - Part 5: Mobile cranes. Comment closes 07 June 2013.  More...

NSW: Asbestos Plan 2013
The plan will increase awareness of the dangers associated with asbestos and ensure its safe management to improve long term health and safety outcomes. The Asbestos Plan has four priority areas including research, risk communication, prevention and coordination. (04 April 2013).  More...

NSW: construction code of practice released
New procurement guidelines for construction companies tendering for New South Wales (NSW) Government infrastructure work were released on 22 March 2013. A Construction Compliance Unit will be established in NSW Treasury to enforce the guidelines.  More...

QLD: Electrical Safety Regulation review
The Electrical Safety Regulation 2002 is currently under review. Public comment on the Regulatory Assessment Statement (RAS) opened on Thursday 28 March 2013 and closes on Friday 26 April 2013 (03 April 2013).  More...

QLD: Mines Safety Bulletin 132 - Xanthates in mining
Xanthates are a group of chemicals typically used in sulphide flotation in mining applications. Xanthates are classified as liable to spontaneous combustion in the Australian Dangerous Goods (ADG) Code. They pose a number of hazards due to their nature, the vast quantities used in industry and the climate conditions at most Queensland mines using them (27 March 2013).  More...

Cases

Amcor Packaging (Australia) Pty Ltd v Baulderstone Pty Ltd [2013] FCA 253
ARBITRATION – whether arbitration agreement – dispute resolution clause – interpretation – application for stay of proceeding – misleading and deceptive conduct – s 52 Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) – breach of contract – proposed proceeding stayed.  PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – application for preliminary discovery – application stayed without an adjudication of the merits – inappropriate to determine.  More...

Mainteck Services Pty Limited v Stein Heurtey SA and Stein Heurtey Australia Pty Ltd [2013] NSWSC 266
PROCEDURE - principles regarding the adoption of a referee's report - whether referee's report should be adopted or rejected in part - whether the plaintiff should be permitted to withdraw an admission in relation to the referee's report.  CONTRACTS - construction and interpretation of contracts - whether contract void for uncertainty - courts should be astute to adopt a construction which will preserve the validity of a contract.  EVIDENCE - findings of fact - whether findings in referee's report are unreasonable or perverse.  Civil Procedure Act 2005;  Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005.

The plaintiff Mainteck Services Pty Limited (Mainteck), made a claim for approximately $9,884,338 against the defendants (Stein Heutey SA and Stein Heutey Australia Pty Ltd, SHF and SH, which I will call SH unless the context requires greater precision) to the effect that certain compensation was due to them by reason of misrepresentations made by SH leading to the underpricing of the contractual tasks in the order of $5,075,157. Claims were also made for delay and disruption totalling $2,548,383 and certain other claims were made for variations totalling $2,260,798.

Mainteck's claims arose out of a Head Contract between Bluescope Steel (BSL) and SHF for the design and construction of a second "walking beam furnace" (WBF2) at BSL's hotstrip mill complex, at Port Kembla.  More...

Thiess Pty Ltd & Anor v Arup Pty Ltd & Ors [2013] QCA 065
CONTRACTS – GENERAL CONTRACTUAL PRINCIPLES – CONSTRUCTION AND INTERPRETATION OF CONTRACTS – CUSTOM AND USAGE – DEFINITION – where the appellants engaged the respondents as consultants – where the appellants and the respondents entered into a Collaborative Consultancy Agreement – where Schedule 7 establishes a ‘3-Element’ compensation model – where the first element provides that the respondents are to be reimbursed at ‘actual cost’ for Collaborative Agreement Work– where the primary judge found, and the respondents contend, that clause S7-3 defines, in relation to staff rates, the way in which ‘actual cost’ within the meaning of Element 1 is to be determined – where the appellants submit that S7-3 has application only for the purpose of calculating notional ‘actual costs’ for the purposes of progress claims and payments – whether, upon the proper construction of Collaborative Consultancy Agreement, S7-3 defines ‘actual costs’ for the purposes of S7-1 or whether S7-3 is limited in its application to progress claims and payments.  CONTRACTS – GENERAL CONTRACTUAL PRINCIPLES – CONSTRUCTION AND INTERPRETATION OF CONTRACTS – CUSTOM AND USAGE – DEFINITION – where clause 20.3(a) of the Collaborative Consultancy Agreement provides that BDO, as the Collaborative Agreement Auditor, would have access to the personnel and records of the first and second respondents – where the primary judge refused the appellants’ application for declarations requiring the first and second respondents to give the Collaborative Agreement Auditor access to their records and personnel – where the appellants submit that the provisions of the Collaborative Consultancy Agreement support a broad approach to the Auditor’s right of access – where the respondents contend that BDO sought the documents for a purpose irrelevant to the exercise of its functions under the Agreement – whether the primary judge erred in exercising his discretion against the grant of declaratory relief.  More... 

Contact details

Melbourne

Chris Edquist, Partner
T: +61 3 9321 9919
E: chris.edquist@holdingredlich.com

Sydney

Anne Davis, Partner
T: +61 2 8083 0436
E: anne.davis@holdingredlich.com

Brisbane

Troy Lewis, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0614
E: troy.lewis@holdingredlich.com

Disclaimer
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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