Latest news

Review to unlock local government investment
The Australian Government will conduct a review of infrastructure financing to identify new ways of unlocking investment dollars to meet local infrastructure needs, Local Government Minister Simon Crean has announced. The terms of reference are to assess how effectively and efficiently local infrastructure needs are prioritised and subsequently funded by local government (17 November 2011) More...

Fair Work 'delaying' mine projects, says industry
The mining industry has warned that Labor's Fair Work laws are delaying the start of construction for new resources projects and forcing employers to give construction workers the same generous wages and allowances paid on offshore oil rigs (17 November 2011)

Natural disaster clean-up sparks new asbestos fears
In the rush to clean up in the aftermath of natural disasters health risks posed by broken sheets of asbestos can be forgotten, with cancer specialists told that 'bonded asbestos' may not be as safe as once thought (15 November 2011) More...

Infrastructure adviser urges states to sell assets
The federal government's infrastructure adviser, Rod Eddington, has called on states to be more open to privatising key assets to pay for greenfields infrastructure projects. It comes as the re-emergence of coalition governments in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia has prompted potential acquirers to consider the potential for more asset sales (16 November 2011) More...

Slower times predicted for construction industry in 2012 given risk-averse banks
Australian construction industry profits are due to slip as the number of construction projects diminishes and construction costs increase in 2012, according to the latest report by Rider Levett Bucknall. National office construction increased 6.8% and industrial construction increased 20.8% (15 November 2011) More...

NBN Co dishes out fibre contracts
The NBN Co has awarded contracts worth up to $635 million over the next five years to a mix of six local and internationally-based fibre equipment manufacturers. The contract winners will supply NBN Co internal fibre distribution hubs for apartment buildings, internal cables, wall outlets and devices that will house the connection of the fibre from the street to the outside of premises (15 November 2011) More...

Green Star Performance from the Green Building Council of Australia
The development of Green Star Performance continues with a third of the proposed credits already in a draft format. Once the tool is released, the GBCA will be developing new education resources specifically geared for building operators and the facilities management industry (10 November 2011) More...

Building rogues targeted
Surveyors who are the subject to repeat complaints and those in their first three years of practice will be the targets of tougher scrutiny. Municipal building surveyors will be audited by the commission at least once every two years, and all private surveyors within their first three years of operation. The commission will also target surveyors who are the subject of repeated complaints from consumer (14 November 2011) More…

Victorian Infrastructure Deserves National Support
The release of the Victorian Government’s  Infrastructure Australia submission today shows a deep level of planning and seeks support for major projects that will deliver on key national objectives, says Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (17 November 2011) More…

Latrobe Valley mining covenant to go
The Victorian Government is planning to remove a mining covenant in the Latrobe Valley to free up land for development. Landowners who certainly have not had the ability to develop as they would like because of the SUZ5 covenant (14 November 2011) More...

Record value in building permit activity for first quarter of 2011-12 financial year
The value of building permit activity in Victoria was almost $6.7 billion for the first quarter of the 2011-12 financial year, an increase of 6 per cent on the same quarter last financial year (14 November 2011)  Record value in building permit activity for first quarter of 2011-12 financial year (123KB)

Building control compliance, investigations & enforcement initiatives
Enhanced complaints management, investigations and enforcement processes will enable the Building Commission to have more effective building control in Victoria. The Building Commission has updated, and is now implementing, programs and policies to improve its efficiencies and effectiveness (07 November 2011)   Compliance, Investigations & Enforcement initiatives will improve building control (85KB)

Eddington backs plan to overhaul Sydney transport
Fixing Sydney's rail network and making its ports work better are infrastructure priorities for NSW, according to the head of Infrastructure Australia (16 November 2011) More...

Asia the key to building the state
The Treasurer Mile Beard says Asian investors will play a crucial role in funding the NSW government's ambitious plans to improve infrastructure and also flagged greater use of public-private partnerships in infrastructure projects (17 November 2011) More...

Farmer takes mining company to court
An Upper Hunter farmer has lodged an appeal in the Land and Environment Court to block a mining company from drilling on his property (10 November 2011) More...

Court approves Duralie mine extension
The Environmental Defenders Office says the new conditions placed on Gloucester Coal's Duralie mine extension project are a step in the right direction.  The Land and Environment Court overturned the original approval for the mine extension but then granted its own approval subject to a series of new conditions  (11 November 2011) More...

2018 Commonwealth Games for Gold Coast
Ms Bligh said the Games could generate up to $2 billion in economic benefit with up to 30,000 full time-equivalent jobs created between 2015 and 2020. Over $500 million will now be invested on sport and transport infrastructure as a direct result of the successful bid and will also act as a catalyst to fast track infrastructure development. The Government outlines the new infrastructure here (12 November 2011) More…

Warrego Highway, Cross River Rail new additions in Infrastructure Australia submission
Key road upgrades serving the resource rich Surat Basin area of Queensland are new inclusions in the State Government’s Infrastructure Australia submission. Local Government Minister Paul Lucas said with the CSG and LNG industry being largely driven by areas like the Surat Basin, it was important appropriate infrastructure was in place to support the industry’s growth (17 November 2011) More...

Minister says coal terminal won't hurt nature reserve
The State Government has moved to reassure a central Queensland community a proposed coal terminal will not have a negative impact on a nearby nature reserve (15 November 2011) More...

CBD Building heights grounded
Unless guidelines by Airservices Australia and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority change, the 274-metre 111+222 development is the highest a building can be built in Brisbane's central business district. The restriction is due to fears that tall buildings could cause radar signal reflection (09 November 2011) More...


The resources boom and macroeconomic policy in Australia
Author: Bob Gregory, Peter Sheehan
Australia is in the midst of the most remarkable resources boom in its history, but the domestic economy is slowing. How can both of these things be happening at the same time (11 November 2011) More...

Contracts - Inclement weather—we’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather, whether we like it or not
Author: Alex Hartmann and Jacqueline Truong
Australian Construction Law Newsletter, 2011, Issue 140, pp6

Identifying and managing your legal expectations to avoid pitfalls in an increasingly demanding project role
Author: Nicholas Gould
Australian Construction Law Newsletter, 2011, Issue 140, pp15

No fault option to litigate in dispute resolution clause
brian millar and matthew senescall
Australian Construction Law Newsletter, 2011, Issue 140, pp36

Panel contracts—which one?
Author: David Hand
Australian Construction Law Newsletter, 2011, Issue 140, pp38

Mediation is the only way to justice
Author: David Richbell
Australian Construction Law Newsletter, 2011, Issue 140, pp48

Current Draft Policies and Plans, Announcements

NSW: Summary of Complaints and Investigation
The Board has released its fourth edition of the Summary of complaints and investigations.
The Summary describes case studies of complaints made about the conduct of accredited certifiers. These case studies can assist and educate stakeholders involved in the certification process (November 2011) More...

QLD: Building newsflash number 485 - Provision of building approval data to local government
To remind private building certifiers of the importance of providing building development application details to local government for archiving. A private certifier approves a building development application under the Building Act 1975 requires the certifier to give the relevant local government a copy of certain documents within five business days of the approval (11 November 2011) More...

QLD: Building Boost Grant
Queensland Government Building Boost Grants are available to buy or build a new home from 1 August 2011 to 31 January 2012.  Information regarding the grant and an online eligibility tester is available at the Office of State Revenue



Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Bill 2011
Registered 08 November 2011 - A Bill for an Act to amend the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act 2005, and for related purposes (08 November 2011) More...


Regulations and other statutory instruments

Mining Amendment (Transitional) Regulation 2011 (2011-586) — published LW 18 November 2011
Supreme Court Rules (Amendment No 418) 2011 (2011-589) — published LW 18 November 2011

Uniform Civil Procedure Rules (Amendment No 49) 2011 (2011-590) — published LW 18 November 2011

Water Management (General) Amendment (Water Sharing Plans) Regulation (No 2) 2011 (2011-577) — published LW 11 November 2011

Acts assented to

Plumbing and Drainage Act 2011 No 59 — Assented to 16 November 2011
Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (No 2) 2011 No 62 — Assented to 16 November 2011
Protection of the Environment Legislation Amendment Act 2011 No 63 — Assented to 16 November 2011



No 221 Survey and Mapping Infrastructure (Survey Standards—Requirements for Mining Tenures) Notice (No. 1) 2011 – 11 Nov 2011

Survey and Mapping Infrastructure Act 2003

No 227 Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Amendment Regulation (No. 3) 2011

Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act 1994-  11 Nov 2011

Bills Introduced

Heavy Vehicle National Law Bill 2011
This Bill is for an Act to reconcile variations in state heavy vehicle laws establish a single, unified approach across all states and territories with a National Heavy Vehicle Regulator responsible for the administration of those laws. Introduced by Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk (Minister for Transport and Multicultural Affairs) (ALP, Inala) (15 November 2011) More...

Commercial Arbitration Bill 2011
This Bill is for an Act to provide for the conduct of commercial arbitration consistent with updated national uniform legislation and with international best practice, replacing the Commercial Arbitration Act 1990 (15 November 2011)  Commonwealth Games Arrangements Bill 2011   (15 November 2011)


No. 50: Commercial Arbitration Act 2011
Assent: 18/10/2011 SG (No. 330) 18/10/11 p. 1 Commencement: Ss 1AA-47 on 17/11/2011: SG (No. 369) 15/11/2011 p. 1

No. 63: Water Legislation Amendment (Water Infrastructure Charges) Act 2011
Assent: 15/11/2011 SG (No. 367) 15/11/2011 p. 1 Commencement: Ss 1-12 on 16/11/2011: s. 2
This Act amends (i) the Water Industry Act 1994 to apply certain provisions of the Water Charge (Infrastructure) Rules 2010 of the Commonwealth as a law of Victoria and (ii) the Essential Services Act


Gap Constructions Pty Limited & Anor v Vigar Pty Limited & Ors [2011] NSWSC 1205
INJUNCTIONS - Interlocutory injunctions - plaintiff seeks continuation of interlocutory orders restraining defendants from dealing with certain moneys and shares - moneys and shares said to be traceable from breach of fiduciary duty by defendants - plaintiffs question propriety of expenditure by fourth defendant and accuracy and completeness of information provided as to expenditure - injunction deals with assets the subject matter of proceedings - principle applicable to Mareva injunctions that party be allowed to make expenditure for living expenses and legal costs not applicable where injunction deals with subject matter of claim - injunction sought specific to such moneys and shares not to totality of defendants' assets - defendants' have substantially dissipated moneys by engaging in liberal level of living expenses - unacceptable situation ought not continue - injunction continued More...

Larkden Pty Limited -v- Lloyd Energy Systems Pty Limited [2011] NSWSC 1305
CORPORATIONS COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION S 440D of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) an application for leave to bring and continue proceedings against a company in voluntary administration for recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award pursuant to s 35 of the Commercial Arbitration Act 2010 (NSW) nature of discretion to be exercised relevant circumstances leave granted  -

Tribunal determines and declares that the Claimant holds on constructive trust for the Respondent all its rights, title and interest in Solfast Pty Ltd and interest in the inventions embodied in the Assigned Patent Applications More...

ARA Electrical Engineering Services Pty Ltd t/as Bass Electrical Engineering NSW v McConnell Dowell Constructions (Aust) Pty Ltd [2011] NSWSC 1377
CONTRACTS - Whether binding and enforceable agreement - defendant provides plaintiff with request for quotation for building works - plaintiff submits quote - defendant responds that plaintiff is successful tenderer and provides draft sub-contract agreement with schedule of rates to be filled out by plaintiff - plaintiff fills out and returns draft contract - plaintiff contends provision of draft contract and announcement that plaintiff successful tenderer comprised offer capable of acceptance - plaintiff contends accepted offer by filling in blanks and returning document to defendant - defendant had communicated that draft sub-contract was subject to review and had reserved to itself final execution - improbable that defendant intended to be bound by whatever plaintiff inserted in schedule - matter inserted in schedule not subject to prior discussion - viewed objectively no intention that parties be bound without both parties executing and communicating execution to one another More...

In the matter of Chameleon Mining NL [2011] NSWSC 1384
CORPORATIONS - public companies - giving of "financial benefit" to "related party" - statutory requirement for approval by resolution passed at a meeting of members - statutory process includes lodgment of material with ASIC before despatch to members and despatch of any ASIC comments with notice of meeting - through inadvertence ASIC lodgment not made before despatch of notice - ASIC's review in any event raises no concern - application for declaration under s 227 in respect of steps concerning ASIC lodgment - various other aspects of the statutory procedure lie in the future - application adjourned as s 227 permits declaration only in respect of the process as a whole More...

Leighton International Limited v Gavin John Hodge [2011] NSWSC 1381
[PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW] - [PRACTICE & PROCEDURE] - application to stay proceedings - claims by plaintiffs of breach of employment contract/breach of duty of loyalty in respect of conduct in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Indonesia - concurrent process in Malaysia by defendant for reinstatement - real issues - prospective witnesses in many different countries in the Asian region - whether a clearly inappropriate forum for plaintiffs' claims - referral of questions of foreign law to foreign court or to referee More...

Sturzenegger v Cosmos Building Services t/as Vastrans Pty Ltd [2011] NSWWCCPD 64
Reasons; failure to determine issue in dispute -  Arbitrator’s decision is revoked and the matter is remitted to a different Arbitrator for all issues to be determined or re-determined More...

Notaras v In and Out Carpentry (Home Building) [2011] NSWCTTT 505
Defective work – compensation for damage to property – penalty/rental - respondent is liable to pay the applicant $10,450.00 rental for the period August 2010 to October 2010, $ 11,642.00 for damage to the elevator door and windows and $132,206.00 damages for defective work, making a total of $154,298.00 More...

Finch v Whitfield (Home Building) [2011] NSWCTTT 496
Whether the applicant acted reasonably in refusing the offers of settlement made by the respondent
Whether it is likely that the applicant would, had the matter been litigated, have been successful in a similar sum to that ultimately agreed by the parties - Tribunal has jurisdiction in the circumstances of this case to make an order for costs More... 

Contact details


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


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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