NSW Apartments Lift Total Building Approvals
Residential building approvals rose solidly in August 2011, although the core detached housing sector continues to slide downhill, but ‘other dwellings” segment aggregate increase is due to a lift in NSW (10 October 2011).
Construction index at GFC levels
Conditions in the construction sector last month reached their lowest levels since the global financial crisis, according to the Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Construction Index, run in conjunction with Housing Industry Association (07 October 2011).
AIG welcomes manufacturing taskforce, “name and shame” for large infrastructure projects unveiled
The Australian Industry Group has welcomed the announcement of a manufacturing taskforce, as the Federal Government vows that businesses receiving Federal Government grants for projects will need to beef up their efforts to use Australian products and services (07 October 2011).
NRAS - cheaper rent for thousands of Australians
Builders will be announced this week to construct thousands of affordable homes throughout Australia under the Federal Government’s National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS). The Government has committed to support 50,000 NRAS properties, with up to 35,000 dwellings across the country by 30 June 2014, and the remaining 15,000 by 30 June 2016. (03 October 2011) .
NSW Budget 2011
The NSW Budget includes a range of important measures that begin to bring the NSW Government’s finances under control and build future capacity for infrastructure investment, according to Infrastructure Partnerships Australia.
Tough new laws to follow Orica report
Companies responsible for pollution breaches will have to report them immediately or face a $2 million fine, according to the NSW government, as it released a report into a Newcastle chemical spill. The state’s environmental watchdog would also become independent of the government in the wake of the incident at Orica’s Stockton plant (05 October 2011).
Study finds industrial pollution breaches widespread
The recent chemical leaks from Orica factories are not isolated events but fit a wider pattern of continuing pollution at hundreds of sites, an analysis of the state’s environmental protection licences shows (04 October 2011).
WorkCover and Tasco commit to safety
WorkCover NSW and saw milling company Tasco have signed an alliance and agreed action plan to enhance the safety of Tasco staff, for a new saw mill with the $69 million project l. Part of the Alliance is an agreed Action Plan for deliverables for WorkCover and Tasco (28 September 2011).
Queensland mine blasting stopped until risk ‘acceptable’
State law requires mine operators to report to authorities when their blast fumes drift outside the pre-fixed exclusion zones, as the orange cloud of oxides and nitrogen gas produced on September 5 would have done. But New Hope Coal, under investigation by the state’s mines division, regarded the blast as successful and reported no breach (07 October 2011).
Work continues on Cairns Base Hospital redevelopment
The Bligh Government is getting on with the job of delivering the $454.6 million Cairns Base Hospital redevelopment with stage two of the managing contract now awarded. Stage one of the Managing Contractor tender was awarded to Abigroup Contractors in September last year, and the company has now been awarded stage two which will deliver new services progressively between 2013 and complete by 2015 (06 October 2011).
Safety concerns being addressed at major project
Work is underway to fix issues raised during a safety audit at the Brisbane Airport Link construction site. Construction remains on hold at one of Australia’s largest infrastructure projects while a full safety audit continues (05 October 2011).
Construction underway on Townsville’s cruise ship terminal
Premier Anna Bligh today turned the first sod on the $118 million upgrade of Townsville Port and new passenger terminal to be built for cruise ships to the city . The project will be delivered by the Seymour Whyte/Smithbridge Joint Venture, with both berths and the Cruise Terminal expected to be operational by mid-2013. Xstrata will invest in a new ship loader and conveyors on the refurbished berth, with the new facilities to be operational by mid-2013.(06 October 2011).
Mount Gordon miner fined $140K over contaminated water
The Queensland Government says it is planning more inspections of mine sites to ensure they comply with current environmental management regulations after the operators of the Mount Gordon mine were found breaching a court order and two environmental protection orders (03 October 2011).
Reconstruction projects out to market
The Queensland Reconstruction Authority has released a new reconstruction pipeline map to assist the construction and infrastructure sectors ‘gear up’ for work and to target their resources. The map provides a region by region overview of the pipeline of reconstruction projects and dollars (27 September 2011).
Premier welcomes $2 billion industry contracts for Victoria
In Beijing last night Premier Ted Baillieu witnessed the signing of a Declaration of Commitment as part of the signing ceremony for separate long term contracts worth more than $2 billion between purchaser Qenos and suppliers ExxonMobil Australia and BHP Billiton to supply petroleum feedstock to the Qenos Altona plant (28 September 2011).
Framework for assessing potential local and cumulative effects of mining on groundwater resources
Author: Paul Howe
National Water Commission
This report sets out a sequential process of assessment to identify the nature, scale and magnitude or risks associated with mining impacts on groundwater (07 October 2011).
BDAV become NatHERS Assessor Accrediting Organisation
The Building Designers Association of Victoria has been appointed as an Assessor Accrediting Organisation for the National Home Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) (06 October 2011).
NATSPEC BIM guide
NATSPEC has released a free BIM (Building Information Modelling) guide for the building and construction industry, available from www.natspec.com.au
Whilst the Guide is expected to remain constant for a number of years, the supplementary documents including the NATSPEC BIM Reference Schedule and NATSPEC BIM Object/Element Matrix can be updated, as required. Reference documents on BIM are available at
(04 October 2011)
Safe Work Australia: Codes of Practice out for comment
Safe Work Australia has announced the start of the public comment period for 15 draft model Codes of Practice that will accompany the new Work Health and Safety Act due to come into operation at the start of next year. Specific industries like construction, excavation and demolition work are also covered in these draft Codes of Practice. The public comment period for the draft model Codes of Practice closes on Friday 16 December 2011 (26 September 2011)
Current Draft Policies and Plans, Announcements
NSW: State significant assessment system
On 1 October 2011, a new assessment system for projects of genuine State significance will commence in New South Wales. The State significant assessment system establishes two separate assessment pathways known as State significant development (SSD) and State significant infrastructure (SSI) (30 September 2011).
QLD: Nominating a major project
If your proposed project meets the above criteria, you may nominate your project for major project status. The online nomination form is temporarily unavailable. Please complete the PDF nomination form and return via email, post or courier (04 October 2011)
Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Regulations 2011 (No. 4) SLI 2011 No. 177
Commencement: 6/10/2011 (Whole) These Regulations amend the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001 to increase the fee from $0.08 to $0.47 for the registration of small scale technology certificates created from small scale generation units under the Small Scale Renewable Energy Scheme component of the Renewable Energy Target scheme. (05 October 2011).
Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Amendment (Inventory) Act No 103 of 2011
An Act to amend the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989, and for related purposes - In making a proposal, the Director must consider whether the use of the chemical poses an unreasonable risk to occupational health and safety, public health or the environment (27 September 2011) .
Statutory Rules made
No 109: Electricity Safety Amendment (Bushfire Mitigation) Regulations 2011
Date of Making: 4/10/2011 Commencement: 13/10/2011: reg. 3
Not yet in operation: Regs 1-14: on 13/10/2011: reg. 3
Sunset Date: 04/10/2021
Shoalhaven City Council v Firedam Civil Engineering Pty Limited  HCA 38
Contract – Construction – Dispute resolution clause – Parties to contract agreed to expert determination of claims for damages for breach of contract – Expert contractually obliged to give reasons – Whether inconsistency in expert’s reasons – Whether court has power to review expert’s determination made under contract.
TQM Design & Construct Pty Ltd & Anor v Romeo & Anor  NSWDC 143
The total judgment in favour of the plaintiffs against each defendant, including pre-judgment interest, is in the sum of $159,176.88;
Building Contracts - whether plaintiffs have established entitlement to summary judgment pursuant to the provisions of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payments Act 1999
Building and Construction Industry Security of Payments Act 1999, s 5, s 7, s 11, s 13, s 14, s 15,
Hoffman v Wilson Betamix Concrete and Rickaby (Home Building)  NSWCTTT 427
Liability for concrete slab; whether supplier or concreter liable
Claim upheld in part - Application for compensation for defective concreting works – claim upheld in part - Consumer Claims Act 1998; Civil Liability Act 2002.
Fiioravanti and Brown v Icewick Pty Ltd (Home Building)  NSWCTTT 426
The application as filed sought an order for the payment of money for sums totalling $265,423.00
Whether the builder is liable to the owners for damages arising from alleged breaches of the implied warranties pursuant to s.18B of the Act and, whether there is incomplete work
Building contract - statutory warranties – breach - measure of damages.
Syntech Resources Pty Ltd v Peter Campbell Earthmoving (Aust) Pty Ltd & Ors  QSC 293
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS - where the applicant seeks a declaration that the adjudication is void – where the applicant Syntech delivered its “adjudication response”, in accordance question is not whether the spreadsheets would or might have been admissible under the procedural and evidentiary rules applicable to Supreme Court litigation; the question is whether the adjudicator in this case failed to meet the statutory conditions which were essential for a valid decision to be made – where s 26(2)(d) required the adjudicator, in the circumstances, to consider the spreadsheets because they were part of submissions duly made – whether the adjudicator committed jurisdictional error with s 24 of Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) – where a number of documents were attached to, and delivered with, Syntech‟s adjudication response, including spreadsheets that had not been included in or supplied with the payment schedule.
CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS - where the applicant seeks a declaration that the adjudication is void – where the applicant Syntech delivered its “adjudication response”, in accordance with s 24 of Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) - where a number of documents were attached to, and delivered with, Syntech’s adjudication response, including spreadsheets that had not been included in or supplied with the payment schedule – where the adjudicator’s decision to exclude those spreadsheets from his consideration was based on the fact that PCE had not previously been supplied with those spreadsheets, had not had the opportunity to challenge Syntech’s position in reliance on those spreadsheets, and had thereby been denied natural justice – where in unilaterally discarding the spreadsheets without giving the parties notice of his intention of doing so, the adjudicator did commit a substantial breach of natural justice – whether the adjudicator’s decision was infected by a substantial breach of natural justice.
Chris Edquist, Partner
T: +61 (0)3 9321 9919
Troy Lewis, Partner
T: +61 (0)7 3135 0614
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