In the media

EA: Formal response to draft building reform legislation The NSW Government should make a definitive commitment to introduce compulsory registration of all engineers when it introduces building reform legislation to Parliament next week. This is the principal recommendation in Engineers Australia’s formal response to the draft “Design and Practitioners Bill 2019”, which has just been submitted to the Government (18 October 2019). More...

Why we need to improve on our cities’ dysfunctional buildings Architect and broadcaster Peter Maddison calls out the “nonsense” of 6 Star Energy Rated homes with solar panels if the design is all wrong (17 October 2019). More...

Housing shortfall will kick-start price growth: RBA The residential construction downturn is larger than the Reserve Bank expected, and with building approvals 40 per cent lower than their 2017 peak, a shortfall in housing supply looks “quite likely” (17 October 2019). More...

Housing downturn will be a larger-than-expected drag on economy, RBA warns Not only is the property downturn hitting household consumption, it's also a big drag on economic growth and likely to last for another year, the RBA's deputy governor warns (17 October 2019). More...

Construction needs to avoid social value smokescreens Social value can be up to 15 per cent of non-price assessments in construction tenders, but are the metrics genuine. If not, it’s a huge missed opportunity for this sector with so many multiplier effects in the economy. (17 October 2019). More...

Absolutely devastating': Mascot Towers cracks getting bigger, report finds The latest update on the troubled Sydney apartment block finds existing cracks in the building have widened and new cracking has appeared, as owners continue to argue that they cannot afford repairs (16 October 2019). More...

Pressure growing on governments for cladding action Pressure is growing on state governments to help fund building defect rectification as problems such as the Mascot Towers evacuation in Sydney add urgency to the issue, a Sedgwick executive says (14 October 2019). More...

HIA supports next steps for First Home Loan Deposit Scheme Graham Wolfe, HIA Managing Director said the Bill’s passage means that the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) will be able to offer the deposit guarantees that underpin the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (14 October 2019). More...

BDAV: Building designer insurance update The Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017 showed that there is a real risk with buildings that are clad with flammable panels. Building Designers need to ensure they remain vigilant when selecting their partners in the building profession. Working with experienced and knowledgeable people as well as staying up to date with information from their Association, will ensure that their exposure is reduced )(09 October 2019). More...

MBA: First home buyers near 8-year high as housing recovery strengthens again “The First Home Buyer share of the home loan market has increased to its highest since early 2012 while investor lending has risen for the second consecutive month,” Master Builders Australia’s Chief Economist Shane Garrett said (10 October 2019). More...

MBA: Building work endures further contraction Building activity shrank by 5.5% during the June 2019 quarter to record its weakest result in two years (09 October 2019). More...

Company cops fine after asbestos crash spill Building firm Mega Works Constructions has to pay $1,500 – for not using the waste location tracking system for the transport of asbestos – after the incident that occurred in September this year (15 October 2019). More...

Australian Bureau of Statistics 09/10/2019 Building Activity, Australia, Jun 2019 (cat no. 8752.0) 09/10/2019 Construction Activity: Chain Volume Measures, Australia, Jun 2019 (cat no. 8782.0.65.001)

In practice and courts

BDAV Alert: Building and Construction industry warned: Beware of non-conforming soffit insulation Building practitioners and contractors are reminded to be on the alert for non-conforming soffit insulation as some importers and merchants try to liquidate obsolete stock (03 October 2019). More...

ABCB have launched our new YouTube channel Have access to all our videos from one central location (09 October 2019). More...

NCC 2019 Amendment 1 consultation period closing soon Consultation is closing for the out-of-cycle amendment of NCC 2019 (09 October 2019). More...

ABCB: NCC 2019 will be amended out-of-cycle The ABCB is undertaking an out-of-cycle amendment for the 2019 edition of the National Construction Code. It will be known as NCC 2019 Amendment 1. The amendment is intended to introduce enhanced fire safety measures for early childhood centres in high-rise buildings and address recommendations identified in the Shergold Weir Building Confidence Report. Consultation closes on 10 October 2019. More...

Draft Regulations for Building Certifiers The NSW Government is seeking feedback on a draft regulation for building and development certifiers. The proposed Building and Development Certifiers Regulation 2019 is open for comment until 28 October 2019. A new Building and Development Certifiers Regulation 2019 must be introduced in order to bring the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018 into force. For more information and to view the documents go to the More....

Draft Legislation for Design and Building Practitioners The NSW Government is seeking feedback on new draft legislation governing the design, building and construction sectors. The Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2019 has been released as part of the government’s response to recommendations in the Building Confidence Report (by Professor Peter Shergold and Bronwyn Weir). A regulation will be developed in 2020 to support the bill. Submissions close 16 October 2019. More...

Note: The reforms in the act and the supporting regulation will apply to certain categories of designs and to multi-unit and multi-storey residential apartment buildings (as set out in the regulation).

NSW Fair Trading: Security of Payment laws start soon The Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Amendment Act 2018 (the Amendment Act) and the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Amendment Regulation 2019 (the amending Regulation) will commence on 21 October 2019. More...

NSW Fair Trading: Part 6 of the EP&A Act postponed until 1 December 2019 The Part 6 provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act have been postponed and will now start on 1 December 2019. This delay will allow time for the sector to adjust to the regulatory changes that have been progressing around fire safety and the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018. More...

Planning Circular – Commencement of Part 6 (building and subdivision certification provisions) FAQ – Occupation certificate FAQ – New mandatory compliance powers for private principal certifiers FAQ – New subdivision works certificate Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 If you have any queries, please contact the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment via legislativeupdates@planning.nsw.gov.au. More...

Safework NSW: Have your say on the NSW draft formwork code of practice The NSW Government is seeking feedback on a draft formwork code of practice, which aims to provide practical guidance for workers and businesses when working with formwork and falsework. For more information and to submit feedback visit open consultations on the SafeWork website or view the consultation the NSW Government's Have Your Say. Submissions close on 30 September 2019

Cases

Blue Haven Pools South Pty Ltd v Maloney [2019] NSWCATAP 259 APPEAL – whether permitted to raise new issue on appeal CONTRACT – construction of contract – whether capricious, unreasonable, inconvenient or unjust CONTRACT – repudiation – whether retracted by conduct

Collins and Turner Pty Ltd v Landini & Landini [2018] NSWLC 22 CONTRACTS – whether works were residential building work or supply of related services in relation to construction work - terms of contract – applicable legislation CIVIL PROCEDURE – pleadings – striking out

Edwards v Commissioner for Fair Trading, Department of Customer Service (Costs) [2019] NSWCATAP 249 COSTS – costs of the appeal – whether special circumstances – failure by respondent to provide relevant documents to tribunal at first instance – injustice caused to the appellant

Mann v Paterson Constructions Pty Ltd [2019] HCA 32 Appeal allowed with costs. Restitution – Unjust enrichment – Work and labour done – Where land owners and builder entered into contract to which Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (Vic) applied – Where contract provided for progress payments at completion of stages – Where owners requested, and builder carried out, variations to plans and specifications in contract without giving written notice as required by s 38 of Act – Where owners repudiated contract after builder raised invoice claiming for variations – Where contract terminated by builder's acceptance of owners' repudiation – Whether s 38 of Act applied to limit amount recoverable by builder for variations – Whether builder entitled to recover in restitution as alternative to claim in damages for breach of contract – Whether contract price operated as ceiling on amount recoverable by way of restitution.

Words and phrases – "accrued rights", "alternative restitutionary remedy", "common counts", "completed stage", "contract price ceiling", "contractual incentives", "domestic building contract", "failure of basis", "failure of consideration", "limit on recovery", "measure of restitution", "notice", "primary and secondary obligations", "principle of legality", "protective provisions", "qualifying or vitiating factor", "quantum meruit", "quasi-contractual obligation", "repudiation", "restitution", "subjective devaluation", "unjust enrichment", "variations", "work and labour done". Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (Vic), ss 1, 3, 4, 16, 27, 38, 39, 53, 132.

Natural Solar Pty Ltd v Lowe [2019] NSWCATAP 252 CONSUMER LAW – whether decision fair and equitable or against the weight of the evidence – new evidence reasonably available at time of hearing – no appellable error shown. Appeal from an order of the Tribunal in the Consumer and Commercial Division requiring the appellant to refund the purchase price of a solar system that it supplied to the respondent and which it installed on the roof of the respondent’s home in Sydney