In the media

Sentinel’s Build to Rent is Australia’s first carbon neutral certified apartment building A Build to Rent project in Subiaco, Western Australia has become the first Carbon Neutral Certified apartment building in Australia under the Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard for Buildings (21 July 2021). More...

Building resilient telecommunications infrastructure Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, and Optus have released findings of a joint nationwide project to improve bushfire resilience of critical telecommunications. The research analysed where there is risk of damage to the network and where upgrades could reduce vulnerability to future bushfire events (21 July 2021). More...

QLD-NSW Interconnector upgrade reaches milestone TransGrid’s QLD-NSW Interconnector upgrade is 80 per cent complete and has moved from the civil construction stage to the electrical stage – once complete the interconnector will ensure reliable and low cost energy sharing (20 July 2021). More...

Infrastructure Australia launches enhanced Assessment Framework for major infrastructure proposals Infrastructure Australia has published new guidelines for the development and assessment of major infrastructure proposals. These provide clear and concise instructions on how to develop strong business cases and aims to streamline approval processes (16 July 2021). More...

Industry leaders sign on to open letter calling for urgent industry reform Key industry groups involved in delivering the majority of the Australian Government’s record $110 billion investment in infrastructure projects are calling for urgent reforms to address the industry crisis. Australian Constructors Association Chief Executive Officer Jon Davies said government procurement processes are a major contributor to the crisis (16 July 2021). More...

Security of payment research report – our impact EY Sweeney was commissioned to conduct an independent review into the ABCC’s SoP activities. The report, which is available on the ABCC website, found the ABCC’s education activities and materials were having a noticeable, positive impact on stakeholder behaviours – with more head contractors self-reporting SoP matters to the ABCC (13 July 2021). More...

Funding boost for road safety innovation Forty projects aimed at reducing road fatalities will benefit from a share of $10 million over the next three years under Round 2 of the Australian Government’s Road Safety Innovation Fund (09 July 2021). More...

New South Wales

Watchdog orders more defects to be fixed in Sydney’s Opal Tower The orders were issued after inspectors found incorrectly fitted shades on the tower’s facade and fire-safety problems (23 July 2021). More...

Moving towards reopening of Sydney construction sites The Australian Constructors Association welcomes advice that Sydney construction sites are confirmed to reopen on 31 July 2021 (20 July 2021). More...

Acciona JV wins $2bn Metro West project Construction will start on the 11-kilometre twin metro rail tunnels between Sydney Olympic Park and The Bays after the Acciona joint venture secured the $2 billion contract (16 July 2021). More...

Crown's prized $2.2bn Sydney tower is leaking water less than a year after being built The 271 metre tower became the tallest in Sydney when it opened in December but work is now underway to fix an issue in its basement (13 July 2021). More...

New South Wales Government’s $100 million stimulus spend supported 150 projects Over 150 road and rail projects have been funded by the NSW Government’s $100 million stimulus spend on roads and maintenance – as part of the $2.3 billion COVID-19 package announced in March 2020 (13 July 2021). More...

Queensland

Exit plan to bust M1 congestion Work on a major upgrade of the M1 Exit 41 at Yatala South has started, while residents also get their first look at proposed plans for a redesigned Exit 49 at Pimpama (15 July 2021). More...

First glimpse at Gold Coast light rail designs beyond Burleigh The Queensland Government has published a detailed animation giving a first look at a potential future light rail route beyond Burleigh as community consultation begins. The Queensland Premier said major transport infrastructure projects like the light rail were an important part of the state’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan (14 July 2021). More...

Queensland resources communities to get $100 million Infrastructure boost Queensland’s resource communities can apply for funding for infrastructure projects that will benefit the community and the regional workers and their families that live in those communities (13 July 2021). More...

Victoria

Construction sector urged to watch out for email scams The VBA is warning builders and plumbers about a growing trend of cybercriminals targeting construction companies and their customers via business email compromise scams (21 July 2021). More...

Drainage inspections yield record penalties and infringement notices Plumbing practitioners have been fined a record amount during the past year for failing to provide drainage inspections. The VBA issued 257 infringement notices, a total of $127,472 during the 2020-21 financial year (20 July 2021). More...

Bye bye boom gates: Elevated rail to remove level crossings New station locations have been revealed and a single-structure elevated rail solution along key sections of the track has been announced as the preferred option to remove five level crossings along the Armadale Line throughout Victoria (19 July 2021). More...

Construction tenders out for 10 new Government schools Tenders for construction have been put out as part of a $491.6 million investment to build 10 of the 13 new schools, contributing to the Labor Government’s promise to opening 100 new schools across the state by 2026 (15 July 2021). More...

Connecting Victorian jobseekers with big build projects The Andrews Labor Government is making it easier for Victorians to find work on some of the state’s biggest infrastructure projects, with the launch of the new North East Link Skills and Jobs Centre (13 July 2021). More...

Practice and courts

ABCB: The process for developing Performance Solutions A2.2(4) is now in effect What this means is that the NCC provisions for developing Performance Solutions is now legislated under the NCC Governing Requirements, and must be used by all practitioners when developing Performance Solutions. Below are the available resources for this process (19 July 2021). The Handbook: Performance Solution Process Case Study: Accessible Entrance

ABCB: A step by step guide to preparing for NCC Provision A2.2(4) One helpful blueprint for this reform has been the Shergold-Weir Building Confidence report commissioned by the Building Ministers Forum. Two of the recommendations (14 and 15) were centred around the documentation and approval of Performance Solutions, and as a fire engineer, these were of particular interest (15 July 2021).

Adoption of NCC 2022 to be delayed The delayed adoption will also see adjustments to key dates in the amendment cycle process for NCC 2022 to allow stakeholders time to participate. These adjusted dates include: May – July 2021: NCC 2022 Public Comment Draft released for public consultation May 2022: NCC 2022 Preview published at ncc.abcb.gov.au If you have any questions regarding the delayed adoption of NCC 2022, please submit an online enquiry.

Assessment Framework 2021 for major infrastructure proposals Released, the 2021 Assessment Framework is a contemporary approach to guide infrastructure decision-making in Australia. It provides clear and concise instructions on how to develop strong business cases and aims to streamline approval processes. The 2021 edition represents a comprehensive enhancement of its content and structure, which responds to input from stakeholders and Infrastructure Australia’s own research and experience (16 July 2021).

New South Wales

Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebates Round 2 live on 1 July 2021 Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall welcomed the early kick-off for payments with expressions of interest for Round 2 already live on the Rural Assistance Authority’s website. Round 2 opens on 1 July 2021. The Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate scheme is jointly funded by the Australian and NSW Governments, administered by the Rural Assistance Authority.

Have your say on changes to how building design and construction is regulated in New South Wales The development of supporting regulations is the next step on delivering on this piece of the Government’s building reform agenda, with the scheme commencing on 1 July 2021. In response to your feedback, we've drafted a report that explains the changes that were made to the draft Regulation. More...

New mandatory standards for building rectification The standard will be reviewed and updated prior to the 1 July 2021 commencement of the Government’s game changing building reform agenda underpinned by the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020. The first Practice Standard will initially apply to certifiers working on residential apartment buildings, where the majority of problems and complaints have been received. The Practice Standard for registered certifiers is available on the Fair Trading NSW website.

Queensland

Building and plumbing newsflashes No 587: Postponing the repeal of head contractor licensing exemptionTo advise that the commencement of section 125A of the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 has been postponed. The repeal was due to take effect on 24 July 2021 (09 July 2021). More...

Accelerated Builder/Consumer Dispute goes live The Queensland Government has launched the Accelerated Builder/Consumer Dispute which can be used by individuals and builders, who have been unable to reach resolution on pricing through other channels. Our members who are QBCC members, affected by supply or trade shortages and have entered into a residential contract over $150,000, are eligible to use this framework to resolve disputes with their customers. Read Minister de Brenni’s media statement here. To view more information on how to use this service, please click here.

QBCC reminder: Extension to PI insurance cladding exemption The Building (Professional Indemnity Insurance) Amendment Regulation 2020 commenced on 18 September 2020, giving effect to the extension of the external cladding exclusion. Now, certifiers can continue to obtain a licence to operate with PI insurance containing exclusions in relation to non-compliant external cladding until 30 June 2022. More...

Build-to-Rent update - approved projects The Queensland Government has approved two Brisbane-based affordable housing projects by developers following a Request for Detailed Proposals from shortlisted applicants from the Expression of Interest Phase of the Pilot Project. It is anticipated construction will commence mid-2021 following the finalisation of designs for the projects, with operations expected to commence in 2023. More...

Victoria

VBA: Revised AS/NZS plumbing standards – transition period The VBA has applied a transition period for plumbers to familiarise themselves with revised AS/NZS standards, before they need to be applied to plumbing practices on 1 September 2022. More...

VBA: Fire protection equipment servicing registration/licensing deadline extended Anyone working on the routine servicing of fire protection equipment must be registered or licensed with the VBA. After 31 July 2021, unregistered or unlicensed practitioners carrying out this work will be subject to VBA enforcement action. Due to COVID-19, the date for registration/licensing was extended from 31 December 2020 to 31 July 2021. More...

VBA: Carpenters selected for first stage of trades registration Carpenters will be the first group of trades registered under Victoria’s recently developed trades registration framework. Provisional registration and licensing for carpenters is expected to commence in mid-2021. For more information and answers to frequently asked questions, refer to the Engage Victoria website.

Cases

New South Wales

Cohen v Double Bay Bowling Club (No 2) [2021] NSWSC 872BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – statutory duty under s 177 not to do something that removes support from supporting land to supported land – allegation that vibrations from work on supporting land caused removal of support by supporting land to supported land – where proposed Technology and Construction List Statement did not allege facts that if proved would show how vibrations removed such support – where the only geotechnical evidence adduced by plaintiffs was to effect that the vibrations themselves have caused damage to supported land - where plaintiffs also alleged that breach of statutory duty constituted by failure of owner of supporting land to contract with its builder to prevent builder using vibratory equipment CIVIL PROCEDURE – amendment – Technology and Construction List Statement – claim for breach of the statutory duty in s 177 of the Conveyancing Act 1919 – where earlier application to amend List Statement refused – where proceedings on foot for two years – whether proposed List Statement alleged facts that if proved could amount to a breach of such statutory duty.