In the media

New home sales remain strong in August

The strength in New Home Sales in recent months indicates that the boom in detached home building will continue to create strong employment opportunities into the second half of 2022 (15 September 2021). More...

Australia a ‘laggard’ as coal projects collapse worldwide The number of coal plants in early stages of development around the world has collapsed by 76 per cent since the Paris Agreement was signed with 41 countries committing not to build any new coal power stations (14 September 2021). More...

Project agency to be tested for best practice The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources’ Major Projects Facilitation Agency (MPFA) is to be reviewed. The Agency Review would assess whether the MPFA’s role, functions, governance arrangements and resourcing were aligned with Government objectives (13 September 2021). More...

Australia now faces its worst material shortage in over 40 years Pandemic-related international supply chain issues have left Australia with a debilitating downside to its earlier than anticipated economic revival: The country now faces its worst material shortage in over 40 years, with the construction sector struggling to find innovative solutions (10 September 2021). More...

Construction industry’s cultural issues cost $8 billion annually A major report into the construction industry released demonstrates urgent change is needed to address cultural issues that are costing the economy nearly $8 billion annually due to workplace injuries, mental illness, suicide, long work hours and a lack of diversity (09 September 2021). More...

Of Australia’s 32 biggest infrastructure projects, just eight had a public business case Of 32 projects larger than A$500 million Australian governments have committed to since 2016, the Grattan’s Institute’s analysis shows just eight had a business case either published, or assessed by a relevant infrastructure body at the time money was committed (07 September 2021). More...

New South Wales

Powerhouse Parramatta appoints construction partner Powerhouse Parramatta has reached a major milestone with the main works contract awarded to deliver the world-class cultural icon in the geographical heart of Sydney (17 September 2021). More...

Planning changes delivered to prohibit gas exploration in 16 LGAs The NSW Government has given effect to its Future of Gas Statement, with historic amendments to the State Environmental Planning Policy, helping deliver a 77 per cent reduction of areas available for gas exploration in NSW (17 September 2021). More...

Australia’s longest road tunnel planned through the Blue Mountains Aecom Australia has won an environmental assessment contract for Australia’s longest road tunnel, which will connect Blackheath and Little Hartley in the Blue Mountains area of New South Wales (15 September 2021). More...

Cimic lands role on A$1.18bn Warringah Freeway upgrade in Sydney Cimic Group company CPB Contractors has been selected by the government of New South Wales to deliver the A$1.18bn Warringah Freeway upgrade in a joint venture with Downer (13 September 2021). More...

New South Wales Government safeguarding against building site incidents The NSW Government is taking a proactive step towards eliminating unsafe work on ladders, roofs and scaffolds on building sites in a bid to better protect tradespeople and construction workers across the state (07 September 2021). More...

Queensland

New Queensland Government Architect appointed A leading architect who helped guide the development of public infrastructure for the 2018 Queensland Commonwealth Games has been appointed as the Queensland Government Architect (16 September 2021). More...

State’s first vanadium mine a new era for Queensland's resources sector A vanadium mine in Queensland's remote northwest will pioneer production of a globally sought-after new economy mineral, supporting up to 400 regional jobs (15 September 2021). More...

20-year Infrastructure plan to make inroads The Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning has released a detailed four-year program and a draft vision for the State’s infrastructure needs over the next two decades (14 September 2021). More...

Project grants to beat hearts of communities The DSDILGP has allocated funds to 12 not-for-profit groups to upgrade their community and job-readiness services. Projects include building new emergency refuge accommodation, upgrading community halls and creating new community hubs to support people with a disability or struggling with mental health (14 September 2021). More...

Wind farm jobs just the beginning Construction has commenced in the first Queensland Renewable Energy Zone, connecting the Kaban Green Power Hub to the electricity grid and creating 250 jobs (14 September 2021). More...

First concrete pours underway at Rookwood Weir Queensland’s largest water infrastructure project is starting to rise out of the Fitzroy River, with the first concrete pours for the foundations of the Rockwood Weir commencing overnight. This marks another major construction milestone for the $367.2 million project (10 September 2021). More...

New affordable housing project on the Gold Coast Construction has commenced on a new affordable housing project on the Gold Coast, being built in partnership with a registered not-for-profit community housing provider and the Palaszczuk Government (10 September 2021). More...

'Every second house is getting a roof': Scale of hail surprised insurers, homeowners left waiting Roofing businesses say there is still years of work in the pipeline re-roofing central Queensland homes with hail damage, even as businesses from across Australia flock to capitalise on the disaster (07 September 2021). More...

Victoria

Contract awarded for Victoria Sunbury bottleneck The Victorian Government has awarded the contract for a major construction effort to remove Sunbury’s dangerous Gap Road level crossing, as well as releasing final designs for the project (15 September 2021). More...

VBA grant program backs innovative fire safety research The Victorian Building Authority is supporting researchers at RMIT University to better understand the fire safety risks associated with the installation of solar panels on the facades of multi-storey buildings (14 September 2021). More...

Cladding compensation period extended for homeowners Victorians will be given more time to take legal action against builders responsible for installing combustible cladding on apartment buildings with new legislation being introduced to the Victorian Parliament (14 September 2021). More...

Victoria green lights construction of Australia's biggest build-to-rent project Victoria has granted approval for the construction of Australia's biggest build-to-rent project soon to rise in Melbourne’s South Yarra. The project will see the development of 625 units and 2,400 square metres of retail and commercial office spaces (13 September 2021). More...

VBA grant to support fire safety system defect research The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) is supporting research by Deakin University to better understand the extent of defects in passive fire safety systems in apartment buildings. This important study is funded through the state building regulator’s inaugural research grant program (10 September 2021). More...

Practice and courts

ABCB: Inspection and certification of fire safety systems The final consultation in response to the Building Confidence Report (BCR) is now open. Recommendation 19 of the BCR is that each jurisdiction requires registered fire safety practitioners to design, install and certify the fire safety systems necessary in commercial buildings. Responses to questions in the discussion paper are invited until 26 September. More...

ABCB: National Construction Code 2022 public comment draft (stage 2) The National Construction Code is updated every 3 years, based on industry research, public feedback and policy directions from governments to the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) between publishing cycles. The ABCB is now seeking comment on proposed amendments to energy efficiency and condensation technical provisions, via this second and final stage of public consultation, which closes 17 October 2021. More...

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.

New South Wales

Guide for design practitioners and engineers Consult Australia, Engineers Australia and the Australian Institute of Architects have joined forces to develop the Guide for design practitioners and engineers to help their members tackle the recent NSW Building Confidence reforms. There are multiple new obligations on design practitioners, engineers and building practitioners throughout the life of a building under the NSW Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 and the Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2021.

Renewable energy and regional cities Notification start-end date 13/09/2021 – 11/10/2021. The Infrastructure SEPP sets out the planning rules and controls for infrastructure in NSW. As part of these ongoing improvements, the NSW Government has proposed changes to the rules for where renewable energy projects can be built. More...

Infrastructure grants program opens To be eligible for funding, applications must meet eligibility conditions including, the project location, the applicant and project benefit, purpose and development status. There is also a requirement for local government applicants to match funding. Applications are open from November 2021: Monday 1 November to Monday 22 November 2021. More...

Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebates (EWIR) 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...

Conflicts of interest – savings and transitional arrangements Clause 71 of the Regulation introduces savings provisions for certain conflict of interest situations where the certifier was appointed before 1 July 2020 and the work will be completed before 1 July 2022. The provisions relate to council-certified developments and to developments where the certifier gave advice on how to comply with the BCA deemed to satisfy provisions. For all the changes, access the Amendment Regulation here.

Queensland

Reminder: Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 To advise that the commencement of section 125A of the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 has been postponed. As a result of the regulation, section 125A will not commence until late July 2022. More...

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: Reminder that building permit documents are to be provided by the applicant The VBA would like to remind the building industry that it is the responsibility of the building permit applicant to provide the necessary information to demonstrate that building work will comply with the Building Act 1993 and Building Regulations 2018 (16 September 2021). More...

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: 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

Joye Group Pty Ltd v Cemco Projects Pty Ltd [2021] NSWCA 211BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – progress payment claim – payment schedule – email refusing payment until work completed – failure to say why payment withheld – other documents not incorporated – use of contextual material – Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW), s 14.