In the media

Immediate financial support for bushfire affected communities The Australian Government will provide an initial and immediate base payment of $1 million to 42 of the most severely bushfire impacted councils in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland to help quickly rebuild vital infrastructure and strengthen community resilience (09 January 2020). More...

Walkerston Bypass gets priority nod from Infrastructure Australia Infrastructure Australia has announced, the Queensland Government’s Peak Downs Highway Realignment Project (Walkerston Bypass) will be added to the Infrastructure Priority List (08 January 2020). More...

RICS: ICMS 2 will impact life-cycle cost analysis for constructed assets The second edition of the International Construction Measurement Standards will have a significant impact on life-cycle cost analysis for constructed assets (03 January 2020). More...

PIA endorse national position statement planning in a changing climate The Planning Institute of Australia commitment sees PIA adopt a target of net zero embodied carbon in all new buildings and net zero operational carbon in all buildings, including existing buildings, by 2050 (18 December 2019). More...

Leading a new benchmark for building sustainability New standards to drive the next wave of sustainability in buildings have been unveiled for public consultation as part of an evolution of the world-leading Green Star rating system (17 December 2019). More...

The need for a construction supply chain council What we also know is that this boom is like no other because it is projected to continue well past the next decade. But one question that industry is asking itself is whether the industry’s supply chain has the capacity to provide all of the essential materials, products, and systems when the construction contractors need them (17 December 2019). More...

MBA: Solid lending figures indicate brightening housing outlook for 2020 The number of owner occupier loans relating to new homes reached a 14-month high during October (17 December 2019). More...

Calls for national reinsurance scheme fall on deaf ears The Building Ministers’ Forum concluded with an agreement to follow up on the professional indemnity insurance crisis but did not take up the Victorian Government’s call for a national reinsurance scheme (16 December 2019). More...

NSW

$1 billion to rebuild bushfire impacted communities in NSW The NSW Government will provide $1 billion over the next two years to rebuild communities affected by the bushfires. The additional funding will prioritise the repair and rebuilding of vital infrastructure, such as roads, rail-lines, bridges, schools, health facilities and communications facilities, which have been damaged or destroyed by bushfires (09 January 2020). More...

Young Mining prosecution launched The NSW Resources Regulator is alleging that Young Mining failed to comply with a condition of its mining authorisation in relation to the payment of rehabilitation security and failed to comply with a statutory notice issued under the Act (07 January 2020). More...

Yarraville residents above tunnel project take legal action over 'losses' Almost 60 Yarraville residents and landowners who will have a tunnel dug beneath their properties for a new toll road are claiming compensation totalling $4 million from the Andrews government (23 December 2019). More...

Busting congestion on NSW Central Coast A congestion-busting $70 million agreement landed between the Morrison Government and the Central Coast Council will mean 29 Urban Congestion Fund projects will soon be underway across the region (20 December 2019). More...

Contract awarded for Sydney football stadium The NSW Government has awarded a $735 million contract to John Holland for delivery of the new Sydney Football Stadium, which will be complete in time for the 2022 NRL Grand Final. More...

First metro tunnel under Sydney Harbour is completed The first metro railway tunnel to be built deep under Sydney Harbour has been completed in an historic milestone for Sydney’s public transport (11 December 2019). More...

Queensland

Works underway for multimillion-dollar Tully multi-use sporting complex The $7.1 million Tully Multi-Use Sporting Complex project is taking shape, with construction having kicked off for the project’s 600-capacity grandstand (08 January 2020). More...

Gold Coast council bows to public pressure and reduces future building heights in Palm Beach Jefferson Lane residents celebrate a victory after the Gold Coast council bows to public pressure and reduces Palm Beach building heights (13 December 2019). More...

Funds flow for Urannah Dam proposal The 1.6 million megalitre dam proposal will now undergo a detailed business case and environmental impact statement. The $10 million in National Water Infrastructure Development Funds will go to Bowen Collinsville Enterprise for their assessment of the project (13 December 2019). More...

Victoria

Docklands' Central Pier shut indefinitely over safety fears as businesses plan to sue Development Victoria confirms it will not reopen the 100-year-old structure, which was suddenly shut in late August due to public safety concerns, as businesses say they will sue for negligence (03 January 2020). More...

The timing's awful': Building supplier folds just before Christmas, leaving hundreds without jobs A Melbourne-based business group which employs workers across Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide goes into administration, leaving 400 people without jobs a week out from Christmas (17 December 2019). More...

Practice and courts

Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) draft credits GBCA have introduced eight categories to more accessibly define a building’s sustainability. Within these categories there are a number of draft credits that all buildings seeking a Green Star rating are expected to comply with: these are proposed as new Minimum Expectations for every Green Star rated building. Feedback is invited until the end of February 2020. Visit here for more information

Queensland

QBCC: Safer Buildings program enters final stage The QBCC is administering the three-part Safer Buildings program to understand the extent of combustible cladding use in Queensland’s private buildings. The Safer Buildings program has advanced considerably with Part 3 of the combustible cladding checklist now underway. The deadline for building owners to finalise the Part 3 assessment is 3 May 2021. For more information on the Safer Buildings program, visit here.

MBA Qld: Additional annual reporting for Category 4-7 contractors The QBCC recently communicated with all Category 4 – 7 licence holders requesting an additional annual financial report. The additional report you submit must be based on FY18/19 financial data. Submission dates have closed. More...

HPW: Building and Plumbing Newsflashes No 562: Building Industry Reforms (Stage 2) - commenced 17 December 2018 To advise that the next stage of security of payment reforms in relation to progress payments, adjudication and subcontractors’ charges (chapters 3 to5) and new retention requirements (section 278) commenced on 17 December 2018 (17 December 2019). More...

Cases

NSW

Canterbury-Bankstown Council v Payce Communities Pty Limited [2019] NSWSC 1803BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) – adjudication determination – whether to set aside determination – whether determination void – whether relevant payment claim related to more than one construction contract – whether legislation does not apply by virtue of exclusion in section 7(2)(c) of legislation – whether legislation does not apply to relevant contracts because consideration payable was to be calculated otherwise than with reference to the value of the relevant work – whether denial of natural justice because adjudicator determined application on basis advanced by neither party – whether failure to give adequate reasons – whether any requirement that reasons be adequate – requirements of section 22(3) of legislation considered.

Penrith City Council v Dincel Construction System Pty Limited and Gaonor Pty Limited (OSSM case) [2019] NSWLEC 198CIVIL ENFORCEMENT – unlawful installation and construction of an On-Site Sewage Management System in contravention of conditions of an approval granted under the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) – unlawful continual operation of On-Site Sewage Management System in contravention of conditions of an approval granted under the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) – whether appropriate to grant declaratory and consequential injunctive relief by consent – relief granted

Queensland

State Gas Limited v Dome Petroleum Resources PLC [2019] QCA 307APPEAL AND NEW TRIAL – PROCEDURE – QUEENSLAND – OTHER MATTERS – STRIKE OUT – where the applicant (the respondent to the appeal) applied to have the appeal proceedings struck out on the basis that there was no arguable error on the part of the primary judge, and that to require the applicant to meet the appeal would be oppressive – where the applicant and the respondent (the appellant in the appeal) entered into a Joint Operating Agreement to explore for, develop, produce and dispose of petroleum in an area covered by a petroleum lease – where the respondent’s Participating Interest in the joint venture fell below 20 per cent and became mandatorily purchasable by the applicant under the Joint Operating Agreement – where the applicant sought to enforce the purchase of the respondent’s remaining Participating Interest – where, at trial, the primary judge declared, inter alia, that the Joint Operating Agreement was valid and enforceable and that the applicant purchased the respondent’s Participating Interest under it – where the primary judge ordered that the respondent specifically perform the Joint Operating Agreement to effect a transfer to the applicant of its Participating Interest – where the respondent appealed that decision – whether the appeal proceedings should be struck out.

McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust) Pty Ltd v Cardno (Qld) Pty Ltd & Anor [2019] QSC 320PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – CASE MANAGEMENT – GENERALLY – TRIAL – MODE OF TRIAL – ASSESSOR, SPECIAL REFEREE ETC – SEPARATE DECISION OR DETERMINATION OF QUESTIONS AND CONSOLIDATION OF PROCEEDINGS – SEPARATE DECISION OR DETERMINATION – where the plaintiff has brought claims in excess of $300 million against the first and second defendants in relation to work each undertook on the design of elements of the Gold Coast Light Rail project, which the plaintiff alleges it relied upon prior to submitting its bid to design and construct the project – where the proceeding is of considerable scope, complexity and importance to the parties – where the plaintiff applies to refer some questions of fact to a referee – where the application is opposed by the defendants – whether a referral would assist in achieving the just and expeditious resolution of the real issues in the proceeding at a minimum expense -Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 Qld r 5, r 367, r 501, r 502, r 503, r 504, r 505, r 505A, r 505B, r 505C, r 505D

Queensland Building and Construction Commission & Ors v Ezra Constructions Pty Ltd & Ors [2019] QCA 304STATUTES – ACTS OF PARLIAMENT – INTERPRETATION – INTERPRETATION ACTS AND PROVISIONS – PRESERVATION OF RIGHTS, LIABILITIES AND LEGAL PROCEEDINGS ON AMENDMENT, REPEAL, LAPSING ETC OF ACT OR PROVISION – ACCRUED RIGHT, PRIVILEGES AND LIABILITIES – where the third respondent was a director of the second respondent and an influential person of the first respondent – where each respondent held a building licence under the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act – where the third respondent was a director of another company, which did not perform building work and was placed into voluntary administration in 2014 – where that event made the third respondent an excluded person under the Act and therefore made each respondent’s licence susceptible to cancellation by the appellant commission – where the commission issued notices to the respondents in 2018, beginning the process by which the respondents’ licences could be cancelled – where amendments made to the relevant act in 2015, if they applied, would not have categorised the third respondent as an excluded person, thereby immunising the respondents’ licences against susceptibility to cancellation – where those amendments also repealed the right of a person to apply to be categorised as a permitted person, which could have been a process by which the respondents avoided the risk of licence cancellation – where the amending act contained transitional provision relating to rights and liabilities accrued under the Act prior to its amendment – whether the third respondent’s status as an excluded person was preserved – whether the third respondent’s purportedly accrued right to apply for categorisation as a permitted person was preserved – whether the notices under the Act were validly issued Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 Qld s 56AC, s 56AD, s 56AF, s 56AG; Queensland Building and Construction Commission and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014 Qld s 57, s 58, s 59

Associated Equipment Pty Ltd v Evolution Piling Pty Ltd (in liq) & Ors [2019] QDC 249CONTRACTS – GENERAL CONTRACTUAL PRINCIPLES – where the third defendant caused his company to enter into a written hire agreement for equipment – where the third defendant undertook to guarantee performance – where the hirer ceased to pay the hire rates – where the plaintiff sues the third defendant on the guarantee for unpaid hire payments – whether the plaintiff had title to the equipment hired at the time of the hire agreement – whether any obligation to pay the hire rates arose – whether the hire agreement was a sham.

TRADE AND COMMERCE – COMPETITION, FAIR TRADING AND CONSUMER PROTECTION LEGISLATION – CONSUMER PROTECTION – MISLEADING OR DECEPTIVE CONDUCT – where the third defendant issued a signed tax invoice on behalf of his company disclosing a taxable supply of certain equipment to a third party – where the third defendant’s company never had title to the some of the equipment and where title did not pass to the third party for the remaining equipment – where the third defendant knew that the tax invoice was being used by the third party to obtain funds from the plaintiff as lender or buyer – whether issuing the tax invoice was misleading or deceptive conduct by impliedly representing that title to the equipment had passed to the third party – whether the plaintiff relied upon the tax invoice in purchasing the equipment from the third party – whether the plaintiff suffered loss or damage as a result of reliance upon the tax invoice. Australian Consumer Law 2011 Cth s 18, s 236; Sale of Goods Act 1896 Qld s 20, s 21

Groupline Constructions Pty Ltdv Queensland Building and Construction Commission & Anor [ 2019] QSC 311ORDER: I will hear the parties as to the form of orders and costs. Applicant open builder’s licence with the first respondent, Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC). The sole director of the applicant is David Scott Widdicombe. Pursuant to this contract, the applicant is required to complete the works by 12 June 2020, failing which it is required to pay liquidated damages. Compliance of that building work with the National Construction Code, the Building Code of Australia and other relevant standards, legislation and regulations. Complaints from the Kirra Vista Body Corporate regarding damage to the building as a result of the applicant’s activities

Civmec Electrical & Instrumental Pty Ltd v Southern Cross Electrical Engineering Limited & Ors [2019] QSC 300CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – REMUNERATION – STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OF PROGRESS PAYMENTS – ADJUDICATION OF PAYMENT CLAIMS – where the applicant challenges the adjudicator’s decision for jurisdictional error – where the adjudicator did not have regard to submissions made by the applicant in the adjudication response which he decided were outside the reasons given in the payment schedule – whether it was within the adjudicator’s jurisdiction to decide whether the submissions were properly made CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – REMUNERATION – STATUTORY REGULATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO AND RECOVERY OF PROGRESS PAYMENTS – ADJUDICATION OF PAYMENT CLAIMS – where the applicant challenges the adjudicator’s decision for jurisdictional error – whether the adjudicator should have considered the pre-adjudication correspondence between the parties to give context to the reasons in the payment schedule for withholding payment Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 Qld s 76, s 82, s 85, s 86, s 88, s 101

Legislation

Queensland

Queensland Building and Construction Commission and Other Legislation Amendment Regulation 2019 (Qld)13/12/2019 - This Regulation is made under the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 and Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017. The objective of the Regulation is to correct minor errors and omissions that have been identified in the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Regulation 2018 and the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Regulation 2018. More...