In the media

Scott Morrison rolls out $2bn high speed rail proposal Prime Minister Scott Morrison has thrown federal support behind two major fast rail proposals, committing $40 million in funding for five new business cases as part of its wider plan to connect Australia’s capitals to regional centres (22 March 2019). More...

Why developers are delaying or abandoning half the apartments they planned to build The oversupply of apartments is starting to bite, with 40,000 jobs lost and abandoned projects piling up. But it's likely to get worse before it gets better (21 March 2019). More...

A plan for Australia's future population The Government’s population policy includes investing $75 billion in road, rail and air infrastructure across the country and more in congestion-busting infrastructure through the $1 billion Urban Congestion Fund (20 March 2019). More...

Two building companies collapse amid national housing downturn Two South Australian building companies have collapsed, and another is facing court action, as pressure from the national housing downturn continues (13 March 2019). More...

New South Wales

New South Wales Premier stands by stadium rebuild cost New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian denies Allianz Stadium could have been upgraded to meet safety standards for a mere $18 million - a fraction of the $730 million price tag for knocking it down and rebuilding it (21 March 2019). More...

Sydney launches challenge to diversify housing The City of Sydney has launched a challenge to develop innovative new ways to make Sydney’s housing more diverse and affordable. By encouraging new ways of thinking about housing across financing, management and design, the Alternative Housing Ideas Challenge aims to identify and develop new models to increase affordable housing supply (19 March 2019). More...

Queensland

Townsville’s new stadium on track for 2020 Townsville’s new $290 million North Queensland Stadium will be ready for the start of the 2020 NRL Premiership Season despite unprecedented flooding earlier this year (21 March 2019). More...

Jobs numbers to rise as Brisbane’s largest excavation goes deeper Nearly one year on and Brisbane’s largest excavation - the $3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf Brisbane integrated resort site - has rapidly changed with more than 300,000 cubic metres of rubble already removed (18 March 2019). More...

Victoria

Multiplex completes final Tower at iconic Collins Square Premier global construction company, Multiplex, has reached completion on the fifth and final commercial office tower at Walker Corporation’s landmark $2.5 billion Collins Square development located at 727 Collins Street in Melbourne’s CBD (15 March 2019). More...

City of Melbourne launches Climate Change Mitigation Strategy ASEBC welcomes the City of Melbourne’s Climate Change Mitigation Strategy, which recognises the significant capacity of the built environment to contribute to emissions reductions. City of Melbourne has identified priority actions for achieving its emissions reduction targets that include zero emissions buildings and precincts and zero emissions transport (11 March 2019). More...

Published - articles, papers, reports

Planning for Australia’s future populationGovernment of Australia: 20 March 2019 This strategy document considers population growth and regional development in Australia. Better population planning will help overcome capacity constraints and congestion pressures in Australia’s biggest cities. This will be a key focus of the government going forward with major investment in infrastructure right across Australia.

Australia’s great urban experimentDiana Bagnall; Inside Story, 14 March 2019 When is an airport not just an airport? Western Sydneysiders are in the process of finding out.

Australian Bureau of Statistics Industrial Disputes, Australia, Dec 2018 (cat no. 6321.0.55.001).

In practice and courts

ABCC: Upcoming labour market testing audits The ABCC will soon be conducting a labour market testing audit campaign for employers covered by the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 (Code) (12 March 2019). More...

Queensland

Master Builders Queensland: Minimum Financial Requirements (MFR) reforms The remainder of the reforms will be implemented as part of Phase 2, commencing 1 April 2019. The QBCC has already started receiving financial statements from licensees through the MyQBCC portal. More...

Cases

New South Wales

Cincotta v Russo [2019] NSWSC 272 Judgment for the plaintiff against the first defendant for damages to be assessed. CONTRACTS – Particular parties – principal and agent – undisclosed principal – building contract – where licensed supervisor contracted as agent for builder – identity of contracting parties – agent personally liable in circumstances where reasonable person in position of the parties would conclude agent was contracting party. Corporations Act 2001 (Cth); Home Building Act 1989 (NSW)

Castle Constructions Pty Ltd v N & R Younis Plumbing Pty Ltd [2019] NSWSC 225 BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – Construction contracts – Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) – challenge to adjudication determination – entitlement to progress payment – whether payment claim supported by valid reference date – whether reference dates may arise following termination of the relevant contract – operation of ss 8(2)(a) and 8(2)(b) – whether existence of a reference date is a jurisdictional fact – whether validity of a termination is a jurisdictional fact – review of adjudication determination.

Icon Co (NSW) Pty Ltd v AMA Glass Facades Pty Ltd [2019] NSWSC 250 BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – Security of payment – where successive adjudicators expressed inconsistent findings as to proper construction of the building contract – subcontractor did not challenge second determination and instead resubmitted payment claim – contractor contended third determination void because construction issue determined by unchallenged second determination – subcontractor belatedly sought to challenge second determination by cross-summons.

Queensland

Mousa & Anor v Vukobratich Enterprises Pty Ltd & Anor [2019] QSC 49CONTRACTS – BUILDING, ENGINEERING AND RELATED CONTRACTS – THE CONTRACT – STATUTORY WARRANTIES FOR RESIDENTIAL BUILDING WORK – Where the plaintiffs contracted the first defendant to build their dream home – where they claim the work did not meet the statutory standard of expectation – where they plead an entitlement to damages for breach of warranty on the basis that they have suffered or will suffer loss and damage, being the cost of carrying out remedial work to the house – whether the state of each item of work evidenced a breach of statutory warranty so as to require rectification. CONTRACTS – GENERAL CONTRACTUAL PRINCIPLES – DISCHARGED, BREACH AND DEFENCES TO ACTION FOR BREACH – REPUDIATION AND NON-PERFORMANCE – REPUDIATION – Where the plaintiffs claim damages as against the first defendant for wrongful repudiation of the contract – where the amount claimed includes the cost of remedial work plus the cost of completing construction – whether the first defendant’s conduct manifested an intention to fulfil the contract only in a manner substantially inconsistent with their obligations under it and not in any other way. TORTS – NEGLIGENCE – ESSENTIALS OF ACTION FOR NEGLIGENCE – DUTY OF CARE – Where the first defendant was a licensed contractor and the second defendant its appropriately licensed nominee – where there existed a statutory duty for a licensed contractor to ensure building work is personally and adequately supervised – whether the scope of liability for the statutory duty could be extended to infer the second defendant also owed a duty of care in negligence to the plaintiffs. Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld) s 11; Domestic Building Contracts Act 2000 (Qld) ss 9, 81(3), Part 4; Queensland Building and Construction Commissions Act 1991 (Qld) ss 43, 43A.

Victoria

Fullinfaw v Neil Fletcher Design Pty Ltd [2019] VSC 142 DOMESTIC BUILDING CONTRACT – ‘No fault’ termination of major domestic building contract – liquidated damages claim – extension of time claim not proven – builders entitlement – effect of cap – recovery of liquidated damages from builder – Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (Vic) ss 8(d), 41, 53